In the following interview, Let Me Learn originator and lead researcher Dr. Christine Johnston introduces readers to a newly completed overview of the Let Me Learn Process® that serves as the first chapter of a soon-to-published book, Honoring the Learner (Corwin Press), also now available as a stand-alone publication through LML.*
Q: How does the new LML overview differ from other LML documents and publications?
A: This is a concise explanation with specially-designed graphics that represent concepts and tools described within the text. It’s LML 101 from soup to nuts. I think its strength is the way in which it rolls out the LML Process, explaining in lay-science terms the distinctive theoretical basis, its unique set of learning tools, and the array of practical skills. It also provides a set of terms used to equip learners of all ages to communicate to others about their individual learning processes.
Q: Who is the intended audience for the Overview?
A: Anyone who is seeking an answer to the following:
- How do we learn?
- What can I do to enhance my personal learning ability?
- How can I help my students enhance their learning?
- What makes the Let Me Learn Process an advanced learning system?
Q: What is the most effective way for a school or school district to implement the LML Process?
A: Let Me Learn offers a variety of professional development options so that educators can select the most preferred approach for them and their colleagues to learn and implement the LML Process. Summer workshops, short-term school site-based sessions, and even online courses are available for beginning, intermediate, and advanced participants. At all levels, educators have the opportunity to visit schools where LML is being successfully implemented to boost achievement, decrease student management challenges, and enhance the students’ learning plans.
Q: Can you give us an example of a school or school district that is successfully implementing the LML process? How has their situation changed?
A: We’ve been working with educators in Berlin Township, NJ for two years and they just received state and national recognition as a School to Watch. This is a significant three-year designation made by the State of New Jersey based upon on-site visits and interviews of the students! The visiting team was thoroughly impressed with the students’ ability to talk about themselves as learners and how they use that personal knowledge to assist their learning within given courses.
Also, we were pleased to find out that another school implementing the LML Process, West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District, was just notified by the State of New Jersey that they have been awarded a pilot grant. A key objective is to use LML as central to the learning plans of students.
Q: Could you share with us a recent example of how Let Me Learn has had an impact on a particular student and possibly others?
A: A few months ago, I was giving a LML seminar at magnet school that has a math, science, and engineering orientation. One social studies teacher referred to a student who, though he tested well, wasn’t doing well. “Corey doesn’t care. He doesn’t talk and shows no expression,” said the teacher. And she added, “He just sits at his desk.” As a result, Corey had been through all sorts of testing to determine what type of learning disability he had and whether or not he should go to a different type of school.
Later that day, I was in a classroom where a science teacher was exhibiting model roller coasters created by the students. One roller coaster was particularly well constructed and it was accompanied by the student’s construction plan and design sketch. From the name of the roller coaster I had a hunch that this might be Corey, the very same student who the teacher in the seminar referred to as “non-communicative” and “unable to follow directions.”
Sure enough, Corey was the roller coaster designer and a review of his LCI scores confirmed my sense that he avoids sequence, and uses his technical reasoning first. He wasn’t as precise or sequential as his social studies teacher expected.
The next day, I brought Corey’s model roller coaster to the seminar and his teacher was stunned to find out who had created such an amazing structure. “How could I be so wrong?” was the teacher’s first comment. From there I explained to the entire group that as many as one quarter of students who lead with the technical learning pattern may be mislabeled as having learning disabilities or behavioral problems because they are not going to use words as their primary tool for communicating.
The good news in this case is that Corey came to understand his learning patterns and used that awareness to become more communicative-so much so that he took the lead in showing the rest of his class how to use the Let Me Learn Process.
Corey’s teachers weren’t the only ones who were impressed by Dr. Johnston’s insights. Read a letter from Corey’s mother expressing her gratitude for how Let Me Learn has helped her understand how her son learns.
*The chapter title is, “A Comprehensive Description of the Let Me Learn Process®, an Advanced Learning System including a “Bibliography and Lexicon of Terms”