The students on Scholar Lane have rounded the corner from Spring Break and begun the charge toward completing the academic year. For many, the excitement and challenge of final exams will be shortly coming into focus. Many years removed from my last final exam, I can still remember the intensity of the experience. Some weeks ago during the NAIS conference, I found myself having a conversation with Glenn Whitman from the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning (CTTL) and the author of Neuroteach. He asked me how I thought the results of final exams would change if they were taken three months removed from the final day of class. How comfortable would I have been as a teacher with my students’ retention of information? And what does that say about the way that I would want to teach? Glenn’s work with the CTTL has been transformative for independent schools and, beginning in the Fall of 2023, we will begin a partnership with the CTTL, providing our faculty, parents, and students with all of the many advantages of resource-based strategies and Mind and Brain education.
The CTTL is a pioneering institution that focuses on translating research from the fields of cognitive science, neuroscience, and psychology into practical strategies that can be implemented in the classroom. Their work aims to revolutionize the way we approach teaching and learning by understanding the intricate relationship between the mind and the brain and applying this knowledge to improve educational outcomes for students of all ages.
Some of the key areas of focus for the CTTL include:
The CTTL's research on neuroplasticity emphasizes the brain's ability to change and adapt throughout an individual's lifetime. By incorporating strategies that promote neuroplasticity in the classroom, educators can help students develop critical thinking skills, creativity, and resilience.
The concept of a growth mindset, popularized by psychologist Carol Dweck, postulates that intelligence and ability can be developed through hard work and perseverance. The CTTL actively promotes the adoption of a growth mindset in educational settings, empowering students to embrace challenges, learn from setbacks, and continuously strive for improvement.
Metacognition, or "thinking about thinking," is a crucial skill that allows students to monitor and regulate their own learning. The CTTL's research in this area has led to the development of practical tools and techniques that educators can use to foster metacognition in the classroom, ultimately helping students become more effective, independent learners.
Mindfulness practices have been shown to improve attention, emotional regulation, and overall well-being. The CTTL supports the integration of mindfulness techniques in the classroom to create a more focused, calm, and productive learning environment.
The CTTL offers a wide range of professional development opportunities, including workshops, online courses, and an annual Science of Teaching and School Leadership Academy. These programs are designed to help educators enhance their teaching practices by incorporating the latest research findings from the fields of cognitive science, neuroscience, and psychology.
The Meadows School partnership with the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning puts us in the company of such prestigious schools as Kent School, Providence Day, Park Tudor, and Metairie Park Country Day who have all invested the time and resources to ensure that their communities are leveraging the power of the science of the brain to create a more effective and enriching experience in their schools. Our journey will begin this summer with a select number of faculty participating in the summer workshop followed by two days of faculty in-service training alongside the team from the CTTL and author Glenn Whitman. Over the course of the next three years, Glenn and his team will guide our exploration into various professional development challenges, meeting with various constituents and providing feedback on how to be the best version of ourselves.
In addition, we will be launching our second Parent Book Club with the book Neuroteach for those parents interested in participating more in these conversations. We expect Glenn and his colleagues to participate in a parent talk this coming Fall. You can order a copy of Neuroteach in a number of formats here. Additionally, parents are encouraged to familiarize themselves with this work by taking the MBE-IQ assessment located here. If you’d like to participate in the upcoming book club or for us to order you a copy of Neuroteach, please sign up here.
The Meadows School prides itself on its commitment to the pursuit of excellence. Providing faculty and staff the tools to truly understand the way that the brain learns allows us to “lower the barriers, not the bar” to an exceptional and rewarding academic experience. We are thrilled to become the flagship partner school of the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning in the West.
Chief Innovation Officaer
- All School