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Blue Willow Public School

ONTARIO, CANADA  – Jeffrey Schaefer, educator at the Blue Willow Public School, has been using The Art of Learning with his 8th grade class.  Mr. Schaefer selects questions from the Students’ Guide to The Art of Learning in order to springboard thoughtful discussions in small groups within his classroom.  Group collaborations are centered on a variety of literary comprehension strategies, such as: determining the main idea, inferring, synthesizing, creating intertextual connections etc. in order to comprehend Josh’s text both as a theory of learning and a literary composition. While some of the class commitment takes place in groups, the reading of the text is also accompanied by a solitary written reflection assignment allowing students the opportunity to digest the material in individual ways.  Mr. Schaefer also uses a  novel approach to classroom discussion, utilizing an online forum to facilitate student responses to the text.

Here is the opening paragraph of one 8th grade student’s reflections on the text: “I see … the importance of pushing oneself with deeper thoughts and bigger challenges, finding the greatest value in the process of learning rather than the end result of it, and the maximization of any positive or negative situation…”

For further reading of this student’s reflection

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