General Education

“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” H. G. Wells

Districts and schools are charged with educating all students and strive to help all students meet the challenges of college- and career-readiness. At the same time, they must contend with learners of different abilities, backgrounds, interests, styles and motivations.

How to provide every student what he or she needs to learn but still be efficient with resources? How to individualize learning with requiring that teachers teach a different curriculum to every student? Are there tools that meet all students’ needs and each student’s needs at the same time?

The goalposts are also shifting. Mastering the three Rs is no longer sufficient to ensure that a student is ready to meet the demands of today’s global economy. We now expect that they will be proficient in the “21st Century Skills” — skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, and the ability to utilize technology.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

An important approach has surfaced to help reconcile these demands, called “Universal Design for Learning.” Universal Design for Learning, or UDL, is a framework based on neuroscience research on how learning takes place. UDL deals with three essential aspects of learning. Because BrainWare SAFARI is also grounded in neuroscience and incorporates the proven practices of clinicians working with multiple aspects of brain development, it is uniquely suited to support the goals of UDL.

The following table illustrates the role BrainWare Safari plays in addressing the three cognitive networks characterizing UDL:

NetworkBrainWare SAFARI Cognitive Skills Development
Recognition (Perceptual) Network
How we take in, identify and understand information from the outside world.
BrainWare SAFARI focuses intensively on the mental processes of reception and perception — from initial sensory impressions to sequencing to spatial and temporal relationships. BrainWare SAFARI helps students receive and perceive more efficiently and effectively, making all of their interactions with curricular content more productive
Strategic (Thinking and Learning Management) Network
How we plan and perform the tasks involved in learning.
Just as it does for the basic processes of reception and perception, BrainWare SAFARI helps students build the skills that allow them to manage the learning process — skills like working memory, attentional control, strategy and planning. Moreover, these skills are not built in isolation but as an integrated whole where reception, perception and the management of information work effectively together.
Affective (Emotional) Network
How learners are engaged and motivated in learning.
Principles of engagement and motivation, based in neuroscience and expressed in the best practices of video-game technology have been incorporated into BrainWare SAFARI. The principles are embedded both within the software and within the training and professional development provided to ensure its effective implementation. BrainWare SAFARI works the way brains love to learn.

Evidence of the Impact for All Students

A school district in South Carolina identified a need in some elementary schools to support students in improving their developed cognitive abilities to increase the number of students qualifying for the gifted program based on performance on the CogAT test. Over the past three years, 557 students in the district have used BrainWare Safari and taken the CogAT before and after.

  • 95% of the students improved on at least one section of the CogAT.
  • 12% of the students qualified for the gifted program or for the opportunity to complete further testing to qualify.

Average improvement on the CogAT (percentile rankings) have been very consistent over the three years with the following gains documented in the 2010-2011 school year:

CogAT SubtestAverage Percentile Point Gain
Verbal11
Non-Verbal10
Quantitative9
Composite12

General Education in Knowledge Center

Making universal design for learning a reality