Tuesday, October 11, 2005

New Horizons for Learning: Transforming Education

New Horizons for Learning: Transforming Education: "The Power of Mindful Learning
by: Ellen J. Langer
Perseus Publishing, 1998
ISBN: 0201339919

Take everything you have ever been taught about education, and throw it out. Look at everything in a new light, a mindful state.
If the basics become second nature, then true learning stops taking place. Learners become so conditioned to seeing things a certain way, the ?right? way, that they don?t learn, don?t challenge, don?t question. Real learning takes place in a ?mindful? environment, one that provides a context for the subject we are studying and allows us to bring something of ourselves into the process.

When speaking about her book to teachers in the Edmonds School District this fall, Langer told the story of watching someone set the table and put the fork on the right. The RIGHT? What was that person thinking? Everyone knows that the fork belongs on the left; then, she stopped herself. She had overlearned this fact and no longer doubted that sacred place of the fork on the table. Why did it belong on the left? There could be benefits to placing the fork on either side of the plate. Langer argues that teachers must teach facts conditionally to allow for doubt and more learning to take place.

She further illustrates this point with a study of two groups of piano students, one taught through repetition and memorization of scales, while the other encouraged to respond to their own thoughts and emotions. The second group ended up being more competent and more creative. Langer challenges educators to use this knowledge to rethink teaching.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Rational Spirituality

Rational Spirituality: "The Natural Systems Thinking Process (NSTP) is a methodology in applied ecopsychology. Webstring Science is a hypothesis of the attraction relationships that underlie the interconnected structure of reality. Webstring Science provides a framework for how the natural universe communicates its multi-sensory intelligence through the Web of Life. The scientific underpinnings are drawn from both current and ancient thought in the physical, natural and social sciences, and held together with current thinking in systems science.

When one examines the results of evidence from the above fields, the inescapable conclusion is that attraction relationships hold everything from sub-atomic particles to ecosystems to economic systems together.

The basis of the concept of Love on a Universal scale is that love starts as allurement, which is a form of attraction. This basic binding energy is found everywhere in reality. It is, for example, the beginning of the attraction sense of love of community. The activity of attraction is both the creation of being and the enhancement of life.

Attraction relationships can be seen as the manifestations of a 5th Force within quantum mechanics, what Ervin Lazslo refers to as the subtle field. This subtle energy field that guides the cosmological evolutionary lifeforce is a Nameless, Intelligent, Attraction Love known by its acronym NIAL within the NSTP. Webstrings, taken from the experiential Web of Life model used by environmental educators, are the attraction relationships that bond quarks and biosystems. NIAL is the underlying field itself.

As a method of psychologically therapeutic healing NSTP can have an extremely consciously profound effect and may even become a life altering experience for an individual. Some people express their experiences with Nature as a mental well-being with increased measures of self worth and esteem, others as a spiritual awakening or appreciation of Nature, of finding or sensing their Higher Power. Some people talk about experiencing a personal wholeness or a meaningful fulfillment in honoring the integrity and the unity of Nature. Others say they've learned that the greatest good can be simply to enjoy life and cause no undue harm, and then perhaps to take the next step: to constructively contribute to the community of all life in a harmonious actualization of balanced co-creative evolution."

Official Site of Dr. Bruce Lipton, cellular biologist and acclaimed speaker

Official Site of Dr. Bruce Lipton, cellular biologist and acclaimed speaker: "Author Dr. Bruce Lipton is a former medical school professor (University of Wisconsin) and research scientist (Stanford University School of Medicine).His experiments, examining in great detail the molecular mechanisms by which cells process information, have revealed that genes do not in fact control our behavior, instead, genes are turned on and off by influences outside the cell.
These influences include our perceptions and beliefs. He shows that our beliefs, true or false, positive or negative, affect genetic activity and actually alter our genetic code. Dr. Lipton's profoundly hopeful work, being hailed as one of the major breakthroughs in the New Sciences, shows how we can retrain our consciousness to create healthy beliefs, and by doing so create a profoundly positive effect on our bodies and our lives."