On Neurodiversity

Last spring, I started referring to Neurodiversity when topics around learning differences came up in conversations, often in the context of the Learning and Metacognition component of our Human Development Department curriculum.

This fall, I’ve continued incorporating this language into the work I’m doing, particularly in creating our school’s Statement on Equity and Community.

It’s been interesting to see the reactions people are having to this term. It’s clear people need more information, so here’s some. Enjoy!




Back-to-School Night: A New Approach | Edutopia

Back-to-school night can be a time to shine light on the importance of social-emotional learning — at both home and school.

Source: Back-to-School Night: A New Approach | Edutopia

CSI’s Guide on Implicit Bias | Center for Social Inclusion

At the Center for Social Inclusion (CSI), we are lifting up research like studies on implicit bias to show how race still matters in this country. We are also testing messages to help us all talk about race more constructively. We must all work together to build a more perfect union by creating more opportunity for communities of color and white communities that need more opportunities. We put together a quick guide for those of you who want to know more about implicit bias. This guide showcases important work by many different groups and researchers.

Source: CSI’s Guide on Implicit Bias | Center for Social Inclusion

What Educators and Parents Should Know About Neuroplasticity, Learning and Dance | SharpBrains

Dance. Is it merely art?  Is it just recreation?  Think again. Dance is now being studied as a pathway to enhance learning.  And, scientists say, educators and parents should take note of the movement.

Read on here: What Educators and Parents Should Know About Neuroplasticity, Learning and Dance | SharpBrains

Researchers Probe Stereotype: Christians And Science Don’t Get Along : NPR

Do stereotypes about religious people undermine their performance in certain tests? Studies have found Christians tend to underperform non-Christians when it comes to tests of logical ability.

Source: Researchers Probe Stereotype: Christians And Science Don’t Get Along : NPR

What Happens to Empathy Deferred? – Independent Ideas Blog


Pick of the week: What Happens to Empathy Deferred? – Independent Ideas Blog


Here’s an excerpt:

Today, developing reciprocal understanding, mutual respect, and empathy among diverse populations remains our greatest challenge. The need has perhaps never been more obvious. In the last two years alone, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray, to name just a few, have focused national attention on racial inequality and social injustice. We have heard “I Can’t Breathe” chants and seen “Black Lives Matter” signs and hashtags that raise awareness of and express dissatisfaction with the status quo. Independent schools claim to embrace missions that promise to lead the way — to create a healthier culture of cooperation and understanding. Consequently, independent schools must actively work to ensure that those missions aren’t empty abstractions.

What I have learned is that creating a culture of empathy requires a level playing field.  Young people need guidance from adults who understand them, who share their background and experiences. Understanding others is more likely to occur if people first understand themselves — if they understand who they are, what they think, and why they think it. White students in independent schools have the white mentors and role models they need in order to develop this sort of self-confidence and understanding — the base from which, with further guidance, they can become increasingly understanding of others. Black and Latino students in independent schools lack sufficient numbers of black and Latino mentors.