Colin Calleja, coordinator for Let Me Learn in Malta, meets with ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) in Washington DC to discuss collaboration with LML. He also speaks about what’s new and what’s ahead for LML in Europe.
What was the reason for your trip to the United States?
I last visited the U.S. ten years ago. After such a long time, it was a pleasure to visit again and catch up with all the wonderful developments Let Me Learn is going through. It was also such a pleasure to meet with some old friends.
The purpose for this visit was mainly to review the LML certification process with Christine Johnston. In the coming months we are planning to hold the 3rd European Let Me Learn Education Specialist Programme with European colleagues from the University of Perugia and others from different parts of Europe. This required me to go over all the materials that have been developed so that I would be able to deliver the face-to-face training here in Europe while Christine delivers the on-line sessions with the participants. The plan is to start this training in May, 2011.
During this visit I also had the opportunity to visit ASCD headquarters, where we had a two-hour meeting with Dr. Gene Carter, ASCD’s Executive Director, and Judy Zimny, Chief Program Development Officer.
During this visit I also had the opportunity to watch the Phillies at baseball game with full commentary!
What did you discuss with ASCD?
Two years ago I had the opportunity to travel to Istanbul with my LML team for a training conference on differentiation. There I had the opportunity to meet and dine with ASCD’s Dr. Carter, who showed great interest in the work that we were carrying out through Let Me Learn in Malta. I promised to visit their headquarters when I went to the U.S.
So in my schedule we included a visit to Washington DC, where we met with ASCD and discussed how Let Me Learn could start forming part of what ASCD offers to teachers in the U.S. and around the world. We explained our mission and the work that Let Me Learn is doing. I had the opportunity to explain how Let Me Learn in Malta is supporting the educational reform process and how the Let Me Learn Process ® has full support from the Ministry. In Malta, the government is dedicating four experienced teachers as trainers in the Let Me Learn Process®, as well as a line budget.
I also had the opportunity to explain our work in other European countries where the interest is growing and where we have more people—especially from universities and adult learning institutions—wanting to know more about our work. I explained how five years ago we had the opportunity to work with seven European countries and ten adult learning institutions on a European project that ran over three years. During this period we trained ten individuals as Let Me Learn trainers.
After this meeting it was decided that a team from ASCD would be formed to study what Let Me Learn has to offer and how best these two organizations can collaborate in the near future.
What new developments are taking place with LML in Malta?
My main target for this year is to train two new additions to my Let Me Learn Malta staff: Graziella and Sarah, who will be joining the certification cohort. This year we will start a new cohort for the Let Me Learn Professional Learning Process. Sixty teachers from public, church, and independent schools will be joining this training that will run from November through May, 2011. Every year we have over 100 educators applying to join this training.
This year we also had two groups of parents who participated in two three-day courses. For these courses we had 30 parents participating in each course. More than double this number had applied to participate.
What do you think will be happening in the near future with LML in Malta or other parts of Europe?
The prospects for Let Me Learn in Malta and in Europe are very positive. In the coming months, we will be receiving applications from interested individuals to start the European Let Me Learn Education Specialist training. This will further support the efforts at the Universita degli Studi di Perugia, in particular at the Faculty of Education. We have also some interesting work going on at Rovira I Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain, in particular with first year students.
During this year and for the next three years we will be working closely within a European project on Intercultural Communication and training entitled BRIDGE-IT, where we will be developing further a Let Me Learn pedagogical basis that was originally developed for a previous European Project – SPICES. This time we aim to create an e-learning environment that is conducive to learning and respectful to learner’s processing patterns.
On the academic front this year, we had a paper published on the Journal “Universitas Tarraconensis. Revista de Ciencies de l’Educacio” entitled “The Let Me Learn Professional Learning Process Experience: A New Culture for Professional Learning.” We also have another paper that was positively reviewed and awaiting publication in the on-line journal of the Faculty of Education, Universita degli studi di Perugia, entitled “The Let Me Learn Process®: A Robust theory with Practical Implications.”