Dr. Yvonne Fournier has been a pharmacist, public health administrator, demographer and entrepreneur.
has followed her
own roadmap in becoming arguably one of the most prolific of educators and child advocates in America today.
is a controversial opponent of the current education system in America.
Born in New York City, Dr. Fournier's family moved back to its native Puerto Rico when she was a young teenager.
After graduating from the University of Puerto Rico with a bachelor's degree in pharmacy, Dr. Fournier filled prescriptions and reflected constantly on her love for learning.
A desire to find the right track for her
life sent her
back to the university for a master's degree in public health with a major focus in demography.
surveyed, collected, and analyzed demographic statistics, she
felt a lack of fulfillment she
could not overcome.
returned to the university once again and began working on her
doctorate, this time in education philosophy.
Fournier's Childhood and Early Teens
rambled the upper west side of Manhattan, scouring the public library, which became her
Always thirsting for knowledge, Fournier
used books and her
imagination to transport her
to remote places around the globe.
The library quickly became her
Various teachers in the New York City public school system also fed her
desire for learning.
credits the city's public school and library systems as a foundation for her
success as an educator.
credits the Washington Heights elementary school she
was allowed to develop creatively at a very young age and was encouraged to think critically and to apply her
knowledge so that she
could create new knowledge.
Thankfully for her
, a few teachers in the New York City school system were bucking the industrial era teaching format the country had adopted post WWII, even though the country was already moving toward a knowledge-based world with the advent of the golden age of television.
This concept - that America is still following a post WWII industrial education model today - is what has Dr. Fournier
at odds with the current educational system in America.
Fournier's Call For Change
returned to the states with her
husband, who had come to Memphis on a Developmental Pediatrics Fellowship at the University of Tennessee Boling Center for Developmental Disabilities
She enrolled at the University of Memphis to complete her doctorate in education philosophy then began teaching only to immediately recognize that the United States was falling behind other countries in effectively educating children.
In 1979, she
began assessing children, seeing the same problems in both public and private school students, noting that the issues were not stemming from a lack of money for education but were due to an outdated education model.
began emphasizing in speeches and consultations she
made around the country that the post WWII industrial model of education must change, no matter what it took.
vowed not to give in or give up on her
message that the United States must change the educational model to a knowledge-based model if America is to continue to compete in a global economy, a message she
still delivers today.
To Dr. Fournier
, education is about more than memorizing facts, passing tests and receiving grades (the industrial era learning model she
It's about understanding how students learn.
believes the industrial era education model must change as well as the labeling of students as "learning disabled," "unmotivated" or "careless" just because they can't or don't want to follow a broken system.
success can also be attributed to her
ability to assess what is right with children while continuing to point out what is wrong with the system.
own assessment techniques, which pinpoint strengths and unlock overlooked nuances in children and adolescents that often lead to misdiagnosis of pathology and learning disabilities.
One-on-one, Dr. Fournier serves as a child's advocate and is known for her uncanny ability to see and understand the child's side of the problem.
Tables at her
company are filled with stacks and stacks of testimonial letters.
They are from grateful parents and serve as a declaration of her ability and success.
Dr. Fournier has been a Scripps Howard News Service Columnist for 20 years.
is the creator and author of Scripps Howard's Hassle-Free Homework® column which is distributed to more than 300 newspapers around the country.
® offers evaluation and guidance to specific questions from parents who write to her
desperate for help.
Numerous features and articles have been written over the years about Dr. Fournier
Strategizer® Series has helped thousands of children develop three skills: organizing, planning, and decision-making.
These skills foster a child's independent, lifelong learning ability, resulting in a competitive, resourceful adult in the workplace.
For 29 years, she
has headed Fournier Learning Strategies (FLS).
has assembled a group of like-minded educational counselors and administrators at Fournier Learning Strategies
, the leading educational counseling service in Memphis.
Founded in 1979 by Dr. Fournier, FLS has counseled and assessed thousands of students in its near 30 years of operation.
Fournier Learning Strategies offers daytime educational programs for homeschoolers from K-12 as well as customized after-school courses at its east Memphis headquarters in the Ridgeway Loop.
In addition, FLS
has summer courses as well as customized summer programs.
A key to the success of Fournier Learning Strategies, whether through Dr. Fournier's assessments or in her customized educational programs, is the individualized learning that equips the student with the thinking processes that schools and parents assume children already possess.
It is often said of Dr. Fournier
has the heart to see past the labels-- to see each child and each parent as a gift.
Evidence of this decorates her
office in the form of thoughtful mementos given to her
by grateful families.
Fournier's Private Life
Dr. Fournier and her husband retired Developmental Pediatrician Manuel Soto-Viera, live with Sophie, their dog.
© 1989-2011 Yvonne Fournier
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