© 2019 by Luna Learning LLC

OUR PHILOSOPHY

Our approach to teaching and learning starts with an assessment in order to tailor services to the individual, and continues with tutoring sessions that encourage active engagement.  

 

You can find below more detail on both of these elements.

START WHERE THE STUDENT SITS

Few investments matter more than a proper education, but everyone learns differently.  

Luna Learning avoids cookie cutter approaches because teaching and learning should focus on a student's individual path.  While we work toward achieving standardized academic goals, we start from different points and take varied routes to get there.

With these principles in mind, we begin with an assessment of the student’s context – learning goals, personal strengths and weaknesses, the steps necessary for the student to achieve success, and any personal circumstances that could affect learning. 

Customizing fit helps avoid inefficiency.  With students'  busy lives, we focus on what affects them most.  Thus, a proper assessment considers academic activities already required and how to employ classroom materials.  This approach not only guides the initial assessment, but also periodic check-ins, to ensure we stay on track.

Standardized test preparation requires a tweak. Assessment takes the form of pre-tests or related proprietary assessments that place the student’s needs in context.  Then, widely available supplemental materials are employed to address the student’s specific learning needs.  These materials focus directly on test performance and outcome improvement.

YIN AND YANG

Yin and yang says that nature consists of complementary forces that balance and require one another.  Too far out there for you? While the concept oversimplifies the intricacies of pedagogical theory and practice, and is too "new age" for some, it provides a useful organizing framework. 

Think of the teacher embodying one force and the student the other.  In the abstract, students learn when grappling with information that doesn't fit into their understanding of the world. But putting one's self in this position makes most uncomfortable. The teacher fulfills this role, creating "dissonance" in a deliberate, piecemeal, give-and-take fashion, as students fit new information into their world, grow and adapt. 

In this framework, the teacher and student need each other.  For yin and yang to balance, teacher provocation rings hollow without a learner who engages.  And engagement without a pestering teacher leaves a learner directionless.  Each of these forces (teacher and student) requires the other to make sense, to achieve balance and context.

So, what does this give-and-take look like?  It's a balance, of course!  At one end of the extreme, the “sit and get” method of teacher lecturing and passive listening falls flat.  At the other end, student-directed learning can wander.  Students without a guide to steer and push leave learning to the winds.  Yin and yang, therefore, means active roles for both student and teacher.  Both should be prepared to read, listen, and think, as well as write, speak, and react. 

A student must be open to the dissonance, willing to engage and respond, in a give-and-take fashion.  The teacher must keep in mind the day's goals and the lines of inquiry to reach them.  Both must be flexible about the direction learning leads while remaining focused on learning objectives.  

Constant inquiry helps us all improve our knowledge and skills. Careful listening should accompany argument and lead to reasoned counterargument.  Critical observation and articulate expression go hand-in-hand, as do thorough research and a thoughtful question.  Thus, each student has the capacity to improve. 

 

This conclusion eliminates the debilitating misconception that success comes through genetic chance, and not hard work.  Instead, each student has the natural capacity to grow and flourish, and each teacher can serve as a guide to ignite, nurture, protect, and direct learning to meet objectives in a competitive world.