Tuesday, 12 December 2017

How To Change Your Study Habits

Is it hard to change my study habits? 

How long will it take to change?

What are the steps to habit change?

Click Read More (below) to find out ....

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Why Teachers Should Broaden and Deepen Their Knowledge Base

Teachers of science cannot be expert in all areas of the science they teach. Nor can they expect their science knowledge they learnt in university hold them in good stead for their entire working careers. Science does not stand still. The frontiers of knowledge advance rapidly.

Keeping current and expandind your knowledge base has benefits for both teacher and student.

What are the benefits?

Click READ MORE (below) and find out ....

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The Fate of Empires: Will this be our future?

Suggested topic for class discussion

Just a few days ago I happened across a short (24 pages) eaasy titled The Fate of Empires  (click to read) by Sir John Bagot Glubb

I found it a very interesting read. The article would be best suited for a history class discussion or assignment but I would also strongly recommend it as essential reading for all teachers and students.

The article, published in 1978, still holds great relevancy today (more so today). I am sure it will generate much critical thinking and discussion.


What will be our future?

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Steps To Becoming A Smart Student

Help yourself become a better achiever

I've gathered together here a selection of previous posts. These will be of benefit for parents, teachers as well as students. They offer guidelines that will help boost achievement and performance.

Seven tips to student success

1. Learning new skills. It is important to realize that studying effectively is a skill. Listening in class is a skill. Thinking and memory are skills. Skills can be improved.

Skill Acquisition

2. Often students have a mistaken belief that they are no good at certain subjects. This often leads to lack of confidence and fears of failure. Examine the possible causes of mental barriers that stop your learning effort.

Mental Barriers to Learning

3. Prepare for the school year ahead. Steps that will greatly benefit your achievement and performance are listed. Pay careful attention. They will help you.

What Successful Students Do

4. Learn how to learn more effectively. Bring your subject content to life. This is the secret of learning success.

Visualization, Imagination and Learning

5. Learn how to get the best out of each lesson. Good classroom skills can save you much time at home.

Key Habits for the Classroom

 6. The importance of developing good concentration skills. Poor concentration results in poor learning and performance. Poor concentration also wastes many hours of your precious time.

Concentration is a key Mind Skill

7. Beliefs. Beliefs are powerful things. They can stop you in your tracks before your learning even starts. What can be done?


Students. I know the above information will help improve your learning performance enormously. You must be the person to decide to improve your student skills. This decision may change the course of your life. If you want to ask me a question then see Contact for my email address.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Preparing for Student Learning Success

 Summary of skills, habits and behaviors for learning success

The past five (5) part series on Gaining Perspective has been designed to encourage students to reflect upon a number of non-academic areas that play an important part in their learning success. Life issues can impact greatly on a student's mental outlook, motivation and performance.

It is vitally important to build a platform of understanding of self and others as well as an appreciation of the world and Universe we live in. This provides a solid rock foundation for the student to stand upon and take on the challenges of school and learning. It also greatly increases motivation and goal directed thinking. At the end of the day, and with further reflection, the student should become a calmer and more focused learner.

 How can these non-academic thoughts, reflections, awareness and experiences help?

There is no magic wand. Our mental outlook will not change overnight. But if the student works on it then over time they should ...

> Construct a better Worldview
> Become highly motivated learners
> Better understand their own thinking
> Form stronger and lasting friendships
> Generate a greater interest and curosity
> Boost study efforts
> Achieve improved results

These five non-academic areas are just as important as the academic skills.

Summary of all skills that contribute to learning success. Lifelong learning success.

(Click to enlarge)

Good luck students!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Gaining Perspective (Part 5) -The Inner Self

The source of self-deception and self-delusion

 The so called "inner-self" resides in that part of our mind that we cannot consciously access. It is buried deep within our unconscious. This part of the mind is the source of all our irrationalities and partialities. The inner-self affects our rational thinking processes. This in turn leads to distorted decision making and reasoning. 

Unless we are careful the distorted thinking and reasoning traps that arise from the inner-self will lead us down the pathway to self-deception and self-delusion. Often without our being aware of it.

 How can we overcome our faulty thinking and reasoning?

There's not much we can do about it. all humans are born with these tendencies. The best we can do is to learn to recognize some of these biases in our own thinking and decision making. It will take time and practice but you will soon become aware of your self-deceptions. In fact, you will probably learn to recognize them in other people before you become aware of your own!

 How do all the biases and self-deceptions affect our learning?

The inner-self will offer you temptations and distractions to try and take you off-task. You might decide to study later after you watch the movie on TV. Then you will feel tired and the inner-self will be whispering to you "Never mind. Do it tomorrow" after you visit your friend for the day.

