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St. Mary’s Junior Football Club

img_9219GREENSBOROUGH, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA – Leon Harvey coaches the 7-9 year old “Tackers” group in this Australian junior football league. As a coach, he is not only interested in teaching his athletes how to improve their football skills, but to use their love for the game as a platform to teach skills that will improve their lives overall. “I want the kids to get the most out of this possible,” Harvey explains. “I see football as a ‘gateway drug’ to learning and self-development. With Josh’s material I have taken advantage of the learning opportunities in sport that can apply to all parts of their lives”
For many of the children on Harvey’s team, football is much more than an extra-curricular activity. “For some, their hopes and dreams are based on their ability to perform and win, potentially creating unrealistic self-expectations,” he explains. “Some kids are quiet and reserved and suffer low self-esteem. Some are kinesthetic learners or challenged by learning difficulties, where traditional classroom teaching doesn’t work, and some are going through a rough time at home. Football is their passion and outlet, and so being a coach presents a huge opportunity to do so much more than just teach sporting skills. I use The Art of Learning as a framework that supports me to tackle these issues to build resiliency in our kids.”
“Competitive sports, like football, are a great platform for coaches to translate Josh’s material. I go back to the resources regularly to help me see the learning opportunities that present themselves on the field. There are many ways to turn experiences in the field into positive lifelong lessons using Josh’s themes: I use game defeats to teach about Investment in Loss, bad referee decisions to describe The Downward Spiral, quarter time break to practice Listening First, and the simple act of kicking a ball to teach The Power of Presence.”
In addition to exploring the learning principles with his athletes, Harvey believes it’s important to share the concepts with their parents in order to reinforce the learning at home. He sends an email to each child’s parents after every game in order to re-frame the events of the game within the context of The Art of Learning principles and highlight the learning opportunities they presented to the kids.
“I wish I had access to The Art of Learning when I was competing as a kid. I want the kids to see even when the stakes are high and the pressure is on that it’s okay to lose. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s all part of the journey of learning, trying, failing, and succeeding. I hope that my team can learn more about footy and themselves by the end of the season. Game after game the patterns will start to emerge. Even if they don’t ultimately go on to enjoy a football career, the lessons can apply in all parts of their lives.”

Optimum Performance Training Institute

COLUMBIA, MD – OPTI is a holistic preventive healthcare network and performance training institute dedicated to educating people about how to use movement, nutrition, recovery, psychology, and mindset to care for themselves in all aspects of their lives. Corey Beavin, a Performance Enhancement Specialist and Director of Education and Internships, explains “Just as you need to learn basic algebra to do your taxes, or literacy in order to get by in the world, you need to be educated about how to take care of your physical body. Rather than being attached to the outcomes of your weight or what you can lift, this needs to be a process-oriented approach.”

The entire OPTI team of personal trainers, physical therapists, and nutritionists has begun to use The Art of Learning principles with their individual clients. In addition, they are bringing Resilience based principles such as Investment in Loss, Beginner’s Mind, and Using Adversity into their physical education initiative, which aims to teach principals and physical education teachers across the nation about providing their students with sustainable solutions for their physical lives. “I heard Josh speak and listened to his book and it completely aligned with my life and mission to change the education system of people, specifically in the realm of health as it relates to movement,” Beavin told the JWF. “The JW Foundation is an amazing resource and partner in people learning the realities of how to continue to gain competency in movement which, in its foundation, is a process-oriented, self-regulated behavior that views adversity as a learning challenge.”

Mandarin Chinese Language and Culture – various schools

New York, NY – Lu Chihlan teaches a Mandarin Chinese Language and Culture course at Manhattan High School for Girls and in an afterschool class for kindergarten through fifth grade students at PS 3, is a Culture Workshop Instructor for elementary students at the China Institute, and a tutor for the Chinese Flagship Program at Hunter College. In addition, she is actively involved in the campaign to develop a community middle school within her home district.

Chihlan explained her desire to bring The Art of Learning principles to all of her students because of the powerful impact the book had on her when she first read it. “After my son’s teacher showed me this book, lots of puzzle pieces came together for me in understanding the power of inter-disciplinary studies and the process from knowledge input to internalization, through interconnection to creative output and performance.”

