Dale's Cone – pyramid of fakes?

How to distinguish a knowledge from pseudo-knowledge? Why are we falling into educational traps of effective learning pyramids which in fact have little to do with effective learning? How to search and choose the source of knowledge online and to verify information? Today we are taking up the subject which disturb dreams of experienced teachers, educators, psychopedagogists and educational trainers.

Cliff Notes version: don’t climb ‘Learning Pyramid! Why? Read our article and enjoy it!

 

About pyramids, cones and other shapes

It’s good to start with already legendary concept which is a queen of all trainings’ introductions. Also known as the specific educational axiom which is willingly published by schools, universities, preschools or training companies. What's more, it became a basic link of different kinds of games, exercises and other methods of training groups’ activation what frequently causes paradoxes, but those we will discuss it later. What are we talking about? About ‘Learning Pyramid’, that is a concept which is one of the largest problems disturbing an educational system. It contains the plenty of data versions, has a lot of names (Dale's Cone, Remembering Pyramid, Triangle of Teaching, Effectiveness Pyramid (sic!), Experience’s Cone) and many authors who modify it according to their needs.

What’s the big deal? After all the first contact with this concept is sensational – it is a simple, clear and understandable scheme to everyone. Well, the big deal is about the inaccuracy, distortions and unsupported contents. It is supposed to result from the concept, how the form of the transmission of information influences remembering them. The diversification of nomenclature and authors causes the quite big confusion in levels of the concept, their percent of the retention and defining itself, e.g. in one version the level of the vision includes 15% and in other 50%.

Author of the book ‘Psychopedagogiczne mity’, Tomasz Garstka, whose research we will discuss soon, mentioned that Edgar Dale had dealt with a field of how to use audiovisual materials in the educational process as well as what manners of the processing information differ at using methods of handing over in of knowledge (from traditional to abstract). Thanks to his deliberations a myth arose – Dale's Cone which waited to get plenty of copies with assigned percents, although in the initial concept they weren't mentioned!

How does ‘Learning Pyramid’ look like? 

  1. 10% – this we remember of what we read (schoolbook, book).
  2. 20% – this we remember of what we hear (lecture).
  3. 30% – this we remember of what we see (pictures, paintings).
  4. 50% – this we remember of what we see and hear (film).
  5. 70% – this we remember of what we say (debate).
  6. 90% – this we remember of what we say and do (practical activities, exercises, simulations).

Dale’s Cone – a lot of doubts

Garstka excellently shatters the myths: Dale thought that we should use all experience methods. He noticed that recognizing education with experience as the only right method can lead to stopping the process of knowledge generalization’. Moreover he pays our attention to the comment of the researcher from Pennsylvania State University: ‘Current applying and advertising Dale's Cone with percents [...] as the paradigm of learning is ethically wrong and it reflects, that they only have little awareness of the existence of corresponding literature in the field of planned design of environment for effective teaching'. Hurts! He also shows a source which brightly emphasizes, that reading isn't only an effective method of teaching/learning, but this is also main foundation for becoming a person who learns for entire life. Checkmate!

It is hard to disagree with these conclusions. Unfortunately a ‘pseudo-knowledge’ based on a percents from each levels of Dale's Cone is being repeatedly handed over during educational trainings. We have an impression that educational coaches unwittingly use the Pyramid, promoting false information in the process. It alarms us, at least it should. We recommend solid research of content, before it will hit others.

Question marks centre

We decided to take apart absurd data from Dale's Cone which are often handed over worldwide during trainings by lecturers for even a few thousand PLN, leaving the plenty of rhetorical questions in the space. So… we remember 90% of what we do. Really? What does ‘to do something by oneself’ and mean and how to do it? Will doing some activity incorrectly influence remembering well or just the opposite? Can we count on feedback? From who and in what way? Where does the belief that contents which we will remember, will result from ‘doing something’ rather than from feedback come from? In what way should we handle with stress? All right, a chance of acquiring sure competence from performing some activities exists – we won't learn how to swim from the book after all. Unfortunately it isn't regarding the entire spectrum of remaining areas. What's more, we don't know:

  1. What does specifically 90% and 20% mean?
  2. In what way ‘watching’ and ‘reading’ was diversified (we must see to read)?
  3. What does specifically a discussion mean? If two people talk about content they both learn about – are they discussing? We remember 50% information of discussion. Of what specifically? Words? If yes – whose? Ours? Someone’s? It’s ‘listening’ yet, isn’t it? 
  4. How was better remembering while listening to the lecture than reading the same material measured?

Additionally, we don't know what ‘remembering’ really is in Dale's Cone. There is no description of the concept which explains, what ‘remembering’ is and what specifically we remember. We don't know whether individual levels of Pyramid cause, that information isn't acquired by the recipient, or perhaps something disturbs while doing it. Perhaps it is a completely different problem, e.g. of the concentration or attention?

Time for the most relevant aspect: how was it researched? What groups were compared? Where is methodology (which stores de facto seem impossible to use)? All materials would have to match to each other with contents and be introduced to individual groups and remembered with various methods. Impossible exists! Especially that values in Dale's Cone are equal and accidental: 10%, 50%, 90% etc.

We don't like to leave you without answers, but we don’t find any. They aren't out there. They don't exist. Even Dale doesn’t know them and Pyramid/Cone are simply a nonsense. Very harmful indeed.

Still so many people are into the mythical Dale’s Cone, handling over false unsupported data with no research. Why? Why did nobody tempted to analyze this theory? Lack of time for verification? Perhaps. Let’s not look for abbreviations. Let’s think. Let’s check and verify. In this way we can be sure that we deal with honest information.

And you? Do you know ‘Learning Pyramid’? What do you think about it? 

 


'Mind Mapping' by Tony Buzan – 10 quotes from a book

Google Maps has nothing to do with Tony Buzan’s mind maps. The app does things for you while mind maps in opposite – they involve your mind 100% and allow to build endless semantic networks. The Buzan’s method stimulates creativity, improves an ability to think, organizes the entire information database which brain processes. We chose 10 quotations which perfectly reflect the concept of mindmapping and its validity both at school, at work, as well as in private life. Ready to go?

Perhaps you will think: ‘why do I need mind maps if I systematically take notes?’. Well, linearity has its limits and not without reason e.g. university libraries are often called public bedrooms, because students fall asleep on books and notes, enormously weary. In order to avoid the nap by the shared desk between bookshelves, we recommend creative use of your mind’s multifactorness. Reach for all functions of the brain conciously (words, symbols, numbers, hierarchy, sets, analysis, associations, rhythms, visualisation, sense of space, imagination). Be like da Vinci!

