Posts Tagged ‘Workshop Way’

“We all learn in our own way…” – Grace Pilon

I’ve been asked to republish my June 16, 2010 article on WorkShop Way, one of the best ways to truly educate children. WorkShop Way is a sensitive and sensible combination of specificity, structure, and genuine caring for–and about–students (and teachers and parents!). – Doc Meek 😮








Photos from WorkShop Way (TM).


We’ve been blogging about changing the world, or changing the world by changing ourselves.

Many have suggested that instead of the focus being on changing the world or changing ourselves, the focus should be on LOVE.

We are not talking about the popular culture version of love here. We’re certainly not talking about sensual love. We are talking “filios,” “brotherly love” or “sisterly love.”

We are talking about simply caring about others (say, children and students) in a genuine personal way, no matter what their academic performance is, no matter what their behavior is.

This is not easy. We do have to learn to love and respect ourselves first, completely, with our combination of strengths and weaknesses, as we learn to love students completely with their combination of strengths and weaknesses.

If love and respect are performance-based, if love and respect are conditional, they don’t work very well. Not safe. Not secure. No ultimate trust. Students need the trust to move ahead confidently.

Respect and love are effective!

And they are do-able.

Teachers or parents, for example, are not just simply purveyors of subject matter or rules.

In the classroom this translates, according to Grace Pilon, into paying attention to specific and obvious TRUTHS that apply to all of us, and certainly to students. She liked to see teachers put up LEARNING TRUTHS posters in their classrooms.


  • We respect the rights of others.
  • It is intelligent to ask for help.
  • It takes courage to be willing to risk.
  • We are free to make mistakes while learning.
  • Everyone has a right to time to think.
  • We don’t have to know everything today.

These learning truths posters are not just for decorating the wall with “nice sayings.” The teachers refer to one or more of them daily, in the course of the day’s lessons, so that the students will learn how to apply them effectively. ……………………………………………………………………………………….

This applies to children in the home environment as well.

This needs more discussion in a future posting.


Doc Meek, Neurological Learning Specialist, Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA, Wednesday, June 16, 2010

P.S. Recently Susan Bostik commented on the above post, and I replied to her post as follows:

Dear Susan,

I am very grateful that you have reminded us all of the value of a single child, of every single person in this classroom called earth.

Many a child struggling in school (or simply bored to tears, struggling in a different way, eh?), has been saved by Grace Pilon’s Workshop Way.

You can prove this for yourself by checking out any of these links:

Official Website:



Academic Journal:

Doc Meek:

Not only is the child saved (revived, survived) in school, they grow up to become better parents at home (or wherever they work elsewhere), and better members of their communities, their churches, and everywhere they are in this… our common classroom…

Mother Earth.

Susan, thank you for pointing us to the nature of true education:

It’s ripple-out effect, spreading its value in ever-widening circles—for all time and all eternity—and throughout the entire cosmos (known and unknown to mankind).

And to womankind of course. :o)

They (womankind) are what makes the world worth living in, and living for.


Doc Meek, Neurological Learning Specialist

Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA, Tuesday, April 29, 2014

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What can one teacher do?

Amazingly . . . one teacher can do quite a lot

In a book called Strategies to Inspire Active Learning: Complete Handbook, designed to help teachers develop classrooms where students are more involved their own learning, Dr. Merrill Harmin (2002) reported a retrospective study done in Montreal, Canada.

The researchers located a neighborhood that was not good. It was known for its unemployment, poor housing, drug usage and violence. Then they located an elementary school in the middle of that neighborhood. No one expected anything good to come out of being educated in that school.

Sure enough, as the researchers located adults who had attended that neighborhood elementary school, going back over 25 years, they found that most of these adults were not in decent housing, were unemployed, and were suffering from addictions of various kinds.

Such negative findings were “predictable,” given the nature of this decadent neighborhood and the tough job teachers had in that school trying to provide a decent education for the children.

However, there were some nice surprises.

What did Miss “A” do?

Some adults who had attended this “hopeless” elementary school lived in decent housing, were employed and were not addicts. This was amazing, given the bad start they had in elementary school.

An even greater surprise awaited the researchers as they connected each adult back to the teachers they had had in this elementary school.

A very high percentage of the successful adults had all had one particular teacher in Grade One. They named her “Miss A” in their study.

“Miss A” was just a regular “ordinary” teacher. However, she did not accept the idea that a poor family and a bad neighborhood equaled education without hope. She defied the immediate evidence and concentrated on the children in her Grade One classroom

She couldn’t fix the families and she couldn’t fix the neighborhood, so she concentrated on what she could influence: every student that walked though her door and became a member of her class. She mentally reminded herself, every day, “No child is ever going to leave this classroom not knowing they have value.”

She concentrated on every child having dignity and respect, regardless of their behavior or academic performance. And she concentrated on the idea that every child could learn more and more, as time went on, about managing themselves, educationally and behaviorally. She helped them develop their own small community in her classroom, and they helped each other learn.

The story was told of a visitor to her class. She noticed that the kids were actively involved in their own learning, and not slouching and discouraged like so many of the other students in other classes. They seemed cheerful and bright. The visitor walked over to the desk of one particularly hard-working boy, looked at his excellent work, bent down and whispered in his ear:

“My . . . you are a smart boy.”

The boy looked up at the visitor, and said cheerfully:

“We’re all smart in here.”

Well said.

Doc Meek, April 28, 2010

Sherwood Park, Alberta, CANADA; South Jordan, Utah, USA

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