This article examines how discussions around the new interdisciplinary research area combining neuroscience and education have brought into sharp relief differences in the philosophies of learning in these two areas. It considers the difficulties faced by those working at the interface between these two areas and, in particular, it focuses on the challenge of avoiding ‘non-sense’ when attempting to include the brain in educational argument. The paper relates common transgressions in sense-making with dualist and monist notions of the mind-brain relationship. It then extends a brain-mind-behaviour model from cognitive neuroscience to include a greater emphasis on social interaction and construction. This creates a tool for examining the potentially complex interrelationships between the different learning philosophies in this emerging new field.