Our founder, Dr. Deanna Martin, has served the field of developmental education for more than a quarter century. At the University of Missouri – Kansas City, Dr. Martin served as the Director of the Center for Academic Development, Director of the Center for Supplemental Instruction (SI), and Associate Professor in the School of Education. Dr. Martin created both Supplemental Instruction, SI, and its offspring, Video-Based Supplemental Instruction (VSI). Her scholarly and professional contributions include numerous publications, research studies, conference keynote presentations, consultations, and training workshops with faculty and staff worldwide. Additional publications by Martin are available at the SI/VSI website (http://www.umkc.edu/cad/si/).
This program provides the members with their personally tailored and self-designed audio session that speaks on an individual basis. The session calls you by name, uses music that you select personally in the voice of a narrator also chosen by the individual.
The user also selects the preferred method of relaxation from a variety of scenarios dependent upon the location or tome of day in which the student will be listening to the audio session. Daytime meditations, bedtime meditations, or sessions that may be played while taking part in a daily activity such as the gym or a nature walk. Personal Audio Session Therapy (PAST) is the name of our meditation-based individual audio media tool for the new online program, studyingme.com.
The program is focused on equiping the student with the tools of relaxation, self-empowerment, self-realization, and self-efficacious coping skills, thereby further blueprinting positive structures mentally to overcome maladjusted emotive responses common in test takers of all types and backgrounds. A set of life skills are taught here. A stress free belief system becomes a part of the students inner most being. Confidence and determination to succeed are now the positive beliefs the student experiences.
Test anxiety disappeares!
The following excerpt is from an interview conducted with our Founder, Dr. Deanna C. Martin, regarding the program she developed in the 1970’s which is now being used in college campuses worldwide. Her plan for the future as desribed near the end of the interview is the program we are now pleased to be able to offer to students worldwide.
Student Empowerment and an Expanded View of Developmental Education:
An Interview with Dr. Deanna C. Martin
(This interview has been transcribed verbatim from the original text)
This interview provides an opportunity for her to reflect on her perspectives on the past, present, and future of developmental education.
Deanna: In one sense, of course, one might see that as the existential question: since a lifetime of development leads only to the grave, why bother? The existentialist answer might be that: it is the one great creative opportunity given to each individual, to create oneself in a form that pleases her or him. Or others may choose a more spiritual answer, “to fulfill God’s plan for our lives,” or the more materialistic answer, “to realize our full potential as individual human beings.”
Deanna: I see development as a process that all humans engage in from birth to death. All of us are in various stages of development throughout our lives.
An audio recording guides each member on a personal journey of self-discovery and introduces them each to the greatness within. There is significance within each individual as uniquely his as a fingerprint. This potential was impregnated in you at the moment of your conception. Proper coaching is sometimes needed to manifest this gift, this uniqueness that only you possess. Your destiny is uniquely yours and Studyingme.com can light a pathway from which you may guide it into being.
Exam Anxiety is one of the leading causes of failure among students worldwide.
Our Mission was first engaged by Dr. Deanna C. Martin, founder of our parent organization, Worldwide Education, Incorporated. Our purpose is to train students so they may remove the personal stressors leading to these low-test scores.
Rational emotions replace maladjusted constructs — what is this? Negative self-talk is almost always and surprisingly enough to the student sure to be found as a culprit. We uncover the wrong thinking causing the fear, train and instill new self-beliefs and teach successful behaviors. The changed student emerges with a newfound confidence in their personal ability and thereby possess the ability to perform well.
A changed student emerges, one with transformed beliefs and predictable results.
A God of Your Own Understanding
The distinguished American psychologist, William James, in his book “Varieties of Religious Experiences,” indicates a multitude of ways in which men have discovered God. We have no desire to convince anyone that there is only one way by which faith can be acquired. If what we have learned and felt and seen means anything at all, it means that all of us, whatever our race, creed or color are the children of a living Creator with whom we may form a relationship upon smoke and understandable terms as soon as we are willing and honest enough to try. Those having religious beliefs will find here nothing disturbing to their beliefs or ceremonies. There is no friction among us over such matters.
