School of the Nations, in Brasilia, a highly accredited private school, welcomed students from varying cultural backgrounds and social classes. Many diplomats sent their children there.
Full-Circle Learning-trained teacher Denali Weiler offered the teachers of the School of the Nations professional development workshops to learn how to use the model to improve the relevancy of learning. In her own Ethics class of 8t h graders, she demonstrated “best practices” of Full-Circle Learning in action.
Through units that each integrated a habit-of-heart with a challenging issue, resolved in service-learning projects, Denali taught students to recognize the value of service to humanity as a springboard for learning. She also paired them in teams with children from younger grade levels. Her students thrived, offering statements such as these:
“We help others because we are all part of the same world and we must care about everybody.” - Tomas Bath
“I think ‘Reading Partners’ is important because while we are helping the young children, we are also helping ourselves to be patient...” – Mariana Barros.
“Each project reinforces the current Habit-of-Heart and culminates in a local or international service project,” explained principal Lisa Perskie.
A few 8t h grade students known for classroom disruptions improved their attitude and aptitude so much, they became the school’s highest achievers. On graduation day, their principal asked what had made the difference for them—why they had suddenly strengthened their leadership capacity. The students responded that with altruistic projects as focal points, they finally understood the purpose of learning.