A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THE NEW BRAIN-BASED TEACHING (2010).   A formal bridge linking the fields of neuroscience, psychology and education is missing (Fischer, Daniel, Immordino-Yang, Stern, Battro & Koizumi, 2002; Goswami, 2006; Hall, 2005; Schall, 2004).



USING THE BEST OF MIND, BRAIN, AND EDUCATION SCIENCE IN THE CLASSROOM (2009). This book is written in easy-to-read terms aimed at teachers about the new academic field of Mind, Brain, and Education Science.



MULTILINGUALISM ACROSS THE LIFESPAN (2008). Different times in human development lend themselves to different language learning processes due to social, neurological and psychological reasons.



    Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa Bio

Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa


Urb. Las Hiedras, Casa 1
Vía San Patricio (Los Rosales), Cumbayá
Casilla 17-11-6437
Quito, Ecuador
Tel.: +593-2-97-001-736
Office: +593-2-297-1937
Spanish website: www.educacionparatodos.com
University website: www.usfq.edu.ec

IDEA – Instituto de Enseñanza y Aprendizaje [Teaching and Learning Institute]
of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito


IDEA seeks to improve the quality of education in Ecuador through educational research, teacher training and student support. Our vision is to improve the social and economical structure of the country through a better educated population.

IDEA is one of the few institutions in Ecuador that conducts educational research. Several books have been published by IDEA members, for example, Living languages: Multilingualism across the lifespan (a book on Multilingualism) from Greenwood (2008), and Applying Mind, Brain, and Education Science in the Classroom (a book on Mind, Brain and Education Science: the intersection between neuroscience, psychology and education) from Columbia University Teachers College Press (2009). Additionally, the IDEA research team has authored various academic essays and been a consultant in projects regarding education and public policies in Ecuador, as well as the state of education in Ecuador. IDEA members have also developed educational textbooks for a new Mind, Brain and Education program and a national teacher training program. IDEA has also written many popular press articles on various educational topics.



Director of IDEA and a fulltime Professor of Education and Neuropsychology at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. Tracey has conducted conferences, workshops and research in 17 countries around the world (Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Australia, Norway, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland, Thailand, and the USA). She has more than 20 years experience in teaching kindergarden through university, over a decade of experience in teacher training and is now primarily focused on educational research.


  • Ph.D. in Education: (Capella University, 2008). Doctoral thesis on the emerging discipline of Mind, Brain, and Education science (the intersection between neuroscience, education, and psychology).
  • Ed.M International Educational Development (Harvard University, 1987). Studies forcued on comparative educational systems around the world, the concept of “intelligence,” and a Master’s thesis on Educational Philanthropy.
  • B.A. International Relationtions (Boston University, 1986), magna cum laude.
  • B.S. in Communications (Boston University, 1986), magna cum laude.

Work experience:

  • Universidad San Francisco de Quito (2003-present). Fulltime Professor and Director of the institution’s educational research division and teacher training program.
  • Grupo FARO (2005-present). Director of Education, Grupo FARO, a “think-and-do” tank in Quito Ecuador, which promotes public policy transformation in concert with other NGOs, public institutions, and like-minded organizations.
  • Ministry of Education (2006). Consultant for the Ministry of Education and Culture, Ecuador: Redesigned Adult Education program (literacy through 10th grade), including defining standards and re-writing texts.
  • Universidad San Francisco de Quito (2003-2004). Interactive Exhibit Designer, Universidad San Francisco de Quito: Designed over 200 interactive children’s science exhibits based on research from over 100 centers around the world for implementation in Ecuador’s ¡Elé!, El Museo Interactivo de Ciencias.
  • Sesame Workshop (2004-present). Promoter Plaza Sésamo© Andino: Work with Sesame Workshop in New York to develop an Andean version of Sesame Street.
  • Planète Exploration (1997-2002). Project Manager: Led a 40-person force in coordination with PriceWaterhouse Coopers to create business plan for Geneva government and private businesses for Switzerland’s first interactive children’s museum on sustainable development and the environment.
  • Crossroads, France (1997-2002): Early Childhood Reading Instructor, Implemented innovative early reading program for 4- and 5-year old bilingual children.
  • Colegio Americano de Quito (1992-1996). International Baccalaureate Curriculum Designer: Led the redesign of  curriculum structure to meet IB requirements while maintaining national standards. Based on work as IB co-coordinator in Tokyo, Japan from 1989-1992.
  • International School of the Sacred Heart, Tokyo, Japan (1989-1992). Counselor, International Baccalaureate Assistant, 11th Grade Homeroom Teacher, Yearbook Advisor, Values, Psychology, and English Instructor in the Middle and High School programs. Popular teacher in a large international school, host to 89 different nationalities.
  • Colegio American de Quito, Ecuador (1987-1989): High School Teacher and Counselor. Achieved 100% success rate in college counseling efforts to gain university entry and scholarships for students.  Worked with over 200 11th and 12th graders to on private counseling issues. Taught English and Psychology.

