Quantum Learning Research:
Consistent Impact on Student Achievement
The Quantum Learning model demonstrated a consistent pattern of positive impact on student achievement in 18 schools in four states. This impact included statistically and educationally significant gains in reading, mathematics, writing and more comprehensive measures of core academic achievement. Students who have participated in schools implementing QL have also shown a pattern of greater gains in achievement than comparison sample students not participating in the QL model.
External Evaluator for Program Improvement Schools
William Benn and Associates, 2003
With Quantum Learning, 17% of LD ISAT intensive math students met or exceeded the standards, compared to 0% in traditional classrooms.
Masters Study, Aurora University, IL
The students identified as performing below grade level, without Quantum Learning, would have been placed in remedial Math. After attending a 22-day Quantum Learning Program, 67% passed Algebra, while only 62% of regular students passed.
Masters Study, Thornton Township School District, IL
After Quantum Learning, 2 out of 3 students increased their grades.
Masters Study, 1991Brock University, Canada
97% of students felt the way Quantum Learning is taught in class, helped them learn better.
Paper presented at Eastern Educational Research Assoc. Conference, Tampa, FL
After attending Quantum Learning Programs, there was an average 85.8 point gain on SAT scores. 98% of students with a 1.9 and lower GPA improved their GPAs by an average of one letter grade. Overall students across the A-F range increased their GPA by half a point.
Doctoral Study Northern Arizona University, AZ
After Quantum Learning, learning challenged 8th graders, received the best GPA average ever.
17 As out of 28 students, only one D and no Fs.
Case Studies, Northwood Middle School, IL
After Quantum Learning, 98% of at-risk children have been successful in achieving average or above average success in literacy acquisition skills and are no longer in need of special education.
Action Research, 2000
Waterloo Region School District, Canada
63% of low performing students, after attending Quantum Learning, earned a GPA of 2.0 or higher.
Case Studies, Grossmont Union High School District, CA
Students develop both emotional and physical trust. Students begin to understand themselves becoming aware of personal attributes, feelings and thoughts.
Doctoral Study, California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno, CA
After Quantum Learning, students test taking skills increased 35%. Teacher’s perceptions of student self-confidence were 6 times higher than before the program. Students reported an average of a 33% increase in their own self-confidence.
Teacher and Student Surveys, 2001 Encinitas Union School District, CA
By Bobbi DePorter
Many people think of Accelerated Learning as any activity that speeds up the learning process. Such things as studying in groups and occasional activities may increase learning, but as valuable as these teaching tools may be, true Accelerated Learning methodology is much more than that. Accelerated Learning is a systematic approach to teaching the whole person, containing specific core elements that, when used together, empower students to learn faster, more effectively and joyfully. To occasionally turn on a baroque tape or hang a few posters is to use but a few elements of the whole process. To get the most from Accelerated Learning you need to know how and when to use each element and understand the theory behind it.
Developed in the 1970s, Accelerated Learning is based on the work of Dr. Georgi Lozanov, a professor of psychiatry and psychotherapy from Bulgaria now living in Austria. His early program, which focused on teaching a foreign language, included relaxation, visual arts and music. Students learned from one hundred to one thousand new vocabulary words a day with ninety-eight percent retention or better. He called his new method Suggestology, based on the theory that suggestions can and do affect the outcome of learning.
According to Lozanov, Suggestology is an organized way of augmenting natural learning. It builds on those methods that allow us to learn most effectively and efficiently, emulating some of the ways we learned as a young child. Suggestology recaptures that natural learning process and accelerates the understanding and retention of content.
Today's Accelerated Learning is multifaceted, encompassing a wide variety of methods and techniques. An effective Accelerated Learning program may include new findings in multiple intelligences, learning styles, neurosciences and cognitive psychology. But to be true to Dr. Lozanov's original intent, it must take into account the basic beliefs, theories, assumptions and core elements of Suggestology:
1. Learning is dual-planned or paraconscious - we learn through both our conscious and
subconscious mind. Suggestion is a powerful technique for tapping into the normally unused "reserves of the mind" to help the student learn faster and easier.
