Dr Calderon

talks to Jil

Dr Maria Teresa F Calderon, Ph.D International Speaker for Edutech Conference Dr Maria Teresa Calderon Dean of the Graduate School of Education Arellano University, Philippines

Dr Maria Teresa F Calderon, Ph.D  “Tell me and I forget; show me and I remember; involve me and I understand.” Chinese Proverb included on Dr Calderon’s keynote speaker presentation slides.

Dean, Florentino Cayco Memorial School of Graduate Studies – Education

Arellano University

Manila, Philippines

Keynote speaker – Edutech Africa 2018

The Learning Experience – Teachers as brain-changers: Empowering the teacher to teach differently

Dr Calderon was a keynote speaker at EduTech Africa 2018, assigned by her University in

Manila, Philippines to address local and international educational industry leaders at EduTech Africa 2018.

Dr Calderon was introduced as the fastest reader in the world – 80,000 words per minute with 100% comprehension.

Dr Calderon is lovely. She is petite, smiling, warm and unassuming. She is funny, loves good food, reading and gardening. She is open, caring and observant.

She lives in Manila, Philippines and travels the world to share and gain knowledge.

We met at EduTech Africa 2018 where she was a keynote speaker. She is an exciting, fun, knowledgeable speaker. She is good to listen to and leaves an audience wanting to know more about her topic with a strong desire to get hold of her presentation slides and notes any which way they can.

At the end EduTech Africa 2018, we shared stories over dinner at the Piccolo Mondo Restaurant at the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton, South Africa. Salads, beef, mushrooms, fish, a shared desert of fresh orange ice cream, waffles and the restaurant’s famous crème brulee.

Her advice for me was very simple. She told me what she says she tells all her students – be organized. “Jil, to be successful, you need to be organized.”

Dr Calderon can read a book in about 20 minutes. One page a second. She has recorded a reading speed of 80,000 words in one minute with 100 percent comprehension.

She holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest reader and has been featured in several world journals.


“Speed reading simply means efficient reading. I believe that this ability is but a reflection of the way a person lives his life; a lifestyle. An efficient lifestyle means an organized and methodical approach to daily chores, and, even, the process of decision-making. Applying this to reading means being organized and being methodical when scanning a page, and assembling the meaning together to form one gestalt or essence.”

At Arellana University’s Graduate School of Education, Dr Calderon leads a program called DEAR: Drop Everything and Read which aims to inspire and provide uninterrupted reading time for students.

She is known to achieve high pass rates from learners completing their legal bar exams and from nurses completing their nursing examinations.


Very simple, “By teaching learners how to read and comprehend.”

How will we get our learners in South Africa to achieve better results in school and at University?

“By teaching them how to read. By keeping them focused and taking away distractions. By teaching the love of reading.”

“In my holidays – I fly to America, New York to be with my family and you will find me in the book stores reading for hours and days.”

What is the schooling like in the Philippines?

“It is the same as South Africa. Cities are densely populated. Public schools have up to 90 learners in a class. There are two school shifts per day. Private schooling is the same as in South Africa.”

“I am lucky, I grew up in a family that celebrated and rewarded education and academic  achievement.”

“My Dad served under President Diosdado Macapagal as the Chairman of the National Marketing Corporation (NAMARCO), then ran and won in the election for delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention. After the EDSA Revolution, he was appointed a member of the 1981 Constitutional Commission. I am glad I did not follow him into politics.”

“My Mum Betty Fabros Calderon made history in the Manila Stock Exchange as the first and only woman member from 1967 to 1983. She taught at the Arellano High School in the 1940’s.”

“My eldest sister, Lilia Calderon-Clemente is chairperson of Clemente Capital, Inc., a New York money manager and specialist in emerging markets. She is described by the U.S. media as the “Wonder Woman of Wall Street.” She has managed multi-billion-dollar funds in New York for many years, and is now a Beijing-based investor in China.”

“My other sister, Dr. Norma Calderon-Panahon, is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the APA, a Diplomate in Psychiatry, and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She is also a clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry of the State University of New York at Buffalo and a recipient of the prestigious George Tarjan Award given by the American Psychiatric Association as the Most Outstanding International Medical Graduate in 2004, for implementing the integration of IMGs into American Psychiatry.”

“My youngest sister, Maria Victoria F. Calderon, is the Director of the Child Development Center at Erie County Community College. She recently received double prestigious awards as one of the top five best professors at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the Gillette-Brouser Community Award for the empowerment of women and as a role model in the community.”

“I hold an A.B. in Political Science, M.A. in Education, and Ph.D. in Education, all from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. It is my lifelong mission to make a difference in the lives of my students.”

Before my appointment as Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Arellano University, I was the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the First Asia Institute of Technology and Humanities in Tanauan, Batangas.”

Dr Calderon talks about how learning happens in the brain, how memory works, the environment schools need to create to make learning happen, foods that should be eaten, hydration techniques, how to keep distractions out of the classroom and learner attention.

She says educators need to become literate in the general structure and function of the brain. They need to learner how to determine whether a study is valid or not. They need to be cautious when making applications of research findings to the classroom. They should not ignore research from other fields such as behavioral and cognitive psychology and educational research. And they should incorporate in our classrooms and schools what we have learned about the brain.

It is interesting to note that Dr Calderon’s EduTech Africa 2018 keynote speaker presentation slides for local and international teachers included this Chinese Proverb.

“Tell me and I forget; show me and I remember; involve me and I understand.”

“These are very exciting times for the teaching profession.”

“We are faced with a generation of learners who are challenging us to think about new ways on how to deliver instruction.”

“Jil, I have read your web site – you and I are doing the same thing in different ways. Empowering teachers to teach differently.” Dr Maria Teresa F Calderon, Ph.D