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Quantum Learning Stories



"I wanted to tell you what a wonderful job your team did for Cypress-Fairbanks (school district). The teachers and students learned so much from this dynamic group of people. I could not have asked for a more energetic and professional team to work with us. I feel like I got the best that Quantum Learning has to offer."

-Linda Sams
Secondary Math Coordinator

"97% of students felt that they learned better in classes taught with Quantum Learning methods."

-Paper presented at
Eastern Educational Research
Assoc. Conference
Tampa, FL

 

Quantum Learning Stories

With there now being well over 30,000 teachers trained in Quantum Learning in the U.S. and worldwide, there are a growing number of stories on how QL is making a positive impact on students and teachers at the school, district, state and even national level. Take a few minutes to read a few.

School Program: Bryant Elementary - Kearney, NE
District Program: Cypress - Fairbanks Independent School District - Houston, TX
State Program: Tennessee
Country Program: Dominican Republic

School Program: Bryant Elementary - Kearney, NE

Bryant Elementary is located in Kearney, Nebraska, the heartland of America and the home of the University of Nebraska. Many students who attend Bryant live below the poverty level.

Nancy Brosamle, principal at Bryant Elementary School in Kearney, NE, stumbled upon Quantum Learning in 2002; she hasn't been the same since. To quote Nancy, "Quantum Learning is the most effective program I've seen in my entire career for boosting student achievement and staff morale. It has changed my belief in what's possible in changing education."

Nancy attended two five-day QL trainings in 2002 and 2003, offered by Lincoln Public Schools and the Nebraska State Improvement grant program. She had no expectation... "Just another professional development training! Boy, was I wrong! The facilitator was an exceptional example of what effective teaching can look like! He constantly modeled energetic, applicable teaching methods - all based on decades of brain research - that my teachers applied immediately in their classrooms. I watched some extremely seasoned, resistant teachers trying new tools with contagious enthusiasm. It was truly amazing. I was a believer."

Nancy Brosamle might be from a small town, but she is a principal with big ideas. When Nancy returned from the trainings in Lincoln, she had no available funding for professional development. However, if she gets "No," for an answer, she simply asks another question. After many months of coordination with a grant writer and QLN, Nancy secured enough funding for a three-year Quantum Learning Programs project for students, teachers, and administrators at Bryant Elementary School.

Quantum Learning began with the implementation of a staff development program for the school's teachers, teacher-aides and all staff in the summer of 2005. The five-day summer program was followed by "coaching days" in the fall, winter and spring. Coaching days involve having a QL facilitator go into teachers' classrooms and work with them one-on-one, watching them teach, giving them feedback, asking them what areas they want to focus on in their training, and working on lesson design. In addition, the facilitator leads a faculty meeting, discussing new topics, goal-setting, how to work with parents, student discipline, and more.

Another five-day training was held in summer 2006, in which the QL facilitator, Jenny Severson, went deeper into such issues as setting goals, curriculum mapping, designing lessons, etc. In August of 2006, two other QL facilitators ran a five-day Quantum Learning for Students program.

What has this training meant to Bryant? Let Nancy tell you in her own words:

"QL has made a HUGE impact at Bryant. Student scores have improved because of the commitment of the Bryant staff to learning and implementing QL strategies. The conversations and learning that have occurred as a result of our training have made the difference. Jenny's leadership in all of this cannot be understated. The fact that she was able to follow up with everyone throughout the school year is significant. She was willing to work with teachers in whatever place they were on the learning curve—and she found the resources the teachers needed in order to feel supported. The other significant component, I believe, is the fact that ALL staff members participated together in this training - teachers, paraprofessionals, etc. We are all speaking the same language—the QL language that makes a difference for kids and adults."

But the work isn't over. In April 2007, Quantum Learning delivered 18 new lessons for Bryant teachers. More teacher training is planned for summer 2007 - a new, advanced course called QLT II for participants who have completed levels 1-5 of QL's Quantum Learning for Teachers program and who are ready for the next level of implementation.

Nevertheless, what has been accomplished in just two years, given the challenges faced by the school's administration, teachers and students, is remarkable. The test-score results, the changed attitudes, the new approaches to teaching and learning, all have given hope and inspiration to everyone involved.

