Lower School News 

Beyond Think Tank
Posted 10/30/2019 10:00AM

In April 2019, Graded invited some of the world's best educational thought partners to brainstorm and ideate with teachers, students, administrators, and Board members in a two-day workshop. We designed this deep dive into learning to leverage the knowledge, expertise, and experience of participating organizations and individuals. 

The documentary showcased in this month's Gazette serves as a historical account of our two-day endeavor, as well as a guide for the work ahead of us. As you will see, the video concludes with a series of questions posed by our thought partners.

Since April, the Leadership Team, Board, and faculty have been deeply engaged in designing our next steps. We have made the decision, as I wrote in the June Gazette, to focus our attention on the science of learning, on belonging, and, most importantly, on the intersection of the two. 

Think Tank Participant and Columbia University Professor Kevin Mattingly has been back to campus three times since July to train faculty and Leadership Team members on cognitive science learning strategies. Together, we are developing observation tools to assess student understanding of these techniques and their application within the classroom. Dr. Mattingly asserts that the work Graded is undertaking in this area is groundbreaking for international schools. This practice is, indeed, fundamental to ensuring our students are ready for the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world in which they will be required to live and lead.

Due to peer interest, over the next several months, I will be presenting our work to educators from around the globe. In November, I will speak in Dubai at the Global Recruitment Collaborative Leadership Huddle and in February, in New York at the Association for Advancement in International Education Annual Conference on the topic of "Change Leadership: Making it Stick." My presentations will address how Graded is systematically implementing cognitive science practices in Pre-primary through grade 12. 

Additionally, Stanford d. School Learning Experience Designer Ariel Raz. Director of Analytics, Innovation and Research, Shauna Hobbs-Beckley  and I will be presenting at the March Deeper Learning Conference in San Diego on the intersection of Design Thinking and the Science of Learning:  The Experience at Graded - The American School of São Paulo.

Ensuring that students have a toolkit of skills and strategies to address any problem will undoubtedly provide them with the ability to make meaning of our world and affect change. In accordance with our strategic focus to inculcate our faculty in the application of cognitive science, we have created four new positions to begin in July 2020. Deeper Learning Coaches will be deployed, under the direction of the Teaching and Learning Department, to partner and guide our faculty in the use of cognitive science principles.

Over the coming months, we will be holding additional parent presentations to keep you informed of our progress. We will also invite Dr. Mattingly to speak with our parent community to share more about the science of learning efforts around the world in K-12 schools and universities.

For now... enjoy our Think Tank documentary. I hope it inspires you the same way it has inspired our faculty, as we continue to improve our practice everyday.

Best regards,


Av. José Galante, 425
São Paulo, SP - Brazil - 05642-000
T: 55-11-3747-4800
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