NEW YORK, NY. On July 10th, 2009, Dr. Kathy Kremins, Tim Rymer and Mackey Pendergast presented the Mendham High School pilot program (described in the Schools section of Programs) at the 2009 IB Conference of the Americas in Quebec. Joanne Singer from The JW Foundation attended the conference, set up a booth, and donated copies of The Art of Learning to interested attendees. Many enthusiastic applications for the book have been received as a result of the presentation and schools nationwide are instituting faculty book study programs geared to introducing The Art of Learning into classroom curricula and transforming teaching strategies to maximize student insight into the learning process. These IB educators are perceiving the overlap between the IB mission and that of The JW Foundation and using the information it has provided to optimize the desire and ability of students to absorb knowledge and perform consistently.
PALM COAST, FL. Diane Tomko added another International Baccalaureate program to our list of collaborations at the Flagler Palm Coast High School. She shared the book with her 36 senior Theory of Knowledge students; offered a book study program for parents, held a literary lunch with freshman students in her Inquiry Skills class, during which they discussed sections of The Art of Learning; and used the book in a Socratic Seminar with her multi-age Gifted Studies class.
Says Diane: “Sharing and collaborating within the educational field directly affects student learning. I want to try harder to make my students thirst! Anything is possible in the classroom. To help someone cross the bridge from a haze of confusion into the clear light of knowing—seeing that in the faces of students—is breathtaking. Educators have an incredible challenge and an equally daunting ability to encourage dreams. We touch the future. We know that not all our students will come willingly on this educational journey. Therefore, we must be vigilant agents of change. We must develop a classroom environment in which all students are motivated to invest in the learning opportunities encountered; where they feel safe and secure in sharing voices; where acceptance and tolerance are advocated. We know that it is not enough to teach the content; we need to teach students how to interact with us and with each other….We know that our classroom will evolve, will change, as we collaborate with our students on this journey of discovery.”
AGOURA HILLS, CA. Andrew Staiano is using The Art of Learning as a teaching tool in his Theory of Knowledge class and sharing it with the Agoura High School soccer team. Andrew says: “I would like to use these books with my soccer players in order to help explain the art of the endgame, the concepts of numbers to leave numbers, and entering the soft zone to help them not only become better players but also to make that ‘journey back to childhood’ where the love of the game is first and foremost.”
INDIANAPOLIS, IN. Robert Chin attended the Art of Learning breakout session at the IB Conference of the Americas and was inspired to work with the book in his Senior IB Theory of Knowledge class and his IB English and AP English courses. 180 students are being impacted by the book’s concepts. He has recently begun using the Art of Learning with his AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) college-prep course, for students who will be the first in their families to attend college.
LANTZVILLE, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA – Zinda Fitzgerald has organized an initiative in the Aspengrove School to work with The Art of Learning with 50 of its students as well as faculty and parents. We’re grateful to Zinda FitzGerald for organizing this initiative and for her motivation to use The Art of Learning to connect students, faculty, and parents.