Qualitative and Quantitative Results
Year after year, academic achievement over time confirms anecdotal success. Projects build long-term growth in student learning, trauma resiliency, emotional intelligence and altruistic goal setting. The model has also earned citations across socio-economic groups as a promising practice for nurturing altruistic identities (1) and for “improving learning as it helps students reach across cultural boundaries.” (2) Full-Circle Learning received reports of positive growth in 2009 among globally connected classrooms in Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, North America, Panama, South Africa, Tonga and Zambia. (3) Data such as the following supports anecdotal reports:
- The Full-Circle Learning Academy-LA saw gains in standardized test scores of 19% in 2009, rising to 721. Resource specialists called it a model school after only two testing rounds. (4) During the same year, anonymous parent surveys showed that 84% of students increased their motivation to learn; 77% showed a greater desire to serve and help others and also were more likely to discuss positive lifelong goals. Additionally, 52-78% enhanced at least eight specific ethical, behavioral or leadership qualities and five academic or artistic skills.
- At a school 4,000 miles away, 100% of students reported new reflectivity about positive daily interactions and their influence on learning in a 2008 self-survey. (5)
- A California school made incremental improvements each year, becoming the highest performing low-income school in its district over the program’s first four years. School administrators largely credited the model. (6)
- Based on a five-year independent assessment, more than ¾ of students improved grade equivalency. Simultaneous parent surveys showed universal gains in motivation and social skills. (7)
- 100% of teacher evaluations in 2009 indicated greater levels of reflection about nurturing altruistic identities. (8)
- Secondary students reported, in a 2009 anonymous self-survey: 100% acted on their convictions by applying skills in the community; 86% set long-term life goals based on convictions; 75% showed increased empathy and acted on convictions in their daily lives. (9)
While each assessment tool represents a sampling of up to 600, collectively the samples submitted total more than 1700 students, reflecting a universal pattern.
1.Academy of Educational Development Promising Practices website, 2003 http://www.aed.org/Projects/afterschool.cfm;
3. Internal correspondence, grant reports, Full-Circle Learning, 2009.
5. Rawlings Elementary monkey.com surveys, 2007.
7. A. Blyther, 1999-2004; pre- and post-tests, WRAT-3 and Gray Oral Reading; 74% - 85% increased grade equivalency in basic skill areas each year; 50% improved more than one grade level if they remained in the program two years or more; (additional life skills surveyed included global awareness, empathy, leadership and the desire to serve others).
8. B. Nzila, Lwimbe Report, 2009; FCLA Evaluations, 2009; J. Lee, Zhejiang Normal University Report, 2009.
9. Rancho Sespe Full-Circle Learning Assessments, 2009.