What Our Clients Say


“Teachers have begun to see teaching from students’ learning perspective.   They see students as individuals with different learning styles.   Their lessons plans are more student-centered and more comprehensive.   Teachers plan for long term and use the state standards as a vehicle to achieve their teaching goals.   Students are more directly engaged in their learning.   They are active learners instead of passive listeners.   Students feel they have greater input into their learning.   They have the flexibility to choose how they express their competency of the state standards and lesson objectives.”

            Doug Allen, Principal, Ignacio Conchos School, Phoenix, Arizona

“In this day of accountability and high stakes testing, schools and school districts are seeking highly effective programs that will improve instruction.   Morris K. Udall chose Different Ways of Knowing to be the catalyst of change.   The implementation of Different Ways of Knowing not only met our requirement, it went beyond our expectations in how it positively impacted out teachers.   For our teachers it became more than a program, it became part of their teacher DNA.   Their philosophies were forever changed.   Looking outside the box, utilizing multiple innovative strategies and infusing the arts became the norm as well as the expected.   This effective way of instructing created a successful learning environment for all students.   This was rewarding and motivating for the teachers.   At the time of implementation over 80 percent of the staff was new to the teaching profession.   The success of the students was a result of the high quality teachers that emerged through the use of Different Ways of Knowing.”            

Danielle Amos, former Assistant Principal, Morris K. Udall Escuela de Bellas Artes, Phoenix, Arizona

“By 1999 our school was on the state’s needs-improvement list. With more than ten different languages and cultures represented in our school, we were looking for a partner to implement an improvement plan that would help us focus our needs around our English language learners and translate that work into successful practices with all students. We needed more effective, schoolwide strategies to allow our increasingly diverse student population to meet the Oregon state content and performance standards, so we selected Different Ways of Knowing.
      I saw students becoming learners and not just gaining knowledge they needed for a test. I saw teachers trying new things, taking new steps in their professional development, and working together to build commitment, focus, and accountability into their daily professional practice. Our reading scores on the state tests increased from 54 percent of third grade students meeting and exceeding standards in 2001 to 76 percent in 2002. And third grade students enrolled continuously at Jason Lee from 2000 to 2002 showed an 11-point gain in the state reading assessment compared to a 9.6 percent district gain. Based on our data, we were selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration Promising Site and cited by the Education Trust as producing strong academic results on reading and math tests by students from minority or low-income families.”

Christine Bogdanow, Principal, Jason Lee Elementary School, Portland Public Schools, Oregon

“We decided to partner with Different Ways of Knowing in order to focus our school culture on academic rigor and best instructional strategies and to help our students rediscover their natural love of learning. Our sixth graders made gains in reading/language arts while sixth grade scores in the rest of the city decreased. In math, our sixth grade students showed gains three times higher than the gains of other sixth graders across New York City. As a result, our school moved up nineteen places on the city ranking. The following year, academic achievement again rose schoolwide. We’re proud of our school!”

Charles Dluzniewski, Supervising Principal, Department of Education Supervisory Support Program, New York City

“Different Ways of Knowing helped our school work as a team and showed us how to institute school change over time. Our test scores show that it has paid off. Over three years, our average state accountability target was fourteen points and we made an average gain of thirty-two points each year.”

Alfonso Gamino, Former Principal, Eastside Elementary School, Eastside Union School District, California

“With the help of Different Ways of Knowing coaches, we now have a language with which to have conversations about professional practice that extend into practical applications in the classroom with students.”

Allison Couch, former Principal, Clarendon Elementary School, Portland Public Schools, Oregon

“The tremendous gains at MS 296 result from a combination of factors: our teachers’ openness to a new way of teaching and learning, the incredible support given by Different Ways of Knowing consultants, and an increase in teacher motivation due to Different Ways of Knowing’s new and innovative methods.”

Linda Faucetta, former Principal, Halsey Middle School 296, Community School District 32, New York City

“We had three overriding goals at the beginning of our partnership with Different Ways of Knowing: to enrich student instruction, to promote student involvement and engagement in their learning, and to provide unique professional development for the teachers. Different Ways of Knowing helped us meet each of our goals.”

