“… a proven stimulus of innovation —  the meeting of unlike minds.”
Thomas Stewart, 2001

Learning and Teaching.

A number of Unlike Minds associates have a long track record of innovation in learning and teaching.

Dr Rebecca Torrance Jenkins is an educational neuroscientist, presenter and author. Together with Unlike Minds associates Ray Hanks and David Oliver, they initiated the project Neurofiles which takes  neuroscience research directly into schools. 


She is involved in two other education initiatives: 

Neuroscience in Learning Together with David Oliver, they have developed a programme that enables schools to evaluate neuroscience research findings and make informed decisions as to what changes might be made at the whole school or individual classroom levels.

Neuroscience in parenting (a book to be published by …. on …

Rebecca also has two involvements in the health and wellbeing domain:

Augmented reality in general practice. Working with Ray Hanks, David Oliver, Amir Hannan and David Dickinson.

The Good Summit (Dublin, 2019) speaking on behalf of the World Health Innovation Summit 


David Oliver is a Founding Director of Unlike Minds and has a wealth of experience in education leadership, leading school governors, developing and delivering school improvement programmes. Within the education domain, well as being involved with the Neuroscience in Learning programme with Rebecca, he leads on:

Breakthrough Performance Environments. David helped to lead a ground-breaking action-research project formed from global organisations based in the USA and Europe. They considered what factors might promote amazing results – breakthrough performance. Would it be possible to deliberately construct environments where breakthrough performance was more likely than in other environments, and if so, what would you need to focus on to realise them? This project was the beginning of David’s work on, and continuing exploration of, breakthrough performance environments. You can find more on this fascinating consultancy offer here.

The Brain-Friendly, Growth Mindset School. (the research-informed learning environment.) Drawing upon research in education, educational neuroscience and cognitive psychology, David has worked with Rebecca to bring relevant findings, and their implications, to schools across the north-west. The combination of children learning about what’s happening in their brains when they’re learning with psychological insights into motivation and success plus teacher awareness of what really makes a difference to learning has delivered significant impact in the pilot stage, with noticeable benefits in behaviour for and attitude to learning in primary schools.

Applying Technology to Learning. Working for Manchester Metropolitan University, David led one of the first DfE-funded initiatives in the use of augmented reality to support engagement of pupils in science. Working in partnership with The Monastery Manchester David has used immersive display technology to engage pupils in creative writing,  performance and self-regulation. Augmented reality has featured again too, with initiatives at the Monastery (visitor experience) and in schools, using readily-available technologies to ‘bring objects or images to life’.

Research-informed Personal Development.  With research indicating that short training courses – especially if relying on ‘cascade’ to reach colleagues – struggle to achieve sustainable impact in schools, David explored the use of action-research to improve professional development. Practitioners working together to explore areas of interest in their own classrooms provides the raw data for structured conversations on aspects of practice that highlights next steps. This self-reflective approach has proven to be a powerful tool in staff development in those schools that have experimented with it..