A new concept on human diversity has emerged over the past 10 years that promises to revolutionize the way educators provide service to students with special needs: neurodiversity. Just as we celebrate diversity in nature and culture, so too do we need to honor the diversity of brains among our students who learn, think, and behave differently. In this book, Thomas Armstrong argues that we should embrace the strengths of such neurodiverse students to help them and their neurotypical peers thrive in school and beyond.
For college level students and adults in the workplace, read my book The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain.More info →
Moody. Reckless. Impractical. Insecure. Distracted. These are all words commonly used to describe adolescents. But what if we recast these traits in a positive light? Teens possess insight, passion, idealism, sensitivity, and creativity in abundance -- all qualities that can make a significant positive contribution to society.
In this thought-provoking book, Thomas Armstrong looks at the power and promise of the teenage brain from an empathetic, strength-based perspective—and describes what middle and high school educators can do to make the most of their students potential.More info →
In today's schools, students and teachers feel unprecedented--even alarming--levels of stress. How can we create calmer classrooms in which students concentrate better and feel more positive about themselves and others? Author Thomas Armstrong offers a compelling answer in the form of mindfulness, a secular practice he defines as the intentional focus of one's attention on the present moment in a nonjudgmental way.More info →
With nearly a half million copies of this book in print, Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom provides a nuts-and-bolts teacher's guide to the theory of multiple intelligences, including chapters on lesson planning, teaching strategies, assessment, classroom management, identifying students' intelligences, and more. This fourth edition provides new chapters on personalized learning, neurodiversity, and new learning technologies, as well an appendix of lesson plans aligned to Common Core State Standards.More info →
A fully revised and updated edition of the groundbreaking book on tackling the root causes of children’s attention and behavior problems rather than masking the symptoms with medication.
More than twenty years after Dr. Thomas Armstrong's Myth of the ADD Child first published, he presents much needed updates and insights in this substantially revised edition. When The Myth of the ADD Child was first published in 1995, Dr. Thomas Armstrong made the controversial argument that many behaviors labeled as ADD or ADHD are simply a child's active response to complex social, emotional, and educational influences. In this fully revised and updated edition, Dr. Armstrong shows readers how to address the underlying causes of a child's attention and behavior problems in order to help their children implement positive changes in their lives.
The rate of ADHD diagnosis has increased sharply, along with the prescription of medications to treat it. Now needed more than ever, this book includes fifty-one new non-drug strategies to help children overcome attention and behavior problems, as well as updates to the original fifty proven strategies.More info →
Being smart is more than getting good grades or passing tests in school. It's more than reading well, solving math problems, memorizing facts, and having a high IQ. Psychologist Dr. Howard Gardner studied how kids and adults learn. He discovered many different ways people can be smart. You can be Music Smart, People Smart, Body Smart, Logic Smart, Word Smart, Self Smart, Picture Smart, Nature Smart, and Life Smart. Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences has changed how teachers teach in schools around the world. Now, kids can use the same approach to develop their own smarts!More info →
Based on psychologist Howard Gardner's pioneering theory of "multiple intelligences," the original edition of 7 Kinds of Smart identified seven distinct ways of being smart, including "word smart," "music smart," "logic smart," and "people smart." Now, with the addition of two new kinds of smart--"naturalist" and "existential"--7 Kinds of Smart offers even more interesting information about how the human psyche functions. Complete with checklists for determining one's strongest and weakest intelligences, exercises, practical tips for developing each type of smart, a revised bibliography for further reading, and a guide to related Internet sites, this book continues to be an essential resource, offering cutting-edge research for general consumption.More info →
Does your child have a favorite subject, activity, or hobby? Children learn in multiple ways, and educator Thomas Armstrong has shown hundreds of thousands of parents and teachers how to locate those unique areas in each of our children where learning and creativity seem to flow with special vigor.
In this fully updated classic on multiple intelligences, Armstrong sheds new light on the "eight ways to bloom," or the eight kinds of "multiple intelligences." While everyone possesses all eight intelligences, Armstrong delineates how to discover your child's particular areas of strength among them.
