There are some who say that to move mountains you must start with the smallest stones. However, when it comes to helping students rise above the mountainous challenges they face in school and on benchmark tests, the answer, according to long-time education industry expert Neil Chyten, lies far below the surface.
Neil Chyten is founder of the national franchise, Chyten Premier Tutors and Test Preparation, headquartered in Lexington, Mass. In a recent presentation to parents assembled in the library of the Lynch School in nearby Winchester, Chyten coined the phrase “tectonic learning” to describe a method of affecting profound change in a student’s life.
“It is process of achieving academic success by building a student’s core competencies, which include non academic strands such as motivation and self–awareness. It is almost magical what you can accomplish if you simply focus on building a student’s core strengths. When you strengthen students at their very core, you effectively change their lives. By solidifying the inner forces that drive academic performance, we can alter the trajectory of each student at a very early age and make a difference that will, quite literally, last a lifetime.”
What are those forces? According to Chyten, “Students must first have strong fundamental reading and writing skills, because these are the means by which students acquire and transmit information. Next, students should be confident when speaking up in class or when making presentations, as these skills are critical to situations that arise in the real world. Finally, students must be self-motivated and should love to learn. Together, these are the essential factors that form a student’s core. By helping a student feel confident and motivated, we can accomplish so much more than we can by simply forcing that student to do something as abstract and meaningless as rote memorization. Tectonic learning is just such a nice way to describe the process of inspiring a child to move mountains and reach for the stars.”