Detroit-Area Educators Partner with National Learning Experts

Collaboration brings neuroscience-based approach to local schools to help more students succeed

DETROIT, MI (August 3, 2010) – This week, more than 130 educators from Wayne County School Districts, including Detroit Public Schools, are participating in a summer academy designed by Wayne RESA to build their effectiveness at turning around Wayne County’s high priority schools. The academy is part of the regional educational service agency’s commitment to supporting local school improvement efforts in order to help all students find success with the state’s standards and assessments.

All Kinds of Minds, a national nonprofit that translates scientific research on the mind and learning into training and techniques for K-12 educators, is kicking off the first week of the academy for classroom teachers and instructional coaches.

“We selected All Kinds of Mind for their research-based approach focusing on the neurological development of the whole child, how children learn, and how they vary in their learning,” said Wayne RESA Associate Superintendent Kevin Magin. “We believe that this approach will help educators tailor their strategies to help all students, including struggling learners, be successful.”

"Detroit’s education challenges continually make the national news, but rarely are the stories about how dedicated educators—like the ones we’re working with this week—are bringing cutting-edge innovation to chronic problems," said Mary-Dean Barringer, Chief Executive Office of All Kinds of Minds and author of the recently published book, Schools for All Kinds of Minds: Boosting Student Success by Embracing Learning Variation.

Barringer, a Detroit native and former Michigan special education teacher, added, "These educators know schools are asked to do more with less, so they are thinking out of the box about how the new science of learning can help them reach more students. After this week they will know how to supplement traditional student data with equally critical information about students’ individual learning strengths and weaknesses gained from observations, parents and the students themselves. Ultimately, these teachers will show how they have successfully met the needs of more students, specifically those who face complex learning challenges."

Participating educators are developing their knowledge about the mental functions that affect learning, and how to identify and understand their students' unique learning profiles. They are also learning strategies for diversifying their instruction to meet the needs of a broader range of learners, and for selecting instructional strategies and other interventions for individual students who are struggling to learn.

"It's our hope that by introducing the All Kinds of Minds approach to educators here, we'll be helping to transform how schools think about and approach learning," Barringer said. "Armed with practical strategies for understanding and addressing the learning challenges faced by so many students, these teachers will be able to start the new school year with additional confidence that they will be able to reach all of their students."

About All Kinds of Minds

All Kinds of Minds is a national nonprofit dedicated to closing the learning gap in schools by equipping educators with training and tools based on the latest research on how students learn. More than 20 independent studies, along with a decade of program evaluation data, show that All Kinds of Minds’ programs help students improve on multiple measures of school success and academic achievement and support greater instructional effectiveness for teachers. Through its network of partners, All Kinds of Minds delivers high-quality professional development for educators and advocates for learning-focused education policies and reform efforts to help transform schools and school systems to better meet the needs of all students.

More information about All Kinds of Minds is available at www.allkindsofminds.org.

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Advisory: Mary-Dean Barringer will be available for in-person Detroit-area media interviews August 2-6; contact Melanie Mason at (919) 933-8082 x2216 or mmason@allkindsofminds.org as soon as possible to schedule.