The cornerstone of teaching is the learning environment, and that begins with the principal. Although Dr. June's public school teaching career began more than 30 years ago, it is her doctoral research in feedback, assessment and motivation theory that has fuelled her development as a teacher of learning. In a beautiful classroom lab space in west end Toronto with direct access to the subway, Dr. June brings her 30+ years' bilingual teaching expertise to K-16+ Education. For the past 15 years at Joy of Learning in Toronto, June has used evidence-based practices to fundamentally and permanently change the learning trajectories of more than 350 students. On a daily basis she re-connects learners with their capacity to learn. Having completed training in neuroscience for learning applications, Dr. Starkey is a private service provider for Fast ForWord™ software, a peer-reviewed on-line technology from Scientific Learning™ that equips the brain to hear what the ears hear, and teaches mastery learning and self-regulation strategies.
Dr. June says: "Evidence-based practice allows students to reach their potential. Every. Single. Time."
Dr. Starkey's research about feedback for learning shows that when students are given coherent, descriptive feedback and opportunities to understand how to use feedback—they are able to improve their work. Students who struggle can indeed bridge the gaps, make progress and achieve phenomenal success at top Canadian colleges and universities.
Our mission is to embrace the pursuit of excellence both in and outside the classroom. We walk with students of all ages as they learn to use their strengths and challenges to reach their full potential. We understand the importance of student-teacher interaction in developing metacognitive learning skills that enhance and propel student achievement and success.
Alison Starkey is a Research Assistant and Fast ForWord Learning Coach at Joy of Learning. With several peer-reviewed academic publications to her name in her chosen field of biology, Alison Starkey worked in various capacities for many years in research labs at St. Michael’s and Sick Kids hospitals upon completion of her B.Sc. (Hons.) in biology and physical anthropology at the University of Toronto in 1995. Alison’s extensive analytical and clinical skills and her strong aptitude for mastery and implementation of new concepts and techniques made her the ideal candidate when Dr June was looking for a research assistant and Fast ForWord coach in 2018. Alison’s resourceful problem-solving abilities in high-performance, high-stakes environments and her outstanding organizational skills mean that students who work with her regularly, progress through the Fast ForWord program more efficiently –and have more fun doing it! Years of experience teaching and coaching kids (in swimming) enables Alison to support students’ work with Fast ForWord and maximize their brain-training. When not researching and coaching with Dr June, Alison works in a compounding pharmacy both behind the scenes (in the lab) and front-of-house where she also enjoys teaching and coaching pharmacy students. Alison’s post-graduate pursuit of her own research interest for learning led her to begin an M.A. in education at OISE of the University of Toronto. At the mid-point of her master’s degree, Alison continues to maintain a 4.0 GPA and has started collecting data for her thesis research. She relishes time with her partner and two goofy cats, and she enjoys cycling and beekeeping—although not at the same time!
(P.S. Alison is Dr. June’s cousin, colleague and dear friend. Our dads are brothers.)