The book shatters the conventional wisdom that brands our students as "underachievers," "unmotivated," or as suffering from "learning disabilities," "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder," or other "learning diseases." Armstrong explains how these flawed labels often overlook students who are in possession of a distinctive combination of multiple intelligences, and demonstrates how to help them acquire knowledge and skills according to their sometimes extraordinary aptitudes.
Filled with resources for the home and classroom, this new edition of In Their Own Way offers inspiration for every learning situation.More info →
During the last three decades, education reformers have pushed standardized testing and policies like No Child Left Behind and Common Core to improve test scores and proficiency in basic skills. However, during this period that author Thomas Armstrong calls the "miseducation of America," a number of troubling trends have surfaced, including a decrease in creative thinking scores among children in kindergarten through third grade.
Rather than focus on what's wrong with the education system that has produced these outcomes, Armstrong lays out what creative thinkers know about how children should be educated. In an extended thought experiment, he asks what would happen if we turned the reins of educational policy over, not to the politicians and educational bureaucrats, but to eminent thinkers and creators like Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, Martin Luther King Jr., Rachel Carson, Doris Lessing, Jane Goodall, and other seminal culture-builders. What might they say about the best way to educate a child? If Einstein Ran the Schools suggests that the answers to this intriguing question should guide future efforts to reform our nation's schools.More info →
Reading instruction (as well as remedial reading) typically uses words, word, and more words. In this ground-breaking work, based upon Dr. Howard Gardner's famed theory of multiple intelligences, Dr. Thomas Armstrong reveals that some of the most effective learning strategies for teaching reading and writing are actually methods that reach beyond the linguistic (or word) brain and into other non-linguistic areas of the brain, such as the musical brain, the kinesthetic brain, the naturalist brain, the social brain, and the emotional brain.
Dr. Armstrong provides hundreds of examples to illustrate his method. So, for the musical brain, students learn the music of words by chanting stories. For the kinesthetic brain, kids create gestures to go with every one of the 45 phonetic sounds of the English language. For the social brain, students de-construct the implicit social messages of a text (e.g. is this text an advertisement, a political speech, an instructional tool, or a literary effort?). For the naturalist brain, students look for the ''roots'' of words by engaging in etymological excavation. For the emotional brain, students learn to read words that express emotion and activity (like SPLAT! POP! BOOM! CLINK! etc.).
As Dr. Armstrong demonstrates, the most effective reading programs are those that combine phonemic awareness with actively reading real books. But to learn those crucial phonics skills, students need to link phonetic sounds to music, physical experiences, social events, emotional states, logical analysis, and more! That way, the otherwise ''boring'' teaching will transform into dynamic and exciting lessons that students will always remember.
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What does it mean to a kid to be labeled attention-deficit disordered (ADD)? Or to have "hyperactive" added to the label (ADHD)? What can teachers do to boost the success of students with attention and behavioral difficulties? Are we relying too much on medication for these kids and not enough on new perspectives on learning, child development, the child's socioeconomic and cultural background, biological and psychological research, and the learner's emotional and social needs?
In ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom, Dr. Thomas Armstrong urges educators and parents to look for the positive characteristics in learners who may carry the ADD/ADHD label. Are they bursting with energy? Are they intensely creative? Do they enjoy hands-on learning? Are they natural leaders? Are they unusually introspective and reflective?
We need to look beyond a "deficit" approach and embrace a more holistic view of learners that includes teaching to their multiple intelligences, learning styles, and other brain-friendly approaches. For example, here are some classroom activities for kids who "can't sit still": Learning spelling words by having kids jump up out of their seats on the vowels and sit down on the consonants. Mastering the multiplication tables by forming a conga line, moving around the classroom counting from 1 to 30 out loud, and on every multiple of 3 shaking their hips and legs. Showing patterns of molecular bonding in chemistry class through a "swing your atom" square dance.
For information on ADD/ADHD for parents, see my book The Myth of the ADHD Child: 101 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion.More info →