Shifting Sands In Education

How education is changing in schools, on devices and online.

Many teachers in their 20’s and 30’s have a preference for calling themselves coaches of numerous types from life coach, to food coach, sports, mindfulness and business coaching too.

The paradigm shift within the education and wellness landscape is tremendous and awash with new knowledge, thought, delivery styles, curriculum choices, and more importantly, the ‘getting of wisdom’ is beginning to seep into some formats. These newer education styles are exciting and offer a range of awards from certificates to diplomas to degrees. YouTube is one of the best ‘universities of life’ with the opportunity to learn how to change a tiny battery in your automatic car locking system to cooking meals, installing software and a vast array of topics from spirituality to chemistry, gardening and more.

An example of how YouTube has supported a young mother in educating her son was when he recently asked her what was a vegetarian. Her choice of education for his young mind was YouTube. It is YouTube that gave her the opportunity to sit down with him and watch a couple of animated short educational videos about what it means to be a vegetarian. He was amazed to hear that people eat the muscle and skin of animals and he found it hard to believe he had eaten some of the body parts of dead cooked animals. Their talk afterwards led to him informing his mother that he did not want to eat animals and when he goes to kindergarten he asked if she would tell them that he did not want to eat animals when they gave him lunch.

One of the latest body mind educational tools to be introduced in primary and secondary schools is face-to-face training in mindfulness and meditation. There are also excellent meditation apps such as Smiling Mind, Amplifield, CalmHeadspace and more.

Another story about this same three-year-old boy who spontaneously came into an inner meditation/mindfulness space occurred a few months prior to his question about vegetarianism. His mother was driving with her two young children in the car. She had a kids meditation CD playing. In the rear vision mirror,  she saw her young son with his eyes closed and his hands with the palms touching at his heart. He did not move for many minutes. He was breathing deeply and kept his hands together at his heart whilst sitting in his child safety seat. When he finished his eyes opened and he gave a big smile to his mother. She asked him why he had his hands in the position at his heart. He replied,  “it made me feel relaxed and happy and made me feel like I had a little seed in my heart and it was growing into a big tree inside of me, and that it was green, and loved me”. When his mother told me this story she expressed how she “loves what goes through his mind”.

My current favourite teacher, or waking up coach, is Robert Moss. It was only a few years ago that I would never have thought online training could deliver in a way that was both experiential and deeply engaging. Well, I was wrong. The training I attend these days are mostly online in the form of webinars that include live chat, break-out groups for student interaction, question and answer opportunities, immediate feedback from faculty, guided instruction with an invitation to study further, plus social media interaction in-between weekly live tutorials. I have a preference for webinars that include video as the visual dimension offers facial cues and expressions that are added into the learning mix that pure audio does not offer.

These days when learning online I’m usually sitting at a coffee table on my  Black Dragon. The meditation seat is a comfortable and adjustable seat, also referred to as a bench, stool, cushion and meditation chair. If you practice meditation/mindfulness in Melbourne, Australia you can go to the factory to experience sitting either cross-leg or kneeling on a Black Dragon. Colin, the designer and maker is sure to be there and happy to help you.

photo credit: Tara Fearn. Jette Fearn sitting on a Dragon Meditation Bench practising Wishing Well ‘n’ Happy. Melbourne, Australia 2017

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