We think it no concern of ours what religious bodies that our members identify themselves with as individuals. This should be an entirely personal affair, which each one decides for himself in the light of past associations, or his present choice. Not all of us join religious bodies, but most of us favor such memberships. Surprisingly enough we find such convictions no great obstacle to a spiritual experience. Furthermore, clear-cut directions are given showing how we recovered. Alcoholics Anonymous, Fourth Edition Pages 28-29
Paula Cramer & Dr. Martin
The Many Faces of Developmental Education
Editors Jeanne L. Higbee and Patricia L. Dwinell, Dana Britt Lundell Assistant Editor
(This interview has been transcribed verbatim from the original text)
Student Empowerment and an Expanded View of Developmental Education: An Interview with Deanna C. Martin
Deanna Martin has served the field of developmental education for more than a quarter century. At the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Martin served as the Director of the Center for Academic Development, Director of the Center for Supplemental Instruction (SI), and Associate Professor in the School of Education. Martin created both Supplemental Instruction and its offspring, Video-based Supplemental Instruction (VSI). Her scholarly and professional contributions include numerous publications, research studies, conference keynote presentations, consultations, and training workshops with faculty and staff worldwide. Additional publications by Martin are available at the SI/VSI website (http://www.umkc.edu/cad/si/). This interview provides an opportunity for her to reflect on her perspectives on the past and future of developmental education.
INTERVIEW WITH Dr. Deanna C Martin
Interviewer: The editors of this monograph tell me that the publication will deal with “the many faces of developmental education.” As one who has been involved centrally in this field for a quarter century, why don’t you give us your view of the future of developmental education? Deanna: Many talk about “developmental education” as if educators agreed on its meaning, but the title of the monograph implies the reverse. There really are widely diverging views.
Development of whom or what? Development for whom? Development for what purpose? I have my own set of answers, of course, just as others have theirs. Interviewer: Let’s start with “development.” How do you define that term? Deanna: I see development as a process that all humans engage in from birth to death. All of us are in various stages of development throughout our lives.
Interviewer: Where do you see this developmental process leading us?
Deanna: In one sense, of course, one might see that as the existential question: since a lifetime of development leads only to the grave, why bother? The existentialist answer might be that it is the one great creative opportunity given to each individual, to create oneself in a form that pleases her or him. Or others may choose a more spiritual answer, “to fulfill God’s plan for our lives,” or the more materialistic answer, “to realize our full potential as individual human beings.”
Interviewer: How do you see development in the philosophic sense tying in with development of academic skills?
Deanna: First of all, I don’t actually differentiate between academic skills and life skills. Think about what both require. In each situation, we need to think and to articulate our thoughts clearly, inquire into things we don’t understand, understand the difference between knowing and not knowing, plan a reasonable course of action, work efficiently to reach a conclusion, know where to find help when we need it, keep an open mind . . .
Interviewer: You are saying that in your view, the skills of academia carry over into life.
Deanna: They are the same skills, although they often go by different names and present in different guises. For example, note taking, an academic skill, has a place in non-academic life. An elderly friend of mine recently observed that her note taking and filing skills had improved a great deal, now that her memory is becoming less accurate. Notetaking aids recall and planning, whether in the academic world or outside it.
Interviewer: Carrying that a bit further, would you agree that what we are really talking about is the meta-skill of problem-solving? Notetaking being one part?
Deanna: You have it. Problem-solving, or critical thinking. It is difficult to pin down something as abstract as a sphere of intelligent action and pin a label on it. I see the skills of recalling, organizing, planning, and executing a plan —all of those —as part of the process. Interviewer: Reading is another aspect of the process? Of what you are calling “a sphere of intelligent action?” Deanna: Sure. Research and inquiry are aspects of executing a plan, and reading is one way of researching a subject. There are many others.
