BACK TO THE SUMMIT

I have just had 5 days off in Canberra- to dream, wander in galleries, eat, spend quality time with my daughter and SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP!

5 days in another place- with emails, twitter, face-book, voice messages off and it was so good!

The thing is- sometimes you lose your perspective and start looking at the wrong things too closely. I needed the top of the mountain again and it is back. I can see clearly again and look in 360 degrees around and see what is REALLY happening.

I wonder how often that happens in education? At the moment many of my colleagues are busy preparing for NAPLAN and the kids are all down there in the details and missing “big picture learning”. They are missing the connections between the “bits” of skills they are learning and therefore their understanding of what they are learning is suspended in the education-sphere with no anchoring strings and connectors to the real world.

We are in serious danger of having an education system that has totally lost its way- missed the view from the summit -missed the big picture. The lack of forward planning, goals, guiding philosophical principles is unfortunately delivering results well beneath par.

This lack of direction and narrow vision has filtered down to children and we now see increasingly large numbers of children who experience education as joyless, meaningless and have little or no motivation to learn.

My teachers at ICE are needing to spend increasingly large amounts of time on motivation and re-kindling dreams and helping awaken children to their amazing, innate possibilities.

We need some leaders (preferably drawn from the teaching community), who can re-inspire, reinvigorate and reinvent our education system so ALL kids feel they can learn, ALL kids experience the joy of success and ALL kids have their curiosity and learning hearts reignited!

EFFECTIVE STUDY SKILLS

Of course the internet and social media have forever changed the landscape of the way students study and in order to acquire effective study skills, students need to know their way around media, the internet and to be able to think flexibly, problem solve and develop effective study habits.

When we first started teaching STUDY SKILLS the course was relatively stable with only minor tweaks being added each year. Now it needs to change slightly each time to reflect new understandings of social media and information gathering. This makes the course very dynamic and very “now” and ensures students are actively involved and engaged.

We have an excellent record with these courses with many students achieving very high results and many totally creative, disorganised kids learning to work WITH their learning style and become motivated and organised.

Now we devote far more time to organisation, time management and using digital media and internet resources.

We teach students to identify their own learning style, profile their multiple intelligences and learn to work with their specific learning style and intelligence cocktail.

Self motivation is a very large part of the course and our teachers spend a large amount of time helping students formulate goals and identify ways to attain these. If students are not motivated to succeed and give of their best, no amount of study skills coaching will work. This is the most essential part of the workshop.

All students want to do well, but unfortunately many have not had a great deal of success so give themselves negative messages. We work hard to show students how to build positive tracks in their mind and adopt a more optimistic outlook.

Often we need to help students improve essay writing skills and learn to edit their work to a high standard. Planning and drafting are essential components of the essay writing process.

Students are taught to identify and avoid procrastination and timeline and use tried and proven time management techniques. Many parents and students report the course helps them in ALL areas of their lives as it is essentially about organisation, motivation and achieving goals.

The course runs for 15 hours and is run all through terms 1,2,3 and also during school holiday periods. We also visit schools to present these courses to students.

Please call ICE on 92714200 to enquire or email us on victoriacarlton@iinet.net.au to chat to us about this program. It will also be available online from the beginning of March.