District Program: Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District - Houston, TX

Appropriately, the first contact between Quantum Learning and the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Houston, Texas came at an event called the Brain Expo, a conference held in California in early 2004. An individual from the district's Office of Compliance and Accreditation at Cypress-Fairbanks (one of the largest districts in Texas with 91,000 students) attended a Quantum Learning presentation session and visited the QL booth.

Impressed with what she saw and recognizing a need in her district, the Cypress-Fairbanks official called Quantum Learning Network the following week to say that she had spoken to the district's director and that there was interest in putting together a Quantum Learning for Students program. The district's purpose was to prepare under-performing kids for the upcoming TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test in math, the two-fold goal being to help them pass and to help them overcome their old beliefs about their ability to do math and to enjoy it.

By April 2004, senior Quantum Learning facilitator, Jenny Severson, had designed the program flow for the first QL for elementary students, in partnership with the district's director of compliance and accreditation. A theme was developed: "Come on! Give me that Test!" The initial program involved about 300 students and several teams of QL facilitators and team leaders, all in different break-out rooms. There were about 10 Cypress-Fairbanks teachers in each room. None of these teachers had been trained yet in Quantum Learning for Teachers and they were amazed by what they saw.

The student programs were held on Saturdays, so the children had to come back to school on the weekend. The children who came knew that they were not doing well in math, and might not pass the TAKS test, which could lead to failing the school year in certain grades. The program was a huge success. The students loved it and asked if they could come the next Saturday. The teachers were shocked. In the end, over 80 percent of the students passed the test.

From there, more and more student programs were scheduled for different grade levels. Soon the Special Populations/ESL department was scheduling programs, followed by the secondary math department. The programs, which began with 4th graders, were expanded to include 3rd and 5th grade, the middle school grades, and then high school. While most of the programs have centered on math, some have focused on reading and on science, including a recent science program for 600 fifth graders. Students learn how to learn and techniques for studying, note taking, memorization and test-taking, as well as steps for taking the TAKS test without feeling stressful.

Over the first three years, QLN trained several thousand students in QL SuperCamp learning skills in Cypress-Fairbanks. In addition, the district has held five-day summer programs and a number of programs during the school week over two or three days. A very effective training model has been developed and implemented in partnership with the district in which students rotate between a session with QL facilitators and a session with their teachers in smaller breakout groups, focused on specific questions in prep for the TAKS test.

In one case study in May 2006, a group of fifth grade students was invited to attend a Quantum Learning for Students SuperCamp with a focus on math prep for the Texas TAKS test. About 250 students attended and were divided into several simultaneous Quantum Learning workshops. The results were remarkable. On average across four subgroups (White, Hispanic, African-Americana and Special Ed) 77 percent more students who attended SuperCamp passed the TAKS test versus students who didn't go to SuperCamp.

Overall, the district reports that results from the TAKS test administered show that, in most cases, the percent of students who passed the TAKS test who have been trained in Quantum Learning for Students are excelling far beyond students who have not been trained.

Another part of the evolution of the partnership is that the teachers who participated in the first Quantum Learning for Students program went to their principals and asked for training in QL. Within six months of the first student programs, Quantum Learning began holding Quantum Learning for Teachers staff development programs. A number of schools scheduled their own programs. Next, several different district departments began to schedule programs. Soon, teacher training programs were occurring as frequently as the student programs. All trainings were at maximum capacity.

In mid 2006, the district faced a challenge. The Senior Director of Staff Development for the district wanted Quantum Learning to be a foundational methodology that all teachers in the district used in their classrooms. A two-fold challenge existed in that many of the schools that wanted QL training did not qualify for the Title 1 funding, and to train the thousands of teachers in the district would take years. A plan was devised whereby the district would enter into a site license contract with Quantum Learning, and top teachers would then be selected to go through QLN's Facilitator in Training (FIT) process so that they could become Quantum Learning instructors for Cypress-Fairbanks. In turn, they train other teachers in the district in the methodology. By late 2006, the first team of teachers was selected and the training process began. This group will be ready to begin teaching QL programs in the 2008 school year.

