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Taking Charge®


Developed by Nancy J. Lavelle, Ph.D., President and Founder of the Institute for the Redesign of Learning and Total Education Solutions, Inc., Taking Charge® focuses on each student’s unique gifts and strengths, and assists each individual in developing competency in self-identified goals.

Taking Charge® is founded on the following principles:

  1. We are whole, able and complete:Acknowledging there is an innate learner in each of us, and any limitations are, in actuality, opportunities for learning to reach our full potential.
  2. Personal Responsibility:Understanding and accepting that each one of us (student, parent/caregiver, educator, and administrator) is 100% responsible for our own successes and failures in life, no one else.
  3. Learning Environment:Establishing a safe and secure learning environment facilitates each student in achieving his/her goals. Student participation in establishing this environment and regimen is essential in engaging each student and having them take responsibility for their own learning process.
  4. Curriculum Design:Each student has a specialized program that ensures the appropriateness of tasks and activities. Personalized instruction and task analysis ensures that each individual’s learning needs are met, while still complying with referring school district and California State Curriculum Standards.
  5. Concerns and Competencies: Rather than focusing on an individual’s deficits, impairments or areas of “weaknesses,” we recognize that we all share common goals in life (i.e., education, job, family, health, friends, etc.). Likewise, each of us, as learners, has the potential to improve specific areas of concern.
  6. Challenges to Learning:Focuses on underlying assumptions that have led to learning and/or communication breakdowns, allowing us, as educators and “linguistic coaches,” to work in partnership with learners and their families to identify concerns and appropriate strategies for addressing those concerns—again, creating learning opportunities.
  7. Action for Learning:Instructor(s) and student collaborate to discuss hurdles to learning, student frustrations to learning, and underlying assumptions–this collaboration then becomes the basis to identify steps that can be taken to overcome obstacles and take responsibility for behavior and ultimately, achieve success.
  8. Readiness:Recognizing that any limitations in speaking and listening are actually opportunities for learning—this facilitates every student reaching his/her full potential while assisting our professionals in supporting them.

As educators, therapists, administrators, parents/guardians, and as learners , the Taking Charge® approach  empowers learners to experience themselves as learners whole, able and complete just as they are and just as they are not, and capable of developing competence in self-identified areas of concern. By focusing on the small steps leading to learning competence, learners naturally shift their self-narratives from “I can’t do it” to “I’m learning how to learn!” becoming personally responsible for their own learning process.