Interviewer: Like what? Deanna: Most people don’t read as their first resort when researching a subject. More likely, they ask someone else, using verbal inquiry to narrow the field of inquiry and then to read when they have exhausted their other resources. Interviewer: Isn’t that the approach that underlies Supplemental Instruction (SI), the support system you developed at UMKC? Helping students to identify the skills they need to meet the requirements of an academic course? And then helping them to acquire those skills? Deanna: The key in the SI approach is student empowerment. Focusing on “empowerment” sounds like a cliché today, but it was radical stuff in the early 1970s. Letting the student determine the skills she needs to work on is central to empowerment. Otherwise, students tend to go through the motions, seeing the activity as an end in itself rather than as a part of the process. Seeing it as the teacher’s or leader’s agenda rather than their own. Interviewer: You are saying that you see empowerment as the goal of developmental education. Deanna: That takes us back to your original question. Some in our field would restrict the definition of “development” to the development of skills: reading, writing, note taking— whatever those skills are. Interviewer: I take it that you don’t agree. Deanna: I don’t agree that those skills are ends in themselves. I don’t agree that they can be taught in isolation from the setting in which students will use them. I agree that for a student to become self-actualized in academia, the student may need to acquire or develop or sharpen those areas, but it is for the student to come to that realization, not for an agent of the institution to impose that judgment.
Interviewer: How is the student to know which skills are deficient? It is common practice in our field to test students’ competency in various skills and then to direct the student into remedial or developmental tracks where the student will develop the skills. Do you share that view? Deanna: Not at all. Would you like me to expand on that issue? Interviewer: By all means. Deanna: Educational research in this century has followed a reductionist pathway. Researchers have sought smaller and smaller entities as the objects of their study. Interviewer: An example? Deanna: As a doctoral student, I was told by one of my professors that he had two pieces of advice: “Limit your dissertation topic to the eyelash of a gnat, and keep your eye on the hood.” I have no reason to think my advisor was unique; in fact, my informal survey suggests that others received much the same advice: to choose something narrow and do-able. Save your “big ideas” for later, after the Ph.D. That was nearly a litany.
Interviewer: And you think that led the field to a reductionist pathway? Deanna: If you multiply that one advisor by hundreds and the one student by tens, then you have expansion by three orders of magnitude. And when you add that publication largely relies on statistical evidence and when most of the research in our field seeks correlation among variables like test scores and outcomes, then reductionism seems to me to be inevitable. Interviewer: Let’s get back to the question of testing. Why not test? Deanna: First, we have little solid evidence that the factors we test for make any real difference. Reading? Poor readers have done well in the university. They probably don’t major in literature or philosophy, but they don’t have to. Interviewer: There are subjects for which one needs prior knowledge or mastery. Physics of motion, for example, requires understanding of vectors. Chemistry requires balancing equations and understanding logarithms. Deanna: True, and I have no problem with that kind of testing. The testing I question is the assessment leading to placement. If testing leads to advising students, to involving them in planning their coursework, then I have no objection. I object to what has become an industry of placement testing. Engaging a student in a discussion of test results is quite different from denying a student enrollment in a chemistry class because she missed the cutoff score on a math test. Interviewer: So it isn’t so much the testing you object to; rather you object to the use of testing to mandate curricula. Deanna: I object to setting any limitation on the human spirit. Is that too esoteric? I don’t believe anyone has the right to limit the aspirations of another, and that is in fact what happens to many students, especially if they are poor when they are denied access to the regular curriculum and shunted instead into a track that doesn’t lead to a degree. Middle-class students are more apt to have the time and money to divert into a developmental track. Poor students are more likely to agree that they need better skills, but all too often they fail to appear when classes start or drop out within the first few weeks.
