Research

Over the last three decades the Arrowsmith Program has implemented an independent and ongoing series of evidence-based research initiatives.

There has been 16 completed studies and there are currently 7 studies underway.

This document provides information of all studies and the research findings

List of Research Studies and Reports
DATE  TITLE SYNOPSIS
August 2017 Traumatic Brain Injury Study A 3 month pilot study, Changes in brain-behavior relationships following a 3-month pilot cognitive intervention program for adults with traumatic brain injury conducted at the University of British Columbia, found a statistically significant increase in the composite cognitive score in the TBI participants and a statistically significant decrease in functional connectivity in the right inferior frontal gyrus. In addition, there was evidence of changes in the brain-behavior relationships following the Arrowsmith intervention. The results from this pilot study provide preliminary evidence for functional network reorganization that parallels cognitive improvements after cognitive rehabilitation in individuals with chronic TBI.
December 2016 Motor Symbol Sequencing Whole Cohort Study   Study undertaken by a primary school in Australia offering the Whole Cohort Motor Symbol Sequencing Program to Grade One students.
 
Findings: The students receiving 30 minutes per day of a cognitive program designed to improve motor planning involved in reading and writing showed significantly greater improvement on a measure of writing than students receiving traditional academic curriculum in grade 1.
November 2015 Research Initiatives Report This Arrowsmith Program Research Initiatives Report provides an update on all ongoing studies on the Arrowsmith Program. Reports and other updates to the ongoing research will be released as they become available. These studies will investigate changes in the brain as well as academic, cognitive, emotional and social outcomes that occur for students engaged in the Arrowsmith Program.
November 2015 Research Summary Document

The Arrowsmith Program summary document provides a high level overview of both completed and ongoing research conducted on the Arrowsmith Program. This document groups the research studies into six categories:

1) Independent Research In Progress;

2) Completed Peer-Reviewed Research;

3) Completed Peer-Reviewed and Independent Research;

4) Completed Independent Research;

5) Other Completed Studies; and

6) Other Relevant Documents.

2015 Comparison study of growth rate of students in Grades 3, 4 and 5 on standardised academic measures A study undertaken by Holy Trinity Parish schools, East Bentleigh, Melbourne, Australia. All students in Grades 3, 4 and 5 completed the ACER Pat Maths and Reading Comprehension assessments.
 
Findings: The growth rate of Arrowsmith Program (AP) students was higher than their peers on both measures.
August, 2014 A Brain-Based Intervention Program That Changes Cognition: Implications for Academic Achievement

A study presented at a poster session at the American Psychological Convention, Washington, D.C. August 2014 by a research team at the Brain Gain Lab at the University of Calgary.

Findings: following AP intervention improvements were found on the following cognitive domains: Auditory Processing; Fluid Reasoning; Processing Speed; Short-Term Memory; Phonemic Awareness; and Working Memory.

June, 2014 Effects of the Arrowsmith Program on Academic Performance: A Pilot Study

A study presented at a poster session at the Canadian Psychological Convention, Vancouver June 2014 by a research team at the Brain Gain Lab at the University of Calgary.

Findings: following AP intervention all academic scores improved andwere in the average range except math fluency. Strengthening Cognitive neuropsychological functions presumed to underlie Academic achievement deficits improves reading, mathematics, and writing by targeting the cause (i.e., cognitive deficit) rather than the symptoms (i.e., achievement deficits).

March 2014 Research Initiatives Report This first Research Initiatives Report summarizes five existing and ongoing studies of the Arrowsmith Program and its effects on the cognitive functions associated with specific learning difficulties, conducted at universities in Canada and U.S.A. These studies will show changes in the brain as well as academic, cognitive, emotional and social outcomes that occur for students engaged in the Arrowsmith Program.
April 2013 Arrowsmith Program Evaluation Report Completed for the Vancouver School Board (VSB) 

An independent re-analysis of data from a study in the Vancouver School Board undertaken by Dr. Linda Siegel, of elementary students identified as Learning Disabled (LD), one group in the Arrowsmith Program and one group in an Extended Learning Assistance Class (ELAC). The focus of the ELAC group was on improving reading and writing skills.

Findings: This re-analysis found only two significant results. On both the Comprehension and Spelling tests, the Arrowsmith group had significantly higher gains than the ELAC group (Comprehension; P= 0.002; Spelling: P= 0.012).

November 2013 A Case Study of the Learning Disabilities Association of Saskatchewan (LDAS) Arrowsmith Program Case Study research was conducted to investigate how participation in the Learning Disabilities Association of Saskatchewan (LDAS) Arrowsmith Program affected the cognitive, academic, emotional, and interpersonal functioning of five students who attended this program for two to three years.
 