The inner-self will always be finding excuses of why you should not get down to writing up that assignment right now. Now that you have the time!

You might find a reason to go shopping first. Yes students, this is called procrastination. And it comes from deep within you. The evil work of the inner self.

Learn to resist through self-talk

Become aware of the usual distractions that draw you away from your studies. Learn to recognize them them as the arise in your thoughts. Learn to resist through self-talk. For example, "I will do this now" or " I will start now". self-talk can be an effective way to over attempts at self-deception.

A Final Word

Students. Do not let  irrationality, faulty reasoning, biases and self-partiality become a mental barrier to your learning effort. Take the time to learn about your inner-self and to recognize its attempts to distort your thinking.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Gaining Perspective (Part 4) - Self and Others

Getting along is a balance between Self and Others

Finding and keeping good friends in school can be difficult sometimes and especially in the early years of high school. Your friendship group can make a big difference on your school performance. Your achievements whether it be academic or music or sporting can be boosted or held back by the friends you choose to surround yourself with.

Friendship is a two way street. It involves trust, consideration and respect. Getting along with those around you is an important social skill which you should be learning and developing every day.

 Awareness of your own behaviors and  the relationship with others is a massive area of study. Our discussion here will only center around your world. The world of the student. I used to spend at least a half day in this area when doing my Student Help courses. This short blog hardly does justice but it will point you in the right direction. A starting point for you.

How can you learn about yourself ?

To continue click on the "Read more" (below)

Friday, 19 May 2017

Gaining Perspective (Part 3) - Meaning and Purpose

You may sometimes ponder

Is there any meaning to life?
Does life have a purpose at all?
Why are we here?
How can I find meaning?
What purpose if it ends in death?

These are the big questions. They have been debated for centuries in philosophy, science and religion. They will continued to be debated for centuries to come.


Perhaps you have never given thought to the big questions at this early stage in your life. Being so young and so absorbed in the busy world of your youth that the time to reflect is yet to come for you.

Nevertheless, there is no harm to pausing and reflecting at this moment. It may help clarify you ambitions and goals.

My thoughts

Life is what you make it. Your decisions and choices largely determine the road that you will take. Finding some meaning and purpose earlier on in life may help guide you towards you destiny.

Some life experience may provide a meaning and purpose which then shapes the direction your life takes.

For example, you may want to study medicine after a family member died from an illness. You have a purpose to motivate you and to drive you towards your goals. You now know what you want to do. You have found a meaning and purpose. It's a worthy contribution to care and treat unwell fellow humans.

Others will find meaning, motivation and purpose in an almost unlimited range of human endeavors. Once you discover a reason "to get you out of bed every morning" you will find direction in your life and with that a feeling of contentment and happiness. Yes, I know life has its ups and downs but on the whole you will live a more satisfying and fulfilling existence.

Students. The wonderful thing is that we all have free will. This gives us the freedom to choose. To make life choices. To seek out all available pathways and direction. In other words we can explore, discover and find meaning and motivation.

Our freedom is bound by the physical and biological constraints of our human existence. Other limits to our freedom include culture, health status, law and societal norms. Despite these limitations to our total freedom we are still free to seek out a meaning and purpose for our human existence. The world can be your oyster!

Stages of Life

Across the various stages of life you may find slight shifts in your meaning and purpose. After careers and families have been established your attention may include other interests. Perhaps a member of a community organization or a sporting club. You might become a volunteer firefighter involved in protecting your local community.

Later in life, as Grandparents, you may spend time providing a range of diverse experiences and travel for your grandchildren. Helping them find their feet in life.

Take the time to reflect

Students. It is important that you reflect on the big questions. This will help you see the pathway ahead and provide motivation to work towards your dreams and find success!

Free Will and Courage to Choose

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Gaining Perspective (Part 2) - Patterns of Living

A Sense of Place

Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.

Leonardo Da Vinci

If you could look down from the moon .... onto the countless horde of mortals, you'd think you saw a swarm of flies or gnats quarreling  amongst themselves, fighting, plotting, stealing, playing,making love, being born, growing old and dying.It's hard to believe how much trouble and tragedy this tiny little creature can stir up, short-lived as he is, for sometimes a brief war or an outbreak of plague can carry off and destroy many thousands at once.

Erasmus 1560 AD

 Gain a better perspective from a detached viewpoint at a distance

The ability to step outside of and away from a situation is important if we are to keep in view the bigger picture, maintain a more open mind, show a balanced approach and remain as impartial (free,
neutral, external) as we can. An external view helps to clarify and broaden understanding, to set goals, to establish direction and to reduce distorted reasoning.