Denise Yates, former Principal, Minadeo Elementary School, and Senior Program Officer, Literacy Plus, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pennsylvania

“We have been implementing the Different Ways of Knowing strategy of teaching for the past seven years and feel that this philosophy and practice contributes greatly to our professional development of our teachers and to the success of our students.”

Larry Lock, Principal, Adairville Elementary School, Logan County School District, Kentucky, 2000–2001 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

“As an experienced principal, I have never seen a more uniting force in a curricular arena than Different Ways of Knowing.”

Ron Bouchie, former Principal, Central Elementary School, Bemidji School District, Minnesota

“Different Ways of Knowing is making a significant impact on teacher practice. Teachers are much more creative in their approach to students learning. They’re using more hands-on learning activities and cooperative learning groups as well as movement, song, and other arts-in-learning strategies across the curriculum. I’ve also noticed more collaboration among staff members and with peer coaching partners. Students are more engaged in their learning and are gaining a better understanding of concepts. Classroom presentations and hall displays of student work are becoming more creative each year.”

Kristine Kuntz, Principal, Racho Elementary School, Taylor School District, Michigan

“My teachers frequently tell me that all students are engaged in learning activities and that more and more kids are seeing themselves as learners. One of the most appealing aspects of Different Ways of Knowing for us is the match with our essential objectives and state standards.”

Jolene Heibel, former Principal, Betz Elementary School, Bellevue Public Schools, Nebraska

“Even though we attempt to embed best practice instruction into our school, we have never had a model or exemplar to use to make that our philosophy. To continue the path to proficiency, we feel systemic change must occur. We feel Different Ways of Knowing is the vehicle to accomplish this.”

Mike Hurt, Principal, Auburn Elementary School, Logan County School District, Kentucky

“One of our main goals is to teach a standards-based curriculum. That’s one of the reasons we chose Different Ways of Knowing as our school reform initiative—the curriculum is well aligned with our district and state standards.”

Teri Abbot, former Principal, Carson Street Elementary School, Los Angeles Unified School District, California

“Different Ways of Knowing has shown us just how wonderfully students can learn.”

Dayla Sims, Principal, F.D. Roosevelt/Carson Elementary School, Lawndale School District, California

“This was, by far, the most outstanding professional development I have experienced as a principal… Everything was focused on student achievement. The teachers on my leadership team and I are leaving with a concrete plan about how we can take steps as school leaders to accelerate achievement for our students.”

2004 National Institute Participant

Charter School Directors

“As a charter middle school committed to the arts and humanities, we saw a partnership with Different Ways of Knowing as giving us the necessary resources and support to revitalize the way we educate middle school students in our community. Our work with Different Ways of Knowing has significantly improved teacher practice and translated into student achievement. On the state standardized tests, our students outscore their counterparts from the local public middle schools in all subjects tested including math, language arts, and reading. A Different Ways of Knowing professional development plan supports every teacher’s growth in making a vision of student achievement come true.”

Ref Rodriguez, Director, California Academy for Liberal Studies Charter Middle School, Los Angeles Unified School District, California

“Through Different Ways of Knowing, children discover the meaning of their life’s experiences, build on what they know and can do, and employ the sounds, textures and colors of their imagination to create literacy in multiple ways.”

Elisabeth Douglass, Director of Education, Para Los Niños Charter School, Los Angeles, California

“Different Ways of Knowing brings a formal and thorough approach to curriculum and instruction. Its research-based strategies provide a sound basis for improved instruction, student assessment, and ultimately, student achievement. It provides a common language that will improve the educational conversation among the staff. The professional development workshops and coaching raise the effectiveness of staff development to a point where it maximizes the effect on students in the classroom.”

Ted Culver, Director, New Beginnings Academy Charter School, Ypsilanti, Michigan

On-site Facilitators/Teacher Liaisons/Title I Coordinators

“Different Ways of Knowing has opened the avenue for teachers to explore and use new techniques and styles in the classroom, and with the assistance of coaches, they have learned to become better craftsmen in their classrooms.”

