In recent years there have been growing calls for forging greater connections between education and cognitive neuroscience. As a consequence great hopes for the application of empirical research on the human brain to educational problems have been raised. In this article we contend that the expectation that results from cognitive neuroscience research will have a direct and immediate impact on educational practice are shortsighted and unrealistic. Instead, we argue that an infrastructure needs to be created, principally through interdisciplinary training, funding and research programs that allow for bidirectional collaborations between cognitive neuroscientists, educators and educational researchers to grow. We outline several pathways for scaffolding such a basis for the emerging field of ‘Mind, Brain and Education’ to flourish as well as the obstacles that are likely to be encountered along the path.