Professional Development: Blog

The Science of Learning

September 18, 2019
4 Little-Known Facts about Poverty and the Brain (And What Educators Can Do about Them)

A little girl wearing too-small sandals and no coat on a freezing January morning. A boy sick from eating nothing but potato chips and Kool-Aid. An eight-year-old raising himself and sleeping at night with 3 younger siblings. These are children of vulnerable populations that Linda Ann H. McCall recalls teaching at a Title 1 school, […]

January 17, 2019
Building a Foundation for School Readiness for Low-Income Children

As educators with experience in child development, we understand the essential nature of being responsive to a child. Children who do not receive enough attention do not develop in the same way as those who receive consistent nurturing and feedback. Research has demonstrated how, at a physiological level, their brains simply wire themselves differently as […]

December 6, 2017
The Reading Brain: How Your Brain Helps You Read, and Why it Matters

If you’re reading this, you’re probably an accomplished reader. In fact, you’ve most likely forgotten by now how much work it took you to learn to read in the first place. And you probably never think about what is happening in your brain when you’re reading that email from your boss or this month’s book […]

March 7, 2017
Impaired Auditory Processing in Children from Low-Income Homes

As the achievement gap between children of different socioeconomic levels stubbornly persists, there is increased awareness of how the home environment impacts learning. New research by Nina Kraus and Samira Anderson at Northwestern University’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory reveals that these differences are more foundational than previously thought, affecting not only language ability but auditory processing itself. Much well-deserved attention has […]

February 7, 2017
Phonemic Awareness as a Predictor of Reading Success

What is the first sound you hear in the word “cat”? Now, change the "c" sound to "m". What’s the word now? These are examples of activities we use to target phonemic awareness. We are building the understanding that every word can be perceived as a sequence of phonemes, or individual sounds. A child’s success with […]

January 26, 2012
Helping Low-SES Students Thrive

Studies and statistics have clearly demonstrated the link between low achievement and low socioeconomic status or SES. Still, studies have also shown that given the right conditions, every student – including those from less fortunate circumstances – have the opportunity to succeed. Not only that, but the kinds of changes that can increase achievement are […]

February 4, 2010
Are "Smart" Kids Born Smart?

Did you ever know someone that others referred to as a “brain”? It is a term most commonly used in a school environment referring to a top student. Often the “brain” did not seem to have to work hard at school; he or she was viewed as naturally intelligent, knowledgeable in many subjects, liked by […]

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