From the desk of a psychologist!

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Is learning only retaining?

With each passing day, I am getting more & more convinced that what we test is the merely the retention power of our students. Is that what real learning is?
To be honest we don’t know better. Stuck with the teaching skills of the 70s, we blindly follow.We claim that we are preparing students for the 21st century but refuse to equip ourselves for the same.

You would be shocked to know that instead of empowering our students, we are crippling them more. We try our best to make them the best learners but restrict them to become inadequate rote learners .

To understand this, lets first try to understand what is learning?

The most simple explanation is very well depicted through this diagram.

 

We have conveniently stopped ourselves in the first step of procuring. I strongly think the biggest hurdle, in our smooth movement to the next phase, is our own RESISTANCE. We are so comfortable in checking the procuring ability of our students that we refuse to change and move forward. We are failing to make learning meaningful.

I don’t think that our students are failing us, but it is we who aren’t able to make them understand their own potential & worth.Go ahead, challenge yourself…get out of your comfort zone. You have the power to make life long learners, making relevant transformations.

TIME TO CHANGE US!!!

Indisciplined Demons

 

If we don’t shape our kids, they will be shaped by outside forces that don’t care what shape our kids are in. ~ Dr. Louise Hart

This lead to me reading and working on understanding discipline and annotating it in a positive aspect. Authors, Psychologists,Researchers have shared their profound knowledge & experience with us. They have provided us with various ways for positive discipline. It is definitely insightful and empowering, gearing up with these useful tools.

Parents & educators feel ready & groomed to take the plunge. They, equipped with their new found understanding  start implementing these strategies to the tee but most of the time their skills & efforts go in vain. The real change in behaviour is a far cry from the expected guaranteed one. Often blame goes to the expert but the simple reason is our naivety in not being conscious of the relevant protocol.

Read books with a plethora of strategies and ways to positively discipline your kids or students but realized a major ingredient of a successful recipe missing from the best there. You expect individuals to implement the strategies but what happens to the flavors they are bringing with them. There can’t be a blank sheet as we are human beings with our individualities, our strengths & our challenges.

How do we expect to implement the strategies with our subjectivity?

Our life’s journey fill us up with resentments, anger, grief apart from tons of other emotions. We carry the baggage. If we aren’t able to identify and deal with the things in our baggage, our perspectives will be colored. We will deal with our children with these shaded emotions making the questionable behaviour worse if not better.

I feel the sharing on discipline and behaviour modifications are great but for doing so one needs to deal with one’s demons first. One has to think, if I have my own insecurities, how am I going to be non judgmental in my approach which is the biggest pillar of positive disciplining. hqdefault

I would say learn, imbibe, implement but be aware of your own challenges otherwise your education is futile. Your angels & demons live inside you, choose to excel or fail. When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.

“We like Batman – we understand him, we suffer with him. On the other hand, we want to be Superman. But they’re conflicting philosophies. Let’s bring them together in one movie and see how we, as an audience, wrestle with our inner demons.”-Wolfgang Petersen

 

Upgrade your self!

I’m beautiful in my way
‘Cause God makes no mistakes
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way                                       199260_1944591455313_1258298182_32372566_4581018_n

I love this song. It sums it all. I am fine the way God has made me and should be proud of it.

Then why the world talks about changing? They say it’s never too late to change your life or your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change and so on.

When you think about it in this way it is confusing, you get entangled in your thoughts.

Actually it is quite simple. We all are born in a certain way ( which is beautiful & perfect) but we need up gradation.

Think of it as a software which is inbuilt in your system but needs constant update otherwise it will be obsolete. You need to imbibe change to stay away from spam and run antivirus regularly.

We are born perfect but in our journey of life we catch a lot of viruses. These corrupt the system, that is why the need of CHANGE is there.

As a child we are pure, perfect and that’s our true self. As we grow our values, beliefs & attitudes are altered through our life’s experiences. We keep on putting layers on our true selves to hide our insecurities & challenges.

It’s time to stop, reflect, get rid of the many layers ( viruses) and accept our true beautiful self.

Trust me nothing is going to be more EMPOWERING!

Its only the mould which breaks them!

Its only the mould which breaks them!.

Its only the mould which breaks them!

