What Educators say


What Educators say

John Leistler

John Leistler, Faculty Member Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Massachusetts

Dr. Christy Folsom's impact on my teaching career with her TIEL has been, in a word, transformational. At first, I thought this TIEL was just another buzzword in edu-speak. But in the years since I first tried, and then embraced, TIEL with my students, it has become the mainstay in how I plan, imagine pedagogy, assess students, evaluate my work, write about students in comments/recommendations, and help students, colleagues and parents understand their child's strengths and blind spots. Many, many buzzwords have come and gone in the educational world, but the power of TIEL has always been in the foreground and on the horizon of my teaching.  Nothing has equaled it in its power to help students understand and become more effective learners, thinkers, and citizens of the world.

Fatima G. Masinna

Fatima G. Masinna Infant Jesus Academy-Antipolo, Manila, Philippines Social Studies Teacher, High School Research Practitioner

When teachers use the TIEL model to plan, learners are given the opportunity to develop self-management skills.  Teachers design assessments that require divergent thinking and allow learners to work together to develop collaborative and decision-making skills.  Learners set criteria for the evaluation of their projects. As learners learn to collaborate with their peers, they also learn to manage their emotions to achieve positive relationships. Divergent thinking helps students learn to appreciate differences. When TIEL components are practiced consistently, learners are motivated and active in class. By letting the learners participate in the evaluation process and having them reflect on their behaviors and how they may have affected others, teachers give the learners a genuine opportunity for actual character development.

As part of my research, my 10th graders shared that the TIEL model allows them to share their ideas with their classmates through the collaborative activities. Additionally, it develops their critical thinking skills, enhances their memory, promotes independence, develops their understanding and creativity, and learning really takes place.  This was also shown in their scores in the post-test, where there was a significant difference before and after the execution of TIEL-based instruction in Social Studies.  The results validate the positive implications of TIEL for the teaching-learning process and are reflective of how learners experienced TIEL in the classroom.

Erica Leif Denman

Director of Professional Development Training, Schoolwide, Inc.

I was lucky enough to be introduced to the TIEL Framework as a first-year teacher! The model completely changed the way that I viewed curriculum—both intellectually and emotionally.  Christy and the TIEL Framework were twenty years ahead of the SEL Movement, Character Education, and Growth Mindset!

Using the TIEL Framework as a classroom teacher enabled me to create fully developed curriculum. This is the kind of wholistic thinking that all educators and districts need when teaching towards intellectual and emotional learning!

Recently, as part of my administrative degree, I worked with a district that was planning middle school Social Studies curriculum, and I pulled out the TIEL framework (the TIEL book) to share with my co-planner!

Abdiel Ramos

Washington Irving School, Grades 3-5
Tarrytown New York

Learning about TIEL in my instruction was crucial! It changed the way I thought, which helped students change the way they thought and the way they learned. It helped to focus on connections, which has proven to be the most impactful way for students to learn. Learning is connecting, and TIEL makes that happen!

Timothy Ignaffo

Assistant Director at Office of Student Affairs, Columbia Business School New York, New York

I had the pleasure of working with Christy while teaching in East Harlem. Christy observed our classes, consulted with us about curriculum and pedagogy, and taught the TIEL method to my colleagues and me. We found the model very helpful and informative.

Ghassan Gammoh

Faculty Member, High School American School of Dubai

Dr. Folsom was indispensable in my journey towards achieving my Washington, D.C. teaching license. We worked closely together for weeks dissecting my lesson plans, watching videos of me teaching, and analyzing my strengths and areas of improvement. She enabled me to become a better educator by guiding me in constructive reflection and ensuring that I was meeting all the needs of my students equitably and diligently. Having Dr. Folsom physically in my classroom as an instructional coach enabled me to have a consistent feedback loop on my work and an outside perspective on my students’ learning experience. Her love for children and her passion for ensuring that each and every child felt seen and heard was remarkable. One of the most valuable lessons I learned from Dr. Folsom was to slow down and to have my students slow down so that we could really immerse ourselves in deep and meaningful discussions in the classroom and highlight each students’ strengths and unique insights.

The TIEL Wheel framework introduced to me by Dr. Folsom has also been essential for my work as an educator. Being able to categorize all the work we do in the classroom under thinking operations and qualities of character has been so helpful to me and my students, especially with the dawn of Chat GPT and other AI tools that can attempt to rob us of the purpose of education. By focusing on and visually highlighting character traits like empathy and ethical reasoning and emphasizing cognition and divergent thinking my students have been able to grasp a deeper meaning and purpose to their education that goes beyond content acquisition. The colorful TIEL Wheel will always remain an essential tool in any 21st century classroom. Thank you, Dr. Folsom, for everything!

Ola Bseiso

Director of Operations King's Academy, Madaba-Manja, Jordan

I have seen and felt firsthand the power of working with you and the TIEL Wheel concept! As a colleague at King’s Academy, I witnessed the work you did with students and teachers helping them learn and teach in profoundly new ways.

Your methodology also helped me as a student while preparing for my master’s degree: your passion and innovative teaching skills encouraged me and kept me engaged. The TIEL wheel became a “mentor” for me, guiding me to improve my analytical writing skills. But the TIEL wheel is more than a template or strategy for writing skills—your work has helped me strive and persevere in all my efforts. Dr Christy, thank you for all your support to students and professionals.