The Mind's Ladder: Empowering Students in the Knowledge Economy

Children in the United States and around the world need to be prepared to think for a living in the globalized knowledge economy. Schools and communities everywhere are working to achieve this goal and looking for better ways to accomplish it.

What is MindLadder? MindLadder® is a family of programs to enable schools to empower students in the knowledge economy.

What MindLadder does not do: MindLadder does not replace the academic content curriculum, objectives, standards, and methods of assessing outcomes which schools have adopted. Adjustments and new selections in any of these areas can be made at any time and MindLadder will support them.

What MindLadder does do: MindLadder enables classroom teachers, school psychologists, clinicians, counselors, parents, and school administrators to promote development of the knowledge construction processes students need to acquire the chosen content curriculum, reach the identified standards, demonstrate knowledge and skills on accepted measures of performance, and acquire new knowledge as new information and approaches become available.

How MindLadder works: MindLadder is research-based and infuses advances in the cognitive and learning sciences into education. In and between the domains of knowledge, MindLadder works by developing the knowledge construction processes or “functions” that are used to assemble knowledge and achieve proficiency with its use. Educators learn to facilitate transitions from novice to proficient (‘up the mind’s ladder’) and temporarily, in a sense, from proficient to novice (‘down the mind’s ladder’) to enable students both to acquire concepts and skills and also move on to new ones in response to novel or evolving bodies of knowledge.

Who MindLadder is for: Educators can use MindLadder with whole classes of students in general education, with individual students and small groups of learners receiving RTI-intensified support, and with students with special education needs.

The Mind’s Ladder Guidebook 3.0: The Guidebook is a licensed product that provides conceptual foundations and practical support for a set of applied programs and resources (purchased separately or as a bundle) for educators to empower students in the knowledge economy.

Product Description: The Guidebook introduces knowledge construction functions and explains how they contribute to the development of students’ academic achievement, learning ability, and proficiency. It describes the roles of MindLadder assessment and classroom development and how assessment contributes to classroom learning within and across academic subject areas.

The Guidebook:

Describes how referrals are made for the MindLadder assessment, how to prepare for and conduct the assessment, how to use the assessment tools, how to present the results, and how to connect the results with the classroom.

Describes core practices teachers use in the classroom to develop students’ knowledge construction functions, how to connect cognitive processes with subject area content, and how to design and implement lesson plans for this purpose.

Discusses systems issues and shows how this approach is used within a tiered model of service delivery covering learning in general education classrooms, response to intervention (RTI), referrals to Student Study Teams, and students with special needs.

Explains how the MindLadder LearningGuide maps students’ knowledge construction functions giving teachers, school psychologists, clinicians and administrators information about both strengths and functions in need of development.

Describes an Internet-accessed server-based version of the LearningGuide that links service providers and administrators in an efficient system of service delivery with a focus on empowering students for the knowledge economy.

Describes the role of the family and how parent-child interactions support the development of children’s knowledge construction functions.

Takes the reader through the conceptual foundations that underlie the MindLadder model. A comparison of paradigms illustrates how the models and programs educators now can use to prepare students for the knowledge economy differ from the more static approaches to assessment and instruction long associated with the industrial economy.


The Guidebook provides the concepts and practical information educators need to empower students in the knowledge economy. MindLadder brings the cognitive and learning sciences directly into the core of the processes that are used by students to acquire subject area knowledge and learn how to learn.

The Guidebook is supported by illustrations, practical examples, action resources, answers to FAQs, scoring instructions for the LearningGuide, and lists of the knowledge construction functions. The volume is supported by a table of contents as well as a detailed index that make it easy to maneuver within the book.


Contents: Foreword, Introduction, 10 Chapters, 55 Illustrations, 8.5 x 11 Format, 322 Pages (Incl. Index) - Downloadable PDF file [3.4 MB]

The Mind’s Ladder Guidebook 3.0 - 322 8.5 x 11 pages - Downloadable - PDF [3.4 MB]
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