CHAPTER 1.1 – GWS: A Story of Success

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.

GWS Milestones

  • 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 The first story the unpublished writer wrote thereafter was published in Twilight Zone and won the international award for best first mystery.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
            Berkeley Law
             Harvard Graduate School of Business
             Harvard Law
             Harvard Medical School
    New Mexico State University School of Pharmacy
    Notre Dame
    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
    West Point
    Yale Law
    … 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.”

The Reason for This Website

In January 2022, Dr. G. found out he is seriously ill. His wife said, “You need to pass along this information as a legacy.” Thus, he created this website.

The cost to you?

For a limited time, neither you nor your students or children will be charged for the website or for the critiques.

We won’t even ask for your credit card number!

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, 7000+ teachers (included in the 20K), 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
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