Monthly Archives: April 2015

Two educational innovators bring excellence to classrooms.

Two influential innovators in the education field have teamed up to make an impact in

classrooms with the newly published book Excellence in Teaching and Learning: The Quantum Learning System. Barbara K. Given, Ph.D., author of Teaching to the Brain’s Natural Learning Systems, and our own Bobbi DePorter, have combined their in-depth knowledge of teaching and learning in this latest publication. The purpose of the book is to provide the how along with supporting evidence that supplies teachers with the methods needed for excellence in teaching. From teacher feedback during QLN’s professional development programs, it became apparent that much of the knowledge required for excellence in teaching is not taught in higher education teacher preparation courses.

“One of the major differences between ineffective and highly effective teachers lies in their design and delivery of instruction,” said Bobbi DePorter. “By implementing the theories and methods of Excellence in Teaching and Learning: The Quantum Learning System, teachers can increase their effectiveness while facilitating student mastery of rigorous academic content.”

There’s a lot expected from teachers and often there is little direction or support for how to get the required results. With today’s more rigorous standards, teachers are expected to prepare all students to be college and career ready by the time they leave high school. Without new information and professional development tools to improve delivery of instruction, these expectations are unrealistic. Excellence in Teaching and Learning is a comprehensive approach that empowers teachers to achieve the desired goal that students leave high school prepared for success in college and career with strong character and citizenship traits.

The book focuses on two main sections—Components of Culture and Components of Cognition, each with three parts that cover one of the learning systems and the corresponding QL component. Culture consists of Social Learning/Foundation, Emotional Learning/Atmosphere, and Implicit Learning/Environment. Cognition encompasses Cognitive Learning/Design, Physical Learning/Deliver, and Reflective Learning/Deepen.

“The importance of teachers cannot be overstated,” said Barbara Given, co-author. “They are the most controllable variable in students’ academic achievement.”

In addition to penning Teaching to the Brain’s Natural Learning Systems, Barbara has written Learning Styles: A Guide for Teachers and Parents. She spent five decades as a teacher, associate professor, and researcher with an emphasis on students with learning disabilities and emotional disturbances. At George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, Virginia, she initiated the Special Education Teacher Preparation Program and an academic summer program, Breakthrough Learning.

Bobbi is author or co-author of more than a dozen books including Quantum Teaching, The Seven Biggest Teen Problems and How to Turn Them into Strengths, and The 8 Keys of Excellence. She is also cofounder and CEO of Quantum Learning Network (QLN), a leading education company based in Oceanside, California. QLN produces SuperCamp summer enrichment programs for students, now with 70,000 graduates and programs in 14 countries, and Quantum Learning Education school programs for teachers, administrators, and students.

To purchase the book Excellence in Teaching and Learning: The Quantum Learning System visit www.quantumlearning.com/books

Study reveals social and emotional learning results in unprecedented returns.

In February, Columbia University released the outcome of a groundbreaking study called “The Economic Value of Social and Emotional Learning.” And their findings might surprise you.

Over the last year, the Columbia study’s authors, Henry M. Levin and Clive Belfield, examined the economic returns from investments in six prominent social and emotional interventions—from learning and literacy programs to combat aggression and violence; to efforts to promote positive thinking, actions, and self-concepts; to practices that improve problem-solving abilities, capacities to manage emotions, and the very skills that lead to greater student motivation and engagement in their learning.

What the two gentlemen discovered was that each of the socially and emotionally focused programs—4R’s, Positive Action, Life Skills Training, Second Step, Responsive Classroom, and Social and Emotional Training (Sweden)—showed significant benefits that exceeded costs. Furthermore, the average among the six interventions showed that for every dollar spent, there was a return of more than 11 dollars. Beyond a monetary return on investment, other benefits include reductions in child aggression, substance abuse, delinquency, and violence; lower levels of depression and anxiety; and increased grades, attendance, and performance in core academic subjects.

In conclusion, social and emotional learning is now backed by research on its power to promote improved test scores. This now builds a strong economic case to unleash a full-scale national effort to make social and emotional learning a core part of education from prekindergarten through high school. And as you may already know there’s no better organization to implement these soft skills districtwide than Quantum Learning!

Build a brand of educational excellence.

By Mark Reardon

Superintendents, principals, and teachers often let their brand develop haphazardly. But the most respected brands—the ones that communicate educational excellence—are intentional. As chief learning officer for Quantum Learning, I have helped many educators build their brand and understand how it’s important.

Brand redefined.

Your brand states the non-negotiable to which you are committed. The more clearly defined your values, the more pervasive and credible your brand will be.

Your brand though, is only as good as your culture. Your brand is what you value above all else, and culture is the expression of that brand.

To ensure your culture reflects your brand, follow this simple axiom: Experiences shape our expectations; expectations shape our expressions.

Brand of excellence.

Begin by evaluating the things people say and do in your classrooms, in your schools, and at the district office. These are your expressions.

Let’s say your organization values excellence, good qualities in high degree. You would expect to see excellence embodied at every level. You would see teachers attending professional development, parents engaged at meetings, students thinking at higher levels, and real estate agents praising the quality of education in the community.

In this example, the expressions reflect the organization’s non-negotiable values. They reflect a brand of excellence.

Next, discern what the expressions say about expectations. Our expectations shape our expressions, which are the synthesis of our perceptions, perspectives, mindsets and beliefs.

In a district defined by excellence you would notice that decisions are made and problems solved through a mindset of excellence that permeates classrooms, staff rooms and boardrooms.

Expectations are willed into being. Our expectations are shaped by our experiences.

Everything speaks.

At Quantum Learning, we teach, “everything speaks.”

When a district’s meetings respect opinions, encourage solution finding, and are well organized, attendees experience excellence. When classrooms buzz with curiosity, teachers acknowledge effort and everyone feels safe, kids are immersed in an experience that changes their perception about learning.

Nurturing the brand.

In the model we’ve presented, you build your brand by challenging the interactions students have with and within the school.

This is accomplished from the inside out. Brands are built from the organization’s culture out to the community and from you out to the organizations. You are your brand.

When you’re intentional with your brand, the positive effects will last for years to come.

To learn more about Quantum Learning: Development that Matters, visit www.quantumlearning.com.