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Program Uses Neuroscience Research to 'Unlock a Reading Brain’

Program Uses Neuroscience Research to 'Unlock a Reading Brain’

READ 180 Universal, a new intervention program recently announced by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), uses leading neuroscience research to help students in-need read better.

"Recent advances in neuroimaging have yielded increased insight into patterns and behaviors in the brains of struggling readers. These insights have allowed cognitive scientists to pinpoint areas that have the most influence over various literacy functions,” HMH said in a statement.

"READ 180 Universal uses this research, as well as advances in adaptive learning technology, to create customized instructional paths for students that focus on growth activities in the areas of the brain most in need of development.”

Described by HMH as “intensive reading intervention,” it says the program has been proven to have positive effects on reading achievement.

According to its statement, the program uses growth mindset research, offers support for different areas of the brain, and includes a Teacher Space which acts as a learning management system for educators.

The jury is still out on whether or not neuroscience research is better than education research, however.

In December, analysis from Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow John. T. Bruer  indicated that because neuroscience is a young and developing field, it is likely not as reliable to use when looking to improve classroom learning.

"Results from the behavioral and cognitive sciences, he says, are more reliable at this point in time when looking to improve education.”

HMH, however, calls READ 180 Universal the next generation in improving reading outcomes.

"There have been incredible advances in neuroscience and adaptive learning technology that can enhance comprehensive reading intervention programs across the board. We must use every tool in our arsenal to help students unlock the power of their reading brains,” said Margery Mayer, Executive Vice President, Intervention Solutions Group at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Read more about READ 180 Universal here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

2/12/2016

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