Neurodevelopmental Approach to Teaching Certificate

Please note: This program is being discontinued in the fall of 2016 and, as a result, we are no longer accepting new students into the program.

PSU has partnered with the Center for School Success (CSS) to create graduate programs focusing on the neurodevelopmental approach to teaching that incorporates a practical field-based application – the only programs of their kind in the country. CSS is a non-profit education organization, located in West Lebanon, NH, that helps struggling studets achieve measurable success in school and in life.

All students who pursue the Neurodevelopmental Approach to Teaching certificate must complete ED 5060 (or equivalent) prior to registering for ND courses. Additionally, students must currently be teaching or have permission from the instructor.

Getting started is easy, just complete the online application for admission and provide a transcript showing the successful completion of a bachelor’s degree or higher and a current résumé. No admissions tests are required. A minimum 3.0 GPA is required to complete the graduate certificate.

  • Required Courses
  • 3
    This course offers the most recent research findings related to the brain and learning and how they provide the basis for the neurodevelopmental approach to teaching. Participants will be introduced to a framework which includes eight broad neurdevelopmental categories, or constructs (e.g., attention, memory, language) that educators can use to observe, examine and describe student learning. These eight constructs (and their receptive sub-categories) also provide teachers, parents and students with a shared lens and language to better understand and discuss learning. In addition, through examination of a case study, observation of students with whom they work and self-examination of their own unique learning profile, participants will practice the skill of using the neurodevelopmental lens to observe for evidence of learning strengths and weaknesses and how to link them to academic performance. Since a major component of this course requires observation, participants must have access to a student/students on a regular basis. This course is appropriate for anyone who works with students (child-adult). The only pre-requisite is that you must be currently teaching or have permission of the instructor.
  • 2
    This course is designed to build on participants' familiarity with the neurodevelopmental framework through exploration of their own neurodevelopmental profile. Participants will reflect on their own neurodevelopmental strengths and weaknesses, the effect of their learning profile on their ability to learn, and most importantly, how that particular combination of strengths and weaknesses, together with skill and knowledge can be used to positively influence their teaching practice.
  • 3
    This course will provide participants with a deeper understanding of practical ways to apply a neurodevelopmental approach to teaching and learning by examining the neurodevelopmental demands of curricula, lessons, and assessments. Participants will design and implement activities, lessons, and curricula that take into consideration students' specific learning needs. Prerequisite: ND 5000 or ND5005.
  • 2
    This course will provide participants with a deeper understanding of practical ways to apply a neurodevelopmental approach to teaching and learning by looking at student work and addressing instructional dilemmas. Through the use of structured protocols, participants will work as a collaborative group to link observable evidence from student work samples to particular underlying neurodevelopmental functions. The process of Looking at Student Work will be used to inform participants about students as learners and identify specific strategies to support increased student achievement. Prerequisite: ND 5000 or ND 5110.
  • 3
    In order to stay motivated as learners, students must experience authentic school success. This course will explore the research regarding student motivation and the neurodevelopmental networks, constructs and sub-skills that support or undermine a student's achievement with particular focus on the role of attention in learning. Pre-requisites: ND 5000, ND 5020, and ND 5070.
  • 3
    This course provides an in-depth exploration of the components of attention and memory and the specific impact each has on learning. Participants will be introduced to ways to observe for breakdowns in attention and memory through case study work and classroom observations. Participants will also design metacognition lessons that are intended to help students become more aware of the demands of attention and/or memory on their learning of certain tasks. In addition, participants will explore instructional strategies to support attention and memory weaknesses. Pre-requisites: ND 5000 and ND 5020.
  • Total for Neurodevelopmental Approach to Teaching Certificate – 16 credits




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