Schools are exploring new ways to address the impact that Covid-19 has had and continues to have on students. As leadership teams around the country consider the most effective options to help close the learning gap for their students, it is helpful to recognize that, as the Kennedy Forum, has stated:
“Neuroscience research now proves what parents have known all along. Even the best teaching and curricula have surprisingly little effect when a child’s cognitive and emotional readiness to learn is not addressed.”
Innovative schools are adopting a program directly targets each child’s cognitive and emotional readiness to learn. It does this by using a nationally normed, scientifically valid and reliable cognitive assessment to help teachers and students understand their cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and by providing cognitive training to the students using the most researched, comprehensive, integrated cognitive training tool available (BrainWare SAFARI). The cognitive training incorporates techniques developed over more than 40 years of multi-disciplinary clinical collaboration and is delivered in a highly engaging video-game format. The program can be implemented in-person or in a distance-learning environment. Cognitive growth is demonstrate by administering the cognitive assessment again following training. Academic growth is also assessed using existing formative and summative assessments.
The cognitive assessment provides deep insights into how each student learns and enables teachers to more effectively support student learning with differentiated and personalized, evidence-based learning strategies. Cognitive training develops the mental processes that are needed for efficient and effective learning, accelerating the acquisition of academic knowledge and skills. These processes include Executive Functions, which also play a key role in social and emotional competence.
In addition to improving cognitive skills and academic results and helping students rapidly close the learning gap which has resulted from Covid-19’s impact, teachers and parents typically observe improvements in students’ perseverance, confidence in their learning ability, willingness to take on challenging work, relationships with others, and other characteristics of capable, confident learners.