Brain Based Learning at Its Best: Model Neurocognitive Schools

Brain based learning, another term for neurocognitive education, can be seen in action at model neurocognitive schools and is the perfect example of differentiation.

Though neuro cognitive protocols may be applied in individual classrooms, the most effective - and almost unbelievable - results are seen when there is a whole-school commitment to the common goal of truly leaving no child behind.

Such a commitment must be made in order for a school to become a model school.


In neurocognitive schools, children direct much of their learning and are free to explore their own interests in afternoon workshops where they learn to apply the math and reading skills they have learned in morning core classes.

In each of these multi-aged sessions students read to learn about the topic and learn essential sight vocabulary. Emphasis is given to hands-on activities, scientific investigations, and the aesthetics - music, dance, art, and drama.

During workshop time those children who are reading below grade level attend special workshops of their own called ICU's where they work with teachers specially trained to identify and treat reading problems. Generally it doesn't take very long for them to catch up to their peers, and once they are reading at grade level, they attend regular workshops where they build vocabulary and learn about those things which interest them.

Teacher Re-Education

Teachers in neuro cognitive schools first must learn the basic anatomy and function of the brain followed by information on how learning actually takes place. Once this background of knowledge has been acquired, teachers begin to learn brain appropriate strategies for helping children come to know.

The Results

Children in neuro cognitive schools - where brain based learning takes place school wide - blossom since they are able to pursue their own interests in workshops and develop their unique gifts and talents. The children are so excited about workshops that teachers report that they tell their parents not to check them out of school early!

Attendance improves dramatically, and a culture of learning is created which supports the development of every child. It is without a doubt what education truly should be.

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Neuro Cognitive Education in Action

The best way to evaluate neuro cognitive education is to visit a brain based school. There you can experience a culture of learning completely different from the institutional atmosphere of traditional schools.

You will not find children sitting silently in desks and rows but rather in groups, working together as the teacher sits with a group or circulates among them to offer assistance where it is needed.

Classrooms are inviting and homelike, and children may be so engrossed in learning that they do not notice at first that you are there. When they do, they will be eager to share with you what they are learning.

Students who cannot read are particularly excited because specially trained teachers take them aside to teach them to read in dedicated sessions of their own.

Every class, every activity, every teacher emphasizes reading and works to build vocabulary. Word walls are everywhere, and the goal is to learn close to 1000 words each year.

You will come away from your visit inspired - and wondering why every school is not a brain based school!