Gentling

Bonnie explains that there are two basic ways of taming a wild horse. One is to tie it up and freak it out. Shake paper bags, rattle cans, drive it crazy until it submits to any noise. Make it endure the humiliation of being controlled by a rope and pole. Once it is partially submissive, you tack the horse, get on top, spur it, show it who’s boss—the horse fights, bucks, twists, turns, runs, but there is no escape. Finally the beast drops to its knees and submits to being domesticated. The horse goes through pain, rage, frustration, exhaustion, to near death . . . then it finally yields. This is the method some like to call shock and awe.

Then there is the way of the horse whisperers. My mother explains, “When the horse is very young, a foal, we gentle it. The horse is always handled. You pet it, feed it, groom it, stroke it, it gets used to you, likes you. You get on it and there is no fight, nothing to fight.” So you guide the horse toward doing what you want to do because he wants to do it. You synchronize desires, speak the same language. You don’t break the horse’s spirit.

My mom goes on: “If you walk straight toward a horse, it will look at you and probably run away. You don’t have to oppose the horse in that way. Approach indirectly, without confrontation. Even an adult horse can be gentled. Handle him nicely, make your intention the horse’s intention. “Then, when riding, both you and the horse want to maintain the harmony you have established. If you want to move to the right, you move to the right and so the horse naturally moves right to balance your weight.” Rider and animal feel like one. They have established a bond that neither wants to disrupt. And most critically, in this relationship between man and beast, the horse has not been whitewashed. When trained, he will bring his unique character to the table. The gorgeous, vibrant spirit is still flowing in an animal that used to run the plains.

Source: The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence by Josh Waitzkin

10 good tips for managing behaviour

It is often said that getting down to students' eye level is important when delivering praise or sanctions to students. This can often be interpreted as leaning over a student rather than standing above them or sitting down next to them. I often observe teachers who think they are at the student's eye level but are actually still demanding that the student looks up at them. I prefer the student to be looking down at me; teachers who do this know that crouching down lower than eye level is not weak but assertive and confident physical language.

Source: here

Parental discipline ‘key factor’ in giving children best start

The report, Building Character, studied data from 9,000 households in Britain to find out what sort of upbringing produced character traits, such as application, self-regulation and empathy, which gave the best guarantee of future success.

When a whole range of factors including household income, family structure, parental education and breast-feeding for at least six months were taken into account, discipline emerged as the key indicator of likely future prosperity.

Children with parents who practised "tough love" were twice as likely to develop good character traits by the age of five as those with "disengaged" parents – and were also likely to do significantly better than those with "laissez faire" or "authoritarian" parental regimes.

Source: here

Chocolate in Kids Makes for Violent Adults

Sixty-nine percent of the participants who were violent by the age of 34 had eaten sweets and chocolates almost every day during childhood, compared with 42 percent who showed no aggressive behavior, the study found. The association was consistent even after ecological, childhood and other control variables were included, according to the researchers.

“Our favored explanation is that giving children sweets and chocolate regularly may stop them learning how to wait to obtain something they want,” Moore said in a statement. “Not being able to defer gratification may push them toward more impulsive behavior, which is strongly associated with delinquency.”

Source: here

School pupils praised too much, says research – Telegraph

One 10 year old pupil told McLean that he was sick of getting stickers for doing well. A five year old recalled being praised for sitting in her seat in infants school. "What's the point of doing anything if you're praised for just sitting?" she said.

Source: here

Something to Remember

Wise words from Euan.  The secret of Enterprise 2.0 success.

.. isn’t to try to make people change … it is to do something that can’t already be done.

Don’t try to get your powerful people to behave differently – they have everything to lose. Don’t try to improve your existing processes – you will be seen to be breaking something.

Focus instead on the things that are desperately trying to happen but aren’t and the people who are desperately trying to connect but can’t. Do things that make the impossible possible and your success rate will soar.

Seems to be more and more to the point with the 21st Century skills approach to education.  There’s loads of technical solutions to possible problems.  But there are far fewer problems that people have isolated and said “Actually, that needs to be fixed and we could do it like so.”

If anyone knows of any educational “I had this problem and I fixed it with this tool” sort of list, I’d love to hear about it. 

Cricket ‘helps cut bad behaviour’ – Telegraph

Researchers from Loughborough University found that children with a history of disruption and truancy acted in a more “sportsman-like manner” after being exposed to the game for just a few hours.

The university, which analysed the results of a three-year schools programme run by the Cricket Foundation charity, said pupils displayed better social skills and teamwork compared with those taking part in normal PE lessons.

The study also found cricket helped girls to overcome “restrictive gender beliefs” and gain confidence in playing sport.

Source: here