Today’s most important news is from Simon – no mastery in tracing but he went up another level in Word (he calls it the opposite of tracing!). Word and tracing work together to overcome difficulties in learning and producing a written sequence of symbols – in real life this difficulty means having messy handwriting, miscopying, misreading and irregular spelling amongst other things. Certainly, as I might have mentioned before, Simon’s handwriting has really improved, as to the other areas, I think I shall have to ask Mr Coppins.
And here are more wise words from him on the board this week! Always interesting and inspiring.
Yesterday we received a letter from Jill, the Principal, about exciting research initiatives that the Arrowsmith Program Research Team is currently undertaking. It contains links to the various research projects. It made me and Simon wish that he had had an MRI scan of his brain before he started the Arrowsmith programme, just to see what happens to it as we think it must be changing with all the positive changes we are seeing in him and he is seeing in himself! It is very exciting seeing him so actively enjoying and being engaged with the programme.
To quote Jill’s letter:
“Dear Arrowsmith community,
Below is a message from Barbara Arrowsmith-Young reporting on the incredibly exciting research initiatives currently being undertaken:
Arrowsmith Research Initiatives March 2014
In March 2013, Howard Eaton, Director of the Eaton Educational Group and author of Brain School, joined me in forming the Arrowsmith Program Research Team. Our intention in developing this team was to work with researchers to design studies that will show the brain-based, academic, cognitive, emotional and social outcomes that occur as students engage in the cognitive exercises of the Arrowsmith Program.
Over the past year, Arrowsmith Program has been engaged in research discussions at several universities across North America. These discussions have led to the implementation of studies designed to explore the effects of the Arrowsmith Program on the cognitive functions associated with specific learning difficulties. In the attached Research Initiatives Report please find a summary of each study.
This study is also found on our website: http://bit.ly/researchinitiatives
Research into the outcomes of the Arrowsmith Program has been ongoing since 1997; a summary report of the studies previously conducted is available on our website: http://bit.ly/skillsandlearningoutcomes
Arrowsmith Program will be releasing more reports as data from these studies becomes available, and as other studies are initiated.”
The pilot studies show improvements in both academic and cognitive abilities in students who have attended the Arrowsmith program. I am convinced that larger studies will also show these improvements and perhaps then the sceptics in education and amongst parents who will believe that cognitive improvement exercises are the way to go to help our students with learning difficulties. Perhaps then we will see the paradigm shift in education to overcoming learning difficulties rather than compensating for them. I sincerely hope so!