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TAMPA, FL. Elizabeth Arizu, a guidance counselor at Robinson High School shared The Art of Learning with 25 of her fellow counselors, teachers, and administrators. As a result, English teacher Kenneth Hawkins worked with The Art of Learning in his IB Inquiry Skills class. Their intention is to launch a school-wide program. Says Kenneth:  “In this book, which uses a first-person voice, my students have someone to whom they can relate, someone who experiences travails and gains a specific understanding of how to triumph over them. The Art of Learning shows them how to access and really use their intelligence.  Now, two months later, we still talk about Mr. Waitzkin’s book.”

For 14- and 15-year-old students, the book was helpful because it offered them an approach for facing struggles in life. This is particularly important for teenagers who are starting off fresh in high school and really fresh in life.”

Here’s what some of the students had to say to Josh after working with the book…

“I like Chapter 11, Making Smaller Circles. I like this chapter the most because what I learned from it can help me in my work at school. I can divide my homework in to small parts and do them carefully to get the best results. My class had a great conversation over this topic, and we enjoyed talking about it. I think a lot of people had the same thought as me about it.”

“Your success with these methods was encouraging and proved to others that they did in fact work. Also, your thoughts about how the human brain works when you were talking about “searching for the zone” in Chapter 16 is very interesting. I totally agree with you that we should try and find this zone. It could come in handy one day when it is needed to complete work.”

“Your book, The Art of Learning, has made me see life from a different perspective. I found your story extremely fascinating, especially the little things that your parents did to keep you going during chess tournaments when you were young.”

“I had been struggling to get in the flow and was super stressed about my grades and sports.  I felt like I couldn’t manage my time correctly, but your book helped me to slow down and relax.  We had a four day weekend, and I spent the whole time relaxing and making plans to follow for the next week.  At school I kept reminding myself to stop and think instead of allowing everything to become overwhelming again.”

Oak Grove Middle School

PARAGOULD, AR-Char Edwards Green, a gifted and talented school facilitator at Oak Grove Middle School, is using The Art of Learning as a tool to help develop a lesson plan to meet the affective needs of gifted 10-13-year olds.  By focusing on the  book’s principles “Using Adversity” and “Making Smaller Circles”, she is teaching students to reach deeper and giving them a framework for understanding what quality learning and performance is.  She is using the book in the context of lessons relating to: recognition of abilities and limitations, the setting of appropriate goals, development of the ability to succeed, establishment of priorities and goal setting, development of learning skills, and cultivation of risk-taking as it pertains to mistakes and failure.