Building Schools for All Kinds of Minds

In our recently-published book, Schools for All Kinds of Minds: Boosting Student Success by Embracing Learning Variation, our CEO Mary-Dean Barringer makes the point that Educators, school leaders and policymakers … talk around learning but not about learning,” and she notes that equipping educators with current knowledge from science about how we are wired to learn is essential to the future of education.

But how can educators access this knowledge?  And once they have, how can they translate what they’ve learned into practical solutions in their classrooms, schools, and districts?  Providing answers to these questions is a big part of our work here at All Kinds of Minds.

Schools for All Kinds of Minds

Reading Schools for All Kinds of Minds can be a great first step for educators seeking this expertise.  This book gives school leaders insights, examples, and tools to help them use the All Kinds of Minds approach to transform their classrooms and schools and ultimately help their students learn and thrive.  It highlights schools that have made real progress in building their learning expertise for the benefit of their students and shows educators how taking even small steps can help them meet their long-term goal of ensuring that all students find success.

We invite you to join us on our blog over the next few weeks as the book authors share some ideas and tips from the book as well as personal insights around the book’s content.

Win a Free Book!

But that’s not all.  Each week that we discuss an aspect of Schools for All Kinds of Minds, we’ll be giving away a free, signed copy of the book!

To be eligible to win a book, you must subscribe to our blog and share your thoughts about the blog entry by posting a comment.

Check back next week for the first Schools for All Kinds of Minds-inspired post.  We look forward to sharing elements of the book with you!

To learn more about Schools for All Kinds of Minds or to read excerpts, visit our website.  Here’s a preview of what you’ll find there:

More than ever, America needs the kinds of minds that generate new perspectives, seek solutions, and discover emerging opportunities. Those are the minds of many of the students in your schools today who, at first glance, look a lot like the struggling student I was in school. I invite you to take a second look at the individuals who walk through your school doors. Join us in helping as many kids as possible become more aware of their unique talents and more confident in their learning abilities—and help us rescue the wonderful potential that may otherwise be lost.

— Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s
(excerpted from the Schools for All Kinds of Minds Foreword)

 

Have you read the book?

If you’ve already read the book, we’d love to hear what you found compelling, how it’s influenced your thinking, or how it’s changed your practice.  Leave a comment below!

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7 thoughts on “Building Schools for All Kinds of Minds

  1. Quite correct, there isn’t anything really new in
    education, teaching, learning except “jargon”
    and technology.

    One experiment to make teachers aware of what their
    students experience is to put a class of 20 – 25 teachers to the task of learning Hebrew, for instance. The letters are
    all different and go from right to left. Show them how much easier phonics is to sight reading, even when letters look alike.
    From experience, reading Hebrew can be learned in 6 hours
    or less by most adults, usually ten letters and vowels an hour.
    The challenge is how would each teacher present the material to their students, with particular emphasis on creativity.

    Maimonides in the 12th century espoused much of what many are claiming is new in education and ethics, etc.

    Teachers need to have a motivation to continually create,
    for themselves, as well as others.

    With all due respect,

    Sincerely,

    Rabbi David Kraus, MEd

    rebdavid@yahoo.com

    704-366-3089

  2. Our work is focused on the brain functions or neurodevelopmental “wiring,” which we refer to as “constructs” that comprise a learning profile. Every one of those constructs is part of our learning profile, but we all vary in strengths and weaknesses of those functions. Our approach is about being as specific as we can about the profile. This profile is what influences how we approach learning, explains why we excel at some tasks and struggle with others. The book describes those functions and how to use observations and other data (including interests and affinities) to determine each individual’s learning profile.

    Learning styles–commonly thought of as visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic–are general categories that do refer to some of the constructs and brain functions in their description, but it is not the way we approach translating the neuroscience research to insights into learning.

    You can read the Foreword and Introduction on our site (www.allkindsofminds.org/book/) and Chapter 1 on the Jossey-Bass site (www.josseybass.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-047050515X.html). These excerpts will give you a good idea about the book’s content.

  3. As an occupational therapist that has worked with children for more than 25 years, I am thrilled that someone has finally started acknowledging the “science” of learning. I often wondered teachers were never required to learn how our brains register, process, responds and retains information. My son just began his career as a high school teacher & he is tired of hearing of my frustrations. Hopefully he will use this information in preparing his lesson plans.

  4. Nice post, and great idea to giveaway books. I have read the book and it is a great idea to refocus all the other AKOM books to changing schools. …and changing schools by focusing on how unique the needs of each student are, and relabeling all principals and teachers as learning leaders is correct–(I wonder if it will take), Focusing all schools–the successful and the not so successful–on putting learning over achievement is, I believe, going to be the breakthrough concept. http://www.geniusinchildren.org is saying refocus from achievement to learning, from striving for success to loving a challenge, from “all kids at or above grade level” to “All kids love to go to school” or should we say: “All kids love learning?” No that’s just a fact. I am open for advice.

  5. In the forward to Schools for All Kinds of Minds Paul Orfales, founder of Kinko’s writes:

    More than ever, America needs the kinds of minds that generate new perspectives, seek solutions, and discover emerging opportunities. Those are the minds of many of the students in your schools today who, at first glance, look a lot like the struggling student I was in school. I invite you to take a second look at the individuals who walk through your school doors. Join us in helping as many kids as possible become more aware of their unique talents and more confident in their learning abilities—and help us rescue the wonderful potential that may otherwise be lost.

    Slow it down. He said a mouthful. It is critical that we all get all the pieces of this:
    1) the world need graduates who: generate new perspectives, seek solutions, and discover emerging opportunities
    2) We need all kinds of minds fully functioning and geared into the real world in productive ways.
    3) We need all kinds of minds to be good at different points of view, good problem solvers, curious about and capable of doing something with new opportunities.
    4) Visit any number of schools across the country and it won’t be obvious that the teachers and students are working on this NEED. It seems they are about other business. If they are struggling, let them be struggling for toward the most important outcome. What was that? “Generate new perspectives, seek solutions, and discover emerging opportunities.”
    5) Take a second look at each student. See the genius in them. Notice them in their uniqueness. See that each one has a brain that activates when curious.
    6) Each of us is more powerful when we are aware of, appreciate, and see the power in our unique learning abilities—our unique approach to the world. That is a good definition of “confidence.”
    7) We are currently squandering an enormous amount of human potential and we must stop it.

    and the Schools for All Kinds of Minds is a mouthful well worth reading if you want to be a leader of learning.

  6. Our PLC’s are very data rich but not student learning rich, yet. I am hoping that Schools for All Kinds of Minds will help me convince my team to look at cognitive issues and student strengths. We look at the data always from the “what isn’t being done” point of view. Your book really helped me find the way to have a strength driven curriculum for my special education students. I’m working to share with others.

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