Adapting teaching to diverse brains

Principal Katie May this spring announced that “Culturally Responsive Teaching & The Brain” is the book all staff are encouraged to read for discussion and action in 2017-18.

The book’s website says that the author, Zaretta Hammond, uses neuroscience research to “offer an innovative approach for designing and implementing brain-compatible culturally responsive instruction.” Some examples of tips for this approach to teaching:

  1. Build authentic relationships. They are the on-ramp to engagement and learning.
  2. Use the brain’s memory systems for deeper learning. Connecting new content through music, movement, and visuals strengthens the neural pathways for comprehension.
  3. Acknowledge diverse students’ stress response from everyday micro-aggressions and help calm the brain.
  4. Use ritual, recitation, repetition, and rhythm as content processing power tools.
  5. Create a community of learners by building on students’ values of collaboration and connection. It creates intellectual safety, reducing stereotype threat.

Ms. Hammond’s Twitter account offers additional interesting material, Ms. May notes.

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