2. Everything makes a suggestion, either consciously or subconsciously. A student may be consciously listening to the teacher; subconsciously, his mind is aware of peripherals, the teacher's mood, tone and noises in the room.
3. There is no single stimulus. The very way we receive, or rather, perceive information is in a context.
4. Everything is constantly being processed, including symbols, rituals and associations.
5. There is no neutral: only positive or negative. Teachers need to make a concerted effort to create as many "positives" as possible, paying careful attention to creating a comfortable, safe and fun learning environment.
Teachers are the single most important factor.
Teachers must model and be congruent with the expected learning of the student.
Prestige of the teacher and method are important-learning is enhanced when the student has a positive belief in the teacher.
Beliefs in general are a crucial factor.
Teachers must believe in the virtually limitless capacity of the human being.
The "reserves" of the mind are unlimited; therefore, always give people more than they can do and act as if they can do it easily. (Taps into the unlimited reserves.)
Freedom of the individual must be preserved at all times.
There is need for ritual so learners come to expect what will be happening.
Learning is more effective in a physically and mentally stress-free environment-all learning should be relaxed and tension free.
The Physical Environment
Every effort is made to create a comfortable learning environment.
Lighting, temperature, color, plants and décor are taken into careful consideration.
Seating arrangements are open and flexible.
Appropriate and effective use of music enhances the learning environment.
Baroque music helps students relax and focus.
Upbeat music energizes students.
Peripherals are posters and visuals that reinforce lessons.
The information, or suggestion, contained in the peripherals is taken in by the subconscious mind while the student is consciously focused on the teacher or an activity.
The teacher must establish credibility with the students and be well trained in
Tonality of speech (pitch/tone/tempo/loudness/softness) is a technique used to capture the students' attention and emphasize key points.
Emotional safety is established and the tone is friendly and joyful.
Positive emotions influence the learning process and enhance retention.
Careful languaging emphasizes positive statements and avoids negative statements.
The teacher builds strong rapport and relationships with the students.
Art and Drama
The teacher uses props such as puppets, costumes, hats and artifacts to illustrate lessons.
Dramatics, including role-playing and storytelling, make lessons come alive.
Active and Passive Concerts
These elements are used in classic suggestopedic classrooms. Accompanied by selected
music, the teacher dramatically reads a story imbedded with information and main points from the lesson. Using the proper voice tonality is a crucial part of effectively telling the story.
The teaching frame is the element that brings it all together into a harmonious flow. A strong frame gives the content structure, effectively taking students through a successful learning cycle. Dr. Lozanov's original process includes three phases:
1. Prepare: Begin the class by preparing the students for learning. Plant early suggestions, including the ease of learning the material and an overview of content. Create a global picture and make connections with prior learning.
2. Active: Give the students an experience of the learning. Create total learner involvement. This includes active concerts, hands-on activities, demonstrations and debrief.
3. Passive: The lesson continues with reflection and review. Use this time for passive concerts and other review activities, followed by an appropriate close celebrating the learning.
Although Accelerated Learning frames used by practitioners may vary in particulars and labels, their similarities validate the effectiveness of the methodology. The following chart outlines the frames of several prominent practitioners.
As the chart shows, there are a number of successful frames for orchestrating Accelerated Learning. To give a better idea of how a frame works, the Quantum Learning teaching frame follows as an example. This frame was developed by Quantum Learning Network, a company specializing in Accelerated Learning programs for students, educators and businesspeople through its SuperCamp and Quantum Learning programs.
Quantum Learning Frame
Enroll: Hook the students with an intriguing opening statement and global picture of the lesson. Pique their curiosity. Give them a glimpse of what is to come without revealing too much. Enrolling students establishes rapport and ignites a desire to explore.
