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The Third Way Principles


The following five “Principles” are behind all of the teaching methods and the curriculum that make up the Third Way approach to teaching and learning.  


1 — Diffuse anxiety:  Students who are anxious or fearful cannot learn. Research shows that the brain responds to fear by becoming less flexible and less able to make new connections. As we  diffuse anxiety,  we develop the student’s ability to focus and rewire their brain. 


2 —The Language Bath: This kind of teaching,  called “Conversational Teaching”, offers alternatives to the question/answer method of instruction. Instead, we use talk to bathe children in language that names and helps them make sense of their experiences.  Eventually they will chose to talk themselves. 


3 — Mobilize all sensory systems:  Third Way methods use simultaneous visual, physical, verbal, and symbolic presentation of material to help children mobilize all learning pathways.  We learn with our senses, our bodies, and our emotions. 


 4 — Practice-based learning: Careful repetition combined with full engagement in the task at hand can actually build new neural pathways. Unlike rote-learning, our games, conversations, and activities invite complete and interested attention on the part of the learner, thus maximizing the impact of the practice and creating opportunities to practice new ways of thinking.


5 — Pattern recognition: The human brain uses pattern recognition to make sense of a complex world. Studies have shown that experts in a field are able to quickly see patterns as they confront new information. There are simple, practical methods for developing this skill, which is crucial for academic success and mastery of sophisticated thought.

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