Johns Hopkins University research & Professional Development Collaborations

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As St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and its Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning began its Mind, Brain, and Education Science journey in 2007, it quickly sought out Johns Hopkins University School of Education researcher Dr. Mariale Hardiman for guidance in how to navigate the MBE field. Dr. Hardiman served as the interim Dean of the School of Education from 2016-2017 and is the co-founder and director of the Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s Neuro-Education Initiative (NEI). Dr. Hardiman is the creator of the Brain-Targeted Teaching® Model and has a strong understanding of public and private school education from her previous experience as the principal of Roland Park Elementary/Middle School. Dr. Hardiman’s books, Connecting Brain Research with Effective Teaching: The Brain Targeted Teaching Model (2003) and The Brain Targeted Teaching Model for 21st Century Schools (2012) informed the foundational Mind, Brain, and Education Science thinking of St. Andrew’s faculty.

The CTTL’s work with Dr. Hardiman and her team from the School of Education has been a model school/university collaboration and has led to the publication of co-authored articles, such as, "Assessment and the Learning Brain" (Independent School, 2014), and co-facilitated presentations, such as, “Connecting Brain Research with Effective Teaching” Workshop (June 2011). In addition, the research design expertise of Dr. Hardiman and Dr. Granger from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine led to the CTTL’s first research study. St. Andrew's 2nd through 8th grade students had the opportunity to learn about the scientific method while working alongside researchers from Johns Hopkins. Students contributed saliva samples and completed surveys to test the correlation between peer relationships, stress, and academic success. All Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements were met through this project. This research study demonstrated that a strong relationship with one’s teachers predicted academic success and lower stress for lower school students, while a strong relationship with one’s peers and teachers predicted academic success and lower stress levels for upper school students. For more information about this study see Dr. Luke Rinne’s, “In Spit We Trust” article in the CTTL’s internationally recognized publication, Think Differently and Deeply, Volume II (see below for article).

In 2016, the CTTL launched its newest collaboration with Johns Hopkins University faculty who lead the school’s Science of Learning Institute. Dr. Kelly Fisher and Dr. Kristin Gagnier have been leaders of the Science of Teaching and School Leadership Academy’s design team. In collaboration with the CTTL, they have worked to develop an evaluation that will take place over the Academy’s first three years. This design, innovation, and improvement study will evaluate the Academy in terms of its delivery of professional development and will inform the refinement and continuous quality improvement of the Academy during the study’s years.  The study will also provide initial evidence of the Academy’s impact on teachers’ knowledge of MBE research and content, attitudes (e.g. confidence and efficacy), and skills regarding the implementation of research-informed practices in their classroom.