– Lina Ashar, founder-chairperson of Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd, a trans-national organisation with pre-schools and K-12 institutions in 18 cities across India, Dubai and the Maldives.
“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget that errand.” — Former US President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924). Improving learning outcomes depends on what you perceive as the end goal of learning — your definition of success and what you see as the purpose of the birth-death cycle.
As a teacher, my hope is that the definition of success for our children is attainment of happiness by reaching ones emotional, physical, spiritual and mental peaks. Attaining this goal requires a paradigm shift in our education system — moving the focus from grades and skills to greater emphasis on the development of positive attitudes in children. I always advise teachers to stimulate the hearts of our children as much as their minds and spirits.
There is no shortage of case histories of individuals who have succeeded in spite of not having done academically well in school. My belief is this is the outcome of the positive attitudes of successful individuals. There’s a new wave of understanding on the importance of positive attitudes, especially the power of belief, based on signal transduction science. This science now acknowledges that the fate and behaviour of an organism is directly linked to its perception of the environment. While positive attitudes impact behaviour favourably, negative thoughts have an equally powerful damaging effect. When we recognise how positive and negative attitudes control our biology, we can use this knowledge in education to help children build lives filled with health and happiness.
Signal transduction science recognises that the subconscious mind is million times more powerful than the conscious. If the aspirations of the conscious mind conflict with those of the subconscious, it is the subconscious which will win. So if children repeatedly receive signals that they are worthless, these messages will get programmed into their subconscious, and will undermine their best conscious efforts to think positive and succeed in adulthood. For example, if our subconscious believes we dont ‘deserve success, love or happiness, it will sabotage conscious efforts to attain these goals. As an adult you need to find a way to reprogramme your subconscious mind to generate positive thoughts and attitudes. The significance of this information is huge for parents and educators who want to be responsible caregivers.
Energy psychology indicates that the quality of life is based upon perception. In humans, the behaviour, beliefs, and attitudes a child observes in her parents become hard-wired as syntactic pathways in the subconscious mind. Once programmed into the subconscious, they control our biology for the rest of our lives, unless we can work out a way to reprogramme them.
For instance, all human beings are born with the ability to swim; infants can swim moments after they are born. But children quickly acquire fear of water from parents, who must then struggle to teach their children how to swim. Given this constant download of messages into our subconscious, imagine the consequences of hearing your parents or teachers say you are a ‘stupid child or ‘you will never be anything. During early childhood, a child’s consciousness has not yet fully evolved and these verbal messages become received wisdom which adversely influences their behaviour, chances of success and physiology.
I encourage teachers to introspect about the role we play in programming the belief systems of our students and the impact it will have on their future. Every time we make a comment on their work, our students will acquire perceptions of self, positive or negative. As educators, our endeavour should be to improve learning outcomes by taking pains to develop positive attitudes in pre-school children. This is the pre-condition of their mental, emotional and spiritual development in adulthood.