Tooled Up Member Talks
The home of evidence-based resources on all aspects of parenting, education and family life
Schools that are part of our Tooled Up Education community can provide their parents and teachers with access to Dr Weston’s exclusive resources, covering areas such as aspiration, resilience, mental health and behaviour.
As a member of the Tooled Up community you will have access to a whole host of evidence-based resources, which will enable you to support your children or students in a way that makes their lives and educational journeys both easier and more enjoyable.
Dr Weston's Wednesday Wisdom
In an ever increasingly busy and demanding world, Wednesday Wisdom provides a reflective 2 minute read every week that readers constantly tell us they look forward to. Full of topical and relatable experiences that help provide reflection, motivation and support in achieving a balanced family life.
Over the years, thousands of people have benefitted from and continue to enjoy the parenting and educational talks from Dr Kathy Weston at Tooled up Education and have subscribed to Wednesday Wisdom. Join them now for free and receive your own weekly digest of inspiring, engaging and mindful parenting directly from Dr Weston herself.
“I just wanted to say how grateful I am to read your Wednesday Wisdom email. Perfect size for the time I have to engage and reflect and think about the topics you touch on. It helps me to evaluate my parenting and take a step back to look at scenarios that play out.”
Parent – October 2020
Top Parenting Question of the Week
Our Promise: We will answer all questions, and, whilst we may share your question and answer to help others, we will never declare who asked it.
Researcher of the Month
Dr Jo Van Herwegen, Associate Professor in Developmental Psychology at the UCL Institute of Education
Institute of Education, University College London
Dr Van Herwegen’s research focuses on improving educational outcomes, using evidence from developmental psychology, educational neuroscience, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Neuromyths are commonly held misconceptions about the brain. In this newly published paper, Dr Jo Van Herwegen and co-authors investigate the pervasiveness of potentially stigmatising neuromyths about common neurodevelopmental disorders (dyslexia, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder and Down’s syndrome) among the general public and in the classroom. The findings suggest that, contrary to expectations, neuromyths about neurodevelopmental disorders are as common in the classroom as they are with the general public and that further education and training are required to minimise their detrimental impact on children’s outcomes.
Dr Van Herwegen conducted a questionnaire, with 569 respondents. These included 366 members of the public and 203 individuals working in education (mainly mainstream teachers). Whilst the authors hypothesised that teachers would hold fewer incorrect beliefs about neuromyths than the general public, this did not prove to be the case. 20% of the myths were still wrongly identified as fact by both educators and the wider public. They also found that both teachers and the public were more likely to accept neuromyths about neurodevelopmental conditions than general neuromyths.
Why does this matter? Endorsing certain neuromyths can hinder access to appropriate support for children with neurodevelopmental conditions. Studies have highlighted that when a teacher endorses neuromyths, they may adopt practices linked to these incorrect beliefs. The authors point to a need to improve educational resources for both educators and the public, to ensure that children are not detrimentally impacted by incorrect assumptions about the workings of the brain.
Implications for schools – School staff would generally benefit from a greater understanding of developmental disorders, how they manifest and what causes them, and of scientifically based information about learning mechanisms (how the brain behaves as we learn). Ensuring that school staff know how to identify trusted sources of evidence and have a clear understanding of rigorous research methods is important. We advise all staff to read Dr Van Herwegen’s simple tip sheet on how to evaluate the effectiveness of classroom practices.
Dr Van Herwegen has recently launched NeuroSENse, a new awareness campaign designed to make sense of neuromyths in SEND. You can read blogs about common neurodevelopmental disorders and download a school poster that describes different ways to address neuromyths in SEND in your setting here. Educational videos will also be released over the coming weeks.
Implications for parents – Having an appetite for accurate scientific evidence and an interest in neuroscience is likely to reduce the amount of neuromyths that we incorrectly take on board as fact. Parents should try to reflect on what assumptions they hold about learning and about how the brain works and question whether the sources for this information are rigorous and evidence-based. Read our recent Wednesday Wisdom blog for further thoughts.
Our Clinical Partners
We take pride in working in close collaboration with some outstanding clinical professionals who are leaders in their fields. We only signpost parents and carers to those that share our commitment to evidence-based approaches.
Mrs Pauline Riley-Hunte
Consultant Chartered Clinical and Child Psychologist.
Associate Fellow with the British Psychological Society (BPS), a ‘Registered Psychologist’ with the UK Health Care Professions Council ( HCPC) and a certified member of the Allied Paramedical Board, Barbados.
Mr Will Napier
Chartered Counselling Psychologist (C Psychol)
Chartered Counselling Psychologist (C Psychol), Post-Masters Certificate in Counselling Psychology (PGCert Couns Psych), Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology (MSc, Couns. Psych), Cognitive Science (First Class) (BSc Hons) and Theology MA (First Class, Oxford University)
Tooled Up News
The Tooled Up team have just returned from the IAPS National Conference in Bournemouth where our founder, Dr Weston, presented a keynote speech on the findings of a staff survey that was jointly commissioned by IAPS and Tooled Up. The survey provided a snapshot of how staff were feeling during a particular period of time back in May (13-31st 2021). Fourteen months into the pandemic, 86 questions explored the following areas
Our Researcher of the Month, Professor Helen Dodd, has recently launched a new campaign called #SummerOfPlay, which Tooled Up Education is pleased to support. The Summer of Play campaign, coordinated by Playfirst UK, Save the Children, Play England, Play Scotland, Play Wales, Playboard Northern Ireland, and others, is appealing for a major national effort to get children playing this summer, in order to bolster wellbeing and reduce the risk of any long-term impact on children’s development as a result of recent lockdowns.
"I thought the talk last night was absolutely fantastic. It really helped us to have a vision and how we can support [Child] to develop his resilience."Parent
"So informative - lots of food for thought as a teacher and a parent of two girls. Thank you."Parent
Merchant Taylor's School
"So informative, thought-provoking, practical, awesome!"Parent
South Hill School
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Have a Question?
If you are interested in learning more about Tooled Up Education, have a technical question, press enquiry or any other query, please follow the link below or get in touch with Dr Weston’s team on email: email@example.com