In her high school course, Chihlan uses the Resilience module, with a specific focus on Beginner’s Mind and Using Adversity, to support her students in exploring their interests in Asian culture and preparing them to be global citizens. She incorporates principles such as Investment in Loss and Value Process Before Results through in-class review and reflection on drafts of project assignments.

With her younger students, Chihlan weaves Beginner’s Mind into their Chinese language instruction. “I take them to a garden nearby and take advantage of the environment where they are relaxed and comfortable while teaching concepts like colors and flowers and nature in Chinese, turning the language challenge into excitement and inspiration. Our project-based curriculum also allows us to practice Using Adversity in the process.”

DAART

PENSACOLA, FL – Barbie Nall teaches a variety of subjects to 6th through 12th grade students in a drug and alcohol residential treatment center. In addition to providing the students with the academic coursework necessary to reach or maintain grade level standards, the program aims to give the students tools to learn positive coping skills necessary for developing healthy relationships, solving problems, and avoiding triggers.

“Having already faced many obstacles, the students need multiple avenues of encouragement to better their lives,” Nall explains. “Some students have never had a stable environment and need to know how they can make life better for themselves. The book, along with the study guides, will help the students realize how to make that difference.”

Nall plans to share The Art of Learning with the counselors and director of the program and possibly have the students read and discuss the book. In this way, the students will not only encounter the concepts in class, but in their counseling sessions and the dormitory as well. In addition to the book discussion, Nall will incorporate Resilience principles such as Value Process Before Results, Investment in Loss, Beginner’s Mind, and Using Adversity into the break periods using kinesthetic activities.

Lehman College, CUNY

BRONX, NY – Dr. Christy Folsom is an associate professor in the Childhood Education Department of Lehman College, City University of New York.   Her academic focus is on the intellectual and emotional infrastructure of teaching and learning, project-based learning that includes self-organization skill, transfer of learning from coursework to P-12 classrooms, and change in teacher thinking and practice evidenced in student performance. In addition, she developed Teaching for Intellectual and Emotional Learning (TIEL), a powerful curriculum planning tool for teachers.

While planning her undergraduate course entitled “The Art and Science of Learning and Teaching”, Dr. Folsom contacted the JW Foundation with an interest in participating in our book donation program.  “In this course, we will explore scientific aspects of how we learn as well as how learning can be an art.  Understanding learning as a science and as an art can have a profound impact on how we teach,” Folsom explains.  She plans to use examples from The Art of Learning and Resilience based principles such as Value Process Before Results, Investment in Loss, Beginner’s Mind, and Using Adversity to illustrate the importance of teaching for intellectual learning in conjunction with emotional learning.

“How do you learn something and stick with it long enough to master it?” Dr. Folsom asks.  “Yes, Josh had a gift for chess, but with tai chi it seems that he had to work so much more.”  She believes Josh’s learning journey is a wonderful illustration of the wide range of learning, both social/emotional and cognitive/intellectual, and the necessity for struggle that must be addressed in the classroom in order to provide students with the complex learning experiences they need to succeed in the twenty-first century.

Jack Schore Tennis

Viewtown, VA – Jack Schore, is the Founder and Director of Jack Schore Tennis – a program that serves 700-800 young tennis players per week in the Washington DC area, ranging in age from 4-18 years old. Coach Schore approached the JW Foundation with an interest in integrating the Art of Learning principles into his coaching in order to build awareness in his athletes and help them develop a feeling of “being in the present.” He explains, “Tennis won’t be the end all be all for most of these players. In the micro, The Art of Learning principles will help their game, but I want them to use what they learn to enhance their lives in the bigger picture.”

He will work with his most competitive players on the concepts of Beginner’s Mind and developing a growth mindset, Investment in Loss, the Power of Presence, and the Downward Spiral. He will include meditative breath work, stress and recovery interval training, and kinesthetically introspective self-evaluation into each practice in order to help his athletes develop the skills of calming the mind and being in the present as well as learning to trust their “inner voice” to improve their game. He then hopes to coordinate a program with four sports facilities and the 40 coaches he has working with his beginning and intermediate players, that will focus on building resilience through the principles of Valuing Process Before Results, Investment in Loss, Beginner’s Mind, Using Adversity, and the Internal Solution.