Learning is what counts. Teaching is only important if learning is taking place.
Learning requires a solid foundation. Cognitive skills are the foundation for learning. Cognitive skills can be thought of as learning capacity.
Everyone has the ability to learn, but not everyone has developed the same capacity for learning. We all have cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and we have brains that have developed uniquely through our interaction with the world around us.
Cognitive skills or a person’s capacity to learn can be developed much more than most people think. Intelligence is not fixed.
Students who learn differently deserve more than workarounds like extra time and easier work. They deserve to build their learning capacity.
Education and economic security are closely tied together. Doing well in school helps students realize their earning potential. But growing up in poverty is associated with less well-developed cognitive skills. The long-standing educational performance gaps for students who are economically disadvantaged can be closed, raising their lifetime earning potential.
Achievement gaps are strongly related with cognitive gaps. Access to learning experiences relies on well-developed cognitive skills, among other factors. Helping every individual develop their cognitive skills is a matter of equity.
Cognitive skills and mental health are closely related. Some diseases and conditions are accompanied by cognitive impairment and others, such as anxiety, can be the result of learning struggles.
Learning struggles affect families, not just the individual who struggles with learning. Lowering the stress and anxiety of a child by helping them become a capable and confident learner can decrease the stress level of stress for the entire family.
Developing cognitive skills efficiently and a way that yields lasting meaningful results can be achieved with the right kind of cognitive training. The right kind of cognitive training takes a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach, integrating the best practices from clinical and educational psychology, auditory and vision developmental therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology, neurology and other disciplines.
Learning should be fun and cognitive training should be engaging and motivating. The use of video-game technology can play an important role in effective cognitive training, but “brain games” are not cognitive training.
Research on program effectiveness is an ongoing responsibility. It is incumbent on us as the developer and provider of cognitive assessment, cognitive training and other cognitively based learning programs, to continue to demonstrate their effectiveness, with a meaningful impact for the clients we serve, and in keeping with the evolution of the science of learning.
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