the fun-fast way
computer technology. We have Spanish in our school. We have tai chi in
They tell their friends, and they're very excited about
So are the parents. An average of 20 turn up each day to
What about the results?
"Academically, the performance changed
dramatically," says Alexander. "The year prior to our teachers being trained in
integrative, accelerated learning techniques, only 27 percent of our kids were making a
year's growth in a year's instruction. A year subsequent to that, the rate went up to 54
percent, and in math it went to 58 percent." *
Dr. Larry Martel, President of Interlearn Integrative
Learning Systems in Hilton Head, South Carolina, surveyed the results after that year. And
he reported a 103 percent increase in reading scores and an 83 percent increase in maths
and reading combined. In two years Guggenheim went from being at the bottom of Chicago's
Subdistrict 16 schools to second from the top.
It would be great to report that its efforts have
completely turned around a whole community. But the district still has one of the highest
homicide rates in the country. The poverty still remains. For those students who stay on
at Guggenheim, the overall achievements remain high. But many transient students are there
for too short a time to have other than a glimpse of their true potential. And the
surrounding neighborhood bears daily testimony to America's urgent need for the same kind
of innovative approaches to social problems that Guggenheim has brought to schooling.
Fluent French in eight weeks
* Michael Alexander is no longer principal at Guggenheim, but new principal Nancy
Ellis has continued with an expanded program.
For a class demonstration of accelerated learning in
action, an excellent example comes from Beverley Hills Girls' High School in Sydney,
In the early 1990s they introduced an accelerated
learning course that successfully compressed a three-year French course into eight weeks.
Says teacher Sylvia Skavounos: "I was amazed. We'd had a standard French course for
two-thirds of a year before we started. Yet in the two weeks after we began, the students
had learned at least 200 new words, and they could say them fluently" - much better
in two weeks than the previous several months.27 The course they chose was
Contents Page Preface