The InterStudent Mini-Course Program: Endorsements
[From a 1970s promotional brochure
for the InterStudent Program, offered by the Henry George School
of Social Science, Los Angeles, California]
Not all teachers express the enthusiasm of the New
Yorker, who swept into the faculty room after her first brush with
InterStudent and gleefully announced "Ten of the paralytics are
working!" but the Program does receive an extraordinary number
of rave reviews. Any teaching material gets better results with an
enthused teacher, but InterStudent tends to strike sparks and catch
But, at first teachers won't believe it.!
"I was skeptical at first, fearful that
InterStudent was just another gimmick. But I am convinced
that what we are dealing with is a program consisting of fundamental
principles of learning and human behavior that works..."
"Original pessimism re the program's language and approach was
soon dispelled by their enthusiastic response ..."
Something happens -
below average grade students come out of their shells
and become involved in discussions I would have considered beyond
their interest and depth."
"Rarely have I seen such genuine enthusiasm . . ."
".. . they became totally involved ..."
"The students were visibly stimulated, they became involved.
Most of them discovered a 'new high' --thinking for themselves."
The content is exciting and useful --
". . . students who had been taught only what to think quickly
found it not only necessary but terribly exciting to learn how to
"I found that a special virtue . . . was that each Mini dealt
with a basic concept. Questions were so designed to lead a student
by easy stages, using his own knowledge of what he knew to be true .
". . . it teaches ... the valuable skills of critical
thinking, research, debate and group cooperation and interaction.
is a noticeable change in the classroom. Students begin to look for
intellectual integrity in fellow student and teacher alike. They
examine statements for contradictions and consistency, and they
begin to trust their own ability to make valid judgements and to
defend valid positions."
"Much buzzing concerning the course took place around the
school and affected students not even in the course."
It's used in any course --
"We found the ideas could be augmented in every historical
period we covered ..."
". . . classes in international Relations, U.S. History,
Contemporary American Problems, and European History. In all these
classes, representing fairly wide divergences in ability level, his
program was effective."
-- and with any ability
". . . provides a wide range of interest
students at all grade levels."
"It was especially gratifying to see the response of some of
my poorer students. The format ... caught their attention and
interest and they became valuable contributors..."
"Oddly enough, the final scores of the very able Academically
Enriched class did not differ from the spread of scores in other
classes. The AE kids are a little concerned about this, since it
seems to suggest that other students may have their strong points
Some surprises -
"The results have been astonishing, amusing and stimulating,
ft became quickly obvious to me that students are not necessarily
unmotivated, they simply need to be thrust into a demanding,
self-motivated situation. Without question,
InterStudent is that."
"Some unexpected sideplay -- Two students with exceptional
truancy records were suddenly 'dropping in'. Peer pressure revealed
some previously hidden talents -- not always positive ones at that."
"One of these meetings was of particular significance in that
a number of parents were also present. Family conversations had been
so stimulated by the repetition of classroom and afternoon
discussions that students arranged for their parents to join us one
evening ... this meeting was extremely successful and set an
educational precedent in that such a demonstration of positive
interest in academic activities had never been exhibited in such a
AND STUDENTS ...
" The InterStudent Mini-Course Program
system of ideas in a logical fashion from two basic axioms and four
definitions. The value of the program is that it -- (1) gives the
student a working exposition of the Classical Analysis and
(2) helps develop the use of logical and systematic thought. ...The
student is faced by a series of propositions all of which derive
from the two universal axioms by means of the intervening
propositions. He is obliged to function under certain 'non-normal'
definitions which require that he associate new concepts with
familiar names. This seems terribly confusing at the start.
the successful participant in the program has profited by learning
how to orient himself
and how ... to think in a clear and
reasonable manner. " [Robert Means - 12th Grade]