Brain Targeted Teaching: Linking Research to Learning, presented by Dr. Mariale Hardiman and Barclay School Principal Jenny Heinbaugh. Thursday, September 27 from 6-8pm at the Barclay School (2900 Barclay Street).
Changes are occurring behind the scenes at Barclay Elementary/Middle School, where teachers are implementing a new framework that links research to the classroom. Called the Brain-Targeted Teaching Model, Barclay teachers are using new approaches to link research in the brain sciences to promote deeper student engagement and achievement. Parents, prospective parents, and the community are invited to attend an interactive and inspiring presentation on September 27 to learn more.
The brain behind this innovative model is Dr. Mariale Hardiman, Asst. Dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Dr. Hardiman is also the former principal of Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, where she led the underperforming school to Blue Ribbon status. Her work at Roland Park became the basis for her Brain-Targeted Teaching model.
In 2011, GHCC brought Dr. Hardiman to its Principals’ Meeting where she presented about her Brain-Targeted Teaching model, and Barclay Principal Jenny Heinbaugh was inspired. Last spring, Heinbaugh and nine of her teachers completed Dr. Hardiman’s 30-hour training in the model. Now, Barclay teachers are implementing the model’s 6 teaching targets and methods that are supported by brain research.
Dr. Hardiman and Principal Heinbaugh hope that Barclay will soon be viewed as a school of choice by all families living in its residential zone and attract additional families to live in the community. We sat down with Dr. Hardiman to find out more about her work and why she is working with Barclay School.
Could you speak about your time as principal of Roland Park Elementary/Middle School?
When I first got to Roland Park, the school was falling apart. Outside where the beautiful fish fence is now, it was a mudslide. Inside there was graffiti everywhere, holes in the walls and no doors on the bathroom stalls. The test scores weren’t great either. When I think about it, I really used the Brain-Targeted Teaching principles, though I hadn’t formalized it into a model yet. I had to clean up the environment first because no parent was going to walk in there and say, ‘I want my child to come here.’
It wasn’t like Roland Park always was like it is today. The community was petitioning to close the school. That was an easy fix though. I explained that you don’t need to send your kids to this school, but I guarantee you, if this school gets better, your housing market will improve. Change doesn’t happen in a week, but when the community is engaged and they like what they hear and see, I promise you good things will happen.
What makes the Barclay School unique in its implementation of the program?
I’m so excited to work with Barclay! I really have to say, I applaud Jenny Heinbaugh. So many principals let others handle professional development and don’t think of it as their job. She is a real model for her teachers. Jenny has been fabulous, and I have to hand it to her that she wants to move in this direction. There are some principals that just want a quick fix to get test scores up, but for Jenny, this program is more. It makes your school a better place for children.
What should people take away from your presentation?
I’m taking the workshop I do for teachers and administrators and tweaking it for parents and the community. I spent a lot of time thinking, ‘That sounds really academic. How can I say it in a normal way?’ The crux of what I do is to provide research to people. It’s not ‘do as I say because it’s good,’ but here is the body of research that shows why it is good. And this model also encourages the development of creativity. We’re not giving kids the experiences in school that let kids be creative. The Brain-Targeted Teaching Model encourages collaboration and arts integration that lends itself to creative problem solving, a 21st century skill.
I hope that if parents hear how it’s being approached in school, they’ll think of what they can do at home. If there is more interest from parents, I would love to bring together a small group in a workshop session to figure out how to implement this strategy at home.
Mark Your Calendars for the next “What Works in Education Speaker Series”:
On Tuesday, October 30 at 7:00 pm, sponsored by the Bolton Street Synagogue (212 West Coldspring), author Paul Tough will present his new book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character. Learn more by listening to this fascinating podcast of This American Life: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/474/back-to-school.