Since 2002, the The Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori teaching staff has collaborated with local experts from the Springer Center to incorporate Dr. Mel Levine’s paradigm, All Kinds of Minds, into classroom practices. In All Kinds of Minds, Dr. Levine has identified “eight manageable categories, or neurodevelopmental systems.” These are:
- Attention control system
- Memory system
- Language system
- Spatial ordering system
- Sequential ordering system
- Motor system
- Higher thinking system
- Social thinking system
This framework helps parents and educators understand how children learn and why they behave in certain ways. Our partnership with Springer has involved:
- Staff workshops to learn about the different neurodevelopmental systems identified in All Kinds of Minds.
- Periodic consultation with Springer Center staff to develop specific strategies to support particular students in our classrooms at The Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori. Consultations are very targeted. Teachers meet as grade-level teams with the Springer consultant to discuss specific learning challenges and classroom behaviors manifested by certain students. Together, the team and the consultant discuss reasons for challenges, and generate a menu of precise strategies to assist the student.
Strategies are not only implemented at the teacher level; they are also shared with students and with parents so that a total support system – including self-support by the student – is engaged to help optimize learning and growth. By sharing in the common discussion of student strategies, teachers broaden their own understanding and repertoire of ideas that they can apply with other students under their care.
This ongoing consultation has been invaluable in meeting the individual needs of a host of students at GSCM.
- Linking parents to support systems and resources. Our Springer partnership has helped us open the doors to support systems that parents can utilize when their children encounter a variety of learning and behavior challenges.