Critical Thinking Programs for Teens Critical Thinking Programs for Teens




A: Yes. In fact, more than fifteen years of classroom experiences, ongoing research, independent testing, and other independent evaluation and analysis have validated the program's effectiveness and reinforced its approach.

Here are the results of some of the studies that have evaluated the effectiveness of the BrainWise Program.

2000, an independent evaluation of BrainWise was conducted by OMNI Research and Training, a national firm specializing in the independent assessment of social programs. Its study of the program employed both pre and post test standardized measures, focus groups and secondary analysis of data to evaluate 7th graders in both a control and a comparison school. Study participants were students considered to be 'at risk'. When outcomes at the two schools were compared, BrainWise students showed statistically significant positive outcomes. The study found that BrainWise students are less prone to impulsive and violent behavior; have a more positive self-image and greater peer acceptance; and have gained many of the social skills to help them make better decisions and to handle themselves in every aspect of their lives.

The study also found that because of the program, BrainWise students demonstrated an increased awareness of and use of important social skills such as information gathering and communication; conflict de-escalation and negotiation; assertiveness and honesty; obtaining of outside help; understanding of consequences; and, avoidance of lying, fighting and disrespecting others.

2004-2005 school year, another study of BrainWise measured its impact on "executive function" in children - a cluster of activities that involve the ability to adopt and maintain problem solving abilities by inhibiting impulse, forming goals and strategic plans to reach them. This study was conducted at five different school sites. Pre and post-tests were administered to students using the Tower of London-R instrument (to test executive function) and the Stroop test (to test impulsivity). The findings showed that 82% of the BrainWIse students demonstrated improved performance on at least one of the measures and 47% of them demonstrated improvement on both the TOL-R and the Stroop.

These findings were presented at the June 2005 Adolescent Brain Conference held at the Annenberg School of Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania and published in Adolescent Psychopathology and the Developing Brain: Integrating Brain and Prevention Science 2007 by Oxford University Press.

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2011-2014 Research on High-Risk Families conducted by the Jefferson County (Colorado) Department of Public Health and Environment on its clients found that high risk families, taught BrainWise by public health nurses during home visits, showed that the families had significant positive changes in their behaviors following this intervention. The results of this research, "Improving Health Decisions in At-Risk Families: Nurse Home Visits, BrainWise and Technology", were presented at the 2013 City Match Annual Conference of Urban Maternal Child Health Programs and Leaders, in Savannah, Georgia.

2014 Control Group Research on BrainWise with Homeless Men was conducted at The Crossing, a Denver facility serving homeless men and families. The first phase of research was conducted on 43 homeless men in the BrainWise Group and 24 homeless men in the Control Group. Results across all four surveys used found the BrainWise Group showed significant improvement in a number of areas, including their understanding and use of skills such as stopping to think, seeking help from appropriate sources, recognizing signs that warn of a problem, managing emotions, separating fact from opinion, asking questions, identifying all choices, considering the consequences of choices on self and others, setting goals and making plans to reach them, and communicating effectively.

As an ongoing part of its program, BrainWise continues to evaluate the effectiveness of its approach. Two educational psychology professors from the University of Northern Colorado with expertise in executive brain functions and decision making have collaborated with BrainWise in developing evaluation instruments.

For more information about the research and theoretical foundation for BrainWise, click on the "Research and Results" button on the top left side of this page.




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Critical Thinking Programs for Teens


Critical Thinking Programs for Teens

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