How do students grow up to become a subject expert, a pioneer scientist or an entrepreneur from tiny children learning the ABC? There are many aspects which will affect this life-long educational journey but I want to discuss only two of them in this short blog.
Mind your language
Our planet Earth is largely made up of water, about 71 per cent, and the scientific research on this essential part of our world is staggering and innovative.
A research paper from the Aerospace Institute at the University of Stuttgart in Germany supports the theory that water has memory. In another piece of research by Dr. Masaru Emoto (a Japanese author, doctor of alternative medicine, pioneer researcher and entrepreneur) claimed that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water. He hired photographers to take pictures of water after being exposed to the different variables and then frozen, so that they would form crystalline structures. He then went on to type out different words, both positive and negative in nature, and taped them to containers full of water. He found that water stamped with positive words was far more symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing than water stamped with dark, negative phrases. Even though commentators criticised Emoto for insufficient experimental controls and for not sharing enough details of his approach with the scientific community, it is however a widely shared feeling that water affects human psychology and also the brain. Perhaps this is because, just like our planet, the human body is also largely made up of water, up to 60 per cent.
It is a revolutionary idea that how we think can affect the molecular structure of water, but what this research highlights is that the language we use has vital importance in our world.
Most importantly, in education how we think also dictates how we learn. I believe that we should strive to use positive language to encourage our learners to do their best on their long educational journey. This is especially vital for students who are not motivated intrinsically in particular subject areas, but need that external motivation.
Find new ways
Like snowflakes or fingerprints each student is unique and different. They do not all share a common interest in every subject that teachers or other students might be interested in.
You may find a video like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4TGhu36W_U
amazing enough to share about your area of expertise and passion. Nonetheless, some students will remain uninterested. Do not panic. It’s as normal as the nature of the world. As much as it is their journey to find their path or calling, it is our mission as teachers, and parents, to unlock the best that is in them. So do not give up to find new ways to engage student interest and motivation.
For example, in my pursuit to find new ways, I was inspired by a GPS fitness-tracking app for iOS and Android: Runkeeper. I like its method very much. Even after a poor performance, it always finds a new way to encourage me to do sports or not to give up with phrases like:
Congratulations! A new personal best for walking!
Keep it Going! Congratulations on your new personal record!
Farthest Distance: 19.47 km.
Most Calories Burned: 1029 cal.
Fastest Average Pace: 3:18 min/km.
Largest Elevation Climb: 339 m.
Farthest Distance in a Week: 19.47 km.
Most Calories Burned in a Week: 1029 cal.
Fastest Average Pace in a Week: 3:18 min/km.
Largest Elevation Climb in a Week: 339 m
Fastest Average Pace in a Month: 3:18 min/km.
Providing me with factual data to show improvement is a good example for me and others. Giving goals, achievements and positive motivation inspires me as it sets within my sights a roadmap to success. The same can be adapted for students.
What other examples do you have about these two ideas which you can share? What is your source of inspiration? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org