We can discover every sort of contradiction in ourselves depending how we look at ourselves; central but insignificant, essential but accidental, necessary but contingent, eminent but forlorn. We experience a moment of sobriety “while we breathe the cold and rarified air of emotional detachment”

Try the Thought Experiment .. have fun !

To continue click on the Read more (below)

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Gaining Perspective (Part 1) - Sense of Scale

Our Home is but a tiny speck in the enormity of the Universe

We start the first part of this five part series by looking at the only home we have in the vastness of the Universe. To realize how insignificant our planet when compared to grandness of scale and distance in our Universe is a humbling experience.

How do we measure up? 

Consider the following:

- One million Earths would fill the Sun
- The Sun has a diameter over 100,000 times that of Earth
- Other stars are 5 million to 300 million the size of our Sun
- One of the largest stars has a diameter that would reach out to Jupiter (Our Solar System)
- The Voyager 2 spacecraft took 40 years to reach the outer edge of the Solar System
- It takes light from the Sun 20 hours to reach the same point (Interstellar Space)
- There are many trillions of other galaxies containing thousands of trillions of planets

 Our Pale Blue Dot

Earth is our home planet. It may be small but is all we have to sustain our human race. Our fragile world provides all we need to survive. We are one human race, one people living on a beautiful blue planet teeming with life.

We have seen our society evolve from the Stone-age hunter-gather lifestyle to our modern Western Society that has emerged from our Judeo-Christian culture and the Industrial Revolution. Today our modern society is based upon science and technology.

Our people are educated, skilled, enlightened, work and family oriented and non-aggressive. We try to live a cooperative, harmonious and caring lifestyle. Our future vision is a world living in peace and prosperity. A most noble vision for tomorrow's generations but there are many challenges to face of the road ahead. The strength of our society and our democracy is only as strong as the next generation that make the decisions. Our Western Society could easily collapse and break apart.

Our population is increasing rapidly. Billions more mouths to feed from a reducing area of arable land suitable for agriculture. Billions more humans that will consume our limited resources. Billions more humans who will increase energy demand to support the lifestyles which we take for granted today.

Students. You are the future. You are the problem solvers of tomorrow. The world needs you. There is a place waiting for you now. We are at a tipping point and the survival of the human race will be in your hands.

We have no other home to go to. We have no "backup" Earth. Education, enlightenment and cooperation is just the first step to ensuring our survival. We hope human extinction is not an option.

Yes students. It's a frightening thought but it's done to you!

Friday, 12 May 2017

Gaining Perspective - A Five Part Series On Non-Academic Areas of Student Life

Over the coming few weeks I will be post a five (5) part series exploring some of the non-academic areas that can impact on student achievement. This series is designed to increase student awareness and appreciation of their place in the only world we humans occupy as well as encouraging self-reflection on self and their relationship with others. I shall discuss the observed habits, behaviors and cycles of human existence from one generation to the next. The purpose is to help promote a sense of belonging and meaning.

 The importance of non-academic factors

Students mostly have a narrow sense of perspective. They lack a broader vision of the bigger picture of our existence. Most live a life unexamined. Their daily lives are largely controlled and organized for them by their parents and teachers.

Their worldview is poorly developed and often students cannot see beyond tomorrow. They have no clear idea of goals to strive towards or little vision of the future world that awaits them. They do not think about the role they will play in our increasingly complex society. They underestimate their value to our culture and its continued orderly functioning.

Those who give little thought of where they will "fit-in" lack meaning and purpose in their lives. In fact some may even fear the future that awaits them.

We find so many just drifting along with little or no motivation or goals, and holding poor understanding of themselves and others.

I hope to help relieve some of these fears, uncertainties and doubts over the coming five part series of blogs. I hope to increase student sense of place, self and others. I hope to help them build a solid rock from which they can stand on and see a future for themselves. A future with meaning and purpose. A future to strive towards.

Our journey shall take us from the external world we live in down to the inner mind that drives us all!

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The World Needs You!

 Stephen Hawking addresses a student audience

Speaking on the survival of the human race he said that we must colonize another planet within the next 100 years if humanity is to survive. He ended his talk with a positive call for optimism and intellectual curiosity saying:

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious”, he told the hall packed with students.

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

Suggested classroom discussion based on this topic:

Discuss the threats to our human existence on Earth and why it is important that we work towards space colonization.

There is a place for every student in our society. You are needed whatever your field of endeavour. The world out there is waiting for you.

Teachers are key people in guiding their students on their journey of discovery. Helping them find their role in our modern society.

We will survive but only if everybody plays their part!