The three barriers to learning are outlined in five textbooks for kids: Basic Study Manual, Study Skills for Life, Learning How to Learn, How to Use a Dictionary and Grammar and Communication for Children.
The first barrier is called a "lack of mass," which means students need to gain hands-on experience to understand a concept. "Lacking the object associated with a word can inhibit all understanding," explains the Applied Scholastics Web site.
The second barrier is a concept called "too steep a gradient," requiring that students master a subject matter before moving on to more advanced concepts.
The third is called "misunderstood words," in which students are taught to go back to look up words in a dictionary if they do not understand a concept. "Stupidity is the effect of misunderstood words," according to ScientologyHandbook.org.
The process of looking up misunderstood words is called "word clearing," a six-step procedure that begins with looking up the word in a dictionary and using each of its definitions in several example sentences.
The three barriers to learning are accompanied by physiological responses, according to Study Technology. A student who has skipped a gradient may feel a sort of confusion or a feeling of reeling, such as moving or swaying like you might fall, according to the Applied Scholastics Web site. The books Learning How to Learn and the Basic Study Manual teach that misunderstood words cause symptoms like feeling blank, tired, worried, upset, "like you are not there", or suffering "a sort of nervous hysteria."
Touretzky warned that by teaching kids words like "mass," "clear" and "gradients" that are scattered throughout Church of Scientology literature, the implementation of Study Tech is a way of slipping in Scientology through the back door.
"Study Tech is one of several paths the church pursues to insinuate Scientology into civilized society," he said.
According to the Applied Scholastics Web site, Study Technology has reached 28 million children at 650 centers and schools in more than 65 countries.
Eight of those students attended Prescott Middle School in Baton Rouge, La., During the 2005-2006 school year, Study Tech was used to "salvage a group of 8th grade students, who might not otherwise be qualified to enter high school at the end of the school year," according to the Web site.
All eight passed the Louisiana Education Assessment Program standardized exam and entered 9th grade, according to Diola Bagayoko, a professor of physics at Southern University who partnered with Prescott to develop the school's curriculum, which included Study Tech.
He said the use of Study Tech was a last ditch effort before Prescott was taken over for failing to perform. He said he thoroughly investigated Study Tech before it was implemented and was pleased with the results.
He told ABCNews.com that the methodology is "very effective" and based on sound principles.
Bagayoko, who is not a Scientologist, said Scientology was never mentioned during the two years it was administered at Prescott. "There was not a single occurrence of Scientology ever being pushed. I'm emphatic about it." He said the kids didn't even know who L. Ron Hubbard was.
He admitted, however, that the program ended after two years because of negative media attention focused on the ties between Study Tech and Scientology.