How is The Lewis Clinic and School, and the education it provides, different from what is commonly found elsewhere in the nation's classrooms? The Lewis Clinic and School is different in every respect save one: that is, we share with other schools the desire to merit our nation's greatest public trust, which is the education of our children and the empowerment of our most valuable educational resource, their teachers.
The Lewis Clinic and School has created a rare model in this country where a diagnostic and research clinic and a school are integral parts of the same educational entity. This is one of our most important differences and our greatest strength. The Clinic and School integrate teaching and diagnostic perspectives garnered on both sides of the educational blackboard: the perspective of multisensory educational practices in the classroom, and the perspective of clinical research into the brain·s learning processes.
The Lewis School has developed an advanced, integrated educational system that replaces rote learning, passive memorization, and the teaching of isolated "scatter skills" in unrelated areas of content, with multisensory processes and strategies that actively engage the many capacities and senses of the brain in every learning experience of every student.
1. A Lewis School Education: The Role of The Lewis Clinic for Educational Therapy
The Lewis Clinic for Educational Therapy not only delivers the results of research directly into the classroom but also provides the results of every student's educational evaluation directly to the student's teachers. At The Lewis School, each child's education is based on the clinical assessment of his or her learning strengths and weaknesses in all areas of perceptual and academic functioning.
Every classroom teacher at The School is trained in The Lewis Clinic as a Multi-Sensory Learning Therapist. This training includes observation of educational evaluations and the opportunity to continue in the role of Test Administrator. The Lewis Clinic has participated in educational research at The University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Jefferson Memorial Hospital, and with Dr. Glenn Mannheim, neurologist and expert in the interfaces of neurology and psychology. The Clinic also develops teaching strategies and multisensory teaching materials based on research in the neurosciences and on significant clinical advances in the understanding of the brain's processes applicable to learning.
For more than a quarter-century The Lewis Clinic has provided a unique kind of comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, educational testing. The WRAT-3, the Stanford Battery, the Nelson-Denny Reading Test, or the more extensive Woodcock-Johnson Battery, are integrated with other neuro-developmental, psycho-educational, neuro-psychological, peripheral auditory, central auditory, perceptual motor, and expressive-receptive speech and language testing. Additional tests assessing short-term, active-working, and long-term memory systems, the mechanics of language, lateral dominance preferences, echolalia, directionality of pencil performance, and decoding-encoding ability. Finally, tests of auditory and visual tracking and sequencing, dictation, far- and near-point copying, organizational ability, and visuo-motor/auditory-motor integration along with nationally normed, standardized tests of oral word recognition, silent and oral reading, vocabulary, silent and oral reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and written comprehension.
At the Clinic, test results are scored by hand not using a "right-wrong" answer grid, rather by analyzing the types of errors or the possible reasons for them.
Evaluations at The Clinic are extensive and also highly specific, and provide teachers with direction for a student's educational needs as well as a useful baseline for the measurement of progress and continuing needs.