 

  1. ‘Whoever and wherever you are, while reading these words, you are using the most wonderful, most tremendous, most complicated and secret tool in the entire universe – your brain’.
  2. ‘Every data bit reaching your brain – every impression, memory or the thought (containing words, numbers, tastes, smells, lines, colours, images, rhythms, sounds, textures) – we can conventionally describe it as the bullet with hundreds, thousands, millions of hooks sticking out of it. Each of them symbolizes some association, whereas every association has an own net of more distant connections. It is possible to call such a semantic system an own database or the library of your mind’.
  3. Mindmapping will make you realize what capacity your mind is given and will help you multiply its productivity. Proper data storing improves the process of thinking. Your brain can sometimes look like a badly packed suitcase or the library without the catalogue. Mind maps are next step to linear thinking (‘one-dimensional’) through lateral (‘two-dimensional’) to multidirectional’.
  4. ‘The fact that we have only few common associations with specific word, image or idea proves how different we are from ourselves. Every man is unique. You have trillions of associations in your mind which never crossed and will never cross other person’s mind’.
  5. ‘Full validity of mind maps becomes apparent when in its centre and in all other places, where it is appropriate, an image is put, not a word. Connecting two mind abilities – verbal and visual – heightens its creativity, particularly if you create own symbols and sign systems’.
  6. ‘Mind maps are combined with two kinds of factors: external so the source of information (book, lecture, newspaper, television etc.) and internal so brain activities (decision making, analysis and creativity)’.
  7. ‘Everyone who teaches others must realize that the first lesson for students should be how to properly use our brain. Learning of an intellectual efficiency is as equally important as counting and an alphabet’.
  8. ‘The change of paradigm means the global change in thinking about fundamental assumptions taken over by the mankind in specific historical period. Darwin’s theory as well as Einstein’s are good examples. They are paradigms which replaced former systems of thinking. Mind maps are wonderful tool to note a change of paradigm’.
  9. ‘Mind map supports and reflects the process of intellectual searching and improvement’.
  10. ‘Both types of mind maps are inseparably conjugated so while drawing memory maps, we simultaneously improve our creativity, whereas drawing creative maps improves our abilities to remember. It is like perfect self-regulating system’.

 

What do you think about that? Are you staying with traditional method of making notes or perhaps you will help yourself with quite big change to make considerable use of all your brain’s possibilities to gain even bigger knowledge so far? Remember, your mind is versatile. Don't let yourself persuade that it’s not.

 


Tony Buzan, 'Mind Mapping' – book review

Following dictionary of the Polish language (PWN): to buzz – ‘to burn with a great flame’. Following Tony Buzan, the author of ‘Mind Maps’: make notes linearly, create schemes in such forms your brain works. The name of a mind genius and its functioning has a lot to do with above word in bold. Do you feel boredom or stimulation while making notes? It depends. If you decide to go with mind mapping concept, your head will be free and fully creative. What’s more, individual notions will determine developing others and you will hit the blue causing that what you map, could be perfectly suitable for paper insert in encyclopedia. Hop aboard and see for yourself that your mind’s coordinates are simply endless.

Tony Buzan – intellectual revolutionist?

Definitely! What’s more, not less important than Ken Robinson (intentional person placement). Buzan has a huge knowledge on brain functioning. Learning techniques are his thing and fortunately he wasn’t afraid to use these hints which improve learning effectiveness of thousands of students worldwide. In short – Buzan is a man who sat down and wrote the thing about colours. His method oscillates near relevant mind mapping so as to constantly increase semantic potential, train memory and reach the highest level in remembering this information which you will regard the most significant.

Let’s agree – intellectual work is no joke, although a decent drip coffee would certainly support such process. To what extent did you manage to develop your perception? And abilities of associating? What about remembering? Through the entire life we try to improve these activities, frequently stumbling through them. If you still search for the best way to optimize your brain functioning and you want to achieve real success at school or at work, high five to Buzan’s method.

Goodbye, linearity!

A happy one! With no tears! Can you believe it? This inconspicuous book is a solid compendium about brain thinking processes. However it should be noted that it is one among many theories, so while reading keep your scientific scepticism. In spite of some simplification and inaccuracies in Buzan’s methodology, it might be beneficial. Buzan shares with all the answers, among other things, how to activate such brain parts which were being unused so far. The colour and symbol – remember. Say loud goodbye to traditional ways of making notes which are simply boring and… little or less effective. Thanks to mind maps your learning process will become easier, pleasant (imagine it!), creative and effective. It is worth to mention that this book is versatile – it isn't only a splendid book great for pupils and students, but also for teachers, academics, business or simply for everyone who want to improve their private comfort.

In book’s opening you can read:

‘We hope that reading this book will please you. It should be both a challenge and an encouragement. It will uncover the secrets about the brain and its functions as well as will show you the right way to achieve the freedom of the mind. This book was written to:

  1. Explain completely new definition of multidirectional thinking.
  2. Get used to revolutionary mindmapping method which can teach you how to think in multidirectional way.
  3. Give you an enormous intellectual freedom by showing that you can control a body and a train of thought, and that your creative potential is theoretically limitless.
  4. Present exercises which can improve your intellectual abilities.
  5. Please you with discovering new unusual mind world’.

 Here comes the keyword!

… a key to create the effective mind map. Keywords have great influence to the ability to create associations. Ok, we have words. What do we need more? An image. The structure of a mind map is well explained in separate chapter in the book. The topic division of the book deserves kudos. Buzan’s ‘Mind Maps’ are divided into 6 parts:

  • Nature architecture,
  • Basics,
  • Structure,
  • Fusion,
  • Praxis,
  • Annex.

In first part of the book we read about intellectual phenomena, brain functioning, its structure, about nonlinear thinking concept and mindmapping. Second part gives an answer how to increase intellectual possibilities and explains basic mindmapping techniques. Third part presents rules and recommendations of multidirectional thinking, shows how to develop your individual style of creating mind maps. In fourth part mind map are confronted with specific situations, e.g. with making decision or choice. Fifth part is about mind maps versus private life, family life, learning, working or making plans for the future. In sixth part there is a small quiz waiting for you – you can practice all the knowledge from the book.

