Last Easter, when we visited T’s aunt in Montreal, she talked to us about neuroplasticity and a book she was reading: The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge.
After our trip, I borrowed the book from the local library. It was a good book, easy to understand and the concepts made sense to me (that your brain can change itself, that it’s “malleable”).
A little while ago, a friend of mine sent me a link for Arrowsmith School in Toronto and more recently, I looked into the school and its methodology and noticed that it was based on the concept of neuroplasticity. I bought and read the book, Brain School:
The book is divided into sections that talks about different people’s (students, mostly) stories, including the story of Babara Arrowsmith Young’s learning (founder of Arrowsmith School and developer of the Arrowsmith program). It talks about instead of teaching coping skills, the problem is addressed directly (with the exercises, students are able to build on weak sections of the brain and strengthen their cognitive skills).
I found the book to be very intriguing and inspiring. I booked a visit to the school to see how it was done. The information session for professionals was more for teachers currently in the school boards, however, I found it to be a very informative visit (and it gave me a lot of ideas about students I worked with). It was very interesting to see the exercises being implemented (clock exercise, symbol recognition, etc.).
They are trying to promote using the Arrowsmith Program in conjunction with classroom teaching. The Toronto Catholic School Board already implements this program in some of its schools.
Here is an introduction video to the Arroowsmith Program.
I really enjoy learning about different ways to support student learning. I like to explore different education programs – I don’t believe that there is one way to teach.