Interviewer: Then you must have an idea of how to teach chemistry, for example, to someone who doesn’t know how to balance an equation or history to a student with poor reading skills. Deanna: Yes, I have. But first, I want to tell a story about the work one of my Center colleagues did with the economics faculty. My colleague had been coordinating the campus SI program and had personally been conducting the SI sessions in economics. Historically, economics had a high failure rate and the faculty wanted to develop a pretest for macroeconomics. The Center staff member offered to help them. Working with the economics faculty, he developed a pretest of 21 questions based on 6 or 7 skills that the faculty all agreed were prerequisites to the study of economics. The skills included the following: (a) read a definition taken from the first chapter of their text and then pick an example of the definition from a group of 5; (b) read a paragraph from the first chapter of the textbook and pick the subject of the paragraph from a group of 5; (c) find a bit of data on a table; (d) read a line graph; (e) read a bar graph; (f) calculate the slope of a line in terms of Cartesian coordinates; and (g) solve a simple algebra problem. That was about it. The faculty agreed that any student who missed any item on the test would be in trouble and that we might pre-teach the concepts for students who showed weakness in any area. Interviewer: You thought that any student who missed any question would have trouble with the course? Deanna: That’s what the faculty thought. That is not what the staff member thought. When he administered the test on the first day of class, we all learned that not one student in the class of 100 answered all questions correctly. But what he did next, that was stunning. On a hunch, he administered the exam to the students across the hall in the second economics course. They were all students who had declared their major in engineering, economics, or business. They had also earned grades of C or better in the first course. When the second set of pretests was scored, the results were nearly identical. Not only did the students not have those skills when they went into the first course; they didn’t have them when they emerged with passing grades! Interviewer: Why tell that story? Deanna: To illustrate that it isn’t easy to prescribe in the academic setting. And, of course, that is my point about placement tests.
Interviewer: And you are arguing that testing is reductionism in practice. But what is the alternative to reductionism? Deanna: Holistic education. Interviewer: Do you mean by that what methods books sometimes refer to as the concept of “the whole child?” Education faculty remind us frequently that we are involved with “the whole child,” and not simply the child’s mind. Is that what you mean? Deanna: I believe I’m coming at it a bit differently. I’m coming at it from the perspective of medical science, and particularly research in neurophysiology. Interviewer: Are you referring to the research you and your associates did on brain electrical activity (EEG) in the early 90s? Deanna: That was certainly where we started, and I think we were on the right track. Our hypothesis was rooted in a concept of neuroplasticity—the idea that the brain continues to develop after birth. We thought that an enriched intellectual environment might generate synaptic proliferation, an increase in neural connections, and actual changes in the structure of the brain. We were working with medical students from all over the U.S. to get them ready for their national board exams. Most of them had been sent to us by the deans of their school because they had failed the exam, some of them several times. The deans wanted the students to pass and graduate but had been unsuccessful at determining what had gone wrong. We set up a six-month-long board preparation program which occupied students in scheduled activities from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily, six and a half days a week. That included time for meals, for exercise, and for massage. They lived and worked together. They had no scheduled activities Saturday evening nor Sunday morning. Interviewer: What did you do with them all those hours? Were they in classes? Deanna: First of all, we are neither sadists nor masochists. None of us wanted a schedule like that. The students forced us into it. They simply wouldn’t go home. They were waiting for us at 6 a.m. They demanded keys to the building. They were still there at 11 o’clock at night, working in their small groups. Actually, they were only in lecture about four hours a day. We rarely put them in whole courses. Rather, we developed mini-courses consisting of what we thought of as the critical units of instruction within the seven basic sciences of their medical curriculum. The rest of the time was spent either getting ready for the lectures (preview) or de-briefing the lectures (SI). Then there were daily question groups where students practiced reading, interpreting, and answering board-type questions. Most of the day students were immersed in dialogue: they were talking, listening, comparing information, arguing, working problems out on the board, drawing diagrams. In short, they were figuring things out. They were self-correcting, self-modifying. In all phases of the program, we involved the students closely in setting their short-term goals. Their long-term goal, of course, was to pass the test. Our long-term goal was to prepare them for a lifetime of studying and preparing for the tests that characterize the medical profession: boards, in-training exams, specialty boards, re-certification. We thought of all this as holistic education. Certainly, it was developmental.
Interviewer: How specifically did the EEG studies fit in? Deanna: The EEG was part of our three-day diagnostic workup on students. We were particularly interested to see if the studies revealed changes in inter-hemispheric coherence patterns. In one study we found that over the course of the six-month program, those students who had been previously diagnosed as Attention Deficit Disordered (ADD) showed brain activity patterns that came to more closely resemble those of the other students. The brainwave patterns of the ADD students were significantly different from the rest of the students when they first came to the program. Interviewer: Did these students pass their exams? Deanna: Yes, of course. Our success rate with the whole population exceeded 90%. Inevitably, our work attracted for-profit imitators, although none of them were able to surpass our early achievements. It may be of interest to note that the national success rate on retest in those days was in the neighborhood of 15%. However, for our overall population of students who were predominately minority and who had failed the test multiple times, the predicted pass rate was negligible.
