Since 2011, the CTTL has been using insights from research in the field of Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) to improve all aspects of teaching and learning at St. Andrew’s. On a daily basis, our teachers reflect on questions such as ‘what does great teaching look like?’, ‘how do I get students to engage, think hard, and persist?’, ‘how do I give my students impactful feedback?’.
Teachers take promising principles from research, lay it alongside their personal and collective professional wisdom, add in their own secret sauce as a teacher, and devise lessons, assessments, creative projects, homework, learning spaces, and routines that help each student reach their highest potential. This approach to teaching and learning is educational innovation of the highest level. At St. Andrew’s, we call it just a normal day of school.
This year, St. Andrew’s students will be using two new programs developed by the CTTL to deliver the science behind how the brain learns best directly to students.
Students in the Lower School will use lessons from the Learning Brain Curriculum (LBC), created by the CTTL in collaboration with LS faculty. Through the LBC, students learn about how their brain works while learning. They are introduced to the concepts of neuroplasticity and the link between emotion and cognition. They learn strategies that help them calm worries connected to academic pressures, bring their focus back to a task when their attention wanders, leverage the science of goal setting to reach for their dreams, measure success as a product of effort, and remain positive in the face of a challenge. It is a curriculum designed to empower our youngest students to become the authors of their own success through knowledge rooted in the science of how the brain works, learns and thrives.
Students in the Middle and Upper School will use Neuroteach Global Student (NTGS), developed by the CTTL in partnership with leading researchers on learning. Research suggests that being able to use the right strategy at the right time is a critical factor in being a successful student. NTGS is the tool we created to help make this happen. The course can help students grow a toolbox of effective and efficient learning strategies in areas such as how to study, taking the test, remembering what you read, getting the most out of class, and keeping it in your head. It also gives students guided practice at using these strategies with their real school work so they become part of a normal day at St. Andrew’s. Just like our Learning Brain Curriculum, NTGS is designed to empower our students to become the authors of their own success.
Families are critical members of a student’s learning community. No matter where your child learns – at a classroom desk or at the dining room table – you play a critical role in their education as a co-teacher. So, it is important that parents, mentors, and other supportive adults have access to research-informed resources to help students reach their full potential. Research-informed tools for parents and families are available at https://thecttl.org/parents. These tools were designed by The CTTL’s team of teacher-researchers and based on the science of learning. If you are interested in more research-informed learning resources, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on the research supporting The CTTL’s work, visit our research base.