Through this yearlong learning styles and study skills curriculum, you will learn how you learn, how to study, how to manage your time, who you are, and how to use your gifts and talents for success in school today and putting yourself onto your desired post-secondary pathway toward, college, scholarships, or a career.

Encouraging students to advocate for themselves is an important focus in our national college planning program. While not all students envision college as part of their post-high school journey, we developed a program to provide guidance and coaching support for students who have college-bound aspirations. We also believe in the approach to learning advocated by the authors of “Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning:” 

The popular notion that you learn better when you receive instruction in a form consistent with your preferred ‘learning style,’ for example as an auditory or visual learner, is not supported by the empirical research. People do have multiple forms of intelligence to bring to bear on learning, and you learn better when you ‘go wide,’ drawing on all of your aptitudes and resourcefulness, than when you limit instruction or experience to the style you find most amenable. [p. 4]

We believe that helping students to understand their personality, temperament, intelligences, mindset, and grit is the beginning of understanding who they are. Their goals and aspirations for the future provide insight into the type of person they want to be, things that they want to accomplish, and impact that they want to have in their family, community, or in the world. Developing strategies to better learn, avoid or resolve conflicts, and create spaces that are mentally and emotionally healthy, is “going wide.”

Each module opens with Guiding Questions reflecting two high value learning strategies, referred to as Assessing Prior Knowledge and Pre-thinking. Student responses to the questions will reflect prior knowledge of the topics being presented and stimulate thinking as to what students think they will learn. Each day wraps with with student responses to the affirmative statement, “What has become clearer to me.” While Summarization is typically considered to be a low value learning strategy, we have evidence that when students “go wide” by using their multiple intelligences to engage in thoughtful self-reflective narrative writing, summarization can be a high value learning strategy.

Students are engaged in the metacognitive process, supported by high value learning strategies, which can be further supported by the Socratic method (see following page), as used in our small group discussions. 

Metacognition is, put simply, thinking about one’s thinking. More precisely, it refers to the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess one’s understanding and performance. Metacognition includes a critical awareness of a) one’s thinking and learning and b) oneself as a thinker and learner (Click 2023).

These evidence-based approaches are essential to guiding discussions; deepening learning; and developing critical thinking skills. They have proven effective for students participating in our college planning program as evidenced by their pensive, thoughtful, and self-reflective writing shared across this series of books. We are confident that collectively, students will benefit from the 4-day experience by positively influencing their K — 12 success and expand their opportunities after high school.