Findings: All of the students who participated in the research after participation in the Arrowsmith Program had significantly higher cognitive functioning/processing in at least one broad area measured by standardized tests and improved in some aspect of memory (working memory and/or long term retrieval).  All four of the students who had returned to regular schools were taking academic programming at a higher level than they were previously.
October 2012 Report on Academic Skills and Learning Outcomes

This report summarizes how the Arrowsmith Program cognitive exercises are directly and very specifically related to a wide range of learning difficulties. The report describes the relationship between the function of the cognitive areas for which the Arrowsmith Program has developed specific, targeted exercises, the learning difficulties if a student has a deficit in the cognitive area, and the learning outcomes achieved upon completion of the Arrowsmith Program exercises.

There have been a number of studies that have demonstrated improvements in students academic skills upon completion of the Arrowsmith Program cognitive exercises. The increased cognitive capacities have enabled students to acquire a wide range of academic skills. All of the research has demonstrated a clear link between successful completion of the Arrowsmith Program cognitive exercises and improvements in basic academic skills. This report contains a summary of these research studies, as well as providing examples of the correlation between the Arrowsmith cognitive exercises and Reading, Writing, Spelling and Mathematics.

Of particular interest to educators, parents, and students are the significant gains demonstrated by students after completion of the Arrowsmith Program of their scores on standardized psycho-educational assessments.

January 25, 2007 Report on the Arrowsmith Program in the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB)

A follow-up study tracking progress of students in the Arrowsmith Program in the TCDSB on standardized achievement measures and on the amount of resource support needed pre and post Arrowsmith Program.

Reports from parents, teachers and students of specific observable cognitive and academic gains and on the success of TCDSB Arrowsmith students in high school and post secondary programs.

November 20, 2005

Report on an Outcome Evaluation of the Arrowsmith Program for Treating Learning Disabled Students

 

A three year outcome study of 79 children with learning disabilities conducted at Arrowsmith School funded by the Canadian Donner Foundation.

A number of standardized measures were used such as achievement tests and tests of mental ability as well as measures of learning capacity and changes in rates of learning.

Study undertaken by Dr. William J. Lancee, Ph.D.  Head of Research in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital and Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto.

November 2004 TCDSB Learning Disabilities Program Review

Study undertaken by Dr. Linda Siegel, Professor of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education at the University of British Columbia.

Ten students were selected by the Vancouver School Board (VSB) at an Elementary School for the Arrowsmith Program experimental group and a comparison group of seven students in an Extended Learning Assistance Class (ELAC) in the VSB. The focus of the ELAC group was on improving reading and writing skills.

January 22, 2003 Report on the TCDSB Study of the Arrowsmith Program for Learning Disabilities

A one-year study comparing outcome measures of 30 grade 2 to grade 7 students enroled in the Arrowsmith Program from 4 schools in the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) to 10 students in a traditional special education  classroom for students with learning disabilities.

Study undertaken by Dr. William J. Lancee, Ph.D.

August 7, 2000

Treatment Outcome for a Motor Symbol Sequencing Dysfunction

 

Barbara A. Young, M.A. & Donald F. Burrill, Ph.D. Poster Session – 108th APA Annual Convention, Washington D.C., August 7, 2000

This research paper investigated the relationship between a program designed to train automatic written motor symbol sequences for a group of 12 learning disabled individuals having difficulty with the writing process and outcome measures on a test developed to measure the rate of learning a repeated sequence of symbols as an automatic motor pattern and standardized tests of writing and copying. Significant positive changes were found from pre- to post-treatment testing on all measures.
July 2000 Evaluation of the Implementation of the Arrowsmith Program in the TCDSB A three month study comparing 15  students in the Arrowsmith Program within the TCDSB to a group of TCDSB students using Autoskill’s Academy of Reading Program
1999-2007 Changes Observed on Cognitive Scores of Arrowsmith Program Students Changes on Standardized Cognitive Measures of students in the Arrowsmith Program observed at Eaton Arrowsmith School or by Eaton Learning Centre
June 1998 Results from first year of St. Patrick Catholic Secondary School and Arrowsmith Program Pilot Project

A pilot project undertaken in co-operation with St. Patrick Catholic Secondary School in the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

The report summarizes the averaged quantitative improvements seen in 19  students working on 4 cognitive areas over a 7 month period.

August 15, 1997

Correlates of a Test of Motor Symbol Sequencing Performance

Barbara A. Young, M.A. & Donald F. Burrill, Ph.D. Poster Session – 105th APA Annual Convention, Chicago, August 15, 1997

This research paper investigated the relationship between a test developed to measure the rate of learning a repeated sequence of symbols as an automatic motor pattern and standardized tests of writing and copying. Performance on the motor symbol sequencing test, for a group of 12 learning disabled individuals and a control group of 35 adults, correlated significantly with standardized tests of copying and handwriting.

Current Arrowsmith Program Research Initiatives Videos