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. – Dr. Seuss

I am a true believer of the uniqueness of each and every individual. We differ in a lot of ways from each other and this certainly affects our learning too. Some lessons work for us while some fail miserably, why is it so?  1for-a-fair-selection-everybody-has-to-take-the-same-exam_787144ec8906c416d5b842d5d9412257

I won’t give the whole credit to the instructor of the class but the power is in the hands of the learning environment. I am going to explore three learning environments, which according to me is instrumental in deciding the future of an individual learning outcome.

1. **A learning environment which encourages the right way of using multimedia**:
This environment provides educators with an opportunity to engage learners in an immerse and interactive environment that requires knowledge, decision making, and information management skills.

( http://www.educause.edu/eli/programs/learning-technologies)

The world is changing and how? Being in India, we are living with technology. I work in a school where we are preparing our kids to be successful in the next decade. We still have no clue what advancement in technology would be there by then but one thing we couldn’t deny is the growth of multimedia.

I have seen children who learn genuinely through games, simulations & virtual world. They are excellent in it and any given day could teach you skills you can use life long. But they aren’t learning the way we are teaching them. We become too instructional with something which is made to be explored & experimental.

I have seen special students doing fairly well and learning effectively when given the opportunity with multimedia.

My only, but not trivial concern, with this learning environment is the inability of children to stop and draw the line when requires. It still needs vigilant supervision.

2. **Learning through Nature :**

My next environment is just the opposite of the first one. I have never seen the happiness and contentment in learning than when students return from a field trip or external learning environment.

Play expert Stuart Brown ( 2009) provides compelling evidence that a ” play deficit” exists. It is sad but true and if you are blessed to be in an educational environment you can actually feel it.

The brain develops in a healthy way and it also enables creativity. The addition of fantasy also encourages students to role play and conquer their fears. The flip side actually emerges from here when it goes beyond learning and the child is unable to come back to reality and the practicality is lost.

3. **Sociocultural Learning environment:**

To meet the goal of “preparing people for an ever-changing world”, instructional programs need to apply strategies that focus on the development of critical thinking, problem solving, research, and lifelong learning.

Every day you learn something due to your individual, social & cultural factors. The best learning is when you recognize these factors and make full use of it while most of the time sadly it goes unnoticed. If properly used and made an aide to learning, it impacts our growth for life.

So, my whole point is wear the suit which suits you the best. No need to run after what works for the people or what is in these days.

Remember most of the time ““Its only the mould that breaks them!!!”

“Who to be and Who not to be”

Recently lost a colleague, who was struggling with cancer. A person who was disciplined, focused and always working for the future. He seldom enjoyed the present as that diverted him from his focus. After the feeling of sadness and loss, came the reiteration to my learning of cherishing the present.

Most of us know this very well, we have read & heard about it all the time. Then what makes it so difficult to follow.

I would say one major reason is the people we are with. I am a true believer of “the power lies within us” but at the same time totally appreciate the significance of Influencers.  These are the people who give direction to our thought processes, change our moods & can play with our feelings. These influencers can be easily categorized into the positive, neutral & negative.

Think of the people you stay with and you can see them fitting into one of these categories.  There are the ones who make you feel better, good about yourself as well as the situation you are in, consequently encouraging you to live in the moment. The second category is of those who are there but very rarely cross your path of thoughts and feelings, usually is in sync with almost everything you say or do. Then there are those who make you feel unsure, doubts yourself and everyone and fills you with negativity forcing you to leave the present. 126030489542970752_Ch8EfMZu_c

But the most integral part about these influencers are their dynamic state. It is interesting to observe that a single person is in different categories viz a viz various people. A single person could be the positive influencer for someone while can play the negative one for someone else.

Take our relationships as chemical reactions. Certain types of personality types with distinct personality traits when mixed with other kinds can yield different results. Which can or can’t be pleasant.

As two substances when mixed gives a totally rare output the same is true with us. When we interact with a certain person the whole experience is  typical to that  person only. From here it becomes simple to understand the chemical reaction which we have with some people yielding positive or negative results.

Be aware, start reflecting on your relationships & interactions. Start spending more time with people who help you live in the moment. Bring out the positives in you, love to laugh and can make you see the good part in all the situations.  Stay away from those who drain the energy out of you, make you run away from the present and make you doubt yourself.This means you need to start assessing the people around you.

I am not encouraging you to be selfish but just to start loving yourself!

 

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 29,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 7 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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