The true beneficiaries of the training that 100% of St. Andrew’s teachers receive in Mind, Brain, and Education Science is each Pre-school through 12th grade St. Andrew’s student. The expectation is that each St. Andrew’s teacher will use his or her training to inform and transform the design of their class and work with each individual student in his or her current areas of strength and areas of challenge. Most importantly, because every St. Andrew’s teacher knows about brain plasticity, the ability of the brain to change both naturally and through deliberate practice by the student, St. Andrew’s teachers use research informed whole-class and personalized strategies to help each student become more confident, efficient, and independent learners throughout his or her learning journey.
The CTTL works with every St. Andrew’s student, including our most sophisticated thinkers, to become more independent, efficient, confident, and self-aware learners. Advanced students—many of whom would do “just fine” in less innovative classrooms—learn to work more efficiently in their best subjects and find confidence and success in areas outside their perceived strengths. For example, a highly skilled math student can learn how to apply her visual-spatial strengths to expository writing, improving her performance in English class. Students who experience difficulty in certain areas of the curriculum often find their confidence and the quality of their work improves greatly when they understand how they best learn and how, through deliberate practice, they can change their brain.
Here are ways St. Andrew’s teaching and learning has been transformed through the CTTL:
Mindfulness training for Lower School teachers and students.
Teachers use varied forms of assessments. In certain middle and upper school classes, students have the opportunity to choose what type of year-end assessment would be best for the way they demonstrate cumulative understanding.
Transformation of grades 6-12 final exam schedule so that students have a deep opportunity to reflect on their performance, receive oral feedback from their teachers, and to establish strategies for future improvement.
The advisor program educates students about the neurodevelopmental demands of learning focusing on enhancing attention, memory, executive functioning, and time management.
Launch of new, research-informed daily schedule in fall of 2019
More frequent formative assessments for all grade levels
Elevation of memory strategies such as the spacing effect, testing effect, and interleaving.