Interviewer: Working with students that long and for so many hours a day must have been a very rewarding, if not exhausting, experience. What did you learn from this experience?
Deanna: We learned volumes. This work more than any other shaped our understanding of the devastating effects of tests designed to exclude. National boards in medicine are forced failure exams. No matter how well everyone does, ten or more percent will fail by design. It also taught us that given the opportunity and the appropriate support, students can transform themselves. They can discover what they need to do and they can do it against all odds. Interviewer: But these are, after all, medical students, the so-called “cream of the crop.” Can you really compare them to the more typical students we see in developmental education? Deanna: I know it flies in the face of what seems reasonable, but our experience is that the problems these students have are not unlike the problems that all students have, from adolescence onward. The problems don’t differ very much in kind. They differ in the level of sophistication. The material is more difficult and the stakes are higher, but the problems are all the ones we already know: reading, mathematics, proportional reasoning, planning, problem-solving, listening, egocentrism….
Interviewer: What was the most satisfying part for you? Deanna: Seeing the transformation. We even had parents and spouses call and say, “What did you do? My son [or daughter or spouse] came back a different person.” But in truth, we didn’t do anything to them. They did it themselves. We created the opening for change. We also held the faith for them when they could not hold it for themselves. I think that was important. Another thing that made a profound impact on us was to hear the comment we often heard from students: “For the first time since I began to study medicine, I have the time to understand what I know.” That phrase drove home to us the futility of these students’ previous efforts to learn from hour after hour of lecture. Our universities still create that same kind of a hostile environment for many students.
Interviewer: Getting back to the EEG question, were you doing with the electroencephalogram what others are doing with Positive Emission Tomography (PET) scans and super high tech equipment? Deanna: Indeed, we were trying. We had neither the resources nor the staff to permit the use of PET, but contemporary researchers are validating our hypothesis. Studies of neuroplasticity that Manfred Spitzer reports from the University of Ulm in Germany demonstrate that the brain continues to develop long past childhood. The research of Hannah and Antonio Damasio at the University of Iowa adds a major dimension to the field, as well. Their studies of consciousness set an entirely new direction for education of all students, not just those engaged in “developmental education.” Interviewer: You apparently think of this as a new development. Deanna: Let me get historical for a moment. Education is emerging from ages dominated by the thinking of Copernicus, Galileo, and Newton—the idea of a mechanical universe, in which everything moved and behaved according to a predetermined set of parameters. More recently, educators have talked of people in terms of yet another mechanism—the computer. People could be programmed to behave in this or that way. The discoveries of quantum physics recognize that the smallest units of matter are not matter at all but are quanta of energy. The development of chaos theory recognizes certain non-random variations in events previously thought to be totally random. And then there is the research that suggests that consciousness is not only a property of the mind but of all living cells. These among other developments must change the way we educators think of our tasks. Education must take notice of these new areas of research because they stand on its head the idea of the student as a programmable entity, a tabula rasa in Rousseau’s thinking.
Interviewer: How do you see educators responding to these changes? Deanna: I don’t know. This is a new frontier for science. Only now are the articles beginning to pour in. But of this, I feel certain: Manfred Spitzer has, with neurophysiological observation, largely validated the view of Piaget that learning is a developmental process, and that in that sense, all education is developmental. Assimilation precedes accommodation, and learning must proceed from assimilation of what is new into an existing framework. I know that also sounds mechanistic, but I don’t know just now how else to express it. Interviewer: As I hear you talking, I understand that you see SI as a way of teaching that is consistent with the new discoveries you mentioned. Deanna: Ironically, SI first won recognition from those who hold the mechanistic view. University administrators on my own campus saw that students persisted longer in the university and graduated at a higher rate when we added SI to the curriculum. If they were interested in the fulfillment of students’ potential, they didn’t say so. They responded to the data that showed a cash return that was greater than the money invested in the program. For administrators, most of whom were engineers or MBAs, that fact had charm. They saw that SI paid dividends, and they liked it for that reason. Interviewer: And you? Did you like it for that reason? Deanna: I liked it for what I thought it did to help students develop their own potential. I sold it, however, on the basis that it was a cost effective and powerful retention tool. Interviewer: Now you have gone on to develop what you call Video-based Supplemental Instruction (VSI). Can you talk about that for a moment? Has VSI the same roots as SI? Deanna: Yes, basically. VSI comes from the thinking of Jerome Bruner in the 1960s. He taught us that anything can be taught in some intellectually honest manner to anyone. In that, he was one of the first to reject the idea that the human mind had some mechanical limits. I think that was one of the most significant statements by an educator in our time, recognizing that even the most immature mind is infinite. We translated that into “What one person knows, another can learn.” Interviewer: Well, how do you see the Internet and online education fitting into the picture? Will you participate in that?
