A co-educational college preparatory independent day school serving approximately 540 students in Worcester, Massachusetts, Bancroft School has used the All Kinds of Minds approach since 2007 as a cognitive developmental model to support its pedagogy.
Bancroft Headmaster Scott Reisinger comments, “Since implementing the All Kinds of Minds approach our students have a significantly deeper understanding of their learning profiles and have become more sensitive to the differences in learning styles of their peers. The use of All Kinds of Minds discourse is also percolating to parents in a very positive way as a reference point to discussing students at Bancroft.”
Bancroft School educators routinely modify their lesson plans and teaching practices to meet the specific neurodevelopmental needs of students in their classes. For example, foreign language teachers have created podcasts of lessons to support the students who have strength in receptive language, and teachers throughout the school routinely give a student priority seating in the front of the classroom if he has focal maintenance/attention issues.
“Integration of the All Kinds of Minds approach can be found at all levels at Bancroft School,” explains Assistant Headmaster Gary Mathieu, “….from our Lower School, where K-2 teachers use the Table of Neurodevelopmental Constructs in tailoring instructional strategies to make learning accessible to all students, and where grade 3-5 teachers use more explicit AKOM terminology with their students in helping them understand their learning styles…. to our Middle School where all grade 6-8 classrooms have a learning support teacher and a classroom teacher who collaborate to apply modifications to benefit individual students’ learning styles and search for affinities to help each child mitigate his or her academic difficulties.”
Many Bancroft teachers use the AKOM self-assessment card sets to help students begin to understand their own learning styles, as students are able to choose a “hand of cards” that best reflects the components their learning profiles. From that base, students engage in discussions about the constructs and revisit their learning styles during the course of the school year.