George Lucas Educational Foundation

Lori Desautels

Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Butler University

Dr. Lori Desautels is an assistant professor at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at Butler University in Indianapolis. Before coming to Butler University, Lori was an assistant professor at Marian University in Indianapolis, and earlier on taught children and adolescents with emotional challenges in the upper elementary grades, worked as a school counselor in Indianapolis, was a private practice counselor and co-owner of the Indianapolis Counseling Center, and was a behavioral consultant for Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis on the adolescent psychiatric unit.

Lori’s passion is engaging her students through neuroscience in education, integrating mind-brain teaching and learning strategies into her courses at Marian and now Butler University. Lori has conducted workshops throughout the the United States and abroad, recently returning from Dubai. Lori’s second book, Unwritten, The Story of a Living System, co-authored with Michael McKnight, was published in January 2016.

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  • Social and Emotional Learning

    Starting the Day With a Calming Routine

    Exercises that help young students who’ve experienced trauma transition into the school day in a relaxed and ready state.
  • Brain-Based Learning

    Activities That Prime the Brain for Learning

    Brain breaks and focused attention practices help students feel relaxed and alert and ready to learn.
  • Teacher Wellness

    6 Strategies for Finding Your Calm

    Teachers need to regulate their emotions before they can help students regulate theirs, so creating moments of calm is essential.
  • Mental Health

    Reaching Students With Emotional Disturbances

    A seasoned educator shares four ideas for supporting students who have suffered emotional trauma.
  • Classroom Management

    Energy and Calm: Brain Breaks and Focused-Attention Practices

    Brain breaks and focused-attention practices positively impact our emotional state, refocusing our neural circuitry to generate increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, where problem solving and emotional regulation occur.
  • Brain-Based Learning

    Brains in Pain Cannot Learn!

    Young people experiencing anxiety or depression are unable to learn. We can overcome this through physical movement, focused attention practices, and teaching them about how brains work.
  • Classroom Management

    Aiming for Discipline Instead of Punishment

    Brain-aligned discipline isn’t compliance-driven or punitive—it’s about supporting students in creating sustainable changes in behavior.
  • Brain-Based Learning

    7 Ways to Calm a Young Brain in Trauma

    How can we help elementary students who have been scarred by tragedy become more receptive to learning?
  • Mental Health

    Emotional Regulation for Kids With ADHD

    Six brain-based strategies to help kids with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder build confidence, engagement, and focus.
  • Brain-Based Learning

    Teaching Self-Regulation in the Early Grades

    Activating young students’ natural bodily rhythms helps them regulate their nervous systems and prepare for learning.
  • Brain-Based Learning

    Quick Classroom Exercises to Combat Stress

    These brain breaks and focused-attention practices can help students cope with stress and trauma and focus on their learning.
  • Brain-Based Learning

    Ring Their Bells: A New Way to Deliver Bell Work

    Because students bring a broad variety of needs and emotions, start class with bell work that engages their working memory and sets the tone for positive, productive learning.
  • Social and Emotional Learning

    How Emotions Affect Learning, Behaviors, and Relationships

    <p>In the first of five posts about the film "Inside Out," Lori Desautels offers strategies to help explore how joy, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust can help students.</p> <br> &nbsp;
  • Brain-Based Learning

    Creating Safety and Attachment for Students With Trauma

    Students with traumatic experiences bring those experiences with them to school. These strategies can help foster a feeling of safety.
  • Brain-Based Learning

    Addressing Our Needs: Maslow Comes to Life for Educators and Students

    In the mid-1950s, humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow created a theory of basic, psychological and self-fulfillment needs that motivate individuals to move consciously or subconsciously through levels or tiers based on our inner and outer satisfaction of those met or unmet needs. As a parent and educator, I find this theory eternally relevant for students and adults, especially in our classrooms.