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The Science of Stress & Self-Regulation



What is stress? Why do we experience it? What can we do about it?

Join us to learn about the Science of Stress. An international team of instructors from the Spotlighters project will help you learn about how stress can be helpful and harmful, how it causes changes in our bodies, and how we can manage it. The instructors will guide you through some common stress management techniques that are used by celebrities, athletes, and everyday people. Techniques that you can use to help manage stress for the rest of your life.


It’s free! Enrolling in the course gives you access to videos, articles and reflection tasks. You can choose to complete the entire course, a single module, or just access the resources that are most meaningful to you. There are no obligations.


The course is made up of 7 units:
  1. Course overview
  2. Our survival system
  3. Stress sensations
  4. Stress, moods, and performance
  5. Stress mindsets
  6. Balance
  7. Lifestyles and stress
Units 2-7 consists of:
  • A warm-up activity
  • Video(s) that present the unit’s content
  • One or more activities related to the video content
  • One or two recommended stress management techniques
  • And one or more reflection question(s)

The course material has been developed by the Spotlighters team, an international and interdisciplinary team made up of professionals from universities and social enterprises working to bring knowledge from neuroscience and psychology to education.

Class teaching
This course has been developed with classroom teaching in mind as well as individual participation. As a teacher you can let your students go through the units on their own during class, freeing you up to help the ones that have questions about the material. As a teacher you can customize the sessions to best fit your contexts. For example combine the units in different ways or only teach one unit at a time. We do, however, suggest you make time to do the practices/self-regulation techniques together as a class.


Spotlighters is an international project, supported by the Erasmus+ Programme (2018-1-ES01-KA201-050646), that supports learners and educators with self-regulatory practices from the science of stress. The project brings together experts in neuroscience, education, and education technology. Partners include Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Spain), University of Helsinki (Finland), Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain), University of Western Macedonia (Greece), Metropolia University of Applied Sciences of Helsinki (Finland), as well as a Danish consultancy and two Portuguese companies Advancis and Boon.

Open educational resources (OER) created in the project include:

  1. Hybrid lessons for university, high school, and primary school students;
  2. This free online course (MOOC) about the science of stress for high school/university students and teachers;
  3. A digital technology to support emotion regulation in the classroom:;
  4. Teacher training workshops to be held in Spain, Finland, Denmark, Greece, and Portugal.

For more information:


No preliminary skills and knowledge is needed to take the course.


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Professor Minna Huotilainen

Dr. Minna Huotilainen is Professor of Educational Sciences at University of Helsinki, Finland. She uses neuroscientific methods to understand learning. Minna is especially interested in the role of memory and attention in learning, and has studied the effects of musical activities on the brain and learning. She has published over 160 peer-reviewed articles in international journals and written 5 books that popularize neuroscience and learning.

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Marta Portero-Tresserra

Marta Portero-Tresserra is a doctor in neuroscience, clinical psychologist, and teaches at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Universitat de Girona, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and Universitat de Barcelona. She is also a researcher in the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory group at the Institute of Neurosciences at UAB. Marta has published in national and international specialized journals and is the co-author of 3 books about neuroscience and education.

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Isabel Gomes

Isabel Gomes has a Ph.D. in Psychology (University of Porto). She is an experienced researcher and professional in education. She is also an external advisor in EU-funded projects and works as a project manager (researcher and trainer) at Advancis, in several projects in the fields of pedagogical innovation, and social entrepreneurship and intervention. Isabel is the author and co-author of several articles and chapters in national and international specialized journals and books.

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Eveliina Holmgren

Eveliina Holmgren (Ph.D., clinical psychologist) is psychology lecturer at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Finland. She teaches psychology in various degree programs and aims at applying the scientific knowledge of psychology in many fields of practice. She has published several articles in domestic and international publications related to psychological well-being and interventions.

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Tharrenos Bratitsis

Dr Tharrenos Bratitsis is a Professor at the Early Childhood Education Department of the University of Western Macedonia (UOWM), in Greece. His area of expertise is Technology Enhanced Learning, focusing on Digital Storytelling and STEAM, among others. He has published over 200 scientific papers and wrote 2 books and 6 book chapters. Specifically for Spotlighters, he is especially interested in stress management techniques within school settings and educational design in order to address it (especially in younger ages).

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Marc Beardsley

Marc Beardsley (Ph.D.) is a researcher and project manager in the TIDE research group at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. His work involves synthesizing insights from the Science of Learning into digital technologies for education, Open Educational Resources (OER), and multidisciplinary projects. Marc has put together and led a number of projects that bridge neuroscience and education such as Illuminated, Illumine, and Spotlighters.

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Mie Guldbæk Brøns

Mie Guldbæk Brøns is an educational anthropologist. She researches education cultures globally and does in depth research on teacher collaboration and social behavior in schools. As a consultant at she creates professional development workshops and study tours of innovative learning environments. She has written several articles and a couple chapters about the influence of physical spaces in teachers’ practices.

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Mads Clauson-Kaas

Mads is an educated teacher and a diploma graduate in project management and organizational development. He has taught english, history and media for 21 years. His teaching career has focused on developing brain friendly practice. He has recently started as an educational consultant working with

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