Arrowsmith Introduction

Arrowsmith Introduction

The Arrowsmith method seeks to improve cognitive functioning through identification of a student’s challenges, development of an individualized program, goal setting and careful, measured monitoring of progress with a clear completion target. This unique method, with small measured steps, regular recognition of success and clearly identified goals, enables students and families to understand the road to program completion and student success.

The article Definition of a Learning Dysfunction, written by Arrowsmith School founder Barbara Arrowsmith Young, outlines a theoretical framework for understanding the nature of learning dysfunctions and is the framework used by the Arrowsmith Program.  The learning dysfunctions described on this website are the problems addressed by the Arrowsmith Program. They are not all of the possible problems that may interfere with the learning process; however, they are the more common areas of difficulty.

For students and their families, the Arrowsmith Program begins with an in-depth interview designed to assess the candidate’s suitability for the program.  If it is determined that the student will benefit from the program, enrollment documents are submitted and applicable tuition fees are paid.  The next step is comprehensive assessment (outlined on the Individualized Program page), which identifies areas of cognitive weakness that the student would benefit from improving.  Based on the results of this assessment, a Toronto-based Arrowsmith Program Coordinator then develops an individualized program and outlines the length of the program (the average program is three to four years, with the range being one to four years). Once the Individualized Learning Program is established, the student begins to work on this program, moving forward in small measured steps until the goals identified in the individualized program are reached. Students are enrolled in the Arrowsmith Program only until their individual program is complete, at which time (depending upon their age) the student will transition into a full academic curriculum in a public or private school. At this time, students are able to capitalize on their increased learning capacities and, after a three or four year program, can function without special education assistance or program accommodations.

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