Deanna: Sure. We are participating in it now with VSI and other distance education opportunities. But for the most part, I see the use of education on the Internet representing yet another exclusionary mode. It has been 50 years, nearly, since Brown vs. Board of Education in Topeka, and now here we are again, with a separate but equal system. In that sense, Internet based education is regressive. It favors the wealthy and those who have self-actualized as independent learners. It operates at the expense of the poor and those most in need of personal development. Interviewer: There are some who appear to be disadvantaged in net-based education as much as in the traditional system. Deanna: Exactly. When I ask those involved in on-line education what percentage of failures they encounter, they respond with euphemisms. They don’t have failures; they have “noncompleters.” It is, of course, the same story as with correspondence schools of old. They never had failures, although the rate of noncompleters ran as high as 90%. Interviewer: You mentioned VSI. How does VSI fit into your concept of developmental education? Deanna: It recognizes that small groups of motivated people, working together with mutual respect, can master the most difficult academic disciplines. Again, this is the same scenario as with the medical students. Interviewer: And you do this without a teacher? Deanna: We have both a teacher and a facilitator. The teacher’s lectures, however, are on video. If we are using VSI for a whole course, introductory physics, for example, we ask the professor to work with us to place his lectures on tape. We build into the tapes such things as preview activities to get the students ready to respond positively to the lecture; periodic stops for activities and discussion at pivotal junctures during the lecture; and stops for reviews and test taking preparation after a lecture is complete. In other words, the transmission of information proceeds at a rate no faster than students are prepared to understand. While the course mirrors the same rigorous standards as the traditional lecture sections, extended time allows the facilitator to “back-fill” the basic information that students may need in order to compete favorably with students in the regular sections of the professor’s course. In short, the VSI model attempts to integrate the basic knowledge and skills students need for mastery of core curriculum courses while students are enrolled in the course itself. We see this as a sensible way to mainstream developmental education into the core curriculum. It maintains the high standards that faculty strive for while it gives less prepared students the time and support they need to excel. Interviewer: Excel? Deanna: Yes. Students who might otherwise fail or perform poorly (or who have already done so in the past) earn As and Bs for the most part. Grades below C are rare. Interviewer: How do you explain that? Deanna: I believed when we developed this process, and I believe even more firmly now, that learning occurs when the groups of students are trying to assimilate the lecture material, helping each other to understand. Again, this goes back to Piaget and Spitzer’s more recent research that I mentioned.