The Cypress-Fairbanks school district and its administrators provide school districts everywhere with a powerful example of the results that can be achieved among its teachers and its students when a vision for excellence is aligned with an effective, engaging and enlightened teaching and learning methodology. The commitment of the district leaders to provide leading-edge learning programs for students and teaching methodology programs for teachers with Quantum Learning is resulting in positive results in student achievement, highly motivated and effective teaching across the district, and an energy and excitement that can be felt at every school.

State Program: Tennessee

Kelli Myers knew there had to be a better way. There had to be a way to reach, motivate and inspire her students. She had seen that, even by the third grade, some of her students had acquired the mindset that they weren't going to be successful. Whether it was a function of what they were hearing at home or what they weren't hearing at school, Kelli wanted to find a way to shift the thinking of these students.

She knew immediately when she found it. It was at a Quantum Learning workshop in Atlanta, where she taught. In this workshop, Kelli saw how she could create a classroom atmosphere where students feel safe, everyone feels valued, and learning is important. She discovered the tools that she could provide her students that would produce a magical school experience.

On the strength of this one day of training and a Quantum Teaching book, which quickly became dog-eared from use, Kelli began to apply elements of Quantum Learning in her Atlanta classroom. Kelli felt so inspired by the positive feedback she just kept growing and learning. However, before seeing the full results of her efforts in Atlanta, Kelli moved back to her native Tennessee when her husband received a job transfer.

Kelli got a position teaching third grade at Buena Vista School in the Metro Center section of Nashville in the 2003/04 school year. Naturally, she implemented Quantum Learning and it was the first such exposure to these teaching techniques that her students, or anyone at the school, had seen. As Kelli's students entered their classroom, they were greeted by signs with messages like: "Today Became GREAT When YOU Arrived" and "Magic Happens Here!" The rhythm of Motown would drift down the hallway. As morning announcements ended, the day would begin with a morning tradition. "Who are we?" THE BRIGHTEST!" "Why are we here?" "TO LEARN!" "Where are we headed?" "TO COLLEGE, AND WE DON'T HAVE TIME TO BURN!" This was followed by a minute of song: "Y'all Ready for This." Students then would dance, even forming a conga line, with everyone participating. The party ended with everyone seated and saying the school motto: "If I believe it, I can achieve it." Every morning, Kelli's classroom would begin this way. It took only a minute, and the students were ready to learn and focused.

Not long after Kelli began teaching at Buena Vista, Pattye Evans, the school's principal, visited the classroom. Somewhat taken aback by the animated nature of the students, Ms. Evans asked, "Is there any learning going on here?" The answer to her question came, not only from Kelli, but from the Art and PE teachers. They told Pattye that Kelli's class got along better than other classes did, her students weren't getting into fights and, generally, they were more focused and better behaved. Soon Pattye scheduled the first Quantum Learning for Teachers training in Nashville to be held at Buena Vista for her entire staff. She also invited principals and some of their teachers from six other schools to attend the training. All of the principals came and brought teams with them, and the rest, as they say, is history! Pattye came to understand that Quantum Learning was not just about the "morning boogie" she first witnessed. It was about the simple yet sophisticated orchestration of engaging the students and connecting the content.

Two other third grade teachers, Pam Pedigo and Ellie Terrell, had also noticed how Kelli's students were more engaged. They just took off with Quantum Learning in their own classes after they were trained, and they partnered with Kelli create a powerful Quantum Learning team of third grade teachers.

The media was beginning to take notice, too. When Pattye held her first training, she invited the education writer for the Nashville Tennessean newspaper to come by and see what was happening at Buena Vista. The reporter was so enthralled that she stayed the entire three days of the training. On day thee an article entitled "Teaching that taps all the senses - School excited about Quantum method" appeared in The Tennessean. The article described how Kelli Myers "transformed reluctant learners into eager students, and how excited the teachers were to be learning such engaging teaching methods in the workshop.

All third graders at Buena Vista were taught with Quantum Learning methods throughout the 2004/05 school year by Kelli, Ellie and Pam. The results for the year were remarkable. Attendance among third graders in this inner-city school was an unheard of 98 percent. Reading assessments showed these students grew 7.4 levels on average from the beginning of the year to the end, with 46 percent of students topping out at level 44 (5th grade reading level), which was the highest level the teachers could test. Ninety percent of the third graders experienced reading growth of greater than one year.

