The McLean Method: Teaching the Way Students Learn

The McLean Method: Teaching the Way Students Learn

At McLean we don’t define students by their challenges – but we absolutely know how to support them. Our Abilities Model® and ever-evolving inventory of instructional practices serves all students, not just those with dyslexia, anxiety, ADHD, organizational, and math challenges. Our experts teach the way students learn in smaller classes, embedding support in the classroom.

Every teacher at McLean is a specialist in learning. A key differentiator from other area independent schools is that we do not employ the traditional ‘learning specialist’ that requires students to be pulled out from their classroom. Instead, McLean has a Coordinator of Learning Services in each division who works seamlessly with students, teachers, and parents to ensure the individual needs of students are met.

The supports provided for our students combine in different ways for different learners, evolving along with the student as they grow and become increasingly independent. This approach of scaffolding and gradual release builds confidence and resilience along with important learning habits. For example, a 9th grade study guide may include explicit test-taking strategies such as ‘here’s how to approach multiple choice versus open response’; in 10th grade, there’s a shift away from specific recommendations to reminders; in 11th grade, students receive help developing their own study guides; and by 12th grade, it’s just a natural part of their own test preparation – and a skill they will carry forward into college.

Here’s the key: the content of what we teach isn’t simplified here… but the process of how we teach it is. And that’s what enables these bright students to really shine.


Building Confident and Capable Readers

boy using flashcards to help with dyslexia


Helping Students Be Available for Learning & Available for Life

A sunset.


Supporting Focus and Intention

creative and curious signs

Organizational Challenges

Developing Key Competencies

brain gears

Math Challenges

Making It All Add Up

child using dice