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ERIC Number: EJ902189
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1046-6819
The Academic Clubs: Theory to Practice
Bicknell, Noel
Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Journal, v16 n2 p85-89 2010
The Lab School of Washington (LSW) uses a unique approach to teaching social studies and humanities content. As part of its arts-driven lower school program, each child spends 40 minutes a day in dedicated rooms that simulate a specific historical time and place. Called "academic clubs," teachers use these spaces to teach thematic, arts-based, interdisciplinary social studies, and humanities curriculum to a population of students with specific learning disabilities. The academic clubs were born out of the need to provide the Lab School of Washington's student population an environment that continues to build their storehouse of content knowledge, vocabularies, language fluency and critical thinking skills while their specific learning disorders are being addressed with individualized educational programs. Academic clubs were designed for the non-reader, the nonwriter, and the unpredictable, often motor-impaired student. The overarching goal is to build on students' strengths. The student with learning disabilities, ADHD, and those who are at risk of academic failure are often disorganized yet also creative, visual thinkers with the ability to make fluid connections between divergent concepts and ideas. The academic club provides order and structure, from the way the room is entered, to the seating arrangement, to the ritualistic opening ceremony, to the multiple activities presented within the 40 minutes of academic club time, to the formal dismissal. Through this total environmental approach, the academic club envelops a child in a number of topics and promotes the amassing of a storehouse of information by using all of the senses. This article describes the school's current academic club model that includes seven themed rooms with a chronological progression for students from 6-13 and discusses the the design of each academic club.
Learning Disabilities Association of America. 4156 Library Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15234. Tel: 412-341-1515; Fax: 412-344-0224; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A