About 110 years ago, Dr. Lightner Witmer, one of the early pioneers of American psychology was deeply concerned about the large numbers of students who were suffering from academic difficulties in school and started to scientifically observe and evaluate their psychological and intellectual status and provided customized special educational treatment and intervention with clinical methodology. Dr. Witmer, a founder of Clinical and School Psychology, established a Psychological Clinic at the University of Pennsylvania in 1896 where he started his first clinical intervention for special students referred to him from various schools in the region. He had a firm belief that with the help of well-trained psychologists and experts, students could overcome their difficulties and achieve successful psychological/ academic/ developmental/ physical growth.
Our Active Learning Center follows the steps of Dr. Witmer. Through scientific evaluation of each individual’s abilities, we aim to improve students’ academic abilities, and to decrease their psychological struggle, as well as to help parents lessen their own agony and suffering about their children, and ultimately build a positive parent-child relationship.
Since 2004, many bilingual students and their parents who have visited the Tree Group have expressed difficulties regarding the students’ academic endeavors and consequent struggle in parent-child relationships. For the most part, we have discovered child/adolescent psychological and behavioral difficulties find their root in academics which, in turn, are very serious and imminent issues in Korea.
As an institution following the methods of clinical science, we observed that by modifying ineffective study and learning habits with several clinical and educational interventions, students improve their performance in school and raise their confidence and mastery overstudying. In addition, we also observed a decrease in psychological and behavioral problems, which, eventually, led to happier children and families. Since helping students establish basic learning skills and abilities is most crucial in decreasing students’ troubles, the Active Learning Program can be seen as a program that reduces parent-child struggles significantly.
Therefore, following the steps of Dr. Witmer, the School of Life – Active Learning Program’s ultimate goals are:
- Increasing learning abilities and motivation through scientific evaluations on individual abilities,
- Decreasing emotional stress,
- Alleviating parents’ concerns, and developing positive parent-child relationships.