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Coral Academy Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV – Coral Academy of Science, Las Vegas is a k-12 public charter school with a focus on STEM education.  Alex Carlone, an 8th and 10th grade English teacher, began the school year with an exploration of The Art of Learning in a prerequisite unit focused on the craft of learning, metacognition, inquiry, and mental schema.
“My goal for employing TAOL ideas in the classroom is to level the playing field for students who have not developed sound learning strategies organically through positive family culture or early formative experiences. I find that there is a considerable gap between our “regular” and “honors” students, a gap I can only explain through the idea of “non-cognitive competencies” and differences in emotional intelligence. In my mind, Waitzkin’s ideas pair well with the initiatives led by the likes of Paul Tough and Alain de Botton, which help students develop performance psychology and humanistic intelligence.”

Carlone’s 10th grade students began the unit by reading The Art of Learning and participating in discussions at the end of each chapter.  They explored concepts such as the Soft Zone, the Downward Spiral, and entity versus incremental learning theories.  Their initial discussions helped Carlone deepen his own understanding of the students’ strengths and needs as well as their personal approaches to learning. He is developing a follow up unit devoted to the motivation and strategy behind personal transformation, in which he will connect The Art of Learning to Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist and tie in ideas related to positive psychology.

Brian & Teri Cram Middle School

LAS VEGAS, NV The teaching staff at Brian & Teri Cram Middle school will be studying The Art of Learning in the context of a round-table book discussion group held over a two-month period that will be devoted to staff development. Led by Assistant Principal Christopher Whitney, the teachers will examine ways to “better serve our students and move them ahead academically,” the goal being to integrate the principles into the teaching methodology. Citing the enormous practical implications and benefits of the material and the school’s mentality that “it takes a village”, Whitney will include the school’s entire 75-member staff of teachers, office workers and counselors in the books study sessions. He also intends to stage a parent event focusing on The Art of Learning principles to support the students.