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June 2010

Benefits of over-learning

Amazingly – there is always a teenager within us – the one with a swagger and a bravado: “Only dumb need to be told the same thing in a class twice…”

How did I notice that? – Observing my own son. He is 13 now and finally his studies at school begin to go beyond elementary. He is a bright kid and until this year his school work was a breeze – he was mostly getting A’s without much sweat (Ok, I admit – art and music are not his favorites – but I guess that’s hereditary J). But lately the level of curriculum complexity went up to the extent that sometimes he actually needs an effort to get a deeper grasp  – implying a necessity to read the same chapter in a textbook more than once.

That’s where our positions began to differ quite dramatically – I was happy to see him entering the realm of proper learning whilst he was somewhat upset…

My first reaction was predictable – I just thought that he was in opposition to a ‘burden’ of harder intellectual work, and obviously ‘extra hard work’ is not exactly the easiest thing to sell to your teenage offspring…

However, once I started to dig deeper trying to improve his learning skills, I stumbled upon some insights that I find quite intriguing.

I think that by looking back at those formative school years – there are valuable lessons to be learned for most of us grown-ups as well.

What began as a parental duty, eventually unfolded into a quest about the way we acquire learning skills and use them throughout different facets of our lives.

Let me get back to the opening line of this post – loosely quoting from my son: “Only dumb kids need to have the class material repeated to them (twice or more) – smart ones get it quick …”

His words really struck me.

I suddenly got an insight on why so many of you expect us to teach new things all the time, and why any attempts to go over the material that was introduced earlier meet such a strong resistance.

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Difficult to describe it in words…

  New idea_Audi_merged_ABR for Cerebral Palsy_ blog_resize

I looked at this ad and couldn’t help laughing…

What is exactly new in the “all new” Audi model that is so “difficult to describe in words”?

When 100+ years ago early primitive cars appeared – then obviously explaining to a horse owner what a car was – that task presented difficulties for sure…

When internal combustion engine started to come to use against 150+ years of steam engine’s dominance – that idea wasn’t easy to explain…

What’s “new” in the all new” Audi ? – LED lights? Somewhat renovated interior? A car body that is a few percentage points lighter? – if this kind of  “new” is considered “difficult to describe in words” – try ABR for a change:

·        Everyone in a Cerebral palsy field is pre-occupied with chasing the faulty brain signals – ABR brings attention to the proper detailed analysis of the body structures, which is overlooked by “signal chasers”.

·        Everyone is zoomed onto the areas of greatest prominence of spasticity and tightness [abnormally excessive strength] in the hands and feet of a child with cerebral palsy – ABR analyzes the weakest links within the entire body.

·        Everyone wages ‘holy war’ against those “bad” spastic muscles and contractures by trying to force them into submission, poison or cut them – ABR utilizes ‘peacenick’ tools to strengthen the overlooked weak links within fascia network.

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On ‘Hawks’ in Disguise

Just recently I came across one quite important insight considering overt and covert ‘hawkish’ approaches that I want to share with you.

This is an e-mail that I received recently from one of the parents:

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