Experience: Give students an experience or activity that demonstrates the lesson. Create a
need to know. An experience creates curiosity and emotional engagement. It allows students to tap into prior knowledge and make connections, adding meaning and relevance to the content.
Label: Drop the "data" in at the moment of peak interest and discuss its relevance to students' lives. Explaining the lesson after the experience capitalizes on the student's natural desire to label, sequence and define new learning.
Demonstrate: Provide opportunities for students to translate and apply their new knowledge to other situations. Giving students additional activities demonstrates to them what they know, and builds confidence.
Review: Cement it in the students' minds. Review strengthens the neural connections,
Celebrate: Celebrate your students' success. Celebration brings closure by honoring effort, diligence and success.
The Quantum Learning teaching frame ensures that the lesson is taught on several different levels. Enrolling the students first piques their curiosity, creates excitement and raises expectations - all positive emotions. Allowing them to experience the lesson through a game or activity engages the student, making the lesson more concrete and more fun. At the end of the activity, students may have more questions then they began with - this is the teacher's cue to "label" the information, explaining and debriefing what was just learned. A demonstration helps students connect their experience with the new learning, and a quick review cements it in their memories. Finally, the class celebrates their success - with high-fives, saying words of acknowledgement, playing upbeat music, or giving a class cheer. Though the students may not know it, the entire lesson was a carefully orchestrated Accelerated Learning experience.
Numerous variants and syntheses of Lozanov's original work are now applied to all subjects and ages and collectively called Accelerated Learning. In fact, Dr. Lozanov himself has developed on-going variants to his original work. He now uses both the terms Suggestology and Desuggestology-a science focusing on the conditions under which inhibited creative abilities and other 'reserves of the brain' and psyche can be freed for more effective learning and teaching.
Snapshot of a Typical Accelerated Learning Classroom
In the Accelerated Learning classroom, the teacher sets the tone - positive, alive, friendly
-greeting each student who comes in the door with a warm comment or affirmation. Eye contact, a friendly gesture and a few simple words - "Hello! Glad you're here. We're going to have a great day!" - these elements help overcome any negative feelings the students may have and subtly "suggests" a positive frame of mind and successful outcomes. Over time, the teacher has established a rapport that makes the students feel safe and relaxed. Upbeat music streaming from the boom box creates a positive atmosphere and helps students look forward to the day's events.
The classroom itself is carefully arranged: lighting, plants, seating arrangements, music, posters that reinforce lessons and values have been well thought-out to contribute to the learning environment.
The music stops, students take their seats, and the teacher continues preparing them for learning with an intriguing statement or question: "If you suddenly found yourself in an isolated area of the Sierra Mountains, how would you survive?" The teacher then gives a global overview of the geography, climate, flora and fauna, then throws them into an activity while suggesting the ease in which they'll learn. The students become actively involved, trying to figure out how they might survive through a simulation, role playing or other activity. At completion of the activity, the teacher then leads a debrief on what they discovered or learned (Would they have survived?), followed by an explanation of what the early settlers experienced and how they survived. The students return to their simulation to apply their new learning, demonstrating to themselves that "I did learn something!"
The lesson continues with review and reflection with the teacher holding cards with pictures and questions, and the students calling out the answers in unison. The teacher follows with a story that reinforces the lesson, while students relax to baroque music. The lesson closes with students telling a neighbor something they learned, followed by a "Yes!" and high-five, in celebration of what they learned.
Other lessons follow with a similar flow throughout the day, continuing a joyful, positive
atmosphere. The teacher pays special attention to the "state" or attentiveness of the students and plans for frequent breaks. Just as students began the day greeted at the door being prepared to be open and curious, an overlay of the Accelerated Learning frame also began, layered over the day, the week or section, in iterations.
Careful orchestration is the key to a successful Accelerated Learning classroom. All elements must be integrated into a unified whole. Students do not realize suggestions are being imbedded or the teacher is carefully guiding their learning. In this environment, learning is natural and spontaneous.
