The Windward/Haskins Laboratories Collaborative Project launched its in-school research study, Predicting Literacy Outcomes at The Windward School (PLOW), last summer and is now entering its second year of the study. Although the pandemic interrupted the original plans for data collection, The Windward School’s Research Leadership Team and Haskins scientists have remained nimble and adapted the structure of the study to continue the research remotely. The Windward students involved in the study have demonstrated continued enthusiasm about their participation. Many have reported they have enjoyed learning about the neural basis of reading and the scientific process.
Windward/Haskins Laboratories Collaborative Project
In February 2019, The Windward School in collaboration with Haskins Laboratories announced the Windward/Haskins Laboratories Collaborative Project as part of The Haskins Global Literacy Hub, an international and interdisciplinary collaborative that brings together researchers, practitioners, educators and education technology specialists.
"This partnership marks a historic moment in The Windward School's 93-year history," remarks John J. Russell, EdD, former Head of The Windward School and Executive Director of The Windward Institute launched in January 2020 which manages external partnerships of The Windward School. "I am proud that Windward will be joining with Haskins Laboratories at the forefront of the continuing efforts to provide all students with language-based learning disabilities with the research-based instruction they need and deserve."
The mission of the The Haskins Global Literacy Hub is to improve language and literacy outcomes for children at risk for reading difficulties across languages and cultures. Haskins has an 84-year history of being in the forefront of interdisciplinary neurocognitive research, theoretical development, and technological advances that have led to important insights in understanding the brain bases of speech, language and reading problems and their treatment. Haskins' formal affiliations with Yale University School of Medicine, the Yale Child Study Center, the University of Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences and its extensive national and international research partnerships, positions the Global Language & Literacy Innovation Hub to efficiently impact positive changes in language and literacy skills and develop scalable solutions.
Rationale for Research/Education Partnerships
The Hub is committed to identifying leading educational providers with whom to partner to develop future generations of educational researchers, providers and leaders who understand the science of reading and language and are trained to translate the growing research in early identification and best practice. To that end, the Hub leadership identified The Windward School, one of the preeminent schools in the country for children with language-based learning disabilities, as a key educational partner in promoting research and training focused on realizing their shared goals of improved language and literacy outcomes for all children.
"There's an acute need for both sides of the equation to be teaching each other," says Dr. Kenneth Pugh, President and Director of Research, Senior Scientist, Haskins Laboratories. "Our scientists have the research tools, and Windward teachers have the expertise in educating children with one of the best educational programs to remediate children with language-learning disabilities. We all need to be speaking the same language to produce better outcomes for students by understanding how they interact with learning environments and the ways their genes, brain and cognition work in learning environments."
An Overview of the Initial Projects of the Windward/Haskins Laboratories Collaborative Project
This partnership has established state-of-the-art labs at The Windward School's Manhattan and Westchester campuses. In-school research using neurocognitive measures is being conducted by Haskins scientists and Windward teachers to better understand which instructional strategies work best for which students, a critical step in moving toward individuated brain-based instructional programs. Cognitive and brain imaging research is also being carried out to improve early diagnosis of language-based learning disabilities in at-risk preschool children. Finally, a joint Windward/Haskins training and professional development program has been created for educators, clinicians, researchers, and other stakeholders so that critical research-to-practice goals can be achieved.