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Changing the Lens of Learning Differences

Stanford Main Quadand Memorial Church in the background.
Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

In 2017 the Schwab Learning Center redesigned the Center to reflect current priorities in the fields of Dyslexia, ADHD, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and research on the neuroscience of learning. Our goals reflect a different philosophical approach, if not a complete paradigm shift, that prepares students for the lifespan. Our focus is on student strengths and innovative tools to address student needs. The new vision is intended to propel the SLC to be the foremost center of its kind in postsecondary settings and disrupt existing practices in the field of higher education and workforce development to address the greater neurodiversity among postsecondary students. 

This Schwab Learning Center is about teaching for the lifespan. We embrace the whole student.  We understand that our approach to working with students with learning differences must provide a foundation for negotiating the complexities of the adult world.  We find innovative ways to prepare students for the rest of their lives.  We believe that a broad knowledge base of learning differences, adult development theory, and perspectives on success may contribute significantly to effective strategies.

We engage in a holistic approach to supporting students with learning differences that is separate from the accommodations model. It is our goal to become change-agents who help others consider alternate ideas about learner variability.

The three key messages of the SLC now focus on:

  1. A commitment to globally shifting the paradigm of disability to a strengths-based model of learner variability, through education, innovation, and outcomes;
  2. Expert staff who are compassionate and dedicated to teaching students to leverage their gifts and talents through self-awareness and efficacy based practice; and
  3. The design of innovative services, tools, and programs to prepare students with learning differences to live meaningfully across the lifespan. All of our work is designed for success in learning environments, careers, and life.