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Alliance High School

PORTLAND, OR – Alliance High School is an alternative public high school focused on helping students gain the credits they need to graduate and the skills necessary for future success. Miguel Mejia, a math teacher and instructional coach, contacted The Art of Learning Project with an interest in developing a program that would support both the teachers and students in stretching themselves further as educators and learners.
“I want to challenge myself, my fellow teachers, and my students in understanding how we each learn best and to push those limits. At our schools we have many students who have been chewed up and spit out by the current educational system – many lack the skills and knowledge of how they can be successful and we, as alternative education teachers, need to help them discover these things so they can be successful in the next chapter of their lives. By exploring and discussing the learning process, I hope that we can all better understand ourselves and build a more supportive and higher performing community.”
The first step in this process is for the staff to read and discuss The Art of Learning and develop a common understanding of the learning principles and how they fit within their school community. From there, Mejia and TAOLP are designing a program using the Resilience principles to support students in changing their mindset about schooling and their potential for future success. The students will explore Beginner’s Mind as a means to bring the element of joy back into the learning process that is often missing for students who are considered behind or not doing well. The staff will focus on Valuing Process Before Results by reflecting on their own work and the process of the school, as well as what changes they can make to bring the joy factor into their students’ learning experiences.

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