Thomas Armstrong
Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D.

California, United States

INQUIRE

Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D.

California, United States

"Best-Selling Author and Former Teacher Provides Educators and Parents With Practical Strategies and Innovative Perspectives to Help Children, Adolescents, and Adults Become Winners in School and Life"

Expert On

  • Education
  • Personal Development
  • Parenting

Experience In

  • Education
  • Psychology

About Thomas Armstrong

Dr. Thomas Armstrong provides educators and parents with innovative perspectives and practical strategies to help support children and adolescents in becoming more effective learners and more creative individuals at home and school. His topics include:

  • Multiple Intelligences (''The 8 Kinds of Smart'')
  • Neurodiversity
  • The Best Schools
  • Awakening Inner Genius
  • Non-Drug Alternatives to ADD/ADHD

He is the Executive Director of the American Institute for Learning and Human Development, and an award-winning author and speaker who has been an educator for the past forty years.   

Over one million copies of his books are in print on issues related to learning and human development.

Dr. Armstrong has given over 950 keynotes, workshops, seminars, and lectures in 44 states and 23 countries over the past twenty-eight years. His clients have included:

  • The Children's Television Workshop (Sesame Street)
  • The European Council of International Schools
  • The Republic of Singapore
  • Lucas Learning (Star Wars®)
  • Hasbro Toys
  • The American Cancer Society
  • The Beijing Institute of Education
  • Wyeth Philippines Inc.
  • The Bureau of Indian Affairs

He is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Authors Guild, PEN -American Center, The National Speakers Association, and the Global Speakers Federation.

His topics include:

  • Neurodiversity in the Classroom:  Strength-Based Strategies for Students with Special Needs
  • Eight Kinds of Smart:  Building on a Student's Assets for Success in School and Life
  • The Road to Genius:  Unleashing Your Natural Birthright to Brilliance
  • The Myth of the ADD Child: 25 Non-Drug Strategies to Improve Behavior and Attention Span in All Kids
  • The Best Schools:  How the Push for Academic Achievement is Endangering Our Children's Creative Minds

He is the author of fifteen books including:

  • 7 Kinds of Smart: Identifying and Developing Your Multiple Intelligences
  • The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain
  • Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Achieve Success in School and Life
  • Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 3rd Edition,
  • In Their Own Way: Discovering and Encouraging Your Child's Multiple Intelligences
  • Awakening Your Child's Natural Genius: Enhancing Curiosity, Creativity, and Learning Ability
  • The Myth of the A.D.D. Child: 50 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Attention Span without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion
  • The Human Odyssey: Navigating the Twelve Stages of Life
  • The Best Schools: How Human Development Research Should Inform Educational Practice
  • ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom
  • Awakening Genius in the Classroom

His books have been translated in over eighty foreign editions into twenty-six languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Danish, and Russian.

He has written for Ladies Home JournalFamily Circle (where he received awards from the Educational Press Association, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals), Parenting (where he was a regularly featured columnist for four years), Mothering (where he was a contributing editor) and over thirty other periodicals, journals, and edited books.

He has appeared on several national and international television and radio programs, including NBC's "The Today Show," "CBS This Morning," "CNN," the "BBC" and "The Voice of America."

Articles featuring his work have appeared in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostUSA TodayInvestor's Business DailyGood Housekeeping, and hundreds of other newspapers and magazines around the country.

Dr. Armstrong lives in Sonoma County, California in a pink Victorian on a hill with his wife, psychotherapist/author/publisher Dr. Barbara Turner, and their two dogs Dewey and Daisy.



Program Information

Eight Kinds of Smart: Building on a Student's Assets for Success in School and Life

This keynote shows how Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences provides a powerful tool through which each student's abilities can be highlighted and worked with to improve student motivation, self-esteem, and academic achievement.  The presentation includes:

  • interactive experiences introducing the eight intelligences
  • a hands-on demonstration where participants will learn a physics concept eight different ways
  • a practical lesson planning tool educators can use to tailor instructional strategies linked to specific academic outcomes
  • key tips for implementing multiple intelligences in the classroom 

Also available as a break-out session.  Presentation can be customized for different grade levels, or for parent groups.

educational / informative audience activity

Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies for Students with Special Needs

This session provides a new perspective in special education by showing educators how children with special needs (including ADHD, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, and emotional and behavioral disorders) should be viewed in terms of their ''diversities'' rather than their ''disabilities.''  Dr. Armstrong introduces the concept of neurodiversity (originally developed in the autism community), as a revolutionary new way to view students with special needs in terms of their strengths rather than their weaknesses.   