Aubrietta Woodall, former On-site Facilitator, grades 6–8, Auburn Elementary School, Logan County School District, Kentucky

“Different Ways of Knowing has helped us understand standards-based teaching in a way that allows our second language learners to access the curriculum in ways they never have before.”

Phylis Hoffman, Title I Coordinator, Los Angeles Unified School District, California

District Personnel

“Different Ways of Knowing is effective in changing the culture of a school and in empowering teachers to empower children and young adolescents. It allows students to be recognized as individuals.”

Rose P. Molinelli, former Executive Assistant to the Superintendent, Community School District 27, New York City, and President, Middle School Principals’ Association of New York City


“By incorporating the arts, my students have another avenue to express what they are learning, especially those who don’t speak English or who are beginning to learn English. Different Ways of Knowing brings learning to a higher level.”

Marianne Shibly, ELL teacher, Gregory Heights Elementary, Highline School District, Washington

“When students use art materials in math, it makes their solution come alive to the rest of the class. It’s a lot of fun. It focuses more on the students’ thinking and their solution strategy.”

Dr. Robin Ittigson, mathematics resource teacher, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pennsylvania

“Our children show they know by writing, telling, drawing, singing, and moving. They know that being literate involves more than having the ability to read and write. Helping my students see mental pictures and search for more descriptive language improves their literacy skills. I am more conscious of my inquiry methods by probing deeper in my questioning.”

Patricia Abernathy, first grade teacher, John Essex High School, Marengo County School System, Alabama

“I’m learning that kids learn to understand in different ways—some need to see it, some need to hear it, and some need actually to touch it. I give my students time, help them along the way, and eventually they show me just what they know.”

Maricela Padilla, former fourth grade teacher, Roy P. Benavidez Elementary School, Houston Independent School District, Texas

“I can’t begin to express all that I have learned from Different Ways of Knowing. I’ve learned to assess student work in ways that are helpful to students. I’ve learned to create a student-centered classroom. I’ve learned how to teach so that the students really get it!”

Tina Craig, second grade teacher, Couch Elementary School, Couch R1 School District, Missouri

“Different Ways of Knowing allows the whole being of the child to flower. It nurtures the total child to more fully appreciate himself or herself as a unique and esteemed individual. At the same time, it prepares the student to have a global perspective and become a fully actualized adult of the twenty-first century.”

Mary Arndt, Library Media Teacher, Edison Elementary School, Salt Lake City School District, Utah

“Different Ways of Knowing has helped me unite students from diverse backgrounds and cultures around a common interest—the history of a country in which they now all share. I’ve seen significant progress from my students this year, particularly among second language learners.”

Ronald Walker, teacher, Long Middle Community Education Center, St. Louis Public Schools, Missouri

“One of the Seattle Public School standards is to have students evaluate their own learning and to set personal goals. I think that the ‘knowing you know’ activities embedded in Different Ways of Knowing match up perfectly with this goal because they involve students reflecting on their own learning.”

Jim Buckwalter, third grade teacher, Concord Elementary School, Seattle Public Schools, Washington


“Using the arts helps us memorize things because it makes it more fun and interesting.”

Sixth grade student

“When I’m doing something with art, it makes me want to read more about it to get a description and put it in my artwork…If I do a hands-on activity, it sinks in more, I can remember it more.”

Eighth grade student

“Visual learning makes it easier to understand science and math, and it helps me have fun in class while I learn…”

Eighth grade student

“The arts help us understand better and stay awake in class.”

Seventh grade student

“You can learn visually . . . you can do different things. No one wants to sit and work from a textbook all day!”

Sixth grade student

“Teachers are more alive. They come to class and say, ‘Hey! This is what we’re doing.’”

Eighth grade student

“We learn more from projects and other student presentations because we see it in more ways than just the book.”

Seventh grade student

“It inspires kids to not just sit in class, but use computers, do projects.”

Sixth grade student

“Different Ways of Knowing is a program that teaches teachers other ways to teach children.”

Sixth grade student

“Different Ways of Knowing works well because it lets us [students] get each other’s insight and educate each other on what we learn.”

Seventh grade student

“It’s a fun way of learning. I learned a lot.”

Sixth grade student

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