Proven Results of Accelerated Learning
Accelerated Learning has been shown to speed up the learning process and increase comprehension, retention and critical thinking skills. Teachers who use Accelerated Learning methods report higher test scores and grades, enhanced motivation and self-esteem, and greater class participation.1 Corporate trainers who use these methods found they were able to teach more, in less time, significantly raising their training effectiveness ratings. 2
A doctoral dissertation on the affects of Accelerated Learning at SuperCamp involved 6,042 students, ages 12-22, and utilized quantitative and qualitative data over a seven-year time period. Results showed 84% of the students reported having increased self-esteem, and ninety-nine percent of the students indicated they had continued to use the skills learned after the 10-day experience. The students who entered with a 1.9 GPA or lower attained a one-point GPA growth, on average, after the program. Overall, students across the "A" through "F" range made a half-point growth after 10 days of instruction. The study noted, "It is apparent that the program had a profound effect on students' lives, emotional outlook toward themselves, their parents and peers, and education in general."3
Those who have fully adopted Accelerated Learning methods report outstanding results. Peter Anderson, principal of Northwood Middle School in Illinois, states: "Kids report enjoying school more and having more tools to succeed. Early indications show that students seem more proficient in spelling and vocabulary and feedback from parents shows that their children are more motivated. The atmosphere is more positive and upbeat. It's helping to bring an air of fun to learning."
Lori Brickley, San Diego County Teacher of the Year, also reports great success: "These methods made things happen with the kids that I couldn't believe. Quantum Learning (an Accelerated Learning methodology) provides the theory and means to interject more fun in learning and reach more learners through brain compatible teaching. Six weeks into the school year, my "at risk" students experienced a one point grade jump."
These are the kind of results that can be achieved when Accelerated Learning methods are carefully and systematically applied. The teacher must have an in-depth understanding of Accelerated Learning to make the many elements of this diverse methodology into a unified whole. Accelerated Learning is a multifaceted approach to teaching the whole person, as diverse in its techniques as the students themselves.
1 Masters Thesis by Sarah Singer-Nourie, Saint Xavier University, May 1998
2 Various studies and reports from corporations
3 Doctoral dissertation by Jeannette Vos-Groenendal, Northern Arizona University, May 1991
DePorter, Bobbi, Mark Reardon, and Sarah Singer-Nourie, Quantum Teaching, MA: Allyn &
DePorter, Bobbi, Quantum Learning, NY: Dell Publishing, 1992.
Quantum Learning Network
SuperCamp – Education - Products
International Alliance for Learning (IAL)
Quantum Learning Method Keeps Up with Rewired Brains
We now know experiences (and our thoughts, feelings and actions) change the brain.
With teen (and all of our) experiences changing so rapidly (internet, video games, MTV, fast ad sound-bites etc.), their brains are changing rapidly—and are different than teen brains 1-5-10 years ago.
Our teaching methods (to these brains) need to change with the times. Quantum Learning methods are about matching. Matching the audience…getting in the teens’ world and bringing them to the learning in engaging, exciting ways.
Human beings of all ages learn best when a learning experience begins with a hands-on activity coupled with whole-body integrative movements. Real-time, real-world, first-hand concrete learning experiences for both children and adults provide the most substantive basis for concept development, conceptual understanding, and the potential for concept extension. In Quantum Learning we teach “Experience Before Label.” This is an important tenet of learning.
Hands-on/minds-on/hearts-in learning opportunities involving tactile, cognitive, emotional and social connections make possible the subsequent comprehension of symbolic presentations and they also foster abstractions and the creative thinking process. The mental constructs derived from first-hand experience later serve as the foundational basis for hypothetical constructs (the “what if” questions) leading to the highest levels of cognition and creativity. There is no comprehension without picturing! (QL brain idea #1). And when students comprehend new concepts, they are then able to develop more complicated thinking processes around that concept.
