CTTL Fellows Present at Harvard Graduate School of Education

by St. Andrew's Communications Staff
Seven St. Andrew’s students spent the day in Boston on Tuesday, touring MIT and presenting at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
The trip was an opportunity for the CTTL’s Finn Student Fellows to see how their research is impacting the world.

Maggie Atwood, Madison Gamma, Nick Gelos, Callie Radecki, Gordon Reeves, Joy Reeves and Eric Xue represented this year’s cohort of Finn Fellows, who are currently researching outdoor learning and meaningful homework through the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning.

Their first stop was the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT, where they learned about neuroimaging and neurofeedback technology at the Martinos Imaging Center. The Finn Fellows got to see technology in action when Ian Kelleher, Director of Research for the CTTL, volunteered to have his brain observed through the fMRI machine.

Students said they were impressed by what they learned about the power of the human brain, noting one story of a research subject who, despite being born without a right temporal lobe, had normal language abilities.

“Maybe we aren’t using our brains to their full potential if people (like that subject) can compensate so well,” Madison said.

Fellows then took the T to the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), where they presented their research to Mind, Brain, and Education graduate students. This exchange was made possible through St. Andrew’s membership in Research Schools International, a network of schools that work with individual faculty members at HGSE to “inspire research-based innovation in education.”

The graduate students gave the Finn Fellows direct feedback on their research process and helped them dig deeper into their guiding questions.

“Even though we’ve done so much with our studies with the CTTL, it seems like we’re just at the beginning of what can be done and could be done,” Gordon said.

Finally, it was the graduate students’ turn to present their research, but this time in a “Shark Tank” setting with a panel of judges. Joy Reeves represented the student perspective on the panel and gave feedback on five different solutions to growth mindset challenges.

“I was very impressed and sometimes I was at a loss for words,” Joy said. “I think it’s important to put multiple minds together like that, because (the Shark Tank) was flowing with ideas.”

From here, student fellows will continue working on their research studies, which they anticipate will extend into the next school year. Madison said she feels the trip will prove to be a growing experience for the fellows.

“This was student driven and it’s given us an opportunity to step up into the collegiate world,” she said.

Click here to see a photo gallery from the trip.
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St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private, coeducational college preparatory day school for students in preschool (Age 2) through grade 12, located in Potomac, Maryland.