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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Research Supporting Adaptive Schools & Cognitive Coaching (Part 1)

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Thinking Collaborative


December 04, 2017

This month’s Sustaining the Journey looks at some new research that supports the work of Adaptive Schools and Cognitive Coachingsm

The first week takes a look at the article, “Really? Really. How Our Brains Figure Out What Words Mean Based On How They’re Said,” by Jon Hamilton (Mindshift, August 25, 2017).

Hamilton begins the article with the simple: “It’s not just what you say that matters. It’s how you say it.” The author reports that scientists have identified specific brain cells that monitor changes in voice pitch that help us ascertain what is the real meaning of a speaker’s message. One of the lead scientists in the research, Dr. Eddie Chang (University of California, San Francisco) says that these brain cells “allow the brain to detect ‘the melody of speech’ or intonation.”

In our seminars, participants study the importance of intonation, credibility, and approachability. In PAG/PAU, for example, the directions are first delivered with a credible voice and then understanding of those directions are reinforced by the presenter/facilitator using approachable voice. In the PACE, the coach must match the speaker’s tone, otherwise the coaching may come off as patronizing. In both AS and CC, questions are asked with approachability. The speaker’s intonation goes up at the end of the question thus inviting thinking and response.

How might you be more mindful of not just the words that you say but also on the way that you say them?

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