BOSTON, MA-The Newman School provides a diverse student body with a college preparatory, liberal arts education based on Judeo-Christian values, intellectual rigor, and trust, guided by the spirit and philosophy of John Henry Cardinal Newman. The school encourages students to recognize the relationship between personal and intellectual growth, and seeks to nurture the intellect, and instill motivation, kindness, the desire for truth, and moral decision making. Newman librarian, Jean Berry, hopes to use concepts introduced in The Art of Learning within their Theory of Knowledge curriculum.
MENDHAM, NJ. Dr. Kathy Kremins merged The Art of Learning with Mendham High’s International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge course.
Seventy students participated in this pilot program. Many passionately discussed The Art of Learning in an online forum and wrote inspiring essays about the material. At the end of the program, the JW Foundation had the honor of meeting with the class. Josh spoke to the students and then held a more intimate discussion with a smaller group. This collaboration touched on everything from what it means to be a learner in life to a vision for the future of education.
Currently, we are continuing our work with the senior Theory of Knowledge class. In addition, both the Mendham boys’ soccer team and girls’ basketball team are using The Art of Learning thanks to the inspiring work of Dr. Kathy Kremins and Tim Rymer.
The success of the Mendham High program combined with our participation in the International Baccalaureate Conference resulted in the integration of The Art of Learning into IB Theory of Knowledge classes in a number of other schools. There is vast potential for the spread of the principles set forth in the book as they are a perfect match for the mission of the IB program, which is held in 2,732 schools in 138 countries.
Dr. Kremins is taking steps to launch a four-way international program for teaching The Art of Learning—participants include Mendham High and high schools in Newark, N.J., Mexico, and China that will share a wikispace and work with a unit plan she is developing based on the IB Middle Years Program. Dr. Kremins will be creating a blog for The Art of Learning Project website that will document her and the students’ ongoing experiences working with the principles and share ideas about how others can institute effective teaching strategies, domestically and abroad. Wiki-based programs have the potential to be adopted by inner city schools.
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.