Accelerated Teaching and Learning

 

WHAT IS ACCELERATED TEACHING AND LEARNING?

PHILOSOPHY
AT&L is a way of looking at learning, which continually seeks knowledge/information as well as deeper understandings of the teaching/learning process.

BELIEFS
* Learning is an on-going process for ALL learners.
* Learning should be challenging and fun!

APPROACH
Based on the most current developments in brain research and its implications for learning, the teacher utilizes and controls a number of critical variables to assure SUCCESS for e-a-c-h learner!



ELEMENTS

KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE HUMAN BRAIN
Discoveries of the last 40 years have revealed that the brain is at the core of the learning process and that the human brain can be helped to more effectively perceive, process, assimilate, and integrate new information with existing knowledge.

EMOTIONAL STATE
Emotions have a powerful influence on the learning process and enhance retention. Neuroscientific research has identified emotion as a control center for many hormones that govern our physiological state.
 

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
Lighting, temperature, acoustics, seating arrangement, color, decor, peripherals, and other physical factors may facilitate or detract from the learning process. All parts of the learning environment can be orchestrated to maximize the total experience.

MUSIC AND THE ARTS
Music facilitates emotional engagement and memorability. It provides acoustic separation for group activities and/or influences pace, tone, mood, and energy level. The Arts facilitate self-understanding, emotional involvement, and the application of knowledge to real life. In addition, they activate both hemispheres of the brain.

PERSONAL MOTIVATION
Self-esteem, self-confidence, and personal expectations greatly affect the motivation and achievement of learners. An "I CAN" attitude can transform a learning situation.

MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES AND LEARNING STYLES
Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences and individual learning styles (visual, auditory, or kinesthetic) are integral parts of AT&L. Student differ in their learning skills and styles as much as they do in their fingerprints. Therefore, a wide array of learning experiences must be provided to permit all learners to experience success. AT&L subscribes to Gardner's perspective . . . "to respect the many differences among people, the multiple variations in the ways that they learn, the several modes by which they can be assessed, and the almost infinite number of ways in which they can leave a mark on the world."

SUGGESTION
What is NOT spoken but conveyed by body language, attitude, choice of words, and thinly veiled, subtle expectations exert a powerful effect in student attitudes and learning.

IMAGINATION, GAMES, ACTIVITIES/METAPHORS
Imagination, games, and activities enrich verbal and written information with physical movement, color, depth, and positive emotions. Visualization skills enhance spelling, memory, and creativity, while metaphors bring stronger meaning to any subject.

TEAM LEARNING AND COOPERATION
Cooperative activities allow participants of all abilities and ages to interact as mentors and learners to develop interpersonal skills, academic and/or professional skills, and creative talents.

IMPROVEMENT AND RESULTS
Measurement of progress provides data for the ongoing assessment, goal-setting, and continuous improvement of the teaching and learning process. Both teachers and students are actively involved in an ongoing process of analysis and reflection.


HISTORY and ESPARZA'S BACKGROUND of AT&L

Dr. Georgi Lozanov, a research psychologist at the University of Sophia, Bulgaria, obtained a Ph.D. (1956) for his work on the application of suggestion in the fields of medicine and education. He investigated the phenomenon of photographic memory, and worked with people possessing extraordinary mental powers. His conclusions and theories were built into a learning system (AT&L) introduced in his book Suggestology and the Outlines of Suggestopedia (Gordon and Breach, New York, 1979).

One of the first models of teaching that Lozanov developed was an approach to teaching foreign languages to adults. After 5 weeks, students achieved phenomenal results. An added advantage was that the students described the courses as among the most enjoyable learning experiences they had ever had.

In 1975, Dr. Donald Schuster and Charles Gritton formed the Society for Accelerated Learning and Teaching (SALT). Based on the research for Dr. Lozanov, SALT applied the techniques of suggestion, relaxation, and music to the learning process. Since that beginning in 1975, the organization and its efforts have expanded, incorporating the latest research concerning learning processes and brain activity. In 1994, the name of the organization was changed to the International Alliance for Learning (IAL). Leading educators around the world have turned to IAL to discover new ways of making learning more productive and
In the Spring of 1992, Esparza was introduced to AT&L through the AT&L Network of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). After a school-wide preparatory study of Super Teaching, by Eric Jensen, consultant Doug McPhee conducted a 3-day training for the entire staff. Since 1992, the staff has continued to study AT&L resources, attend annual IAL Conferences and participate in numerous workshops conducted by respected educators and trainers (Sylvia Chard, Eric Jensen, Susan Kovalik, Jon Pierson, Ruby Payne, etc.) who support the AT&L philosophy and elements.

Programs and models (ICSS - Integrative/Consultive Support Services, an Oral Language Computer Lab for PK/K/1st graders, a School Wide Reading Program, "Keys for Successful Reading" and "QDPSA") have been developed by the Esparza staff to incorporate these powerful elements. The AT&L philosophy and strategies have been implemented school-wide as the community (students, parents, and staff) focus on making their VISION a reality and help each child maximize his/her potential.
 


RESOURCES

International Alliance for Learning (IAL)
P.O. Box 26175
Colorado Springs, CO 80936
phone: 800-426-2989
fax: 719-638-6153
http://www.ialearn.org/

 

Eric Jensen - The Brain Store
4202 Sorrento Valley Blvd. Ste. B
San Diego, CA 92121
phone: 800-325-4769
fax: 858-546-7560
www.thebrainstore.com

 

Deporter, Bobbi et al. Quantum Teaching

Jensen, Eric. Super Teaching, New Success Secrets, The Learning Brain, Brain-Based Learning, Teaching with the Brain in Mind, Teaching with the Body in Mind.

McPhee, Doug. Limitless Learning.