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ACE: Academic Center for Enrichment

This guide is geared to support the ACE program.

2017-18 Academic Year

Hello Families —
 
I’m happy to share some updates from the Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE) with you.  We are settling into our new space, and the students are settling into the routine of the school year.  Thank you to those of you who came by to visit over family weekend.  If you weren't able to come, please check out the video that shows off our new space.
 
This week we had a study skills workshop on the importance of thinking hard when you study.  In cognitive psychology, we call this concept Depth of Processing.  This concept was first discussed by Craik and Lockhart in 1972 and Craik and Tulving in 1975.  You can find some specific information about their work at if you follow the links above.  In short summary — the deeper and more challenging your thinking is about a concept, the better you will later remember it.  This video provides an excellent summary.  
 
During our workshop, we discussed that the most common way that students study is to reread their notes and readings, but rereading alone leads to very shallow processing. One may feel that this method is effective but it only bolsters the memory for a short term and leads to easy forgetting in the long term.  One way to force your brain into deeper levels of processing is to "take a test" that forces you to try to remember what you are studying.  These findings don't just apply to the study of academics but also to skills that are practiced such as hitting a baseball or playing an instrument.  
 
For more information on these kinds of research-backed learning and skill building strategies, I highly recommend my favorite book: Make it Stick by Peter Brown, Dr. Henry Roediger, and Dr. Mark McDaniel.  Dr. Roediger and Dr. McDaniel are two of the leading researchers on learning and thinking, and Mr. Brown makes their work very approachable for high school students, teachers, and professionals of all stripes.  Make it Stick can be found ihard copy and digitally in the Interlochen library.
 
Please ask your students about our workshop and what they've taken away from it.  In ACE we will be working with students to help them find effective ways to deeply process information when they study using strategies like summarizing, linking information to outside information, and quizzing themselves.  I encourage you to ask your students about this workshop and to use these kinds of strategies.
 
Best,
Michael
 
Michael Kern, Ph.D.
Michigan Licensed Psychologist
Nationally and State Certified School Psychologist
Learning Specialist and School Psychologist

Year of YET

 

Hello all — I want to share some news from the Academic Center for Enrichment (ACE).  

This week in Interlochen 101, the freshmen and new sophomores are doing a workshop on the concept of Mindset and how the view of intelligence that we have when we approach a task can color our enjoyment, ability, and effort. This idea was first examined by Dr. Carol Dweck (TED Talk) back in the 70s and popularized in her wonderful book: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (2008). Dr. Dweck found that there were two basic mindsets that we could use when approaching a task. Those with a "fixed mindset" viewed that their intelligence and their abilities as unchanging or "fixed." Those with a growth mindset, approach tasks thinking that no matter your intelligence, you can always grow and get better.  

Dr. Dweck found that this was a powerful idea, and those with growth mindsets tended to be more willing to attempt difficult tasks, take more enjoyment in their work, be more resilient in the face of a challenge, and perform better at almost any task.  In contrast, those with a fixed mindset were more likely to quit, to think they couldn't accomplish something, be unwilling to try difficult tasks, and had worse performance.  

Based on Dr. Dweck's work and the excellent book Neuroteach: Brain Science and the Future of Education** that Mary Ellen led some of us in reading this summer, I've decided that this year's theme in ACE will be the idea of "Yet." We will be encouraging students to approach their learning with the idea that "they can't do it yet," "they haven't learned yet," and "they haven't finished yet," and to be aware that each thing they do is focused on learning to be a better student and artist. Please feel free to echo these sentiments in your interactions with our students.  

I'd be happy to discuss this more with you all, and if you're interested in learning more about the concept of Mindset, please feel free to check out the ACE LibGuide on the Interlochen Library site.

**to access ebook off campus remember to use your ID number for BOTH username and password.

Here are some more resources to consider:

How Praise Became a Consolation Prize: Interview with Carol Dwek.

 

Growth Mindset from Edutopia: Find information about growth mindset, discover how learning mindsets can affect student performance, and explore strategies that support student confidence.

 

Embracing Failure: Building a Mindset through the Arts

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Michael Kern, Ph.D.
Michigan Licensed Psychologist
Nationally and State Certified School Psychologist
Learning Specialist and School Psychologist

 

 

 

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