Brain Research: Who Needs It?
by Pat Wolfe, Ed.D., author and educational consultant
Neuroscience, or brain research, is the study of the brain and discussion of the possible implications and applications of research findings. There is much research that confirms what experienced educators have long known and used in their classrooms. What the research adds is an understanding of why certain procedures or strategies work so that educators no longer have to operate intuitively but can articulate and explain the rationale for what they do. The better we understand the brain, the better we’ll be able to educate it.
A functional understanding of the brain and how it operates is necessary for critical analysis of the vast amount of information that is inundating us daily. If we as educators are to receive full benefit from what we read – and be viewed as professionals – we need to develop a solid knowledge base that reflects an accurate understanding of the research. We need to look critically at the source of information.
Too often, “facts” about brain functioning are reported on the basis of one small study or worse, from poorly conducted “studies.” This results in what might be called pseudo-science, statements that often begin with, “research proves,” when in actuality the study needs to be replicated in a variety of situations or with other subjects before it can be considered valid or reliable.
However, accurate research findings have much to offer the field of education and are worth our time and attention. Here at last may be the answers to some of the problems we’ve struggled with for so long. Why do some students learn to read quickly while others have such a difficult time? How can a student sit through an excellent lesson on Monday and on Tuesday act as if he/she has never heard the information before? What causes ADHD or autism and how can we help students with these and other disorders?
Although we don’t yet have all the answers to these questions, we are getting closer. We are not neuroscientists, nor are we researchers in the technical sense. We do, however, work in the laboratory called a classroom and have a tremendous amount of knowledge of the teaching/learning process. It is up to us to decide how the research informs our practice. As new findings continue, brain research will provide a better framework for understanding the very complex job of teaching the human brain.
Brain Research: How Do We Use It?
Get the brain’s attention
Make it meaningful, relate or create
Add Emotion (but not too much)
Create Brain-friendly Activities:
Metaphors and similes
Integrate and synthesize
Embed text within Context
Quote from Pat Wolfe:
“Brain research does not tell us what to do in a classroom. Only educators, with their knowledge of the teaching/learning process, can determine if or how the research applies in any particular setting.”
More Brain Facts
By Richard Restak, MD, Author of: The New Brain: How the Modern Age is Rewiring Your Mind (Rodale Publishing)
Chap 1 Brain Plasticity: Your Brain Changes Everyday
A pivotal concept underling our understanding of the new brain is plasticity.
Plasticity is the brain’s capacity for change.
Brains are not fixed in structure or function. (As recently as a few years ago, most neuroscientists believed that brain plasticity largely ceased by adolescence or by early adulthood at the latest. At this point the brain became fixed in its structure and function)
Our brains never lose the power to transform (itself) on the basis of experience, even in short intervals of day-to-day experiences.
In the last two years there is a new technology (magentoeneethalograthy or RTMS) that now let’s us study the brain in real time. It records magnetic fields of the brain.
Chap 2 Genius and superior performance: Are we all capable?
“People with extraordinary abilities, it’s turning out, have learned to use their brains differently from the average person.” (Chess masters activate long-term memory. Skilled amateurs activate areas that code new information.)
The Primal Teen by Barbara Strauch 2003
Experience molds brains. (pg 37) “Experience changes the fundamental structure of the brain….And any links between experience and brain development are likely to apply to teenagers as well.” (pg 39)
Teen brains are not fully developed. Their prefrontal lobes, where decisions are made, are still developing. (This explains their tendency toward risky behavior and acting before thinking.)
Recap and inferences: We now know experiences (and our thoughts, feelings and actions) change the brain.
With teen (and all of our) experiences changing so rapidly (internet, video games, MTV, fast ad sound-bites etc.), their brains are changing rapidly—and are different than teen brains 1-5-10 years ago.
Our teaching methods (to these brains) need to change with the times.
Quantum Learning methods are about matching. Matching the audience…getting in the teens world and bringing them to the learning in engaging, exciting ways.