After presenting five basic principles of neurodiversity, Dr. Armstrong devotes the greater part of the workshop to seven practical tools that can be used to help students with special needs flourish in the classroom:  strengths awareness, positive role models, assistive technologies/Universal Design for Learning, enhanced social networks, positive environmental modifications, affirmative career aspirations, and strength-based learning strategies.  Participants receive a 165-item Neurodiversity Strengths Inventory to use with their students to identify strengths, talents, and abilities.  Finally, participants learn how to integrate this perspective with Common Core Standards and IEP goals and meetings.  [Note:  a shortened version of this workshop is available as a keynote or breakout session].

educational / informative audience activity

The Road to Genius: Unleashing Your Natural Birthright to Brilliance

What does it mean to be a genius? In this seminar, we'll discover the deeper meaning of the word and use it as an alternative to the conventional definitions widely used in public discourse. Essentially, to be a genius means to discover within ourselves our natural birthright for brilliance as we give birth to the intrinsic joy of learning and growing. This seminar will teach participants through interactive experiences, group discussion, and lecture ten basic qualities of genius that have helped to create the Einsteins, Mozarts, and Picassos of our culture: including:

  • curiosity
  • playfulness
  • imagination
  • creativity
  • flexibility
  • inventiveness
  • humor
  • sensitivity
  • vitality
  • wonder

Dr. Armstrong will provide research evidence from neuroscience, evolutionary psychobiology, biography, and cognitive psychology for the existence of this natural genius that exists in everyone. He will also explore those factors in the home, the school, and the broader culture that work to shut down our natural genius as we grow up. The seminar will then offer five practical steps for reawakening the genius in adulthood whereby we can fashion an environment where our natural instincts to learn and create are given expanded opportunities to develop and flourish.

educational / informative audience activity

The Best Schools: How the Push for Academic Achievement is Endangering Our Children's Creative Minds

This  presentation explores how educators have spent  too much time engaging in an "academic achievement discourse," and not enough  time participating in a "human development discourse" focused on  developmentally-appropriate teaching methods.   Dr. Armstrong describes  key developmental features of good schools at four levels of education: 1) early childhood education and the importance of play, 2)  elementary school education and the need to teach kids how the world works, 3)  middle schools and the necessity of emphasizing social, emotional, and  meta-cognitive learning, and 4) high schools, and the need to preparing students for  an independent life in  the real world.  The keynote ends with practical suggestions for creating  "best schools" models that meet the developmental needs of every  child and adolescent. [Note:  also available as a breakout session or half- or full-day workshop].

educational / informative

The Myth of the ADD Child: 25 Non-Drug Strategies to Improve Behavior and Attention Span in All Kids

This session challenges the current use of the medical model to explain attention and behavioral differences in children. First, Dr. Armstrong looks at the problems with the ADD/ADHD paradigm, including criticisms of its fundamental assumptions, its assessments and its treatments. Then, he provides alternative ways of explaining behavior and attention difficulties, including gender differences, social and cultural factors, psychological influences, and styles of learning. Finally, Dr. Armstrong presents 25 non-medical strategies that parents and educators can use to help children attend and behave, including visualization, relaxation, music, physical movement, nature, nutrition, positive discipline, and peer-teaching.

educational / informative

Programs

Eight Kinds of Smart: Building on a Student's Assets for Success in School and Life

educational / informative audience activity

This keynote shows how Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences provides a powerful tool through which each student's abilities can be highlighted and worked with to improve student motivation, self-esteem, and academic achievement.  The presentation includes:

  • interactive experiences introducing the eight intelligences
  • a hands-on demonstration where participants will learn a physics concept eight different ways
  • a practical lesson planning tool educators can use to tailor instructional strategies linked to specific academic outcomes
  • key tips for implementing multiple intelligences in the classroom 

Also available as a break-out session.  Presentation can be customized for different grade levels, or for parent groups.

Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies for Students with Special Needs

educational / informative audience activity

This session provides a new perspective in special education by showing educators how children with special needs (including ADHD, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, and emotional and behavioral disorders) should be viewed in terms of their ''diversities'' rather than their ''disabilities.''  Dr. Armstrong introduces the concept of neurodiversity (originally developed in the autism community), as a revolutionary new way to view students with special needs in terms of their strengths rather than their weaknesses.   

After presenting five basic principles of neurodiversity, Dr. Armstrong devotes the greater part of the workshop to seven practical tools that can be used to help students with special needs flourish in the classroom:  strengths awareness, positive role models, assistive technologies/Universal Design for Learning, enhanced social networks, positive environmental modifications, affirmative career aspirations, and strength-based learning strategies.  Participants receive a 165-item Neurodiversity Strengths Inventory to use with their students to identify strengths, talents, and abilities.  Finally, participants learn how to integrate this perspective with Common Core Standards and IEP goals and meetings.  [Note:  a shortened version of this workshop is available as a keynote or breakout session].

The Road to Genius: Unleashing Your Natural Birthright to Brilliance

educational / informative audience activity

What does it mean to be a genius? In this seminar, we'll discover the deeper meaning of the word and use it as an alternative to the conventional definitions widely used in public discourse. Essentially, to be a genius means to discover within ourselves our natural birthright for brilliance as we give birth to the intrinsic joy of learning and growing. This seminar will teach participants through interactive experiences, group discussion, and lecture ten basic qualities of genius that have helped to create the Einsteins, Mozarts, and Picassos of our culture: including:

  • curiosity
  • playfulness
  • imagination
  • creativity
  • flexibility
  • inventiveness
  • humor
  • sensitivity
  • vitality
  • wonder

Dr. Armstrong will provide research evidence from neuroscience, evolutionary psychobiology, biography, and cognitive psychology for the existence of this natural genius that exists in everyone. He will also explore those factors in the home, the school, and the broader culture that work to shut down our natural genius as we grow up. The seminar will then offer five practical steps for reawakening the genius in adulthood whereby we can fashion an environment where our natural instincts to learn and create are given expanded opportunities to develop and flourish.

The Best Schools: How the Push for Academic Achievement is Endangering Our Children's Creative Minds

educational / informative

This  presentation explores how educators have spent  too much time engaging in an "academic achievement discourse," and not enough  time participating in a "human development discourse" focused on  developmentally-appropriate teaching methods.   Dr. Armstrong describes  key developmental features of good schools at four levels of education: 1) early childhood education and the importance of play, 2)  elementary school education and the need to teach kids how the world works, 3)  middle schools and the necessity of emphasizing social, emotional, and  meta-cognitive learning, and 4) high schools, and the need to preparing students for  an independent life in  the real world.  The keynote ends with practical suggestions for creating  "best schools" models that meet the developmental needs of every  child and adolescent. [Note:  also available as a breakout session or half- or full-day workshop].

The Myth of the ADD Child: 25 Non-Drug Strategies to Improve Behavior and Attention Span in All Kids

educational / informative

This session challenges the current use of the medical model to explain attention and behavioral differences in children. First, Dr. Armstrong looks at the problems with the ADD/ADHD paradigm, including criticisms of its fundamental assumptions, its assessments and its treatments. Then, he provides alternative ways of explaining behavior and attention difficulties, including gender differences, social and cultural factors, psychological influences, and styles of learning. Finally, Dr. Armstrong presents 25 non-medical strategies that parents and educators can use to help children attend and behave, including visualization, relaxation, music, physical movement, nature, nutrition, positive discipline, and peer-teaching.

CAREER Speaking 31 yrs

Last year
50
events
LANGUAGES English
WORKED IN United States, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, Singapore, Colombia, Viet Nam, South Africa, Chile, Peru
ASSOCIATIONS
member of NSA - United States