How we are stepping in

The Adolescent Reasoning Initiative seeks to transform the way in which we approach learning in schools. Researchers at the Center for BrainHealth are providing students, teachers and school administrators with advanced reasoning training to build cognitive capacity through a program called Strategic Memory Advanced Reasoning Training (SMART). Developed by cognitive neuroscientists Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman and Dr. Jacque Gamino, the program seeks to empower students with strategic and critical thinking skills.

Tested and implemented with more than 50,000 youth and 300 teachers across the country, SMART teaches students how to learn rather than what to learn, inspiring deeper understanding and retention of information as well as enhanced academic performance.

Impact where it matters

Teachers report more energized, creative and thought-filled classrooms. Parents have reported that their children are more confident and excited to learn. Students who participated in SMART training are more likely to take higher-level classes, to graduate, to attend college and to lead productive, successful lives.

In a study that explored the effects of SMART in children living in poverty as compared to their more affluent peers, our research team found:

  • Students living in poverty showed a 25% increase in gist reasoning, the ability to derive abstract meaning from information presented, after SMART training. This is comparable to the gains made by their peers living above the poverty line.
  • 18% improvement in increased memory for facts, regardless of socioeconomic status
  • Approximately double commended scores on reading, math, science and social studies

Full analysis and findings can be found in the paper published in the journal, Frontiers in Neuroscience.

This initiative is supported by the state of Texas and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), as well as private philanthropy.