Interviewer: I understand that you have tried VSI on your own campus. Have you tried it in other venues? Deanna: We’ve tried the same form in a variety of settings with several different groups of students: rural Midwestern high school students, urban South Africans trying to access the local university, and urban American underachievers. The subjects ranged from chemistry, physiology, and physics to western civilization, accounting, and mathematics. Most recently, we have offered arithmetic in third and fourth grades in the inner city. Interviewer: You mentioned South Africa. I know you have established programs as well in Europe, Australia, and the Caribbean. Why do you think your work has had such a reception in other parts of the world? Deanna: For the same reasons as in the U.S. Among administrators, the retention and graduation rates are important. Among mid-level administrators and faculty, the issue of student development seems paramount. In South Africa, however, the story is different. In that troubled nation, the administrators of the previously White, apartheid institutions recognize the need to transform their universities. Changing attitudes toward students—especially students from the Black majority—is a key part of that transformation process. SI has been effective not only as an academic support program and a retention tool, but it has provided an opening for students to study together and get to know one another. At last count, SI now operates on some 30 South African campuses. Many more are signed up for training by staff from the University of Port Elizabeth, our central training site for sub-equatorial Africa. Interviewer: I know you have recently stepped down from the directorship of the Center for Academic Development. In view of your commitment to the SI and VSI programs you began, why did you decide to do that? Deanna: Well, 25 years in one job is probably enough for anybody! Also, I need more freedom than the directorship of the center permits. I want to take SI and VSI into new directions, and I didn’t feel that I could do that while managing a center as comprehensive as ours. Our Vice Chancellor, Larry Dietz, is permitting me to work directly for and with him. I feel very fortunate to get to do what I want to. This also gives me the opportunity to do the research and writing that I’ve neglected. My first project is to complete an international monograph on SI with samples of the brilliant work done in other countries. I’d also like to finish a full-length book with some of my colleagues on our work in developmental education. Interviewer: Tell me more about these new directions. Deanna: First, the venue. I believe SI—and even more so VSI—has the potential to change the nature of community education. It can operate outside the established educational systems, many of which have lost all credibility, both with the populations they serve and the populations that support them. I have long wanted to bring VSI into the public schools of our inner cities in a way that is supportive of both teachers and students. It seems to me ironic that we had to first take VSI into South Africa and show that it works there in order to earn the necessary credibility to try it at home. I believe that it can contribute to education in our own troubled cities as substantially as it is contributing to education in the new South Africa. Secondly, the emphasis. I want to explore the new frontiers of consciousness—the issues I spoke of earlier. I’m interested in it from both a scientific and a metaphysical point of view. In order to do that, I need to immerse myself in these disciplines. Actually, I think that the exploration of consciousness may well be the new arena for developmental educators. Interviewer: Well, we will look forward to hearing more from you on that subject. It sounds as though your next 25 years will be as exciting as your first.
Gladys Shaw University of Texas – El Paso
Whatever the social conditions might be, there is still the task of explaining the varied directions that personal lives take at any given time and place. This requires a personal, as well as a social, analysis of life paths. Analysis of behavioral patterns across the lifespan reveals that, in addition to the prevailing sociocultural influences, fortuitous events often exert an important influence on the course of human lives (Bandura, 1982b). There are many fortuitous elements in the events people encounter in their daily lives. They are often brought together through a fortuitous constellation of events when their paths would otherwise never be crossed. In such chance encounters, the separate paths in which people are moving have their own chain of causal determinants, but their intersection occurs fortuitously rather than through deliberate plan. The profusion of separate chains of events provides innumerable opportunities for fortuitous intersections.
Such chance encounters often play a prominent role in shaping the course of career pursuits, forming marital partnerships, and altering the future direction of other aspects of human lives. (Bandura, 1982b)
Addresses the centrality of the self-efficacy mechanism (SEM) in human agency.
SEM precepts influence thought patterns, actions, and emotional arousal. In causal tests, the higher the level of induced self-efficacy, the higher the performance accomplishments and the lower the emotional arousal.
The different lines of research reviewed show that the SEM may have wide explanatory power. Perceived self-efficacy helps to account for such diverse phenomena as changes in coping behavior produced by different modes of influence, level of physiological stress reactions, self-regulation of refractory behavior, resignation and despondency to failure experiences, self-debilitating effects of proxy control and illusory inefficaciousness, achievement strivings, growth of intrinsic interest, and career pursuits.
Further, the influential role of perceived collective efficacy in social change and the social conditions conducive to development of collective inefficacy are analyzed.
click here to learn more about SEM
Undue stress caused by irrational core beliefs is one of the leading causes of exam failure among students worldwide.
Worldwide Education, Incorporated has known this for decades and has worked with individuals in campus settings to overcome these fears leading to stress. Stress is the ultimate reason behind low test scores for many.