The transparency and sorting, extensive description of individual issues, unusual impression of freedom (the author doesn’t impose things to readers) and a lot of inspirations are main advantages of this book. The book isn't free from scientifically unreliable things what Buzan mentions, so it is worth to filter them through the prism of the up-to-date knowledge – however reading still can benefit you a lot. You must absolutely read it and remember that ‘Whoever and wherever you are, while reading these words, you are using the most wonderful, most tremendous, most complicated and secret tool in the entire universe – your brain’.

#teammindmapping – are you in?

 


Can anyone learn to sing?

Singing - how many times did you hear that you’re tone-deaf? How many times were you discouraged by your surroundings and how many times did you give up dreaming about becoming a great singer? We have good news for all music lovers and fans of singing: everyone can learn to sing! So in what way can we harness our voice and submit sounds to appropriate key? How to mature really good voice and communicate with the world with singing which is something more than only decent experience? Get comfortable and read this article – perhaps you will come back to what you gave up earlier motivated by opinions from your environment.

Everyone can sing!

It’s really hard to discuss with music theory and experts of singing – yes, everyone can learn to sing. There was not only Jerzy Stuhr who knew it while performing the legendary song "Śpiewać każdy może, trochę lepiej lub trochę gorzej" at Opole Festival in 1977. The role of singing fantastically summed up Fryderyk Chopin saying that ‘We use sounds to create the music same as we use words to create the language'. A man is able to perfectly mature the voice, work on it not only musically but also in the form of personality therapy, care about its hygiene, nurture musical hearing, vocal range, check its timbre etc.

Steven Demorest, music professor from Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University in Illinois, USA, did research which prove that voice is an instrument like any other. So practice makes perfect – we are able to learn to play the piano while attending piano classes and persistently exercising and we are able to learn to sing on the same conditions as in case of the piano or any other instrument. Three groups took part in the research: preschoolers, sixth-graders and uni students. They had to listen to specific melody and exactly repeat it. Both first groups did the test very well but students didn’t. Reason?

At preschool and at school it is obvious to provide children continuity of communing with music, to organize extra classes but also these which are mandatory, programmatic. While uni students were affected by ‘use it or lose it’ effect – perhaps they dealt with singing completely well but for unknown reasons they lost motivation to develop themselves in this area. What's more, according to prof. Demorest, singing improves verbal abilities, reading ability, it helps with learning foreign languages, it improves memory and definitely slows down brain aging.

Hearing vs voice – tensions

They don't exist, if our aural-vocal coordination is correct. In theory each of us fulfils essential conditions to sing: we speak, we can hear ourselves, we have a determined timbre (one less, second more characteristic), we get sounds back from everywhere, but… can we submit every sound to the appropriate key in order to sing the melody 100% 1 to 1? If we have an appropriately matured hearing and a voice (vocal cords are muscles so working on them will certainly be effective!), we sure will able to do that.

It depends very often on what we had in common with music in childhood; if there was music played or listened in the background, or if somebody in our family fluently played some instrument or sang professionally. Dealing with music has an intense influence on forming  the singing potential. The sooner we start with working on musical development (music classes at preschools, rhythmic classes, easy feasting, singing with friends or family), the bigger probability to the fact that our hearing, sense of rhythm and voice will be at such development level that it will help us to sing, e.g. professionally.

Why is the singing more difficult than playing some instrument? Because no manual work supports it, e.g. during playing the piano we use specific keys for making a sound, and in case of a voice everything depends on our musical awareness, self-control and consistent work on using it correctly.

Singing – predispositions vs exercises

There are plenty of people who have outstanding predispositions to sing. They often don’t realize the fact that they work with their voice on already advanced level naturally without a need to catch up something. However predisposition is one thing, permanent work with improvement is something completely different. In spite of the natural ability to sing we shouldn’t rest on our laurels - the heart of success is in conscientiousness, motivation for constant development and practice.

Music education is a very complex process, therefore the sooner it will begin, the better, however it doesn’t mean that an adult person being at the beginning of the way to professional singing, won't achieve wonderful results. Each of music abilities developes in time: the sense of rhythm, tone hearing, harmonic hearing etc.

The tone hearing is characterized in part by:

  • ability of noticing a tonic (central sound of 1st degree of a scale) in pieces based on major-minor scales which adjust music course,
  • tendency of finishing the melody on a tonic (1st degree of a scale),
  • feeling finishing the melody when the last sound is tonic,
  • feeling the lack of finishing the melody when it’s ending on the other sound.

In turn the harmonic hearing is characterized in part by:

  • spotting the melody,
  • distinguishing specific harmonic phenomena, e.g. two chords,
  • sensing functional diversity of degrees of a scale,
  • sensing the meaning of tonic and dominant.

Prof. Stanisław Kazuro brilliantly described a person with perfect pitch and relative pitch (requiring refinement):

‘A man with a perfect pitch will name sounds easily, without hesitation and infallibly, but he will make it irrespective of their mutual relation – just based on the peculiar memory of a  number of vibrations per second which determines pitch. A man with the relative pitch (that is relative) doesn’t need to name sounds immediately but he will be able to describe their mutual relationship. A man with the perfect pitch while hearing ‘d’ and ‘h’ tones will say: ‘it was d and h tone’. But impression of sixth doesn’t need to show up for him, if he won’t call his relative feeling or clear intellectual counting of interval. A man with the relative pitch while hearing the same tones will say: ‘it was a great sixth’. If he remembers some tones as ‘c’ or ‘a’, he will immediately compare them in thoughts already heard tones and will clarify his statement: ‘it was a great sixth d-h’. Second answer seems to be also a perfect pitch but an inner process of hearing is completely different’. 

A relative pitch can go through the motions of a perfect pitch but in fact they’re not the same – each of us is sectioned off which means we exercise by ourselves or with vocal teacher (the better).

Do you want to be in shape? Sing!

Vocal teachers often compare singing to physical activity: if you want to be in shape, exercise. What benefits can regular exercises and work on your voice bring to you?:

  • ability of correct intonation of the tone melody (diatonic or containing altered sounds) relating to the second voice (lower or higher), harmonic accompaniment or accompaniment based on wide tonality or going beyond the major-minor tonal system, not-constituting backrests for correct intonation;
  • ability of correct intonation of tonic or atonic melody relating to accompaniment in which big consonance and dissonane appear, however there is a lack of the functional references typical for the major-minor system;
  • ability of aural distinguishing the melody or the piece:

      - in a major or minor key,

      - based on the modal or highland scale,

      - atonic;

  • ability of reading out with a vista voice the melody based on the modal or highland scale;
  • ability of reading out with voice the atonic melody with intervallic method or with using feeling of tones appearing in nex parts;
  • ability of intoning chromatic marches in tonic and atonic melody;
  • ability of intoning one of the voices from bitonal piece with the second voice played on the piano by the teacher or reconstructed from a compact disc.

