A reflection about educational blogs
Dear Jessie Martin:
Clearly I remember how resistant I was to pick this module at the beginning after listening to the different talks which were recorded by a video player. I felt uncomfortable and unsure of whether I could stand in front of many native speakers and talk about my own blog.
I also hesitated to take the module because setting up the blog, getting to know the different functions of it, watching many educational talks to get myself inspired, not being familiar with the concept, and the time-consuming work at home writing blogs and leaving comments on other blogs with deadlines turned me off at the beginning. Continue reading
Mindfulness: a useful tool for many life situations
Integration in education has profitable effects far beyond scholar achievements
In my last blog I announced at the end that I want to focus on mindfulness and music in my next blog, not considering that the last blog is supposed to be a synthesis of the former blogs. Therefore, I don´t want to disappoint you and will first briefly look at music and mindfulness, before giving an overview about my blogs of the last months.
Like the “glass bead game” of Hesse´s last novel in which the combination of music and meditation is crucial to become an expert at this game, I propose that music can profit substantially from meditation in various ways. Continue reading
Mindful handling of free-time
Being bored by myself the last couple of days, I thought about how to get myself motivated to do something again and looked for information on the internet what I could do about it. A test with several questions although it was definitely not scientifically set up resulted in suggesting me to relax and maybe listen to my favourite music or doing some exercise.
Boredom can be defined as an undesired and unpleasant affective state in which the person lacks any interest in activity and has difficulty in focusing on a task (Fisher, 1993). The individual finds it effortful to attend to a specific task (Csikszentmihalyi, 1978; DeChenne & Moody, 1987). Continue reading
Neuropsychological approach of creativity and mindfulness
As I have mentioned in former blogs, creativity is crucial to education but unfortunately often left out. It is important for social survival and person´s wellbeing. Creativity is a constructive act which often is characterized by lingering in the moment. The diligence in which an artist creates his artwork is defined by intrinsic motivation that comes from oneself. Creativity is closely related to mindfulness, because e.g. there too it is the moment that is essential. Continue reading
Mindfulness is something that I am practising on my own. I really got involved into relaxation techniques during my internship in a rehabilitation center. There, techniques of mindfulness and exercises like progressive muscle relaxation by Jacobsen (PMR, 1932) were used to help patients relax and become aware of their own body and mind without judging what they felt.
I instructed the patients to imagine a place full of joy, where they can always go when they need to. Other tasks involved dream journeys and “walks of the five senses”. All these different tasks require attention and relaxation. Continue reading
A mindful approach of art
Inspired by a speech from last Thursday (http://psuc12.wordpress.com/), I decided to focus on mindfulness in education as a topic that I want to elaborate further. Mindfulness in education is not a topic widely investigated, yet it has a lot of potential to improve education.
Because my last blog addressed the role of arts in school I now want to look at the connection between art as a subject in school and mindfulness. Continue reading
There are several people who are taking the stand that creativity in school needs to be enhanced to let the children reach their full potential of intelligence. Sir Ken Robinson is one of those and he focuses especially on the arts and underlines the importance of it in school next to the main subjects like Math and English. Diana Laufenberg also encourages creativity in class and stresses the importance of figuring things out on oneself. Creativity though is based on interest and interest again affects education. Continue reading
Educational psychology is an area of research that has too seldom been put into educational practice. This module focuses on the discrepancies between principles of psychology and education. It is startling that there are many approaches due to research in the psychological field, but what is missing is to apply these principles and ideas of improving education in the field. The efficacy and effectiveness of these principles has to be proved by evidence from randomized controlled studies and meta-analyses. As Nora S. Newcombe in her article Biology is to medicine as psychology is to education: true or false? (2002) lines out there can be drawn an analogy to the field of medicine. Thereafter psychology should be forming a basis for any educational profession. Therapies in medicine are distinguished because of the evidence based proof. The same should be applied to the field of education, different pedagogical steps need to be investigated on their effectiveness in the natural field. Newcombe draws more implications from this analogy that I won´t mention here now. So, I think the problem that I have outlined is quite clear.
Right now I am again “victim” of the misleading and conservative way how education works. Besides my studies here in Wales I still need to take several exams from Germany that form part of the first semester over there. These count 100 % for my grade in the associated lectures. Students, me included, tend to postpone preparation for the exams. In the end they study full days for these exams, only to forget most of the theories, dates and concepts a couple of weeks later. The professors, even more incomprehensible to me, ask questions about dates and percentages of e.g. clinical disorders, or for the diagnosis criteria of the ICD (International Classification Diagnosis) and the DSM (Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) that you can later in your profession look up and you do not need to remember word by word. This example shows that especially in a German University there is a lot of change to be done, because how can I possibly learn much from just reciting the lecture notes? How can I store knowledge on a long term basis without forgetting it right after an exam? These are questions that I want to deal with in the next few months. Continue reading