Meet the Team
Dr. Deanna C Martin
Worldwide Education, Incorporated
Founder & CEO of Supplemental Instruction
Let me tell you why I am so enthusiastic about “I AM,” the parent organization to studyingme.com. For one thing, we have over 38 years of positive data in many venues: universities, colleges, high schools, grade schools, neighborhoods, hospitals, community organizations, etc. Much of it is published. Additionally, we can put you in touch with most of those who have experimented with the model and would be happy to share their experiences. We have a wide network of users. Of course, supporting this network is the international network of SI, Supplemental Instruction, which is a Peer Assisted Study Program and VSI, Video Based Supplemental Instruction, practitioners, trainers, and researchers, which you represent. Your knowledge and skills, and those of your SI/VSI colleagues around the world are the unique feature of what we have to offer.
Another reason for enthusiasm stems from the fact that our means of education does not have to start with building a school, hiring teachers, buying books and uniforms for the students. The physical expense of the standard educational model precludes the participation of most of the world’s citizens. Formal education is simply out of the question in terms of cost.
Our approach, however. can be implemented anywhere there is electricity (even solar technology is available), a monitor, the videos, a trained facilitator, some basic supplies for writing, and manuals for the facilitator and students. We could even do with one of each of the manuals if funding were scarce. If our students want accredited courses, there will need to be a liaison established with a school or university that will develop the videos or approve one of the many available courses for credit. Facilitators can then call he tests when their students are repaired; the test is proctored, and exams sent, graded and credit given.
Director, Paula S Cramer
Managing Partner of
Individual Audio Media, Incorporated
Co Founder of studyingme.com
Using the video-based supplemental instruction methodology developed by Dr. Martin & Dr. Blanc, cross-discipline groups of hospital personnel convened for discussion of material drawn from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA, USA. The discussion groups challenged both traditional and emerging beliefs concerning the transmission of the disease and emerged with consensus on the steps to be taken to ameliorate the problem of the spread of the disease among health care workers.
Also participating in charitable religious organizations from the United States that provided technical and financial support of the project.
Established the Program for StudyingMe, www.studyingme.com an educational footprint that funders will want to embrace because of its power, simplicity, and the immediate availability of human resources to ensure successful adoptions. Whether we would be totally satisfied to improve the opportunity for our own students or whether we yearn to put on our traveling shoes and dig into problems far away, VSI offers the potential to do both.
Dr. Robert Blanc
Consultant to Worldwide Education, Inc.
Dr. Blanc, following a long career of teaching in public schools, came to assist Dr. Martin in establishing the program of Supplemental Instruction, “SI” in the health science schools of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Dr. Blanc went on to lead the Supplemental Instruction program expansion into the College of Arts and Sciences. Subsequently, as Curriculum Director of the School of Medicine (UMKC), Dr. Blanc developed a unique preparation program for medical students and professionals who encountered difficulty in passing qualifying board examinations in their particular fields. That program expanded into the Institute for Professional Preparation on UMKC campus.
After retirement from the University of Kansas in 1997, Dr. Blanc served as Vice Chair of the Academic Board of St. George’s University in Granada in the eastern Caribbean.
More recently, with Dr. Martin, Dr. Blanc founded Worldwide Education, Inc., a non-governmental organization devoted to the development of educational programs in developing nations and among disadvantaged populations in the United States.
Miami-Dade College Collaboration Project
In 2006-7, Dr. Deanna Martin and Dr. Robert Blanc participated in the development of a new Supplemental Instruction program at Miami-Dade College Homestead Campus, Florida. Particularly concerning to the staff of the college was the high and rising rate of student failure in areas if math and sciences. With the addition of the Supplemental Instruction program, the rate of ‘unsuccessful enrollments’ declined substantially, and the program continues to show positive results in both achievement and retention of students.
Also participating in the program: AFTA
Lima, Peru Collaborative Project
Four of the Directors of Worldwide Education, Inc., participated in a program to reduce the incidence of antibiotic-resistant tuberculosis among the hospital personnel in the hospital of Lima, Peru. Dr. Deanna Martin, Dr. Carin Muhr (Uppsala University, Sweden), Dr. Kari Feldt (Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden), and Dr. Robert Blanc played specific roles in the development of the program that aimed to change the ways hospital personnel understood the transmission of the tuberculosis bacillus and the ways they interacted that might affect the rate of transmission of the disease.
We know that this opportunity can change your life if you will take the first step.