To create the sound, we should involve appropriate amount of air, vocal cords, resonators, diaphragm – all this let us make strong sound and stabilize it additionally. Remember that the vocal hygiene is very important:  don't forget about emission, breathing exercises, dictional, don't push your voice through when you have a sore throat or a hoarseness. Fear makes things look twice as bad as they are – sign up for singing lessons, don't be afraid of a confrontation with an expert who’s there for you with professional mentoring and expect… quick results which will motivate you to self-improvement!

Do you want to learn how to sing? Great, because you… can! Everyone can do that!

Authors: Patrycja Sikora and Dariusz Chrapek

 

 


'Mindset. The New Psychology of Success' by Carol Dweck - 10 quotes from a book

Do you have strong faith in your beliefs? We do have it. Carol Dweck does have it as well. She emphasises that they have enormous impact on all desires and whether we will manage to realize them or not. She also emphasises that the change of beliefs can entirely revolutionise our life and they pass through all its areas. Do you want to understand how did outstanding individuals manage to be on top? Do you want to learn stories of people who eventually lost their chance? Do you want to understand yourself, your partner, your boss, parents, children, pupils, teachers? Do you want to learn how to unlock your and your closest relatives’ potential? Since you are here, we believe you do. We are different and that’s beautiful. We have different characters, abilities and our development depends on experience, learning and, above all, commitment and effort. We picked top fragments from the book which is a change. Take a challenge and always go for more! 

  1. ‘Sometimes I don’t like other grown-ups very much because they think they know everything. I don’t know everything. I can learn all the time’.
  2. Success lulls you. It makes the most ambitious of us complacent and sloppy’. 
  3. ‘The fixed mindset feels so stifling. Even when those leaders are globe-trotting and hobnobbing with world figures, their world seems so small and confining—because their minds are always on one thing: Validate me!’
  4. ‘You can see how the belief that cherished qualities can be developed creates a passion for learning. Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives’.
  5. ‘Suddenly we realized that there were two meanings to ability, not one: a fixed ability that needs to be proven, and a changeable ability that can be developed through learning. (...) And I recognized for the first time that I had a choice’.
  6. When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world—the world of fixed traits—success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other—the world of changing qualities—it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself’.
  7. ‘So children with the fixed mindset want to make sure they succeed. Smart people should always succeed. But for children with the growth mindset, success is about stretching themselves. It’s about becoming smarter’.
  8. ‘Even in the growth mindset, failure can be a painful experience. But it doesn’t define you. It’s a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from’.
  9. ‘Incidentally, people with a growth mindset might also like a Nobel Prize or a lot of money. But they are not seeking it as a validation of their worth or as something that will make them better than others’.
  10. ‘Mindset change is not about picking up a few pointers here and there. It’s about seeing things in a new way. When people - couples, coaches and athletes, managers and workers, parents and children, teachers and students - change to a growth mindset, they change from a judge-and-be-judged framework to a learn-and-help-learn framework. Their commitment is to growth, and growth takes plenty of time, effort, and mutual support’.

We perfectly realize that changes are difficult and it is hard to measure the effort we put into any metamorphosis. But we want you to know that we didn't meet somebody who would regret the change of attitude to life, to education, to work, to family or love relations. The transformation enriches and thanks to it you can experience things which aren't available at fixed mindset.

Growth mindset doesn’t solve all problems but it really changes life. It becomes different. You become different - active, brave and open to the world and using your opportunities.

You decide, whether you need the change or not. Remember that growth mindset matters. It is a guideline which doesn’t disappoint in moments of weakness and problems. Give yourself a chance for better future.

 

https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve/transcript


Carol Dweck, 'Mindset. The New Psychology of Success' - book review

Development or stagnation? Permanence or transience? ‘I really care’ or ‘I don’t care’? Which side are you on? You don’t have to answer right away. If you hesitate, it is a good time for reading this preview, and in consequence the whole Carol Dweck’s book ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Changing The Way You Think To Fulfil Your Potential’ in which growth mindset guarantees us a place on the podium in our life. No shortcuts, no special treatment and no indulgence in every area of our activity. Remember this notion: growth mindset. And now say it aloud and fulfill yourself because the door to any possibilities was opened.

Mindset - what leads to the top?

Let’s agree. Things don’t happen overnight. There are people who don’t  think it’s good for them. Fortunately there are also such people (how great they are!) who decide to write a great thing. Because Carol Dweck’s ‘The new psychology of success’ isn't just next simple publishing offer in the field of personal growth, building the own happiness in world full of dangers, achieving success in the fast and simple way. It is a huge compendium of knowledge about our ideas, beliefs, mechanisms of action. Dweck deserves the scientific monument. Perhaps one day we will build such in our office garden. What stands this publication out comparing to the others?

Above all brilliantly conducted narration, very credible and based on long-term research of Dweck, American psychologist cooperating with Stanford University in the USA. There is no impression of chaos while reading, in spite of plenty of examples and analyses of individual cases. She processes two mindsets - fixed and growth. Look at this:

‘Believing that your qualities are carved in stone - the fixed mindset - creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. If you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, and a certain moral character - well, then you’d better prove that you have a healthy dose of them. There’s another mindset in which these traits are not simply a hand you’re dealt and have to live with, always trying to convince yourself and others that you have a royal flush when you’re secretly worried it’s a pair of tens. In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. 

Yet those people with the growth mindset were not labeling themselves and throwing up their hands. Even though they felt distressed, they were ready to take the risks, confront the challenges, and keep working at them’.

You can consume this book same way as a cupcake. It is also possible to apply its elements, giving a space to yourself in order successively make life changes meaning work, school or family. Apart from huge dose of the knowledge and advices in the field of growth mindset we gain the same from areas which influence the ultimate shape of our attitude - relations with family and friends, intelligence, experience, relations with our supervisors, our role in society and microcommunities.

Dweck - motivational leader

If we were supposed to define, where the power of motivation actually lies, in two words would be enough, and more precisely one full name: Carol Dweck. Why?

This book is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I read endless books and articles. The information was overwhelming. I’d never written in a popular way. It was intimidating. Does it seem easy for me? Way back when, that’s exactly what I would have wanted you to think. Now I want you to know the effort it took—and the joy it brought’.

