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The origin of Learning to Learn

The Learning to Learn program is the very first training program aimed at teaching adults with little schooling the methods necessary to learn. Published in October 2000, and carried out in collaboration with the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), Learning to Learn originated in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, an impoverished district in the east end of Montreal. Community and workplace integration organizations have generously accepted to participate in this venture. The program was implemented at La Cuisine collective Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Au Chic Resto Pop, Les Bureaux d’Antoine and at Éco-quartier Pierre-De Coubertin, as well as at Lallemand Inc.

Up until now, programs oriented towards the education of thought were reserved for individuals who already possessed a command of many essential abilities. But with the Learning to Learn program, we at last assure adults with little schooling the transmission of fundamental learning know-how: the mastery of language, good self-esteem, the sense of being a competent learner, the many prerequisites whose absence contributes to the perpetuation of their learning difficulties. It is of the utmost importance to help these adult learners to recognize their self-worth and value in order to develop their autonomy and to lead happier lives.

Recalling the identified needs

The Learning to Learn program responds to specific needs, of both the participants as well as the trainers.

It helps participants to:  

  • Resolve their difficulties to understand what they read, to select the essential elements and to retain them;  
  • Accelerate the transfer of knowledge, to increase their capacity to generalize what they have learned and to apply this knowledge to other areas of their lives;
  • Reach for what they enjoy by a process, during the training, of identifying their potential and establishing the links between their personal interests and the possibilities of future studies or employment;
  • Maximise what the students receive in terms of training and work experience;
  • Receive a learning strategies training that allows them to find the Ariane's thread, which supports the transfer of knowledge.

It helps the trainers to: 

  • More clearly and easily diagnose the needs of the clientele;
  • Sufficiently master the actualization of intellectual potential approach in such a way as to be able to identify what occurred while problem solving, and then to recuperate this knowledge in the ongoing process;
  • Reinforce the participants in their competence.

The path traveled since October 2000

Since its publication in October 2000, Learning to Learn has sold over 1000 copies, thus validating the value and relevance of this cognitive education program created for individuals with little schooling. The program has travelled throughout Quebec. Workshops have been given in Hull, Rimouski, St-Jérôme, Terrebonne, etc. Moreover, Learning to Learn is now part of the training programs offered by several social integration enterprises and in the workplace at La Puce communautaire, Le Chic Resto Pop, La Cuisine collective Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and La Part du chef.

Following requests coming from the anglophone sector, the decision was made to translate and publish the English version of the program.  And so, Learning to Learn was launched in April 2006, at the same time as its offshoot program, Apprends-moi à apprendre (Teach me to Learn). This latter program aims at early intervention in illiteracy and preventing school drop-out by intervening at the source, with the parents and children. On one hand, it equips parents with little schooling to help their children with their studies, and on the other hand, it teaches children in difficulty strategies that support their success in school. Presently, it is only available in French.

Learning to learn - Program - Workshop Learning to learn - Program - Testimonies