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TEACHERS.NET GAZETTE
MAY 2001
Volume 2 Number 5

COVER STORY
Harry & Rosemary Wong offer advice on motivating your students. Tune in to this month's Gazette cover story and pick up tips from the experts to enhance your students' performance....
COLUMNS
Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
Alfie Kohn Article
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
BCL Classroom by Kim Tracy
ARTICLES
Around the Block With...
The Unsinkable Sub
Interview: Cheryl Sigmon
Role Of The Online Teacher
Browser Maintenance
Poetic License Information
Learning Improvement Tools
Mars Society Contest For Students
Book Review: Cloud Woman
Family Library Visit
Stellar Walk of Fame
Emotions of A Sight Impaired Child
SFA and Research
REGULAR FEATURES
Poll: Do You Hoard Supplies?
Upcoming Ed Conferences
Humor from the Classroom
Letters to the Editor
New in the Lesson Bank
Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
Gazette Back Issues
Gazette Home Delivery:


 
Teacher Feature...
by Rick Lynn

Tools For Continuous Learning Improvement

My theory offers a way to improve mental/emotional stability and growth. I am writing this article so people will understand my idea for improving ability of students to grow mentally and emotionally. Also, my theory provides a hope for reducing many problems and escapes by students such as drug/alcohol abuse, violence, and suicide. Our individual environments greatly affect our ability to think and learn. However, parents and teachers have not been taught how to help students approach their individual environments differently or more delicately to improve mental and emotional growth. The only variable or tool offered is effort on the student's part with only slight improvement in ability.

There are two large tools of improvement we have not considered, but which can be taught to children and adults that will provide continuous learning improvement for all of us. The first tool: Our individual environments create for each of us, different amounts or layers of mental conflicts or mental work, I call residual stress. When we are performing mental work, our minds are also working on those other layers of mental work subconsciously. For example: while putting rocks into a bag on our backs, we become acclimated to the weight and perhaps not conscious that our physical movement is slowed or impeded by the extra weight. Layers of residual stress act in a similar way to impede mental and emotional growth for all of us.

Try to visualize an upright rectangle representing our full mental ability; then begin drawing narrowly spaced horizontal lines (from the bottom) to represent layers of residual stress. What you have left is leftover ability to think, learn, and your length of reflection time. This shows just how our individual environments act upon each one's ability to think and learn.

We cannot just relax or perform physical work to lower these layers of residual stress. The mental conflicts are still present. When we attempt new mental work or our bodies recover from the physical work, our residual stress will return to its average. However, we do have a method which is more permanent and something we can model and teach to all students and adults. We can begin learning to understand more each day, the elements of our individual circumstances, responsibilities, and weights we apply to various elements in our life. Then we can learn to approach these elements of our life little more delicately each day to understand, work with, and more permanently resolve layers of mental conflicts, usually with self-directed changes in weights or values we are placing on elements in our life. With each more permanently resolved or removed layer of residual stress, we will improve that much, our ability to think, learn, and grow, mentally and emotionally.

Second Tool: as we approach academics and other mental work at a pace that exceeds our immediate knowledge, confidence, and experience, we create exponentially greater mental friction and impede much more so our ability to think and learn. We can do much more to teach the dynamics of approaching academic and other mental work more correctly. We can begin teaching students how to first establish a small base area of knowledge (with informational notches) using simple reflection - or just thinking about that area of knowledge. Then as we begin slowly adding knowledge to that base (through visual - written or auditory), we will slowly extend the area of that mental base so more information can be assimilated more quickly. Thus thinking and learning will factor naturally over time. This why some students appear so much smarter than their peers. For those students correctly approaching mental work, pace and intensity has factored naturally over time. I feel using this method is most efficient and most rewarding for student and adult learning along with long-term motivation.

Both of these tools are continuous or long-term. They are the keys to both short and long-term motivation in academics and other mental work. Motivation in mental areas equals mental reward received for mental work expended. These long-term tools are essential for students to accumulate and develop higher academics or information age skills. These tools are also essential components necessary for enabling students in less stable environments to learn to develop and approximate the mental and emotional stability necessary to compete with students from more affluent areas of society.

Most important, by providing these tools of improvement, we will boost hope and long-term esteem for students and adults. By showing students how our individual environments greatly affect our ability to think and learn, students will have more respect and esteem for themselves and for others. By providing students with tools to continuously improve their ability to think and learn, students will have a "continuous hope" of developing in time, many of the qualities they admire in their peers. This will reduce dropouts, drug/alcohol abuse, catharsis of violence, and suicide. My complete theory offers many applications for these tools in helping to improve the lives students and adults. It is free on request by e-mail at B0Stang@aol.com (The 0 in B0S is a zero.) or temporary e-mail address at mayfieldga@netzero.net Feel free to make copies of my theory and this article.

Click here for more information.

Rick Lynn
Teacher
5012 Seaboard Ave.
Jacksonville, FL 32210
 


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