Documentary filmmaker Ramona Persaud is exploring how teachers can use brain science to engage students of all ages and academic abilities in her new film “Grey Matters,” which begins production next month at Batavia High School, in Batavia, N.Y.
The film will follow three schools over the course of the 2013-2014 school year—Batavia High School, Batavia, N.Y., Roland Park Elementary in Baltimore, Md., and Westmoreland Community College in Youngwood, Pa., — as they implement the Brain-Targeted Teaching Model, developed by Mariale Hardiman, Ed.D., co-founder and director of the Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s Neuro-Education Initiative.
Hardiman’s teaching model, developed in 2003 and currently being practiced by more than 300 educators in schools around the world, promotes critical, divergent thinking that equips students with real-world knowledge and the ability to use it.
Persaud’s film will examine the question “Can neuroscience remake the teaching process, and if yes, what does that look like in practice?” The three teachers featured in Persaud’s documentary will implement Hardiman’s model, which designates six brain targets for the teaching and learning process.
The film will follow these teachers in their mission to shift the learning process for their students, and transform school into a place where students learn to solve problems that require answers, instead of a place where students solve problems that have pre-determined answers.
Persaud was inspired to create this film after attempting to home-school her preschool daughter. Persaud discovered Hardiman’s Brain-Targeted Teaching Model and believed this model could be beneficial for not just her own daughter, but for all students.
“Like most parents, I want my kids to receive the best education possible,” Persaud says. “This teaching model really clarifies how kids process information. By following three classrooms over one school year, this film will illustrate what brain-based teaching really looks like, and how it can measurably improve academic performance.”
About Ramona Persaud:
Ramona Persaud is an independent documentary filmmaker, writer, and photographer. "Grey Matters" is her second film. Persaud’s first film, "It’s a Different World," explores the world of autism through the eyes of three autistic children. Visit www.greymattersdocumentary.com for more information.
About Mariale Hardiman:
Mariale Hardiman, Ed.D., is the assistant dean for Urban School Partnerships and Clinical Professor of Education at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, and the co-founder and director of the Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s Neuro-Education Initiative. Before joining Johns Hopkins in 2006, Hardiman served in the Baltimore City Public Schools for more than 30 years. As the principal of Roland Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, Md., she led the school to its designation as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. With the use of the Brain-Targeted Teaching Model that Hardiman developed, the school was recognized by the Kennedy Center as a School of Distinction for arts programming and arts integration. Visit www.braintargetedteaching.org for more information.