PACE stands for Positive Attitude Creative Education. Every student learns at their own pace, and we believe that everyone’s pace could use a little creativity and a lot of positivity. Having a positive attitude towards learning inspires students to think creatively. Unfortunately, these skills are not properly developed in the school setting.
Learning to stay positive in the face of adversity is difficult because there aren’t many healthy hurdles in place to foster it. PACE provides a healthy learning environment that challenges kids to take charge of their own learning and stay positive in the face of adversity. We prioritize fostering a positive learning attitude over excellent academics because we believe that having a strong growth mindset is the key to academic success and beyond.
Co-Founder & Program Director
My experience comes from being a mom, not a teacher. I don’t have an education degree, but through my university studies in Biology, one thing that stuck with me was neuroplasticity: the ability of the brain to change throughout life. When a child is young, their brain cells are not all connected yet. Through learning and experiences, new connections are being made to transmit messages to different parts of the brain. The more connections there are, the more effective the brain is at processing information. This means that smarts is not solely determined by genetic makeup, but by experience.
With this in mind, I started helping my children, Rachel (8 years old at the time) and Andrew (5 years old at the time), to exercise their “brain muscle”. Almost everyday, even during summer holidays, I would sit down with them for 45 minutes doing extra “homework”. I selected homework that focusses mainly on critical thinking, logical reasoning, strategy development in problem-solving questions, and reading comprehension. My goal was to help them establish good study habits and a positive learning attitude. I wanted them to exercise their brains and understand the importance of practice.
The key to instilling a growth mindset is teaching kids that their brains are like muscles that can be strengthened through hard work and persistence. So rather than saying "Not everybody is a good at math. Just do your best," a teacher or parent should say "When you learn how to do a new math problem, it grows your brain." Or instead of saying "Maybe math is not one of your strengths," a better approach is adding "yet" to the end of the sentence: "Maybe math is not one of your strengths yet."
Stanford Prof. of Psychology
I taught my children to try their hardest in everything they do, never give up when things get hard, stay positive when facing difficulty, stay humble when you are doing well, employ different strategies when solving problems, ask questions until they really understand, and stay focussed when working to minimize time and maximize output.
I taught them that diligence, not smarts, is the key to success.
Mommy, you were right! The homework you gave me over the summer helped my brain stay in shape! We had an unannounced test at school today to see everyone’s level, all my friends struggled so much, but I breezed through it.
Now, my daughter is a self-motivated learner who went on to study neuroplasticity. She finished her Master’s degree in Neuroscience and Education with Columbia University at the age of 19. Rachel teaches alongside me today as the Head Curriculum Developer at PACE. My son, Andrew, is also a self-motivated learner that explores all his interests, expands his horizon, and challenges himself every day. Not only has he won numerous computer science awards and math contests, representing Canada at the International Math Olympiad, he has also written award-winning plays. Currently, he is pursuing his passion for learning in math, computer science, psychology, philosophy, and linguistics at Stanford University.
After retiring from my role as Rachel and Andrew’s teacher, I set out to share my learning philosophy with others. I took this philosophy and founded the PACE Learning Community. My goal is to provide my youngest son, his friends, and the kids of the Vancouver community a fun, interactive, and engaging learning environment.