Pilon® Workshop Way® System of Education

Workshop Way pic with Diane PILON® Workshop Way® System of Education

 ◊ A Way to Teach  ◊ A Way to Learn  ◊ A Way To Live

What Is Pilon® Workshop Way®?

Pilon® Workshop Way® consists of an interrelated and dynamic process for student learning.  It is a comprehensive system of instruction designed to meet the educational and developmental needs of all students. This system of human growth for education is applicable to all grade levels and is being implemented by teachers nationwide.

The prescribed Diocesan and California State Curriculum and Standards are addressed and delivered in such a way that the human growth of each student is nourished in the learning process.  The school’s philosophy and goals are fully integrated in the instructional techniques and strategies and in all teacher-student interactions.

There is a clear purpose and structure to all classroom activities. Nothing is left to chance. Challenge, motivation for lifelong learning, and differentiated instructional methods are built into the system so as to meet the needs of students of all ability levels. Every student is given an equal opportunity to learn and is challenged to do so.

Pilon® Workshop Way’s holistic approach to education cultivates human growth goals and life skills.  It enables all students to learn how to learn, how to think, and how to responsibly manage their lives. A major goal of the system is to create feelings of dignity, intelligence, confidence and power of management in every student. How this is done is explained below.

“Human beings will love learning if they are freed from fear, allowed to be themselves,

and are respected in the process.”
-Grace H. Pilon

Workshop Way® includes 4 major goals:

  1. To satisfy the basic human intellectual needs:
    • Inner order
    • Intellectual safety
    • Feelings of importance, of intelligence, and of power in management
    • Ease in talking with peers and adults
    • Willingness to admit what one does not know and then to ask for help
    • Willingness to be involved in work by creative management leading to positive self-confidence
    • Satisfaction in doing one’s work without competition and without adult interference
    • Willingness to be involved in group activities in order to be brave enough to live consciously
  2. To sharpen sense powers:
    • To see better
    • To hear better
    • To talk better
    • To sense order and dignity in oneself and others
  3. To develop basic abilities of learning:
    • Opening up and/or maintaining learning capacity
    • Concentrating on a task
    • Being certain of what one knows and does not know
    • Arranging one’s order and sequence of movement towards finishing a task
    • Listening intelligently
    • Learning how to learn and how to think
    • Making decisions for what to do and when or when not to do it
    • Creating ways to handle negative consequences of decisions
    • Thinking critically and with precision
    • Evaluating own work
  4. To grow in human skills:
    • Initiative
    • Responsibility
    • Cooperative interaction
    • Independence in work habits
    • Ease in risking with intelligence
    • Honesty
    • Courage and foundational creativity
    • Self-confidence

With Pilon® Workshop Way® System of Education students become successful learners because all students learn they can make mistakes and be wrong while learning, but that making mistakes does not diminish their intelligence. Students become self-aware and experience their own thought and growth.

Pilon® Workshop Way® works because teachers set up and maintain an environment that motivates students to full participation in both workshop and full-class learning sessions. Through this student-oriented environment, children can value themselves as important, intelligent and self-directed apart from their knowledge skills.

Teachers help fuse the feelings of importance, intelligence and self-direction with knowledge skills. This fusion encourages self-esteem, appreciation for the worth of others and a love for learning.

Lifeskills • Conference Guidelines for Parents

For more information about Pilon® Workshop Way®, please call St. Martin of Tours Academy office at (619) 466-3241 or visit www.workshopway.org.  Every registered family receives a Pilon®Workshop Way® Information Booklet during the Workshop Way® orientation meeting in September.

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Grace H. Pilon (1909-1995), the creator of Workshop Way®, was a Sister of the Blessed Sacrament, a religious order whose focus is on education.  Sister Grace held a Master of Education Degree from St. Louis University and an Honorary Doctorate from Ball State University. She was ahead of her time in designing a system that, to this day, remains in harmony with proven “best practices” of current pedagogy.  Her insights regarding how to effectively address the needs of all students, based on her extensive teaching experience, are extraordinary.



Kathleen Gallagher

Timing, organization, and a special interactive dialogue will change a classroom into a happy and successful learning environment.

“I see WORKSHOP WAY® as offering what seems to be missing in traditional classrooms”

Mary Anne Dalton, PhD, SSJ College Professor


For more than two decades, I taught hundreds of teachers how to develop intellectual safety (mental security) while increasing test scores in a WORKSHOP WAY® classroom environment.  Enthusiasm was always high, and many returned for follow-up courses and in-services.  This was especially true throughout New York, Texas,and Utah.  I did on-site visits to scores of classrooms and observed children thriving in a WORKSHOP WAY® setting.  Now I desire to reach you, a twenty-first -century educator, to share with you the joy of teaching that so many others have discovered.   – Kathleen Gallagher


True success in the teaching-learning process depends on how students are taught.  Achievement is not ultimately measured by what is taught or what program or books are used.  Educational success becomes reality only when every student is guaranteed intellectual safety and increased consciousness.  Contemporary collegiate-degree programs are not guiding teachers on how in interact with children.

Rather, our future teachers are taught content, lesson plans and philosophy.  They are not empowered to open and extend learning capacity.  Rarely are they exposed to the psychology of teaching.  Quite simply, they are unprepared to meet the needs of every student mark.  That shortcoming need not be repeated.  In the following pages, teachers will begin to see a better way.  They will come to realize that their language, procedures, policies, and timing will either foster or prevent successful education.

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