Brain Power

Initially, this program was developed to meet the demand for educating academically gifted children. Our first students at Brain Power (several decades ago) successfully competed in regional mathematical competitions (Olympiads); many of them have since earned Ph.D. degrees around the world, are successful professionals in various respected professions, and some are now professors at prestigious universities, including U of T. Since then, we have developed our program to include Language Arts in our portfolio. We have also perfected our courses so that children who are both gifted and academically strong/talented would benefit from our unique, dynamic, and much-needed programs.

Our Philosophy

Children need more than what is currently being offered by most Ontario public and private school curriculums. Unfortunately, Ontario schools DO NOT specifically include problem solving and critical thinking skills classes, and most teachers have not been trained in such arenas themselves. The Ontario curriculum and its typical delivery is not specifically geared towards stimulating logical, creative, and critical thinking in children–despite much scholarly research which points to the contrary: it is a necessity that children be trained to stretch their minds through specific guidance in problem solving and metacognition for both mathematics and language arts. Improved problem solving ability has been noted by academic research as the main contributing factor to overall academic success.

In order to have an edge, students need to be equally challenged and encouraged. The structure Brain Power Enrichment Programs provide broadens students’ abilities and, most importantly, develops their “brain power” for maximum academic potential. Through many years of success, our program has enabled, and continues to offer, students the ability to become avid problem solvers and critical thinkers– in both or either language arts and mathematics. We believe that every one of our students can be successful. We also believe that learning must be fun; it need not be boredom. We achieve this result through: 1) our dynamic, small class sizes; 2) highly professional, competent teachers with graduate degrees– all specifically trained for these programs; and 3) the exciting program itself. Indeed, in our program, we maintain the principle that “giftedness” may be developed in almost every child through the combined team effort of students, parents and qualified teachers.

How It Started

Brain Power Enrichment Programs were first constructed in 1974, and have since been updated each year – reflecting the teaching experience of our successful courses in secondary and post-secondary schools in Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and Canada. Since 1987, the program has become solely geared towards supplementing the ordinary school curriculum in order to maximize children’s abilities in problem solving and critical thinking. Teaching with prestigious graduate and post graduate degrees in Mathematics, Literature, Sciences, and Education, our staff has been able to deliver a proven, excellent program that is the only one of its kind in Canada.

Today, Brain Power Enrichment Programs has broadened its objectives to provide much needed academic supplementation; this enrichment allows children to develop their problem solving and thinking skills in mathematics and language arts according to their age and ability. The Ontario school curriculum does not include instruction geared towards developing thinking skills and problem solving, and has gaps in many important learning skills instruction, and hence Brain Power programs enable students to receive such valuable learning after regular school hours.

Ontario’s lack of success in its educational system is supported by various groups of informed and concerned citizens, including the Ontario Coalition for Education Reform. Their publication, “Could Still Do Better” (August 1999), highlights the fact that despite the introduction of new curriculum reforms in Ontario, the education system still has deep problems in:

-The quality of school curriculum

-Student testing; reliance on multiple choice questions

-Quality of teachers and teacher training courses

-Extensive use of calculators in the classroom

-Lack of problem solving and independent thinking instruction

-Frequent diagnosing of “difficult students” with ADD, LD, and other disabilities

-Child-centred approach over-applied in most scenarios, while other necessary approaches (necessary for multiple intelligences) are absent, often slowing progress

-Ideology driven teaching methods

In response, Brain Power programs are constructed and re-constructed yearly to help children achieve academic success, obtain learning tools, strengthen their thinking skills and open doors for excellence in secondary, post-secondary and even graduate or professional programs. Our yearly courses are based on a step-by-step approach that will enable students to understand problems of increased complexity. The course will equip students with various problem solving strategies and techniques, and will enable them to apply these skills to math, language arts, and their general learning process. To facilitate this process effectively, students are streamed into homogeneous classes based on a combination of their ability, age, and knowledge. These aspects, combined with our teachers’ skills and mentorship, help our students reach their maximum potential. We expect to see dramatic changes in new students’ attitudes towards learning in a matter of 3 – 4 months as well as visible improvement in school achievement in almost all subjects.

Education Thought

“The highest function of the teacher consists not so much in imparting knowledge as in stimulating the pupil in its love and pursuit.” — Anonymous