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Grave worries about 'Arrowsmith'; flawed reasons for support

 
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2526
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2015 2:19 pm    Post subject: Grave worries about 'Arrowsmith'; flawed reasons for support Reply with quote

There is a huge level of concern by serious educationalists in the DDOLL network, and others, regarding the proliferation of support, official support and financial support for the 'Arrowsmith' programme.

Here, Alison Clarke of 'spelfabet' spells this out:

http://www.spelfabet.com.au/2015/05/brain-training/

Quote:
Brain training

I was pretty surprised last week to read in The Age newspaper* that our Premier and state Education Minister launched a pilot of the Arrowsmith program at a Catholic school here in Melbourne, and that there was no mention in the article of the controversy surrounding this and other "brain training" programs.

The Arrowsmith program's website states that it is "founded on neuroscience research", the first type of which has shown that "different areas of the brain working together are responsible for complex mental activities, such as reading or writing, and that a weakness in one area can affect a number of different learning processes". But so what? That doesn't mean that teaching skills that involve the same brain areas as reading and writing will help reading and writing.

The website also says the program is based on research into the "principle of neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to physically change in response to stimulus and activity, to develop new neuronal/synaptic interconnections and thereby develop and adapt new functions and roles believed to be the physical mechanism of learning."

As Prof Anne Castles and Assoc Prof Genevieve McArthur pointed out in a 2012 article in The Conversation, most people just call "brain training" "learning". But terms like "brain training" and "neuroplasticity" sound more special and impressive.


Please read the whole article, this is a very important, worrying and unaccountable issue.
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