In math, a 35-question test was given at the beginning, middle and end of the school year. At the start of the year, 60 percent of the students scored 85% or higher. This number grew to 80 percent by the middle of the third grade year. At the end of the year, 100 percent of students scored at the master level. These three classes were the top scoring third-grade classes in the Metro Nashville school district for the year.

Scores were equally impressive in the state's standardized testing (TCAP) in other subjects. These third graders scored 80.5% in Social Studies versus a 45% score for students in the previous year and they scored 90.2% in Science compared to 42.9% a year ago.

The collective results were undeniable. However, teachers were equally impressed by the impact on students on a personal level. Brenda Jones taught at a different Metro Nashville school before transferring to Buena Vista. "The eye-opening thing for me was how to unleash the genius in each child, how to get them to start thinking and keep them motivated," Jones said. "It's all about effort and the individual differences of the students and how to reach each child, taking that one big quantum leap and taking risks. This Quantum Learning is putting it all under one big umbrella."

While all of this Quantum Learning was going on at Buena Vista School, a Quantum Learning senior consultant for the state of Tennessee contacted the Tennessee Principals Association. The TPA agreed to have one of the QL presenters come in for their annual board meeting to hear and see a presentation on Quantum Learning. Pattye Evans, the Principal at Kelli's school, was asked a few short months later by the executive director of the TPA if she would help coordinate Quantum Learning programs around the state of Tennessee. Pattye, who had just recently retired and who was already enthusiastic about Quantum Learning and what she was seeing happening with the schools in Nashville that were getting trained, decided to take on this role with the TPA.

Soon, schools from around the state were sending teams of teachers and principals to TPA-sponsored Quantum Learning training. Meanwhile, Kelli Myers was being called upon to show other teachers and principals in Nashville and statewide what Quantum Learning looked like in action. She and her two fellow third-grade teachers were asked to present to their cluster of schools, and Dr. Pedro E. Garcia, Director of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, attended, as well. Dr. Garcia's comment upon seeing the presentation was, "How can I get 5,600 teachers trained?" This presentation did, in fact, lead to the training of many more teachers in Quantum Learning.

Kelli moved to Sunset Elementary, a Nashville-area school in Williamson County, for the 2005/06 year, where she brought Quantum Learning to her fourth-grade class. Ellie Terrell, one of Kelli's fellow third-grade teachers from Buena Vista, joined Kelli at Sunset Elementary and began team teaching with Kelli. Another teacher in Williamson County, Terry Rogers, had also attended a five-day Quantum Learning for Teachers training program. Terry called it "the most exciting training I had ever received!" Terry said about Quantum Learning, "I can't wait to get to school each day. If every teacher had this knowledge at the beginning of their careers, what a difference it would make in their desire to remain a teacher for as long as they could." With the presence of Kelli Myers and the enthusiasm of Terry Rogers, news of Quantum Learning spread rapidly through Williamson County educational circles.

By early 2007, Quantum Learning has reached well over 250 schools in Tennessee through its three training programs: Quantum Learning for Teachers, Quantum Learning for Students and Quantum Learning for Administrators. Williamson County approved Quantum Learning as an "official program." Several other school districts in the state are sponsoring training programs for their teachers. Sumner County Schools has initiated a district-wide training process. On the state level, Quantum Learning is a Tennessee Academy for School Leaders (TASL)-sponsored administrator program within the Department of Education.

And what about Kelli Myers, the teacher who started it all in Tennessee? Kelli, who won Teacher of the Year at Sunset Elementary in 2006/07, says, "Through Quantum Learning I have learned to create a true community of learners. I orchestrate the learning environment in my classroom in a way that benefits my students. It is a risk-free place full of opportunities for student success. My students support each other and look to me as a facilitator, coach, and counselor. It's about providing a school experience that is so positive that students will not want to be absent. I am thrilled that I am teaching them to enjoy school. Learning should be a fun-filled experience."

Kelli goes on to say, "One of the best things about Quantum Learning is that it works for all kinds of students. I have seen it work in an affluent school with fabulous parent support and at an inner-city school with at-risk students. It works for teachers in an unbelievable way. Teachers embrace it because it is fun. It gives you the freedom to have a great time with your class. Quantum Learning makes teachers look forward to coming to work. I have seen it turn teachers who didn't seem to enjoy their job into happy people that students enjoy being around. It lights a spark of enthusiasm in new and experienced teachers alike."

