Bridging the Gap


The last decades have seen astounding advances in our understanding of human development and cognition. Indeed, a true “science of learning” has emerged bringing together diverse findings from human development, neuroscience, experiential education and pro-social psychology to provide a more complete picture of how we learn and the components of human well-being.  A serious gap remains, however, between the findings from the lab and their application in the classroom.  

A core pillar of’s Mission is to bridge this gap - to ensure that the latest research informs how we support and serve students and their teachers.  Our Action Research work projects explore critical questions of practice with the goal of translating scientific findings into practical applications that can be scaled through our partnerships and Millennium Forums.



A Process of Continuous learning and Improvement


Developmental science is in our DNA.  We launched Millennium.Org as a research and development effort, bringing together top researchers from across the country to help develop the optimal adolescent learning environment based on the latest scientific findings.  R&D remains central to our work and continues to serve as the engine that drives a cycle of continuous improvement, both within the Millennium School and with our Millennium Forums and partners.  

Program Design
We work with top researchers in their fields to design the instructional and experiential programs for both the lab school and our Forum model for partner schools. The integration of mindfulness, SEL, and neuroscience research informs our holistic program design.

Classroom Application
The Millennium School and our partner schools serve as initial proving grounds for our developmental science-based programs. We bring together leading researchers with teachers in the field to apply, iterate and improve curriculum and professional development grounded in active feedback from the reality of middle school classrooms.

Scaling for Success
The Millennium Forum programs being designed in partnership with a range of public schools are created from inception to scale across schools, districts, and states. By blending technology delivery with in-person coaching and facilitation, Millennium’s teacher training programs and Forum implementation tools will allow educators to embrace whole-student development on a large scale.



Select Action-Research Projects


We are fortunate to work with some of the brightest minds in human development and adolescent neuroscience.  The following projects are examples of the current research is undertaking in its efforts to create science-backed programs for whole adolescent development.


University of British Columbia, School of Education & Counseling Psychology - Measuring Educator SEL Competency & Impact

Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Professor of Human Development, Learning  Culture at the University of British Columbia, CASEL Board Member.

Emerging research from CASEL and NSCEAD indicates that the critical missing element for whole student development is the capacity for educators to model SEL attributes in coordination with an experiential curriculum for adolescents. We believe strongly in the role of the teacher as the agent for change in students’ social-emotional development. In this project, we are working with Dr. Schonert-Reichl and a nation-wide network of leading educational psychologists to explore the impact of Millennium Forums on teacher well-being and the SEL competencies most critical to creating a climate that fosters whole student development.

UCSF logo in black

UCSF Neuroscape Lab - Developing Executive Function in Adolescents

Dr. Melina Uncapher, Assistant Professor of Neurology, UCSF; Director of Education, Neuroscape, UCSF

Neuroscape is a translational neuroscience center at UCSF engaged in both development and research to advance cutting-edge technologies as novel brain assessment and optimization tools. The Neuroscape Education Program is aimed at supporting young, developing minds by extending the efforts of our Technology and Neuroscience Programs into novel assessment and learning tools for kids. Current research suggests that our education system would be well-served by helping students better build their core cognitive capacities, specifically, the underlying cognitive control abilities that learning relies upon. 

Millennium is honored to be Neuroscape’s primary action research partner. We are working together with Dr. Uncapher and the Neuroscape team from UCSF to explore the impact of game-based interventions on accelerating healthy executive function development in students at the Millennium School.


UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center  - SEL Toolkit Development

Dr. Vicki Zakrzewski, Education Director, Greater Good Science Center

UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center leads the industry in translating research in pro-social psychology and wellbeing into application. Abundant research confirms that there are quantifiable practices which lead to living a happier, more fulfilling life. Through their educational initiative, GGSC is now designing online tools and courses for teachers to implement in their classrooms. Millennium is honored to have Educational Director Vicki Zakrewski as our Pro Social Psychologist in Residence, and to serve as a primary lab partner in the ongoing assessment and development of these tools.



advisors & research partners


Steve Arnold
CASEL, Healthy Minds Innovations, and George Lucas Education Foundation Board of Directors

Robert Cook
Commissioner, US Technology & Innovation; Founding CTO, Pixar

Mark T. Greenberg
Professor of Human Development & Psychology, Penn State

Patricia Jennings
Assoc. Professor of Education, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching & Learning, UVA

Linda Lantieri
Asst Professor of Psychology, Columbia; CASEL Sr. Program Advisor; Director, Inner Resilience Program

Madeline Levine
Psychologist with focus on Adolescence & Family Systems; NYT Best-selling Author

Amanda Mallory
Educational Consultant, McClure, Mallory, Baron & Ross

Evan Marwell
Founder & CEO, Education Superhighway, SF Visionary of the Year 2015

Lisa Miller
Professor of Psychology & Education, Columbia; Founder, Spirituality Mind Body Institute

Lisa Flook, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology, UCLA; Associate Scientist, Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin–Madison


Eva Oberle
Asst Professor, Human Early Learning Partnership, University of British Columbia

Denise Pope
Sr. Lecturer, Stanford Graduate School of Education; Co-Founder of Challenge Success

Deborah Quazzo
CEO GSV Acceleration LLC; Past Board Chicago Public Schools, Common Ground, Teach for America

Robert Roeser
Professor of Caring & Compassion, Human Development & Family Studies, Penn State

Kimberly Schonert-Reichl
Professor of Human Development, Learning & Culture, University of British Columbia; CASEL Board

Melina Uncapher
Asst Professor of Neurology, UCSF; Education Director, Neuroscape; Founder, Institute for Applied Neuroscience

Jenny Wade
Professor of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology, School of Consciousness & Transformation, CIIS

James Willcox
CEO, Strategic Growth Partners; Past CEO of Aspire Public Schools and Principal at New Schools Ventures

Vicki Zakrewski
Education Director, UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center



Have an Action Research Project?


Research & Development drives who we are as a learning organization.  So we are always open to exploring potential action research projects that can advance our understanding of adolescent development, neuroscience, and whole student success.  If you are interested in partnering in the study of applied developmental science we would love to connect with you.  Please contact us with a brief description of your area of research and project proposal.