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Education and schools and remarkable ideas...

Forget everything you remember about education and school - the world's best education and schooling models show that you can learn anything faster, easier, and have fun!

Education and teaching techniques haven't changed that much over the last 100 years, but new model schools are now emerging that are far more effective than the traditional "chalk and talk".
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The world's top-selling nonfiction book in 1999, The Learning Revolution, outlines the many of the best ones:
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Tahatai Coast Primary School, in Papamoa, New Zealand. This is a public school in a non-affluent area but it doesn't even look like a school. It was designed from scratch to combine the world's best interactive multimedia technology and some of the world's best teaching methods. 
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The Lemshaga Barnakademi in Sweden designed as "an extraordinary school for ordinary children". It has students from aged three to 15, and incorporates many similar principles to those found at Tahatai Coast. 
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John Eliot Elementary School in Needham, Massachusetts, USA. One of America's foremost models in integrative accelerated learning.
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Beijing's 21st century experimental school, in Beijing, China. One of China's unique new experiments to combine the best in public and private education and in linking traditional Chinese values with new methods of learning.
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The authors of The Learning Revolution, Gordon Dryden and Dr. Jeannette Vos, have identified 12 steps that make a huge difference to education and schooling:

  • Make schools life-long, year-round, community resource centres.

  • Ask your customers first - your students and parents.

  • Guarantee customer success and satisfaction.

  • Cater to all intelligence traits and all learning styles.

  • Use the world's best teaching, study and learning methods

  • Invest in your key resource: teachers as facilitators.

  • Make everyone a teachers as well as a student.

  • Plan a four-part curriculum, with personal growth, lifeskills and learning-how-to-learn linked with all content.

  • Change the assessment system.

  • Use tomorrow's technology.

  • Use your entire community as a resource.

  • Give everyone the right to choose.

It makes sense that any vision of the future of education, schools and learning should include these factors:

  • Lifelong continual learning will be a fact of life for everyone.

  • Inside that context, everyone should be encouraged to plan their own curriculum for life.

  • While there is no one right way to teach or learn, there are many techniques to enable anyone to learn faster, better, smarter. An open-minded search for new ideas is central to tomorrow's world, and central to tomorrow's schools.

  • Every state or country also has different school-health relationships, administrative systems, teacher training programs. And, as in any other field, progress will often depend on the vision and drive of individual leaders: principals, teachers, parents, administrators and political leaders.

So what can teachers and trainers do right now - without having to wait for the "system" to catch up. The Learning Revolution provides a six-step plan to teach anything more effectively:

  • Establish the right "state" - Every good teacher needs to orchestrate an optimum learning environment, and set the right learning mood.

  • The right presentation - Every good teacher needs to cover the big picture first, and to cater to all different learning styles and all different types of intelligence. The presentation must always vary between visual, auditory, kinesthetic (movement) and tactile (feeling), and should preferably include music, visuals, dance and movement.

  • Encourage new forms of thinking - Including creative thinking, critical thinking, creative problem solving, and activities to store information in long-term memory, and techniques to retrieve it

  • Design activities to draw students out - Students learn best by doing, and by becoming emotionally involved. So "activitations", games, skits, discussions and plays are vital.

  • Apply it - To learn it, do it. So students must be encouraged to act our what they have learned. Encourage all students to be teachers and to link all new information with existing information ("the more you link the more you learn").

  • Review, evaluate and celebrate  . . . with praise, celebration, recaps and orchestrated reviews.

We are now well into the "Information Age". The way we learn and the way we create new ideas HAS to change. It is simply not good enough to continue to rely on "chalk and talk" techniques developed 100 years ago - our children deserve better. 

Visit the The Learning Web at www.thelearningweb.net to find out more about "The Learning Revolution". Better still, buy the book, and get involved in helping to change the way the world learns.

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The opinions expressed on this page are those of Remarkable Ideas.

See also:

High School Drop Outs | Emotional Intelligence | Intelligence | IQ | Learning Styles
Multiple Intelligence
| Emotional Intelligence PDF

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"Wow yourself, your education, your future and the future of education with The Learning Revolution. This book has sold 9 million copies in 10 months in China making it the all-time fastest seller, ever anywhere. It's an  important, world-changing book that will fast-forward us into the 21st century, virtually overnight." 
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"The Learning Revolution has given my wife and me more ideas to help our children than I have gathered together in 15 years of work-shops on teaching. And its unique format enables you to speed-read the entire book in about 15 minutes." 
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