Ambleside families frequently ask the question,“What exactly is the Arrowsmith Program?” No, it’s not a tutorial on Classic Rock, but a cognitive program based on the principles of neuroplasticity.
Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity, is essentially the brain’s ability to change by reorganizing itself through the formation of new neural pathways. Through targeted cognitive exercises tailored to each individual student, areas of cognitive function are strengthened and allow students to overcome their learning struggles. Just as no two students are alike, neither are their strengths and weaknesses. The goal here is to strengthen the capacity of the student to learn, understand, absorb, retain, and process; thereby laying the foundation for learning. The Arrowsmith Program targets the specific areas of struggle, so through daily cognitive exercises learning can take place more easily. Often people hear of the Symbol Relations class or “Clocks” exercise taught on our campus. It's one of 17 cognitive functions addressed within the program. In layman’s terms, it’s the critical function that helps us understand the world, oneself, and others. It's involved in processing concepts across all academic areas, such as understanding quickly what we read or hear, gaining insight, reasoning logically, seeing connections between ideas, processing cause and effect, developing flexibility of thought, and mathematical reasoning.
In essence, if we were to imagine a “brain gym," this exercise would be the heavy barbell working out the higher order “muscles” of our brain. You may consider the Arrowsmith classroom that "brain gym."