“Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimension.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
Award-winning BrainWare SAFARI builds 41 cognitive skills in 6 areas: Attention, Memory, Thinking, Visual Processing, Auditory Processing, and Sensory Integration. The 20 exercises in BrainWare SAFARI (most users call them games, rather than exercises – and that’s ok with us!) are based on decades of proven clinical practice. With 168 levels of progressive challenge and the motivation of a video game, BrainWare SAFARI is the complete brain-building package for kids of any age.
Recent neuroscience research has shown that low socioeconomic status (low SES) students on average have deficits in cognitive functions relative to their more advantaged classmates. These deficits are more pervasive than the deficits in language and vocabulary that educators have been working to address for the last three decades. The following chart shows the areas of brain function where SES makes a difference in average student development and provides examples of the impact we would expect on educational performance.
|Cognitive System||Cognitive Skills||Examples of Educational Impact|
|Occipitotemporal/visual cognition system||The ability to perceive patterns and to visualize.||Physical and mental workspace organization
Understanding non-verbal feedback in a social situation
Understanding math and science concepts
Visualization of information that has been read or heard
|Parietal/spatial cognition system||The ability to perceive and mentally manipulate spatial relationships, including the ability to sequence.||Math, especially geometry
Visual problem-solving and estimation
Physical coordination, acuity
|Medial temporal/memory system||The ability to form new memories and to assemble information from distributed storage sites that represent a whole memory.||Learning new information
Remembering multiple pieces of information needed to solve a problem
Creating relationships among concepts and ideas
|Left perisylvan/language system||The ability to learn and understand words, to distinguish sounds that distinguish similar sounding words.||Vocabulary development
|Prefrontal/executive function system||The ability to control the focus of one’s attention.||Sustaining focus
Creating plans, making decisions
|Anterior cingulate/cognitive control system||The ability to override competing attentional or behavioral responses.||Choosing between alternatives in decision-making
Ignoring distractions and staying focused
Being able to behave differently in different situations
|Lateral prefrontal/working memory system||The ability to retain and manipulate information over a short period of time.||Remembering a series of instructions
Complex reasoning and problem-solving
BrainWare SAFARI and Title I Students
Deficits in cognitive capacity do not disappear immediately when children are exposed to good teaching and good curriculum. In fact, such deficits are important barriers to being able to learn and often constitute limitations to the pace and quality of learning. Before students with deficits can learn, they must develop the capacity to learn.
BrainWare Safari has been used with a variety of populations, from low-performing to high-performing students of all economic backgrounds. When BrainWare Safari has been used with low SES students, it has been shown, in several studies, to impact the cognitive skills in the areas of deficit described above. Further, improved cognitive functioning is associated with positive changes in the trajectory of student academic progress in a relatively short period of time.
These studies suggest that developing students’ cognitive skills, along with good curriculum and good teaching, can help them to narrow and ultimately close the achievement gap. With greater capacity to learn, these students will be able to benefit from the learning opportunities they are afforded.
Title I in Knowledge Center
Since it was first introduced in 1965, Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education has sought to even the playing field by providing supplemental funding for schools with populations of students with low socio-economic status (SES).
This paper discusses the impact of poverty on the development of cognitive capacity and the evidence that students from low-SES families on average come to school with less capacity to learn and to be successful in school and in life. But, the story doesn’t end there…