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Ace Academics Learning Centre

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – Ace Academics is a math and science focused tutoring organization serving students from grades 2 through 12. Founder, Sal Enslin, is dedicated to helping her students develop self-confidence, curiosity, and a sense of personal agency in their learning processes.
“Many students experience maths and science as a necessary evil. They think of these subjects as abstract and boring, and they often just want to get those over and done. Many students are convinced that they have no talent for this; that they are not smart and are often completely disengaged from the learning process, “ Enslin explains. “If I could show them that their brain is capable of way more than the school system has led them to believe, and give them the tools to find out what that might be… that would be incredible. If we could discover how each student learns, how that would play out in his or her environment, and how he or she could apply what we do to anything else they want to learn, it would enrich their lives a lot.”
Each tutoring session is unique, depending on the needs of the participating students. Additionally, the learning principles Enslin incorporates into these sessions, and the methods used to explore them, vary depending on the group. Many of her older students have been reading and discussing sections of The Art of Learning Student Guide in order to provide a general introduction to TAOL principles and open a conversation about their relationships to those concepts. Enslin is beginning to incorporate peer feedback in several of her tutoring sessions as a means to practice Investment in Loss. She is practicing Stress and Recovery with her students by taking breaks during difficult tasks to explore student passions and interests, and regularly incorporates Listening First into her work with each student in order to understand what drives them, how they learn, and any underlying needs that may affect their learning processes.

Student Circle

SEATTLE, WA – Theodore Eftimiades is the CEO of Student Circle, a private tutoring organization with the dual goal of educating students as well as their instructors. By providing their tutors with thought provoking and engaging professional development opportunities through monthly discussion seminars and lectures, they believe that the tutors’ excitement for learning will provide a motivating example for their tutees. In addition, they aim to teach their educators life-skills and learning skills which can be used both in their personal lives and passed down to their student population.
Eftimiades applied to The Art of Learning Project’s book donation program while planning an Art of Learning discussion group focused on incorporating the book’s lessons into the lives of both the tutors and the tutees. “This book,” he explained “speaks to the experience of the modern student/academic. The ideas regarding Buddhism, calmness, the zone, high performance – these are all very high interest subjects and for good reason! These are ideas I want my tutors to confront, think about, and hopefully pass on, either in their original form or with their own thoughts mixed in.”

EPLCR

San Jose, COSTA RICA – EPL is an educational consulting group in Costa Rica that provides tutoring, college and graduate school application consultations, test preparation, coaching, and educational and artistic enrichment programs for students who are interested in gaining acceptance to both local and international schools.

Juan Jacobo Bernal, a partner and tutor with the organization, organizes study groups made up of students who read The Art of Learning and then develop Spanish language presentations of the material. He is specifically interested in having the students develop an understanding of how the learning principles relate to their own personal experiences. Through an exploration of principles such as “Investment in Loss”, “Using Adversity”, “The Downward Spiral”, and “Stress and Recovery” they will begin to think about developing habits and routines to change their detrimental learning behaviors and begin to push themselves toward higher levels of achievement.

The first group of students who participated in this program were asked to read the student study guide and choose segments that were most applicable to their academic lives.  From there, they translated the concepts into Spanish and created a presentation to teach the learning principles to other Latin American students.

Mount Holyoke College

SOUTH HADLEY, MA:  Courtney Caminiti is a student at Mount Holyoke College, where she runs a sciences and tutoring program aimed at mentoring women.  She used The Art of Learning in a presentation on metacognition that she gave to a class which accompanies the tutoring program.  Courtney was a student at Mendham High School when they were piloting their Art of Learning program in the International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge course.  She says, “I’m interested in neuroscience, so the book is actually interesting in a whole new way to me after having left high school, but definitely remains relevant to the learning process at all levels”.

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College

HENRICO, VA – J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College provides access to education that lays the groundwork for employment and career advancement while preparing students for successful transfer to colleges and universities. With an emphasis on personal enrichment and lifelong learning, Sargeant Reynolds helps to build a skilled workforce ready to contribute to regional economic development. Roberta Johnson, the Tutor Training/Best Practices Research/English Discipline Coordinator,  is using The Art of Learning and the companion Teacher’s Guide to work with peer tutors and give them insight into the learning process and how best to maximize their pedagogical impact within their community.  She says, “I   use The Art of Learning principles in tutor workshops with a focus on helping tutors with reflection and mindfulness as they relate to learning so they can share these strategies with their tutees.”