Now you can try to jump into being her and wonder, whether a mission of writing such a book would overwhelm you enough to land with fixed mindset or on the contrary - frequently cracking the safe but directly to the target, i.e. growth mindset?

In growth mindset it is all about taking a risk and doing your best while being fully engaged into your goal realization even when you think that you are not good enough or you can’t make it.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s writing a master's thesis, passing an exam, learning foreign language or playing some of Paganini’s tracks.

Always develop your mindset. As Dweck says:

  1. Everyone is born with an intense drive to learn. What could put an end to this exuberant learning? The fixed mindset.
  2. Is this the way you want to live, giving any development up?
  3. Next time this happens, don’t fool yourself. It’s the fixed mindset. Put yourself in a growth mindset. Picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going.
  4. Think about effort as a positive, constructive force, not as a big drag. Try it out.
  5. Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but were afraid you weren’t good at? Make a plan to do it. 
  6. Think about all situations in which other people excelled yourself, and you simply assumed that they were more intelligent or talented. And now consider the possibility, that maybe they used better strategies, studied more, trained more and took more effort to overcome obstacles. You can do it as well if you only want.
  7. Character, heart, will, and the mind of a champion.
  8. Thanks to all failures people with growth mindset gain motivation. They are kind of source of information or an alert signal - because of that every further step in life is burdened with smaller risk of mistake.
  9. Our mission is developing people’s potential. Let’s use all the lessons of the growth mindset—and whatever else we can—to do this.
  10. Change can be tough, but I’ve never heard anyone say it wasn’t worth it.

Imagine that you have two friends. One of them plans everything very cautiously and scrupulously, he is careful. Sometimes so much that he doesn’t take any action to accomplish the purpose. He doesn’t do this because targeting means creating perfect conditions for success or failure. This thought scares him. He lives his life, takes almost no actions, pursue them just well but only because he picks such which will bring him a success. In the years he doesn’t get much experience and knowledge, and so he is still  afraid of the same things and makes the same mistakes.

The other friend adopted another tactic. He decided that it will be quick and courageous to take on different purposes’ implementation; even when he knows that a chance to succeed is small. Even when he doesn’t know exactly what to do and whether he will deal with it. However this thought doesn’t scare him because he focuses on one thing - to understand what is missing and what he doesn't know already. In the years he tries many things and only some of them turn into success. However every mistake, every failure, every lesson, project provides him new diversed experience and knowledge. Thanks to that every next challenge is going to be easier. Over time he does much more, more quickly, better because he doesn’t simply make some mistakes. He becomes more and more brave, more and more self-confident until he reaches the moment when he becomes one of the smartest persons in the room. But still he doesn't realize it. Because it was not a purpose of his development. So what don’t I know? What can I learn more?

Choose growth mindset and never regret any decision you ever make. On this side of the force you are going to feel simply well and while engaging into your goals realization, a way to the top can be bumpy but you will never lose power to reach it. We’re already on this path - are you going to join us?

 


Do you believe in talent? Growth Mindset

In the title of this blog entry we clearly determine which side of the attitude to life and learning’s force we stand for. As authors of an innovative e-learning we are definitely #teamgrowthmindset, and what’s more, we framed Carol Dweck on our desks. What is mindset? How does the new psychology of development of American professor from Stanford University influence perceiving reality and exploiting own potential? If you want to learn why you make such choices and no other in your life and what to do to feel simply all right while climbing up to the top at one's pace, this article is for you.

Mindset - what is it and what does it change?

A way of thinking or an attitude are the shortest definitions of a term ‘mindset’. Shortest but at the same time crucial for understanding the Dweck theory which based on tens of conducted examinations proves that the way people define themselves and their attempt at taking practical life challenges, allows to categorize them in two groups:

 

  • [/u1]fixed mindset[/u1]- attitude to sustainability,
  • growth mindset - attitude to development.

 

A thinking set to the sustainability is natural for the majority. In our opinion it is also very comfortable model. Living with the awareness that we are born with the determined package of abilities, and other basically aren't within reach, seems simple, right? But does ‘simple’ means ‘valuable’? Do simple things give us the sense of meaning and importance in life? Or maybe aiming higher, achieving unattainable and constant crossing border of development is a better way?

A belief that there is always a time for changes and we can do something is not just cliche pointing us towards coaching on sale. It’s unusually pragmatic position, finding the 100% confirmation in researches. To be clear - Dweck isn't a fairy godmother who whispers to the ear that you can do everything or to want is to succeed. Dweck says that you can do more than you think. That something like ‘born talent’ doesn't exist because you need to put a lot of work and regularity in order to develop talent. It is impossible to determine growth limit in advance what let us often reach such level in getting the ability which not Plato dreamt of, or we suspected ourselves for.

Fixed vs growth - Giants’ game?

To have a talent and to rest on one's laurels or to notice it and consistently develop is completely different issue. Fixed mindset, so people with attitude to sustainability are deeply convinced individuals who believe that talent, features, intelligence or competences are… permanent. What is the consequence? Thinking leading us up the garden path - ‘I can’t control that’, ‘ok, I am a born musical talent, it will happen overnight, it will come by itself’, ‘I don’t need to develop because I am already on  top’. Additionally they are afraid or don’t accept the others’ critic, they make no attempts to act because they assume negative opinion in advance. Fixed mindset is a trap which slows down or entirely inhibits the growth, that’s why use friendly advice and give growth mindset a high five.

In contrast there is growth mindset so people with the attitude to development whose  thinking is spinning around the assumption that the potential which a person can achieve and use is unknown, so the continual work, undertaken effort and development lead to success. Keep in mind that growth mindset attitude definitely isn't a shortcut. Prepare for experiencing smaller or bigger store stress which is a natural state of excitement; a mechanism which informs us that we are just becoming involved in a situation where the development will happen. A stress doesn’t fall far from feeling great satisfaction coming from success. The more you do towards the growth, the sooner you restrain the stress factor, finally being pleased with achieved results and giving a next challenges high five. It is possible to get used to stress leading to the moment, in which we won't expose ourselves to the situation of defining our identity by fail. Quite the contrary! Just the opposite! We will draw conclusions from such events and a lesson for the future. Thanks to growth mindset every situation is the chance for celebration or learning from our mistakes. Anyway, it’s always good.

Now stop for a moment and ask yourself a few questions: are you active or passive on the field of action? Do you focus on a born talent or working on talent? Do you take up a challenge or you resign? Do you practice or you give up? Confront your replies with fixed and growth assumptions, and check what you can change for the better.