Kelli Myers has shown what one person with a commitment to teaching young people and the right teaching tools can accomplish. Fortunately, for thousands of students in Tennessee, Kelli came back to her home state to teach and to share her passion about Quantum Learning with people like Ellie Terrell, Pam Pedigo and Pattye Evans. This same success story can be replicated in other states, districts and schools when the necessary funding can be generated to train and inspire teachers in the proven methods of Quantum Learning.

Country Program: Dominican Republic

The children were picked up across the country far and wide to attend the 2005 SuperCamp in the Dominican Republic. Seven days later their parents were picked up to see their children "graduate" from SuperCamp. Most of the children and their parents had never been away from the immediate vicinity of their homes in the barrios. Many of the children work more hours of the week than they attend school, some labor in the fields, some scavenge the dumps. These students were chosen by their teachers as showing good potential.

When the children arrived at SuperCamp most were a bit fearful and withdrawn, as well as excited about this new and to them, unknown experience. They were given coats, tennis shoes, t-shirts, toothbrushes and other items. The staff, as always, gave them their hearts with loving care and attention. Here, these kids got to be kids, they learned to like themselves, they formed friendships, they laughed, danced, and sang, and they shared their stories.

Graduation was an emotional event. The children weren't told their parents would be coming until the night before. Busses were sent to all the communities to make sure there was at least one parent or familiar adult for each child. A few had their school "facilitators" from the program come to receive them. The children looked clean and had on their best clothes, looking much different then when they arrived. They had been given jackets as most did not have one. Several children when they got up to share to the group starting talking and had trouble finishing because of tears.

This program caught the attention of the Vice President of the country, who arrived for graduation with his entourage of security and news cameras. During graduation he spoke to the students, telling them that he grew up in a barrio and they too, could one day serve their country. The Vice President sat next to Bobbi DePorter, president of QLN and SuperCamp, and told her, "You are changing education." One little boy told Bobbi later, "I now know I am responsible for me." Another boy who worked in the fields said, "I want to be an agricultural specialist." This program gave these students hope. When they left they were full of joy and had direction for their future.

This SuperCamp in the Dominican Republic took place in 2005, but interest began years earlier when Saschia Seibel, of Entrena, S.A., an educational company in the D.R., attended an accelerated learning seminar in Las Vegas in 2002 where she heard about Quantum Learning and SuperCamp. She contacted us immediately to inquire about our programs and before long we began a conversation to work together.

In January of 2003, Joe Chapon, who is vice president of QLN (Quantum Learning Network) and directs our international programs, went to the Dominican Republic to discuss possible educational programs there in person. Soon after in March, Saschia and an associate traveled to San Diego to attend our annual SuperCamp facilitator training. "Know It By Heart" is four days of intensive training during which our facilitators - who will be spread across the country during the summer at SuperCamp sessions from Stanford to Cornell - align on curriculum implementation, best practices when working with students, team building, and other areas of personal and professional growth. The training is attended by "veterans" and new facilitators and the ten to fourteen hours a day is not only comprehensive, but passion filled and energetic and participants leave confident and excited that they are going to make a difference in kids' lives.

And that is just what Saschia did - she went back to the Dominican Republic and started making that difference in kids' lives. Although there were a few setbacks (currency devaluation, etc.) and Saschia and her colleagues were unable to start immediately with a SuperCamp program that summer, they were determined and persevered. They started reaching those kids in other ways, through after-school programs and training of teachers. Saschia developed and wrote the curriculum for an after-school program and began to spread her knowledge of Quantum Learning teaching methods to teachers.

In August of 2003, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded a grant to DevTech Systems and now Entrena, as DevTech's subcontractor, finally had funding to expand their training of teachers, and could plan a SuperCamp program, which they scheduled for August 2004. They began more intensive training, with our Quantum Learning facilitators going to the DR and later their facilitators coming to the U.S. for further training. They again attended "Know It By Heart" in March, and another training in May.

