Before children go to school they learn more facts, more information about the world, than it takes to get a university degree! Among other things, they learn to walk and to speak, two enormous achievements by any criteria.
Research has shown that 85% of 6 year olds have a positive self esteem and consider themselves to be good learners. What has happened to the other 15%? Somehow they have learnt to think less than positively about themselves. Ten years on there is an even sadder picture - only 16% of 16 year olds are positive about themselves and think they are good learners.
When a young child takes their first faltering steps, they do so in an atmosphere of love and support, of encouragement, and delight in their achievement. Above all, it’s a fun experience. And remember, falling over (or making mistakes) is all part of the experience – we learn by making mistakes.
Learning to Speak at any age is a Highly Complex Task
The child is motivated by a great need to communicate, yet they must first sort out individual sounds from a seemingly unintelligible jumble of noise, learn that these sounds have meaning, understand rhythm, stress and intonation and master the rudiments of grammar! Often we correct their mistakes, although some observers have found that children have a marvellous capacity to learn from these ‘mistakes’ and eventually succeed. Indeed they appear to learn faster if not corrected. Perhaps if a child is corrected too often, they learn to think less of themselves. Certainly some leading researchers believe this to be the case. I am sure you have heard that research has shown that you can start teaching children as young as six months foreign languages just by exposure to a language and that by 3 they can be multi lingual.
Pressures of Examinations and a Good Clue
What is it that happens to our children as they move through school? One pressure they are faced with almost immediately they begin school and it increases as they get older, is the dreaded and feared “examination”. Almost from the start they are tested and graded, measured against each other or some other standard, which may have no meaning to the children themselves. Some children appear to thrive on the pressure of competition. Unfortunately many others soon develop an attitude of failure, learning very quickly that no-one expects much of a ‘failure’ and therefore the pressure is off.
Examination, particularly the HSC, places enormous strain and restriction on students and teachers alike.
Nevertheless they appear to be here to stay, in the foreseeable future at least. What we can do is to teach children how to learn more effectively in the school environment – to encourage them to keep learning the way they have from birth, to learn in such a way that utilises all of the amazing abilities and capacity of our brain – the greatest computer ever designed!
A good clue is to use mind mapping. It was made famous by Tony Buzan (although many people used mind mapping or mind scapes or mind charts before Tony Buzan), and is a widely accepted method of making notes, planning essays and projects, developing understanding, thinking and analysis skills, and increasing retention and recall. It also develops creativity and encourages the use of the imagination, even in the traditionally ‘logical, left-brain’ subject areas. Children can be taught many techniques that mimic the natural learning processes of the brain. Learning becomes easier, more creative, more fun.
I have a number of helpful products in this area
A useful website is www.studentstepstosuccess.com
My one-day Student Seminar titled The Learn Faster Kit – is on 2 DVDs, 7 CDs, a book and a workbook.
How to Learn is all Important
And use sophisticated mind mapping, analysing and thinking skills, structuring and writing essays, improving reading and comprehension, and developing perfect memory and recall, all using the infinite power of our amazing brain.
The fact that we all talk to ourselves 50-60,000 times a day, emphasizes the huge impact this must be having on our subconscious mind. Take notice of how many negative words you hear when you keep your ears tuned to listen for them. You may be astonished at how many you might hear … I can’t… What a pain in the neck… I forgot…
Their meaning, their impact is pretty obvious, isn’t it?
Imagine this … you’re a contestant on a Quiz Show and it’s the final ‘mad minute,’ scores are tied, and the last question is…
“What are the 8 steps to program your goals in your subconscious mind?”
$100,000 worth of prizes and $150,000 in cash is yours if you can press the buzzer and give the answer…. can you?
If you can’t it’s time for a refresher, isn’t it? Come to the CHI Seminar in Tassie (it is at a $300 OFF price which pays for your airfares).
How to ‘kick-start’ your day, and keep it running….
You probably didn’t jump out of bed this morning and immediately think - ‘I must Switch-On my brain.’ More likely, you thought about switching on the gas or the electric jug, for that all important morning heart starter. Yet according to medical science, switching on your brain is precisely what you should do, and continue to do throughout the day. Why?
Because, for memory to take place scientists have proven that Left/Right brain communication must take place.
One important thing to know is that the ‘creative’ side works 40 to 400 times faster than the ‘analytical’ side, and in each of us, one side is usually dominant. Hence the excitement builds when you realise that accelerated learning comes…. when you can get both sides working together as a team. How? It’s easy! You just do certain exercises as prescribed by a certified Kinesiologist. (Kinesiology means the study of motion, in particular the study of how muscles act and co-ordinate the body.) An exercise I mentioned recently (in this Mind Matters News), designed to integrate the brain, is called the ‘lazy-eight.’ This activity trains you brain to switch between left and right sides easily and it’s great if you want a spark of Creativity before approaching any task.
All the best!