Growth mindset - main assumptions

Shortly, growth mindset is a concept by which it is possible to develop a talent in ourselves, certain features, competences. Thanks to growth mindset:

 

  • you can ask questions and you are able to accept difficult replies,
  • you analyse mistakes, use feedback and modify the work strategy,
  • you don’t try to prove superior or inferior beings,
  • you don’t devote the energy for keeping up the beliefs about born talents,
  • you care about your development and growth of people from your environment,
  • you motivate and inspire yourself and others,
  • you ask yourself: ‘what else can I do in order to become better in my field?’.

 

Unfortunately there are a lot of defence mechanisms which block growth mindset in us. These are i.a.:

 

  • defining yourself through the prism of current achievements and being too  focused on self-image which we create in our heads,
  • treating any fails which disqualify us from the possibility of achieving success too personal,
  • treating critics as the personal attack, not the valuable feedback,
  • avoiding raising standards - dealing only with such tasks which we are able to do with no margin for error.

 

Where does it come from? Out of fear, most often fear of failure. Out of habit for safe choices, for lack of passion and covering ourselves with the warm blanket made exclusively of some interests, which you chose just because. It’s clear sailing to sad situation - instead of feeling joy because of success in several years, you will sit down on the sofa and bitterly cry with the more bitter sentence at the mouth: ‘I regret that I didn’t do this". And that’s exactly what we want to avoid.

With such barriers that hamper growth mindset we can meet at home, at school, at work, around friends, in sport etc. Dweck clearly points at paradoxes which happen in many circles and divide people on better and worse.

The standardized educational systems which divide children to humanists or scientific minds. Either, or. Corporations which invest in so-called talents, instead of developing the potential of all employees. Either, or. Sport which promotes and trades aspiring stars, instead of supporting all competitors. Either, or. Home where parents unwittingly perpetuate a born talent belief or its lack in children, stigmatizing and discouraging from taking some action.

The power of growth mindset - several examples

In order to convince you even more that growth mindset broadens horizons, is colourful and makes life complete, we present a few situations in which potentially you could be. What do you choose?

 

  1. CHALLENGE - It’s going to be very intense day at school. 

 

  • fixed mindset: I’m going nowhere. I am staying at home. I am not getting off my bed.
  • growth mindset: I’m into it. At least I won't regret that I didn’t try and I can learn something.

 

       2. OBSTACLE - List of complicated issues for an exam.

 

  • fixed mindset: This is a joke, nobody is able to learn it. Well, I certainly won’t.
  • growth mindset: I didn’t realize it can be so difficult. In that case I will plan my schedule to manage learning it all. I’ll figure it out.

 

        3. CRITIC - A teacher gives you negative feedback about your essay. 

 

  • fixed mindset: He’s been after me, I can feel it. It’s not fair.
  • growth mindset: Actually I could take matters further in some points. Now I know what I can do better and work on it, improve my skills. Maybe I’ll get a chance for extra consult with my teacher.  

 

Fight against fixed mindset isn't a tilting at windmills. Give a chance to yourself and bet on growth mindset contrary to opinions of those who claim that we aren’t able to cope with some issues.

What do we need to start?

Decision. You have this choice. You have this freedom. Eventually you control your attitude. What will you choose?

 

https://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare

 


Ken Robinson, 'Creative schools' - book review

Do you worry about education? We do, that’s why you are currently reading this article - a review of the grassroots revolutionary’s book, Ken Robinson, who clearly emphasize the need of a change, who inspire for the action in favour of the restructuring educational systems worldwide. A man who really broadens horizons and gets out of turmoils stiff school timetables’ turmoils, classes lasting 45 minutes, shattering one’s dreams and nipping the passion in the bud.

A creative school - what is it like?

Before we’ll proceed right to the point, let us come back to the moment where that's all began. Robinson’s speech ‘Do schools kill creativity?’ in frames of TED Talk opened the door to an international career in the area of education for him. He became a peculiar guru for many teachers, principals, parents and students. His belief that schools deprive children of their natural creativity, brought up and inspired loads of sector’s employees. Over 65 million views of the charismatic speech attest to the strength of the transmission and the book itself perfectly completes this what time didn’t allow to present.

In an introduction we can read following:

'It is one of my most serious worries that although educational systems worldwide are being subjected to reforms, these are in many cases reforms which are being conducted from political and commercial motives, at incorrect understanding in what way people actually learn and how do wonderful schools function. As a result perspectives of the innumerable amounts of young people are being destroyed. Sooner or later, with positive or negative effect, these reforms will affect also you or somebody who you know. It is important to understand what they apply to. If you agree that they are going in the wrong direction, I hope that you will become a part of the movement for more holistic approach, in which diversified talents of all our children are being looked after’.

The disposal of students’ prospects is progressing due to standardization. On what basis it is determined which subjects are ‘useful’ and which aren’t? Which are ‘serious’ and ‘prestigious’, and which are less and out of place? So that if play, only in the courtyard after classes rather than at school? How to defeat the sad vision of educational systems which are lumping young people together, into one social scheme, crossing out the chance for the actual development and creative job?

Creative school is a place where the evil of the standardization is being noticed and eliminated. Robinson’s metaphors perfectly reflect the essence of an issue - people don't have standard shapes and sizes. It also regards their abilities. Only a personalization is able to get and develop abilities of all people without missing a person.

Creative case studies

A rapid flowing style and a definitely lively, inspiring narration singles the Robinson’s book out. Every paragraph heightens a desire for implementing any changes, motivates to be a part of the revolution which is happening now. There are numerous case studies which deserve special attention - Robinson analyses problems which teaching institutions and educational systems cope with in particular countries, indicating teaching models which perfectly work in contemporary conditions of education. Examples can constitute the endless source of the stimulation for the reorganization of how do schools in the world really function. He emphasizes repeatedly that it is Finland which deserves the loudest fanfares in the issue of reforms, however he also presents the plenty of micro- and macrostories, where schools snapped out of the funk. Moreover he pays our attention to principals, parents, students and teachers’ figures who de facto change the education and are strong elements in the chain of the revolution for the future of the education.

