1.1 GWS SUCCESSES
In 1974, George Guthridge (“Dr. G.”) set out to take the mystery out of learning to write. He wanted students to do what he did naturally.
- By 1976, many of his developmental English students were publishing in nationally circulated, professional magazines.
- In 1984, he taught Siberian-Yupik (Eskimo) students in a 41-student high school in Gambell, a whale- and walrus-hunting village on a blizzard-swept island in the Bering Sea. The school district entered the students in what was generally considered the most difficult academic competition in the nation.
The Gambell students had no computers and almost no books. They had weak reading and writing skills and spoke English as a second language.
They had to compete against teams from schools and programs for the gifted on subjects – such as genetic engineering and nuclear waste disposal – that the Gambell students had never heard of before.
Using Dr. G.’s method, the Gambell students became the only all-Native American team ever to win a national academic championship. And they did it twice.
- Between 1982 and 1988, using his method, his students submitted 15 short stories to an international competition for young people. Nine of them placed, including the 1984 high school runner-up and the 1985 junior high school international champion.
- In 1988, four junior high students in a 21-student school in another village where he coached won the state championship in academics. Their score has never been exceeded.
- In 1994, three people attended a two-hour fiction-writing workshop Dr. G. gave. One had been trying to sell stories for twenty years. The other two had never written fiction. The first story the unpublished writer wrote thereafter was published in Twilight Zone and won the international award for best first mystery. One of the two new writers won three national writing competitions, including the grand prize of a trip to Maui.
- In 2005, Alaska Gateway School District conducted an experiment with GWS. Half of the students were taught using GWS and half were taught using whatever system teachers wished. The GWS students outscored their counterparts by a full grade. Some special-ed students outscored students identified as gifted.
- In 2006 and 2007, two students in Dr. G.’s university fiction-writing class won the state writing competition. Their competition included students seeking MFAs. Neither had written fiction before.
- Between 1990 and 2009, Dr. G. co-developed the Rural Alaska Honors Institute (RAHI) for students from Alaska’s rural areas. The six-week summer program was from high-school seniors; 94% were Alaska Natives. Many had very low reading and writing scores. Over 2500 of those students have graduated from college, including from
Air Force Academy
Harvard Graduate School of Business
Harvard Medical School
New Mexico State University School of Pharmacy
Oregon State University
Pacific Lutheran University
University of Alaska Anchorage
University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Alaska Southeast
University of British Columbia Doctoral Program in Art History
University of Oregon
University of Washington Medical School
University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy
Washington State University
… to name just a few places.
Several returned as graduate speakers and said Dr. G.’s methods changed their lives.
The Secret of the GWS Success
Dr. G. returned to school for a doctorate late in life. He was a full professor and tenured, but he wanted to learn more about his specialty.
His chair chuckled when he showed her the program. “You have reinvented Aristotle’s methodology,” she said, “and made it user-friendly.”
As Native educators have noted, “This combines Western learning’s linear and abstract reasoning with indigenous learning’s nonlinear and situationally precise reasoning.”
Who is GWS for?
Dr. G. is in his 48th year of full-time teaching. He has taught 20,000+ students grade six through post-doctoral students. His students have included parents, students, children, 3500+ (drop the parenthesis), professors, pastors, medical doctors, CEOs, bank managers, nonprofit personnel, realtors, short fiction writers, novelists, and fiction-writing novices. Even an Indian chief. And, oh yes, did we mention he created a special 15-week course for a funeral director?
What GWS Does for You
You and/or your children or students will learn –
- Superior study skills
- Excellent essay writing
- Top-notch research papers
- Outstanding short stories
- Exceptional Argumentative writing
- Effective business writing
- A revolutionary, simplified way to learn grammar
- For parents: a powerful, precise way to teach your children to write