FOR MORE than seven years, pupils at Friendship Valley Elementary School have been studying "intelligent behaviors" and integrating them into their educational life. Now, the pupils have been given the opportunity to introduce these skills to someone from another country.
Veronica Reyes Aguto, an English teacher from Chile, has been visiting the school since Jan. 27 to observe how the school uses Arthur Costa's "intelligent behaviors" program.
In this program, youngsters are taught 12 skills that, if practiced, should help them become successful learners throughout their lives.
These skills are: being persistent, managing impulsiveness, listening, thinking flexibly, checking for accuracy, knowing what you know and what you don't know, questioning, using prior knowledge when facing new challenges, being clear and precise, using all of your senses, being creative and enjoying problem solving.
"Anyone observing the children can tell that the children who've been here from kindergarten on have begun to internalize these behaviors," said Friendship Valley Principal Pat Dorsey. "The beauty is that these behaviors are just valuable cornerstones that carry over into all subject areas and interactions with others."
Costa, who lives in Hawaii, was chairman of the Department of Educational Administration at California State University, Sacramento. He serves as a consultant and travels around the world discussing his educational program.
Last summer, he met with Chilean school officials interested in folding his learning program into their school reform. While there, Costa mentioned Friendship Valley was a very successful example of the "intelligent behaviors" program, and the seeds were planted for the visit, Dorsey said.
"We're learning as much from her as she's probably learning from us," Dorsey said, adding Aguto has shared a great deal about her country and culture. "It's been a worthwhile experience for the children as well."
Aguto is planning to stay at Friendship Valley until Friday. In addition to being an English teacher, Aguto is coordinator for the "intelligent behaviors" program, which will be introduced at three of her city's schools this year.
"It has been a delight to host her," Dorsey said, adding Aguto has been staying with staff members during her visit. "She is a wonderful house guest."
Support local talent
Westminster High School's annual talent show is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 17 in the school auditorium at 1225 Washington Road.
As usual, the show -- sponsored by the school's newspaper, The Owl -- will feature a variety of performances from talented students of all grade levels.
Auditions for this year's performance were held last month.
Amy L. Miller's Central neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.