Ken Robinson - Bob the Builder of a better system

What touched our heart the most when it comes to Robinson’s thesis and demands? Apart from the knowledge and an enormous substantial value, studies, numbers of teaching institutions examples implementing substantial system changes - uncompromising nature. Robinson is British who naturally uses quite peculiar sense of humour some would say, additionally emphasizing this intransigence. Many people also accuse his theories for being idyllic in an American way and so called cheap coaching - well, we can only start crying above making Robinson’s changes shallow and the negation of what he does and already did for international education. The instruction manual of educational systems according to Robinson is simple:

 

  1. Children are born with talents but school kills them. The education suppresses  individuality, imagination and creativity.
  2. Relations between teacher and student are the most important.
  3. A school timetable has a form of the conveyor belt, in which it is necessary to stop activities before finishing them.
  4. A fun is the most important component of an education.
  5. The teacher’s desk in a classroom separates a person from students - it creates the barrier.
  6. Students need teachers who believe in them.
  7. One should promote social initiatives which link that what happens at school with what is outside. 
  8. Let us build the school program around interests of students - then they will be achieving more.
  9. One should teach students the criticism - in the Internet age they must be able to distinguish facts from the opinions and truth from the fraud.

 

‘Creative schools’ of Ken Robinson is a definitely groundbreaking book. You will learn from it what solutions are effective in order to conduct the transformation of schools and educational systems. What's more, you will know these 21st century possibilities which will develop young people and their personalities in order to prepare them for the real life and challenges in a contemporary world. Robinson leaves hard school desk and revolutionizes the educational environment. Remember: ‘whoever and wherever you are, you have a chance to change the system’. We are ready, what about you?

 


A forced school? This is not the way

Alarm clock. A student opens his eyes. He thinks: ‘I have to go there again’, ‘I don't need so many Maths lessons’, ‘Our Polish teacher is a bore’.

Alarm clock. A teacher opens his eyes. He thinks: ‘It’s not the way it should look’, ‘I earn pittance", ‘I have to handle it’.

Alarm clock. You open your eyes. What do you think?

The institution of school is ok - it is a system that’s rusty. In order to change it, believe that you are the system. Every student, teacher, principal, counsellor. Still educational systems are being created for the purposes of the industrialism and schools on its model - model of factories. We forget that school isn't a production facility. In the chaos of constant changes we are losing the ability for asking fundamental questions, e.g. ‘Why do we need education?’ or ‘What kind of man should a graduate be?’. Children blindly wade through schools, numbed and dormant, one by one. This is a simple way right to the sad life deprived of creativity and self-confidence. What about wakey, wakey?

 

Ken Robinson - who’s that guy?

 

A creative educator, an author of revolutionary pedagogic processes, a charismatic speaker and leader in the human resources development - Ken Robinson thinks that today above all we must again answer oneself a question: why does education exist? People have very different views to this subject, and goals for which public education systems arose, do not fit our time. Until we reach an agreement about that why we generally educate young people, it will be hard for us to talk about methods or processes. That’s why he starts his book with (click for the review) a determination of four the most important educational goals in his view.

 

Economic purpose

 

 

Economic purposes have always been carried out by the public education, which systems arose among others in order to educate the workforce providing the prosperity for the country. A help that public education offers to young people is the second aspect of economic purposes so they can afford oneself independent financially in the future. How does it look like at present? Financial independence of young people seems to be as so-called pipe dream in many countries only because realization of this economic objective in present-day public educational systems  is disappointing. Lack of employability, employing beneath qualifications - the lack of places in the labor market is not always a cause of it.

 An examination conducted some time ago by the IBM company (1800 leaders from 80 countries took part in it) opens the eyes. Respondents had to set for for features which are the most needed in their companies. An ability to adapt to changes and a creativity, so a skill to generate new ideas and solutions in case of potential problems have been the most indicated answers. It’s your turn. Answer truthfully following question: ‘Did school give you everything what employers seek for in the international labour market?’.

 In Poland mainly small and medium-sized enterprises build the economy. Abilities which bosses expect from secondary and higher schools graduates are often too excessive requirements, and the fault is being knocked off to closed and stiff educational system. Is it right? Absolutely. An organization of school academies or calls, co-creating or co-editing the school newspaper, volunteering is a peak of contribution for students. In turn the possibility of long-term projects realization which require building the concept, determining individual stages of work, planning, realization and accounting, time management or goal setting which is appropriate evidence for the ability to cooperate in the team for potential employer - it is already one of Andersen’s fairy tales. Beautiful but fictional.

 

Cultural purpose

 

Second from four Robinson’s purposes of the education is a cultural purpose. The cultural diversity in our society is obvious and is evolving, moreover we observe day by day what kind of conflicts can divide individual communities in terms of viewpoint. Preparing young people how to cope with progressive diversity is a role of education. Does present educational system in your country help to understand this issue

 

Social purpose

 

It is a next purpose which in his grassroots revolution Ken Robinson emphasizes. Remind yourself your social studies lesson. Did they teach you specific civic pride or perhaps it consisted in reciting particular articles of the Polish constitution which in a few days you no longer remembered? The social purpose contains of the activity and joint responsibility for one’s community - at school, at work, in family etc. School must become a space where such conducts are being practised, not exclusively mentioned, if any.

 

Personal purpose

 

Last of purposes which Ken Robinson mentions is a personal one. This one inspired and motivated the speaker to his speech at TED conference. Robinson is deeply convinced that ‘every man is born with huge layers of natural talents and that most of us lose contact with them while growing up, and one of the main causes is education’. As he put it in his speech:

 

The whole point of education is a relation between student and teacher. If it doesn't work, neither does the system. If students don’t learn, the education is cancelled. Perhaps something else is being held but it isn't education.

 

A change in education will be possible only when relation student-teacher will turn into the best possible and the most productive. Bowing down to the aspect of young people’s learning methods and best teachers’ working methods can help with that. If you have ever met a teacher who was a real change and inspired you to do something, this is the moment - share your experience. Perhaps your history will have an impact on the shape of contemporary educational system.

 

Learning

 

Awareness of the fact that children are natural students is the most important. A receptive mind, being hungry to get all the knowledge and abilities, searching - this beautiful luggage of features is being thrown into the corner by the institutionalized education which frequently fails to meet the creativity. Today students don't associate school with the space where they can feel free, safe, follow their passions. Today school is a normal, grey building intended to impute the knowledge which, in our opinion, is needed for young people. Think how beautiful the world would be, if only to provide them a development in areas which they feel, where they can fulfill, which motivate to changes, inspire, activate.

