Online Book Study

Online Professional Development Book Study

Each fall and spring semester, we offer an online book study on a best practice topic in education. Each course is completely asynchronous, allowing you to participate at times most convenient for you while interacting weekly with your classmates and the facilitator. Through readings, course discussions, and feedback from the facilitator, you will be challenged to apply the content to your work.

Please see below for this semester’s offering. Questions? Please contact us at 616-245-8388 or by email if you have any questions.

Registration is now closed.

Fall 2019 Online Professional Development Book Study

Schools for All Kinds of Minds: Boosting Student Success by Embracing Learning Variation

Our Fall 2019 Book Study is for anyone who wants to better understand the science of learning, and anyone who might be curious about academic breakdowns and how a neurodevelopmental framework can help us consider which strategies might be the best bridge to success. Any educator, including general and educational support services teachers, principals, school leaders, school counselors, and all professional staff who engage with students or the learning process, will benefit from understanding learning variation through a neurodevelopmental lens, and how to use this framework to consider all kinds of minds.

This workshop’s text, Schools for All Kinds of Minds: Boosting Student Success by Embracing Learning Variation, focuses on understanding learning variation as a strategy for supporting the academic success of every learner, including struggling students. Specifically, Schools for All Kinds of Minds demonstrates how, through the knowledge of neurodevelopmental constructs, teachers, and school leaders find a framework for making better decisions in the classroom, empowering students, and advancing classroom success.

The book addresses pitfalls present in schools today that affect both teachers and students, and how the neurodevelopmental framework can inform our responses. The authors tackle the issues of teachers feeling discouraged, inadequate, or alone in responding to individual student needs. They bring unique experience and insight to the process of applying cutting-edge brain research to the task of understanding how different kinds of minds learn. Schools for All Kinds of Minds also deeply focuses on the challenge of students feeling humiliated, blamed, and labeled in the classroom.

Some of the issues and concepts addressed in this book study include:

  • Learning the eight neurodevelopment constructs and gaining helpful language for thinking and talking about learning, such as speaking gracefully and confidently with parents, colleagues, students, and even within oneself.
  • Exploring the complexities of behavior from a neurodevelopmental perspective, such as why students might have difficulty with peers, demonstrate lack of follow-through, appear apathetic, or seemingly resist success.
  • Nurturing and leveraging student strengths and empowering students to understand their own neurodevelopmental profile and grow in self-confidence and self-advocacy.
  • Considering ways to seek and use data that informs evidence-based decision making, which guides our choice and implementation of support.
  • Gaining practical points of application for the school and classroom.

In summary, participants will explore the research that supports the significance of seeing each learner as equipped with a set of unique strengths and challenges which can serve to support the perspective that each child bears the image of Christ. We’ll consider how a neurodevelopmental framework could positively impact a student’s engagement, self-understanding, self-esteem, and academic outcomes.

The workshop will go through the book one chapter at a time. The research-supported content draws us into challenging topics, prompting thought and care as we grapple with the realities of applying the science of learning to the art of teaching. While in-depth, the book is both easy to read and encouraging for educational professionals. Each chapter ends with a review of key ideas, practical suggestions for first steps, and/or an optional reflection exercise that can be utilized individually or with colleagues.

This workshop will be formatted as a twelve-week, asynchronous online book discussion, allowing participants to read and discuss the content at their convenience. It will entail approximately 25-36 hours of total contact time throughout the course, with a projected 2-3 hours of work per week. Participants will have the opportunity to dialogue with educators and peers as they go through this study to support the highest degree of understanding, clarity, and idea progression.

Course Dates:  September 23 – December 20, 2019 

Registration is now closed.

Required Material (participants are responsible for purchasing):


Barringer, M.D., Pohlman, C., & Robinson, M. (2010). Schools for All Kinds of Minds: Boosting Student Success by Embracing Learning Variation.  Hoboken, NJ: Jossey-Bass

ISBN: 9780470505151

Registration and Credit Options (paid directly to All Belong):

  • All Belong registration: $190
  • All Belong registration + 25 State of MI SCECHs: $230
  • All Belong registration + 1 Calvin University Grad Credit: $340

Meet Your Instructor:

Image of Megan Cooke








Megan Cooke
Teacher Consultant, All Belong

  • B.A. Calvin College, 2003: Education, Cognitive Impairment
  • M.A. Calvin College, 2010: Learning Disabilities

Registration for the Fall 2019 online book study is now closed.