Thursday, November 25, 2010

National Disaster - Flags at Half Mast

New Zealand and Australia are in mourning following the tragedy in the Pike River coal mine, in which 29 brave men have lost their lives. We at Creative Learning join in condolences for the victims' families and friends. For almost a week, we prayed for a miracle, encouraged by the uplifting story of the Chilean gold miners. Sadly, the conditions in the two mines were vastly different and the finality of the second explosion at Pike River ended our hopes.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Learning Styles of Creative Minds

If you went back in time to, say, 30 years ago, and tried to tell people that:
  • you read newspapers and watch TV on your computer...
  • ... in fact, a few months ago you witness the rescue of 34 Chilean miners from 700m below the ground....
If you said:
  • you talk your friends and family across the oceans via a personal computer...
  • ... or via a phone you carry around in the street....
If you told them you watched the latest soccer World Cup live at the cinema in 3D, have an opinion on cloning and genetically modified foodstuffs, that night-time lenses can correct myopia and you can fit an entire library into your pocket...

... then people would call you very creative indeed. Creative with the truth, that is. And yet, this is precisely the weird and wonderful world we live in.

It takes a creative mind to imagine things that don't exist yet. What Learning Style would you expect such a creative person to have?

  • Integrated with a tendency towards holistic
  • Non-conforming
  • With a preference for change
  • Multi-sensory
  • High perseverance
How creative are you? Find out what your Learning Style is.

Picasso put it best: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when you grow up."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The 3 Levels of Literacy

Adult literacy is an emerging issue in highly developed countries, one that will have to be addressed within the next few decades. Although most school-leavers can read and write, and can figure out 15+24 without the aid of a calculator, their education had failed them nevertheless.

Workplaces have encountered a huge gap in the adult work literacy arena. Employees are unable to follow written instructions, estimate measurements or use computers for anything other than games. And yet, in today's workplace, we are expected to think critically, create procedures and possess elementary IT skills.

Many adults can read a newspaper yet cannot read a technical document such as a safety manual. Also, because of the global-village syndrome, many production lines employ people from diverse cultures, whose schooling system did not focus on what we see as core skills, or whose home language is different from the language spoken at the factory.

All these aspects make Working Style Analysis (WSA) an absolute must-have tool for any employer. (Please note that if language or reading skills are a challenge, you may require a translator to ensure accuracy of the analysis. You may also use the LSA Mini tool, which caters towards English-As-A-Second-Language adults.)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Learning Style of a Bully

Bullying is a problem in schools worldwide. Whether it has grown since our own schooldays, or is simply only now receiving the attention it deserves, is still being debated. One thing is clear, however: 20 years ago teenagers did not send threatening text messages, they did not post demeaning videos on youtube, nor did they impersonate the victim on social networks. Technology has changed the face of bullying behaviour...

... and yet the face of the bully remained the same.

It is the face of somebody who does not fit in.

While there is no excuse for bullying behaviour, it is a sad reality that once somebody is labelled a bully (or indeed typecast as a victim), it's usually too late. Children yearn to understand themselves and to be understood, and the bully-label is all too neat an excuse for venting their frustrations. "I'm a bully, so I'll just punch your face whenever you annoy me."

The solution is to be proactive...

... and to identify children with bullying tendencies before they get a chance to display bullying behaviour.

Many children become rebellious at school because they feel bored, stifled and misunderstood. The secret to their successful integration into the school system lies in satisfying the needs of their unique Learning Style.

The way in which a bully absorbs new and difficult information might not vary from his non-bullying peers when it comes to the VAK (visual, auditory and kinesthetic-tactile) needs. His or her bullying potential will come out in their non-conformist attitudes, dislike of authority and their non-preference for external motivation.

(To check a student's learning style preferences, you can start here.)

With the Anti-Bullying Week upon us (15-19 November 2010), many people make a point to speak out against the problem. This is fantastic. Four in every five pupils are not involved in bullying incidents, i.e., they are neither the bully not the victim, yet they seldom have the opportunity to do something constructive.

You don't need to analyse a bully's Learning Style to realise they are already a bully. Anybody who hurts another person:
  • through a physical act,
  • with shouting, intimidating gestures, pulling mean faces,
  • by saying hurtful things about them,
is guilty of being a bully and should be reported.

What anti-bullying policies exist at your school? Do they use Learning Style Analysis to identify early warning systems that could imply bullying tendencies?