Our brain is a tremendous tool which is being developed most quickly in these areas, in which we use it with joy and enthusiasm. It has the reflection in biology. Our body entirely different responds to challenges which are imposed upon us, evoking anxiety and fear. On the contrary we have a situation when we choose our challenges by ourselves, then our body is mobilizing, and we can feel satisfaction. It is similar in education - the teacher should build up and sustain natural desire for the knowledge acquisition by the student, not opposite.

 

Teaching - use your potential

 

Why do we fully agree with Ken Robinson? Because teaching is really an art form. The acquaintance of the specific subject won't make an impression on students because this is exactly what is expected from them - acquaintance of the subject. The point is in the method of eliciting an interest and if so, how the teacher will involve them in the active participation during classes, whether will fuel the enthusiasm and will instil a passion. Charisma, authenticity, being a system and a change, not only its cog, is a key to a great relation with young people and real influence on the educational content. 

Probably you will think, that ok, in theory this all sounds convincingly, but how to manage that in a class where 30 people are learning? You will find the answer to that question exactly in the revolutionary Robinson’s book ‘Creative schools’ - it is full of the examples of  teachers who often having little sources at one's disposal both working in poor communities, caused great things and achieved unusual results in education.

According to Robinson, in order to improve education, we must above all concentrate on learning and teaching processes and how to create the conditions for developing the relation between student and teacher. How to do this? For that purpose we need the new metaphor for education. It is an ecological education based on the agricultural model, consisting of four pillars, i.e. health, ecology, justice and carefulness. It is all about the change of a way of thinking both about learning and teaching. If the relation teacher-student will be doing well, either does the system. Soon we will write more about the ecological education.

To sum up: according to Robinson creativity is an ‘ability to generate new ideas and to apply them in practice’. It is indisputable essence of man and cultural progress, therefore it is so important that schools will not suppress it in students but cherish and improve  creative thinking and action. Our life is a sum of acquired experience, developed perspectives, choices we made and passions which we discover and follow, so developing the creativity in young people is mandatory for achieving all four purposes of education. Jeffrey Wright, physics teacher from Louisville, Kentucky, is a perfect example. At his work he exploits various technologies, among other things he builds hovercraft with students,  blows up pumpkins or goes off objects from long pipes not only in order to implement the element of entertainment during classes, but above all in order to arouse the curiosity of discussed issues, to intrigue. He seeks for solutions on the individual level to build an interest for physics in students, so they can get it.

 

That’s why creativity is a tremendous tool which brings together students, teachers and community involved with the school. Thanks to it the chain of good experiences, impressions and dreams is strong and effective. A creative teacher is a creative student. It works both ways. Remember - it's good to be a system.

 

https://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_do_schools_kill_creativity


'Creative schools' by Ken Robinson - 10 quotes from a book

The pillars of ecological education are as follows: health (intellectual, social, physical development of a student), ecology (development process of a student and an entire community), fairness (development of individual student’s talents regardless of his life situation) and carefulness (creating optimal conditions to development of student guided by experience, concern and practice). We are convinced that revolution in education which is being emphasized by Robinson, has a chance to completely change and improve the system’s effectiveness. Are you in?

 

  1. ‘A bustling school can feed an entire community, becoming a source of hope and creative energy. Weak schools can drain the optimism out from all students and parents which are dependent on it, reducing their chances to develop’.
  2. ‘If you’ll change educational habits of those who you are working with, you can change their world and thanks to that become a part to that broader, more of complex process of changes in education’.
  3. ‘Education should create conditions to connect both inner world of young people with the world around them. Education is both global and deeply personal matter. None of the above purposes (economic, cultural, social and personal - ed.) will be achieved, if we don't remember about the fact that education is all about enrichment of minds and hearts of  real people. Many problems of contemporary educational systems have their source in the incomprehension of this fundamental issue. Every student is an exceptional individual, with own hopes, talents, worries, fears, passions and aspirations. Involving them as individuals is a foundation of correcting achievements’.
  4. ‘But a tenor of education is a relation between a student and a teacher. Everything else depends on this relation’s quality. If it doesn’t work, the entire system equally. If students don’t learn, education is cancelled. Perhaps something else is being held but it isn't education’.
  5. In order to improve schools, it is necessary to understand the nature of learning itself so that when students do their best and the fact that they learn in many ways. If schools and  educational policy misunderstand this issue, everything else is just gibberish’.
  6. Children have a huge innate ability to learn. Left alone they will explore possibilities and make choices which we cannot and should not make for them. Fun is completely fundamental for learning: it is a brainchildren of curiosity’.
  7. ‘In order to achieve the balance the best teachers fulfil for basic tasks: they involve, enable, expect and strengthen. (...) Wonderful principals know that above all it is not leading to the best results on examinations but creating the community of students, teachers, parents and staff which make for higher ground’.
  8. ‘Children are naturally curious. Stimulating the learning means sustaining this curiosity. That’s why practical and solutional teaching can cause wonderful results. Outstanding teachers, instead of explaining things which students didn't ask about, provoke them to ask questions in order to inspire young people for exploring problems. (...) Correcting individual achievements in schools means involving students as individuals and not setting everybody in an obstacle course which they have to finish in the same time and in the same way’.
  9. Do you worry about education? It is one of my most serious worries that although educational systems worldwide are being subjected to reforms, these are in many cases reforms which are being conducted from political and commercial motives, at incorrect understanding in what way people actually learn and how do wonderful schools function. As a result perspectives of the innumerable amounts of young people are being destroyed. In this book I want to show in what way the culture of the standardization harms students and schools, and I want to present other way of thinking about education. I also want to show, that whoever and wherever you are, you have a power to change the system’.
  10. ‘As Gandhi said: ‘be the change you want to see in the world’. If enough people will care about, a movement will be formed. And if the movement will be strong enough, a revolution will happen. And that is what we need in education’.

An agricultural/ecological model of education deeply rooted at the foundations of Bethink’s methodology. We aspire to create such communities which will ensure appropriate conditions for growth and individual potential development as well as achieving individual educational objectives of a learner person. A student is treated as the plant, e.g. tree (in contrast with the industrial model of education where student was just a product with specific features) which independently achieves growth through hard work. A shape of this ‘tree’ is dependent on conditions, exposure, soil, fertilizers, ‘genre’ and space it can occupy. Therefore a teacher like a gardener takes care of resources and space to individual growth of every student. Intervention take place only when students could harm themselves or others. Additionally, the gardener knows that each tree is an independent genre, has got its growing and flowering period, its individual pace and the ultimate shape.

 

Do you already know what you miss in education? Do you already know what you want to change?