The following is a letter received from the parents of a boy who participated in the CHIP program. They express the common concern that students with more control over their learning will squander their time. They were pleased to discover that this was not the case.
“Early last year our son presented his interest in The CHIP Program, and we expressed several concerns regarding its validation. He was at that time losing interest in the educational system altogether. He was experiencing great disillusionment regarding learning. He expressed a genuine interest in CHIP with its attractive alternate form of teaching. We quickly assumed that a lack of structure would open up opportunities to ignore work and seek easier work habits. The inevitable avoidance of more difficult challenges would foster an unhealthy learning attitude. We felt, knowing our son’s personality, that his work attitude would migrate to accept opportunities requiring the least amount of effort. After much discernment we decided that we would accept his arguments and agreed to The CHIP Program. Now after nearly five months in the Program we would like to make our assessment from the results we see developing in our son.
“We feel fortunate that he has included and shared with us his pains and joys that he has experienced in CHIP. We have noticed that he has regained much of the excitement for learning he naturally hungers for. He seems to have discovered his strengths that have given him a tremendous insight for his future direction. Constantly we observed encouragement to expand his imagination, and direction to bring ideas to a practical completion, direction to better manage his resources of time and knowledge. It is through programs such as CHIP that our educational system is actively evolving to address the educational demands of today’s needs. By encouraging our children to learn for themselves we feel they will be better prepared for the complex society of their future.”
The following was written by the mother of a girl in CHIP. Her family had been back in Canada for only a couple of years after living for an extended period in Asia. Her daughter’s “friends” (other CHIP students) were ordinary students so the mother’s note, along with the CHIP anecdotes, helps to demonstrate that self-directed learning can work with the full spectrum of students.
“One of my daughters participated in this program (CHIP) and it was the first time since returning to Canada that she has been excited about going to school and enthusiastic about doing her assignments. I watched her and her friends help each other, discuss projects, plan their assignments and ignore the T.V. in order to do their work. She was eager to discuss with us what she was doing. She is now back in regular classes and is not nearly as challenged as before. This latter is not a criticism of the teachers. When students have to plan their work and teach themselves, they put more into their work. The guidance she received was sufficient for her to do well and enjoy herself while working.”