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Carroll Speaker Series

Several times a year, Carroll hosts nationally recognized speakers who present on subjects of interest to our community. Past speakers included nationally recognized figures such as Dr. Nadine Gaab, a researcher at Children’s Hospital, who investigates early signs of dyslexia in pre-reading children and infants, Dr. John Gabrieli, a researcher involved with several different aspects of neuro-imagining research at MIT as well as Sarah Entine, a filmmaker, whose documentary Read Me Differently explores how undiagnosed dyslexia and ADHD have impacted three generations in her family.

The dates and times for our renowned visiting guest speakers in 2014-2015 are:

January 30, 1:00- 3:00

John D.E. Gabrieli, Ph.D.

Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology

Dr. John Gabrieli, Professor of Neuroscience at MIT, has been Carroll’s principal research partner as we seek to improve student performance outcomes.  He is one of the world’s foremost scientists in the understanding of how the human brain learns, how memory develops, what happens when the brain doesn’t learn typically, and how neuroscience and education can benefit each other.  Specifically, Dr. Gabrieli has been deeply involved in the design of the research Carroll is conducting on improving underlying cognitive functions in our children.  While always the careful scientist, Dr.Gabrieli’s message is decidedly one of hope that our ability to help children with learning difficulties is dramatically greater today than ever before.

February 6, 1:00 to 3:00

Dr. Brock Eide

Co-Author of The Dyslexic Adventure: Unlock the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain


Speakers in 2014 and before

December 12, 2014

Allison Oshinsky, Director of Counseling

Lower School Great Hall. All parents are invited to join us for the second in a series of informational speakers. The Parents’ Association, who host this series, are pleased to have members of the Carroll School Counseling team speak with parents and answer question in a lively ‘give and take’ session. Topics will include: How do we best help our students deal with stress, social pressure and adjustment to academic challenges? Mark your calendars for this informative event.

November 14, 2014

Sam Foster ‘76, Chair, Carroll’s Board of Trustees

Carroll parents are invited to the inaugural 2014 Parents’ Association’s Speaker Series featuring Sam Foster ’76, Chair of Carroll’s Board of Trustees, on Friday morning, November 14 at 8:45 am in the Lower School Library. Sam will speak about the many different ways in which Carroll School’s enrollment is growing, its curriculum expanding, and its future facilities needs. These topics include: cognitive training, strategic planning, moving beyond public funding, possible new construction, and more. Sam is dyslexic, was a student at Carroll School in the 1970s, a graduate of Wesleyan University, and co-founder of both Velocity Equity Partners and Pennant Equity Partners. Sam Foster is the first Carroll alumnus to serve as Chair of Carroll’s Board of Trustees and will weave in his own story of being dyslexic, its challenges, and gifts.


Highlights of Presentations Given by Carroll’s Previous Guest Speakers:

Dr. Gordon Sherman

Dr. Sherman is one of the first neuroscientists to discover four anatomical differences in the brains of people with dyslexia and conclude that these brained-based differences alter a dyslexic’s ability to read, write and spell— spoke to a large gathering at Carroll.To learn more about Dr. Sherman’s presentation, click here.

Dr. Michael Thompson

Dr. Thompson is a preeminent child psychologist and author of numerous books including, Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys and co-author with Dr. Hallowell of, Finding The Heart of the Child, gave a presentation to Carroll’s community. To learn more about Dr. Thompson, click here.

Erik Falke, M.D. Director of Cognitive Intervention and Research Department at Carroll School:Cognitive Approach to Learning Challenges

The reasons why children with dyslexia struggle with reading fluency are diverse and require an individualized approach to reading remediation which targets children’s individual areas of greatest cognitive need.

Eric Falke spoke to parents about the proposed individualized training approach which should allow more students to increase their reading fluency. The school’s ultimate goal is to use innovative cognitive assessments to construct a differentiated curriculum targeting cognitive causes of low reading fluency. To learn more, select Part I and Part II of Dr. Falke’s presentation in the attachments below.

Don Deschler Ph.D., University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning: Social and Emotional Impact of Learning Differently

Don Deshler Ph.D., from the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning, recently gave a presentation to Carroll’s faculty and parents about the interrelationship between learning differently and social and emotional development.

Dr. Deshler spoke about the performance/ achievement gap with children who have language-based learning difficulties and how even very young children can realize that they are not keeping up with their peers at school. He expressed how children often have emotional and even visceral experiences in response to challenges with learning both inside and outside of the classroom. Dr. Deshler quoted Jennifer in the 10th grade who said, “…I feel so different, so left out, so lonely, and so sad. I feel like I have a dead heart.”

Before a teacher can help a student improve their academic performance, they need to be very aware of the emotional state of the whole child. Research has shown that social skills are critically important in affecting academic behaviors and, in turn, these behaviors ultimately affect academic performance. Sharing ideas, complimenting others, offering help or encouragement, recommending changes appropriately, and exercising self-control are some of the crucial social skills students need to learn in school and should be reinforced at home. Don also highlighted that students with learning challenges learn best when they are explicitly taught core skills like time management and organizational skills.

To see a video of Dr. Deshler’s presentation, click here.