Most teachers and parents seem to have strong, emotional opinions about Common Core, the current emphasis in school curriculum. It puts a huge emphasis on working with information as opposed to memorizing and reproducing information.
If we want children to become good problem solvers and self-initiating learners, they need the kind of thinking skills developed in Common Core. The challenge seems to arise when students don’t have a strong enough foundation of basic academic skills to actually be able to evaluate and manipulate the information.
Common Core may be leaving some students behind because it doesn’t place enough attention on the basics to accompany its problem solving emphasis.
The interesting thing is, there are always some students who can learn easily in any classroom and with any type of curriculum – Common Core or more traditional. Intelligence is certainly a factor, but at Stowell Learning Center, we work with many very bright students who aren’t doing well in school.
What is the deciding factor between success and struggle for smart students?
Academic and social success depends upon a solid foundation of cognitive learning skills. If you think about these skills like a ladder or a continuum, academics and school subjects are at the very top. Many other skills must be in place in order to learn easily at the top of the ladder. When the underlying skills, or skills lower on the continuum are weak, they may keep children and adults from learning and functioning as well and as independently as they should.
Addressing the weak underlying skills on the Learning Skills Continuum has a profound impact on students’ lives, increasing their confidence, academic success, and options for the future.
Brain research in neuroplasticity has proven that through targeted and intensive training, the brain can literally change and grow. New and permanent neuropathways or connections can be made that will allow individuals to learn new skills and process information more effectively.
Our experience and that of our colleagues in this field over the past 30 years have proven that most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically improved or completely corrected through targeted physical and cognitive training.
If your child is a smart but struggling learner, there is hope. There are solutions.
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