Amy J. Delph
They say that some people are born into their profession. That is very likely the case for Amy J. Delph. She can recall, as little girl, lining up her stuffed animals to play “school”. She continued along this track as a teen tutoring foreign students and teaching Sunday school. Her passion for education would carry through to selecting a major in education and pursuing a master’s degree in that field.
After completing her student teaching and master’s degree at Beloit College, U.S.A, Amy, moved to Tokyo, Japan to teach English with the Aeon Language School, before eventually joining her husband in Malaysia.
Her first job in Malaysia planted the seeds that would inspire her to start her own business. As a lecturer in the ADP program at a local private college, Amy found many of her students struggling to cope with the speed and higher demands of course materials in the syllabus.
“It was frustrating to see my students stressing out and failing because they didn’t know how to think for themselves; they couldn’t research, analyze, synthesize, evaluate, write or present very well. It was impossible to help them with these skills at the tertiary level.
“After about six years of this, I decided I could no longer just be part of the system that wasn’t helping them. I wanted to do something that would equip students with these missing skills at the primary and secondary levels so they could be successful with their pursuits after secondary school. So, I started a business, Edison Enterprises Sdn. Bhd, to help young people with thinking and communications skills.”
Over the next 16 years, Amy would develop and teach 25 units for critical and creative thinking, three levels of courses (10 months each) for English and a program called Edison Youth Achievement Award to help them gain other 21st Century skills. When demand grew, she recruited and led a team of teachers so that more students could benefit from her courses.
“It makes me so happy to hear my students and their parents come back and tell me how much what we taught them at Edison Enterprises has meant to them. Year after year a common phrase we hear from alumni is: ‘Everything you taught us in Edison Explorer, and everything you taught us in English Wired is happening at university!’”
Many of Amy’s students and their parents have reported their successes to her, such as winning national writing competitions. Several have won the British International School scholarship for 10-year olds (worth 300K+) and gained entrance to prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge.
Not satisfied with impacting the lives of students, Amy decided to work on impacting the teaching profession.
“I started out creating and running teacher training for my own staff and some volunteers teaching Myanmar refugees. Word got out about the classes and now I have teachers and parents taking the course too. The impact of the courses is quite dramatic in the lives of the teachers and parents. The first refugee center I trained, won Best Primary Center from the UNCHR out of 180 other centers. That center is still telling me the latest advances they are making using the skills from the class more than two years later!”
Amy has recently started consultancy work with Acton Academy, an “unschooling” school that has 60 branches world-wide. And she has begun training parents and children to learn about and use Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset. Amy has found the journey of these past 24 years of her career in education richly rewarding.
When she’s not her business and caring for her children, Amy enjoys building houses with the NGO, Epic Army, reading, traveling, hiking on mountain trails, painting and baking.
Jonathan graduated with a BSc in Computing Science(UK) from Staffordshire University specializing in Instructional Software Design. He has always had a passion for “learning how to learn” and working with children. His interest in “learning how to learn” peaked when he was confronted with a 500 page program document that greeted him on his first day at Staffordshire University in England during his student days. He had to decide what he needed to study from that program document! It was then he met his professor Dr Lorna Uden who was at the time teaching a class on Instructional Software Design which opened his mind to the many learning strategies needed in order to successfully complete a project. The beautiful part of this is that he successfully applied these strategies to his dissertation and the by-product of his dissertation was applied to a local school in Stafford in the form of a web site that taught children a unit in their computing module.
Having seen how successfully the objectives of the computing unit, he was extremely touched at the impact he made and was shocked that he received full marks for his thesis/dissertation.
After graduating, he went into the publishing business specializing in books on parenting and health. Somehow after many years in the publishing industry he has always wanted to be involved in working with children and helping determine the best creative and interactive way in teaching children which is why he was involved in teaching children in church for over 14 years and teaching at a learning centre for almost 3 years. He also saw that his children as well as most children are sorely lacking the right skills that are critical and crucial in helping prepare them for work and more importantly life!
It was during a training session at the learning centre that he met Amy J Delph who is the founder of Edison Enterprises that he found an avenue to not just pursue something he has always been passionate about but also to help bring what she has developed to help in equipping the next generation for the challenges they will face in the 21st Century and by extension contribute to the way education is perceived and delivered here in Malaysia. He was also fortunate enough to attend teacher’s training under the tutelage of Amy and it completely transformed how he perceived education and how teachers when using the right strategies and planning are able to create classroom environments and meaningful assessment that not only properly assess a student’s gap in knowledge and help them but also allow students the chance to contribute to the lessons and at the same time developing important skills like critical and creative thinking as well as being able to work in teams. It was then Jonathan decided to partner with Amy to bring Edison to as many students as possible and influence the Education sector.
In his spare time; he tends to his 3 children, enjoys the odd video game, trains PACAs and serves in his local Catholic church.