Publications and research projects:

  • Tokuhama-Espinosa, T. (2010). Mind, brain, and education science: A comprehensive guide to the new brain-based teaching. New York: Norton.
  • PREAL, Grupo FARO & Fundación Ecuador. (2010). Informe de progreso educativo Ecuador 2009. Quito: Grupo FARO (principle investigator).
  • Tokuhama-Espinosa, T. (2009). The new science of teaching and learning: Using the best of mind, brain, and education science in the classroom. New York: Columbia University Teachers College Press.
  • Tokuhama-Espinosa, T. with Bramwell, D. (2009a). El estado actual y propuesta de un nuevo modelo de bachillerato para América Latina. Quito: Ministerio de Educación del Ecuador.
  • Tokuhama-Espinosa, T. with Bramwell, D. (2009b). El ciudadano ideal: ¿Sabemos la definición de educación de calidad? Quito: Universidad San Francisco de Quito
  • Tokuhama-Espinosa, T., Ramia, N., & Bramwell, D. (2009): Mapeo y análisis de consistencia de las políticas, programas y proyectos del Plan Decenal de Educación y definición de indicadores y competencias para la formulación de un sistema de seguimiento ciudadano. Educiudadanía, Observatorio del Plan Decenal de Educación. Quito: Grupo FARO.
  • Tokuhama-Espinosa, T., & Bramwell, D. (2009). Consultoría para el diseño de instrumentos medición y seguimiento de las competencias (conocimientos, destrezas y actitudes) de los actores del Plan Decenal de Educación. Educiudadanía, Observatorio del Plan Decenal de Educación. Quito: Grupo FARO
  • Tokuhama-Espinosa, T. (2008). Living languages: Multilingualism across the lifespan. Westport, CT: Greenwood.
  • Tokuhama-Espinosa, T. (2004). El estado de educación en el Ecuador. Grupo FARO, Quito, Ecuador.
  • Tokuhama-Espinosa, T. (2003). The multilingual mind: Questions by, for and about people living with many languages. Westport, CT: Praeger Press.
  • Tokuhama-Espinosa, T. (2000). Raising multilingual children: Foreign language acquisition in children. Westport, CT: Greenwood.
  • Tokuhama-Espinosa, T., Sanguinetti, V., & Guerra, S. (en prensa). ¿Qué hacen los mejores profesores? Quito, Ecuador: Universidad San Francisco de Quito.
  • Review of textbooks for the national literacy program DINEPP (Direccion Nacional de Educacion Popular Permanente). (project conducted with Monserrat Creamer and Luis Hernandez) (2006).

Prizes: Recipient of the first Junior Scholar Award in January 2006 at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito for outstanding research in the following areas.

  • Educational Planning
  • Learning Environments
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Human Potential
  • Evaluation of Critical Thinking
  • Motivation and Learning
  • Classroom management

Personal: Married to an Ecuadorian diplomat and raising three multilingual children in English, Spanish, German and French. Born in Berkeley, California. Japanese-American, native American Indian and Irish roots; United States and Ecuadorian citizenships. DOB: 12/29/63

Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa