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Bringing Theory to Practice

4th National Student Conference:

Recasting the “3 R’s” of Learning: From “Reading, WRiting & ARithmetic” to Reflection, Resiliency, Relationships and Responsibility

About the Conference

View the Final Program

Conference Reflections from Students Appearing in Newsletter

We invited all students that attended the Student Conference to submit written reflections responding to these questions:  

  • What did you think about the goals of the conference?
  • What did you learn about yourself and/or your peers at this conference?
  • What directions do you think higher education should be thinking about in terms of student learning, engagement and well-being?
  • How do you see the 4Rs as being interconnected with each other, and with traditional forms of learning (reading, writing, arithmetic)?
  • If higher education could succeed in doing one thing for student learning and/or development, what do you wish it to be?

We will choose some to appear in our upcoming Newsletter that is distributed to over 20,000 people across the nation involved in higher education.

Conference Themes

The BTtoP Project considered a new set of “4 R’s” of learning (reflection, resiliency, relationships and responsibility) as necessary components of any transformational learning and educational experience. While the traditional “3 R’s” (reading, writing, and arithmetic) remain a cornerstone of education,  in the changing global economy of knowledge and skills the original 3 R’s were in need of partners in newer, deeper components of learning that focus on the process of learning in addition to the content of learning.

Conference Objectives

The BTtoP Student Conference was an opportunity for students to engage with their peers from across the nation to discover how the new 4R’s (reflection, resiliency, relationships, and responsibility) impact student learning, and how understanding their intersections as a student is a beneficial tool both for succeeding in college and beyond.

The conference was interactive, with relationship role-playing, reflection activities, student presentations on resiliency, civic responsibility and leadership skill-building workshops, and a dinner panel exploring the question “What does the world need from you?”  Students together learned and planned how they could take what they have gained back to campus in a meaningful and productive way.

Related Conference Materials

Conference Information

When: Saturday & Sunday, November 13th & 14th, 2010
Where: Conference sessions occurred at the Hotel Palomar
Who: More than 75 college and university students gathered in Washington

Operational Definitions

  1. Reflection was defined as the practice in which students reflect upon their learning in various forms (i.e. journals, discussion, etc.)
  2. Resiliency was defined as the ability to recover readily from adverse happenings or conditions, many times manifested as ‘flexibility’ or ‘elasticity’.
  3. Relationships were defined as student interactions with both faculty and peers in terms of building a habit of connection-building.
  4. [Civic] Responsibility consisted of two parts: the first part is awareness of the ‘whole’ world and community outside of the ‘individual’ with the attending commitment to act in valuing it; the second is the knowledge that individual action as part of a whole is essential to the thriving of the whole.

If you have any questions, please contact Dylan Joyce (