Overview of ETL
Effective Teaching and Learning School of Thought and Institute is based on a unique philosophy regarding the care and treatments of all individuals with special needs and challenges also including those in child welfare, and foster care programs.
Our philosophy is that every human being, regardless of race, culture, nationality, gender, religion, ability, status, position, etc. should be able to work and play in the community with the same opportunities as everyone else. We believe in a hands-on face to face, multi approach to equipping caregivers, staff and family members with therapeutic and effective skills they can apply to every situation.
We have developed a program of educational training courses and direct hands-on services aimed at redefining the therapeutic culture to increase the possibility of bringing out the best in people, as both teacher and learner. We also train our own Teachers through the ETL Institute, a rigorous 6-to-9 month program preparing individuals for ETL Certification.
In early American society, individuals with special needs, mental illness, special physical needs, the elderly, etc. were cared for by the family unit. As the population of America increased and became more industrialized, society and family life became more complex because family members worked outside the home and often away from the community, so the care of individuals with special needs , mental illness, special physical needs, the elderly, etc. became more haphazard and disorganized.
The number of homeless individuals increased and they, along with individuals with special needs, were much more susceptible to abuse, neglect and in some cases, death. As a result, the need for more comprehensive care for individuals with special needs, etc., became urgent.
Informal groups were formed by parents to care for large numbers of individuals with special needs, etc. These groups lacked sufficient funding and organization to adequately meet the needs of people they cared for.
In response to the need for more organized services, as well as to minimize and prevent abuse and neglect, the government began to find institutions to care for the above groups.
These institutions came with serious problems…
- They were the only support and assistance available for families, so the families were incentivized to place their loved ones in institutions.
- Once an individual was placed in an institution, the state took over custody and families lost their rights regarding the care and treatment of their loved one
- Families were encouraged to limit visitations or even “move on” from interacting with their loved ones
- Families were not provided proper or accurate documentation and they were sent the message that the state knew more than they did about what was “best” for their loved one
Overtime, institutions began to deteriorate due to several factors: insufficient staff training; lack of therapeutic checks and balances; “top heavy” directorship, and inappropriate use of funding.
Lack of options for families and competition in the industry, led to the system gradually becoming complacent, rigid, and lacking incentive to update and improve its policies, facilities, procedures or treatment of individuals.
While institutions were originally set up to assist families, they ultimately became places that disempowered the family, cost taxpayers exorbitant amounts of money, while maintaining the lowest levels of human care.
This is where Dr. Moazami comes in… In 1994, Dr. Moazami, founder of the Effective Teaching Learning School of Thought, approached state DHS officials arguing that “if cats and dogs were treated the way the individuals in the government-run institutions were being treated, people would be outraged and would take legal action and those people would be put in prison…”
He continued to challenge government officials on these extreme and inhumane practices until the pendulum started to swing.
History of ETL
The history of ETL depicts the struggles involved in overcoming patterns of non-therapeutic attitudes and behavior in relation to treatment of individuals with special needs.
Politicians, professionals in the field and many in the public at large had fixed ideas for years about how and where individuals with special needs should live and how they should be treated.
Since the early 1990s, we have worked tirelessly, appealing to all levels of state and federal government officials to redefine and rewrite the course for individuals requiring special care and attention.
Today we honor those individuals who, through many sacrifices, hard work, dedication, and passion were instrumental in bringing about change in the government institutional model of service and moving towards community-based service models which empower families and are more cost-effective.
Today we train ETL Life Educators in our human-first philosophy and practices, to equip them to enter the worlds and lives of individuals facing all sorts of challenges from communication barriers, physical limitations, etc. We believe in direct hands-on service as the best way to serve individuals and families in their own homes, workplaces and communities.
Promoting a cause greater than ourselves
ETL School of Thought is based on the following guiding principles:
- We believe that EVERY individual, regardless of ability, race, gender, religion, nationality, culture,position, degree, title, deserves the utmost value and respect, and is never to be treated as a lesser being
- We believe in a direct, hands-on (in-person) approach to teaching and learning to achieve therapeutic intended outcomes.
- We believe that professionals involved in the lives of individuals with specific needs should work directly with them in their natural setting as research has proven has greater success.
- We believe in using an assessment with no diagnosis to identify an individual’s needs and then developing a therapeutic effective plan for them.
How Our Philosophy Drives Practice
We are passionate about our philosophy and practice. We are a driven group of individuals in love with the human race. We believe that every human being has inherent value and is to be treated respectfully under every circumstance. Our Teachers engage with and serve the community by providing direct, hands-on service to individuals and families caring for loved ones with unique challenges. We have designed a rigorous ETL Life Educator Certification process to equip qualified individuals with an understanding of our therapeutic model.
ETL, in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Disabilities Services Division (DDSD), provides training courses for caregivers to maximize the possibility of them applying therapeutic and effective teaching and learning in their lives and to those they care for, striving towards quality of life for everyone. Our courses focus on nine therapeutic skills, and they are taught as a reciprocal relationship between constant teaching and learning, aimed at affecting therapeutic change in both the teacher and the learner.
We offer our training courses via “Remote Teaching and Learning” from the convenience of your own home, as well as “In-Person Classroom Teaching and Learning” via University of Oklahoma National Resource Center for Youth Services.
This service focuses on meeting individuals where they are–in their natural environments–where they work and live. Our certified ETL Life Educators work directly with individuals facing challenges, and also with that individual’s “support team” of family members, case managers, caregivers,and other providers etc. Our goal is to empower everyone in an individual’s life with effective therapeutic skills to provide the best opportunity for thriving and success in any environment.