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Divergent thinking

Divergent thinking
Musicians are more likely to use both hemispheres of their brain and more likely to use divergent thinking in their thought processes. Divergent thinking is essential for creativity. It is the ability to see lots of possible ways to interpret a question and lots of possible answers to it. It is important to vary thought processes so that children use both convergent and divergent thinking - Natasa Pantovic It is a thought process used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possibilities. Divergent thinking is often used as a parallel of convergent thinking that follows a particular set of logical steps to arrive at one solution. In their book Breakpoint and Beyond, George Land and Beth Jarman describe a longitudinal study they conducted on 1,600 kindergarden children aged three to five. Five years later, they re-tested the same children, now aged eight to 10 and only 32 per cent scored in the creative genius category. An average person would have 10 to 15 answers to this question.

Do rewards, punishment work? In an experiment, children’s brains reacted strongly to positive feedback and scarcely responded at all to negative feedback. Our basic strategy for raising children or teaching students is a reward and punishment strategy. We are what we believe we are - C.S. Lewis From an early age we introduce Santa Claus, who carefully observes what children do and appears from the heavens to deliver gifts for the ‘good ones’ or to punish the ‘bad ones’. While manipulating children with incentives seems to work in the short run, it is a strategy that ultimately fails. Praise is frequently a judgement and a kind of bribe as the child must ‘earn’ points by doing the ‘right’ thing. Punishment causes either physical, emotional, or social pain, and it is often followed with confusion, anger, or guilt. The younger children’s performance improved substantially more when the feedback was positive. C.S. Our mind is responsible for all sorts of illusions. We might even become what we pretend to be.

Tapping the brain’s magic With traditional educational methods – its curriculum and its focus on examinations – students quickly lose motivation and interest for science and its magic. The human brain is truly extraordinary. A healthy brain has some 200 billion neurons. The conscious mind controls our brain for only five per cent of the day, whereas the subconscious mind has control of our thoughts 95 per cent of the time. A human being has 70,000 thoughts per day - Natasa Pantovic A human being has 70,000 thoughts per day. Somewhere within our brain we have a potential for higher mathematics, complex physics, art, and amazing richness of thoughts, feeling, and sensations. However, although we are mostly controlled by our brains, we are yet to learn how to best use its potential. In her book My Stroke of Insight, brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor, who recovered from a massive left hemisphere blood clot, talks about her experiences during the eight years it took her to completely recover. www.artof4elements.com

Education of the future In a typical classroom in Finland, students work in small groups. The teacher nurtures independence and active learning, allowing them to develop skills to understand and solve problems. “You may give them your love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.” There is a strong emphasis on relaxed schools that nurture creativity, questioning and in-depth subject analysis - Natasa Pantovic (Kahlil Gibran, On Children) We cannot aim to prepare our children for the careers of the future. The education of the future is much more challenging, shifting further away from ‘spelling and formulas’ towards the development of cognitive thinking where children are given tools to develop their own world, when their time comes.

Inspired or lost in the technology matrix? The many ‘entertainment’ options phones give us distort our ability to connect with people right next to us. We live surrounded by an increasingly complex matrix of impulses (transmitted via TV, media and the internet) that allow strangers of all sorts to interfere in our mental, emotional and spiritual development. Understanding this intricate network and how the human brain interacts with it is becoming our door to happiness and health. Our interaction with the Net, with TV and with computers has replaced our interaction with nature which in its magical way nurtures our cognitive,emotional, physical and psychological well-being The self or the personality is a bundle of socially-influenced traits that emerges and is formed gradually. A great deal is known about the links between our behaviour and TV, and between our emotions and computer games, because there have been thousands of studies on these subjects. Most of the studies found that there is a link. www.artof4elements.com

Arts make students smart When children are physically active and creative, they tend to focus better and work more enthusiastically with the rest of the curriculum. Arts, sport, music and drama are often viewed as fun extra-curricular activities for children but are given less importance compared with core subjects such as English, science, or mathematics. The arts should be taken seriously as a source of inspiration, as a way of life - Nataša Pantović Nevertheless, numerous studies prove that practising arts, music and sport from an early age improves brain activity, self-confidence, and gives students an overall sense of well-being. Students who consistently prac­tise sport, arts, music, drama, and dance, are usually more creative and innovative and also perform better academically. Physical education programmes can influence the way children view physical fitness when they grow older, how they relate to their body and overall health. Many team sports require children to work together to achieve a common goal.

Conscious Parenting and Kids Happiness Interview with Nataša Pantović Nuit Author of Conscious Parenting: Mindful Living Course for Parents Q. You say that the parenting is the most difficult job in the world. Why? A. Q: Your book Conscious Parenting is full of exercises, questionnaires, tips. A: The idea was to create a practical and inspirational guide to mindful living, a type of the self-development course for parents that wish to improve their parenting skills. Q. It is a million dollars question: how do we still work on self-development increasing Love, Understanding, Wisdom even though the art of parenting is so complicated? Q. A. Q. Our children need our Love, support and sanity within this amazing matrix of choices we live in. 'Conscious Parenting' or Spiritual Parenting is a natural result of our decision to start working on our Parenting Self-Development. I keep on saying to my children: I wish to be a kind, understanding and loving parent to you! Q. Artof4Elements is a Mindfulness Training and self-help Publisher.

Personality Test Based on Jung and Briggs-Myers This free personality test will allow you to obtain your four-letter type code according to Jung's typology as developed by Myers, Briggs, von Franz, and van der Hoop. Our test is one of several ways to quantify interpretations of Jung's typology, similar but not identical, to the MBTI test (the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® MBTI), the Jung Type Indicator, and other such instruments. IDR Labs Personality Type Test is the property of IDR Labs International. Ours is one of the few free tests that is subjected to statistical controls and validation. Even so, please keep in mind that tests are merely indicators - a first peek at the system to get you started. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and MBTI are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Myers & Briggs Foundation, in the United States and other countries. We primarily draw on the psychology of personality types presented in C.G. This test follows established theory. IDR Labs Personality Type Test is the property of IDR Labs International.

Shifting education goals Education should teach children how to ask appropriate questions, how to analyse a problem, stimulate a desire to learn, and flexibility to consider different points of view. One of the biggest problems of education today is that the ‘factory model’ of teaching: the top-down approach and the rewards-and-punishments ap­proach, limit students’ ability to contribute with their imagination and creativity. In the Finnish educational model, active learning is taken seriously. Schoolchildren do not sit at their desks memorising - Natasa Pantovic The system needs a shift in focus: from one that teaches children a curriculum, to the one that inspires lifelong learning. Both Waldorf and Montessori learning methods establish a collaborative environment without tests, with the child’s learning and creativity at the centre of the focus. Some students who experienced such schooling went on to launch revolutionary business models. Larry Page and Sergei Brin, both ex-Montessori students, launched Google.

Nataša Pantović Nuit TALKS TO BuzzFeed [Interview] Nordic countries’ teaching methods reaping rewards Unesco statistics of tertiary education enrollment by country show that while 21.5 per cent of Maltese students successfully enrol into university each year, 70 per cent of the students in Nordic countries continuing their education after secondary school. Nordic countries use techniques and tools that encourage collaboration - Nataša Pantovic Comparing the Nordic countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland) with other EU countries, the difference clearly stands out. Steering towards a knowledge society for them meant higher education became a must. It also appears that the Nordic educational system uses methodologies and tools that ultimately encourage and inspire learning. An interesting study by Yann Algan and Pierre Cahuc examines teaching methods and their application in different countries. The results of the study are extremely insightful and show that teaching methods differ tremendously across countries.

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