About Mind in the Making

Mind in the Making (MITM), a program of the Bezos Family Foundation, is an unprecedented effort to share the science of children’s learning with the general public, families, and professionals who work with children and families. The science of children’s early development is presented in an accessible, engaging, and inspiring way, as MITM creates an array of multimedia materials that are designed to help diverse audiences bridge the gap between knowledge and practice.

By taking cutting-edge research and applying the principles of engaged learning to adult learning, the MITM initiative helps adults peer deeper in order to better understand how children learn, what they need to learn, and how adults can take simple, effective steps to promote this learning. Ellen Galinsky, author of Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs, and President and Co-Founder of Families and Work Institute, developed an evidence-based list of seven life skills that are essential for children in the short and long term. These skills are:

  • Focus and Self Control
  • Perspective Taking
  • Communicating
  • Making Connections
  • Critical Thinking
  • Taking on Challenges
  • Self-Directed, Engaged Learning

These skills are called life skills because of their powerful potential to help children success socially, emotionally, and intellectually in the short and long term, and are skills every adult can teach and every child can learn. Additionally, all of these life skills are, in one way or another, based in the prefrontal cortex of the brain and involve what child development researchers call “Executive Functions” of the brain. They called this because we use them to “manage” our attention, our emotions, and our behavior in order to reach our goals.

Mind in the Making Training in Oregon

Oregon has worked with Ellen Galinsky’s staff to train trainers in early learning to provide 18 hours of training presented in a cohort model: Mind in the Making – Oregon Standardized. This training, which analyzes the seven essential life skills outlined in Ellen Galinsky’s book Mind in the Making, can occur over a period of weeks depending on the needs of the individuals making up the cohort. The training consists of 8 modules and shares the most recent research findings on the skills that support children’s success in school life. Through in-depth study and engaging and interactive facilitated learning process, participants will critically examine how to support the early development of children in their lives.

To find Mind in the Making trainings occurring in your area, visit the Oregon Registry Training Calendar. You can narrow your search to include your county when you visit the site.

Mind in the Making Products

MITM has a variety of products, including books and DVDs, and resources available on their website and some of those links are provided below.