Also in May 2004, John Le Tellier, one of our lead Quantum Learning facilitators, went to the Dominican Republic to do a five-day Quantum Learning for Teachers program for sixty educators and Peace Corps volunteers, with Saschia translating. This program was a resounding success: "Thanks a million, John. Everyone wants to be like you, full of moves, energy, and creativity. The passion has been planted. This has been the best thing to hit us in a long time."

In June of 2004, another of our lead facilitators, Cami Hayes, and a Quantum Learning facilitator from Mexico, Olivia Duarte, went to the Dominican Republic. For two weeks they traveled from city to city and barrio to barrio, and shared Quantum Learning methods with teachers all over the country. The D.R. teachers were very responsive as Quantum Learning methods matched their passion and enthusiasm and gave them the tools to reach their students.

Training continued throughout the year, here in the U.S. and in the D.R., and finally that long-anticipated first Dominican Republic SuperCamp took place in June of 2004, followed by the 2005 SuperCamp described above, and another in 2006. SuperCamps are now planned as annual events, again for students selected from the after-school programs lead by their D.R. Quantum Learning teachers. The project has trained 976 teachers throughout the country in Quantum Learning teaching methods to date, so kids are being reached every day in their classrooms.

Enthusiasm for Quantum Learning remains strong throughout the Dominican Republic - from educational leaders and ministry officials of the country to the teacher who now has music and color in her classroom to the 12-year-old in the barrio who attended SuperCamp last summer. All of them feel the change and want it to continue. The lives of kids are changing - and education is changing.

Research Findings

Studies have confirmed extremely positive results from the Espacios para Crecer (EpC, Spaces for Growth) project. Started at the beginning of the 2004-2005 school year, EpC is a 3½-hour after-school program based on Quantum Learning methodology with three basic components: academic leveling (focusing on math, reading and writing); recreation (physical education, music, theater, art and literature); and life skills or personal growth. Findings of studies conducted for DevTech Systems, providers of the grant, include the following:

  • Preliminary observations and data are very positive from everyone related to the project, including parents, teachers and children.
  • Of 68 children who were administered questionnaires randomly, 98% (67) said the project makes them want to stay in school, 98% said they are learning more than before they entered the project, and 98% said they are making better grades since participating in the project.
  • Of 68 children who were administered questionnaires randomly, 98% (67) said the project makes them want to stay in school, 98% said they are learning more than before they entered the project, and 98% said they are making better grades since participating in the project.
  • The school teachers interviewed who are also EpC facilitators say the project and Quantum Learning have revolutionized their thinking about "active" teaching and learning. They say they are far more motivated to teach and they feel more qualified, as they learned new, creative methodologies based on participation, recreation, motivation, and artistic expression that make teaching more fun and interesting. Also, they feel better equipped to respond to the needs of at-risk children.
  • There are many cases of project children being promoted forward another grade in mid-year, even though many of these children had been repeaters for one or two years before.
  • On a scale of 1 (lowest) to 4 (highest), parents rated the program a 3.418 on the question of the degree of influence the program has had on their children.
  • "The teaching methods are inter-active and excellent. Quantum Learning has been a great success. ... As the Director General of Basic Education exclaimed during the stakeholders' meeting, ‘This program is exceptional and must be taken to the office of the First Lady.' She went on to praise Quantum Learning, with its triad of emphases on: (1) academic improvement, particularly in reading, writing and mathematics; (2) personal growth and integral human development; and (3) group dynamics, motivation, participation, recreation and artistic expression."
  • Regional representatives from the state secretariat of education observed that teachers have become more flexible and creative to make methodological changes in the official curriculum, for example, teaching students about computers without the presence of computers by painting computers on a piece of cardboard.
  • The EI project has a measurable impact on the quality of education.
  • Study recommendations included the following points:

    1. All schoolteachers in the first three grades of Basic Education should be trained in Quantum Learning (to date 976 teachers have been trained in QL through this project)
    2. Considerable additional funds and other resources ought to be provided to the project immediately.
In reference to a three-day Quantum Learning training course for 460 educators provided by this project, John Helwig, Ph.D., reported in an article for The Jayhawk Educator, Spring 2006, Kansas University, "One has only to visit a classroom of a teacher who has received Quantum Learning training to see the difference. Children are excited and disciplined, they participate readily, and they attend regularly."