Targeted Cognitive Intervention

How Neuroplasticity Is Changing Carroll Students

Celebration of Philanthropy, September 2018

Bridging the gap between neuroscience research and educational practice, Carroll is changing students’ brains, improving their learning capacity, and pushing the edge of what has historically been believed to be true about brain development and learning. Beginning a partnership with the Gabrieli Lab at MIT nearly eight years ago, Carroll has driven research in this area and applied it to develop and integrate TCI into Carroll’s core curriculum.

We now know that improving reaction time leads to increased reading fluency. Reading fluency is foundational to developing reading comprehension and ultimately leads to increased reading efficiency. In essence, improving a student’s reaction time ultimately makes learning easier. Nearly 2⁄3 of all Carroll students have a reaction time weakness when they enter Carroll. By targeting reaction time and other cognitive areas, TCI is increasing the overall efficacy of Carroll’s already impactful learning approach.

  • Between September and December 2017, the 4th Grade class increased their reaction time by 15-20%.
  • In the 2016-2017 crossover study with MIT, students in Grades 5-7 increased single word reading fluency by 5 standard scale points.
  • In the four years since TCI began, students have gone from moving up by 2 national standard reading percentile bands per grade in Oral Reading Fluency to moving up by 7 percentile bands.
  • Since TCI was added into Carroll's core curriculum, the rate of growth in both single word reading fluency and passage reading fluency has approximately doubled. This growth accumulates over a three-year exposure to TCI and closes the gap between weak to normal reading range.
Two Boys Walking Outside Upper School
Teacher and Students in Math Class at Carroll's Upper School