Blog Archives

ALP Pushes for Coding to be Taught in Schools

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has slammed the Abbott government for not placing a greater focus on introducing coding to schools as part of the 2015 Budget.

Shorten said last week’s federal budget was a “missed opportunity” on Monday, saying it is important that the current education curriculum pre-emptively equip school children with coding skills for future jobs.

“I don’t want our children just playing on apps invented overseas,” he said. “I want Australians to design, create, and operate the apps and the computers and machines of the future.”

Last Thursday, the opposition leader outlined that a Shorten Labor government would turn Australia into a science, start-up, and technology capital of the region. He said he would boost the skills of 10,000 current primary and secondary teachers, as well as train 25,000 new teachers who are science and technology graduates. Additionally, he promised to wipe the university debts of 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) students.

However, Minister for Education and Training Christopher Pyne hit back saying that work on STEM and computing coding in Australian schools was already well underway. The federal government said it is investing AU$3.5 million to ensure all students will have the opportunity to study computer coding in both primary and secondary school.

According to Pyne, the investment is part of the government’s AU$12 million Industry, Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, which was announced in October 2014. The agenda has been designed to support the teaching of STEM, including implementing online curriculum resources in mathematics; providing seed funding to pilot a US-based ‘P-tech’ styled secondary education initiative; and increasing student participation through ‘Summer schools for STEM students’.

“The Coalition Government is determined to ensure our schools give young Australians the skills both they and Australian businesses need to succeed in the highly competitive, high-tech, 21st century,” Pyne said.

“We know that as computer driven smart-technology expands into every aspect of our recreational and working lives, there is an ever growing need for highly skilled workers in this global growth industry. All children will need to understand computational thinking and how it can contribute to their future.

“We are investing in computer coding across different year levels in Australian schools, and STEM education more broadly to ensure young Australians and our nation can grasp the opportunities the high-tech future offers.”

Last week, during the Microsoft-led WeSpeakCode initiative, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull acknowledged that the education sector has gone backwards, with the uptake of STEM learning among students having dropped significantly, and believed the way to reverse is to teach students how to code.

“Of our 600,000 workers in ICT, more than half work outside the traditional ICT sector. 75 percent of the fastest-growing occupations require STEM skills, but only half of year 12 students are studying science; that’s down from 94 percent 20 years ago,” Turnbull said.

“That is really a retrograde development, and we have to turn that around.”

Digital Future Nightmares: Childhood Health and Fitness

A “nightmarish” vision of a future in which technology makes physical education more boring, judgmental and narrow is driving a new study by a University of Queensland academic.Associate Professor Michael Gard from the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences has begun a three-year research project on the digitisation of school health and physical education.

The project stems from the assumption that developments in digital technology present exciting educational opportunities but carry a new set of philosophical, educational and ethical questions and dilemmas.

“Will we leverage the power of digital technology to expand student’s minds and open up choices about how to live, or will we use it to monitor students’ behaviour and tell them how to live?” Dr Gard said.

“For example, much of the health-related technology that we are seeing involves asking children to count the calories they consume or expend when they are exercising. Is this this what we want students to be doing at school?

“There is a lot of money to be made from digitising school health and physical education and, make no mistake, companies are already vigorously marketing all kinds of health and fitness technologies to schools.

“Then you have the whole ‘big data’ concern about how your child’s records are used.”

The recipient of a $177,000 Australian Research Council Discovery Grant for the study, Dr Gard is collaborating with academics in Canberra, Melbourne and Illinois, USA.

One aspect of the research sure to raise interest is the potential impact on the career prospects of health and physical education teachers.

“You see gyms already that have replaced human staff with digital screens which either instruct the class or measure the output of the participants,” Dr Gard said.

“Similar things are happening in school physical education programs in the United States.

“Do we need to send someone to university for three-to-four years if they are there merely to over-see children using technology?

“And if you could train a health and physical education teacher in a matter of months, what would that mean for their pay scale?

“Then think of a perfect storm, where performance pay for health and physical education teachers is linked to children losing weight, and you introduce some very tricky ethical situations. Once again, some American states are moving in this direction.”

The study will also investigate how schools use digital technology to measure students, such as their BMI (body mass index), and what becomes of the data once collected.

Dr Gard is interested in speaking with Australian teachers and schools that already identify as being innovative with the use of digital technology in health and physical education.

Media: Associate Professor Michael Gard +61 407 894 607, m.gard@uq.edu.au; UQ Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Communications Kirsten O’Leary 07 3345 7436 or 0412 307 594, r.burgin@uq.edu.au.

NLP – Three Letters that Changed the World

Eco Living Magazine presents:

NLP – Three letters that changed the world

NLP the most influential therapy around the globe.

By Sudha Hamilton

Is there a therapy or transformational process that has been as influential and all pervasive as NLP?

Neuro linguistic programming (NLP) has, over the last 30 years, reached into nearly every level of our society. Beginning with the therapeutic community, Richard Bandler and John Grinder (who were the founders) developed their work in conjunction with three of the most effective and well known psychotherapists of the time – Fritz Perls (founder of Gestalt), Virginia Satir (family systems therapy) and Milton Erickson (hypnotherapy). As NLP included principles from all of these disparate modalities, it dropped a large pebble in many pools of consciousness – and the ripple effect has been substantial. It is highly likely that any training or transformational work that you may have done has been positively and powerfully influenced by the many guiding principles inherent in NLP. Recently the publication “Psychology Today” stated that “NLP may be the most powerful vehicle for change in existence.”

From there, NLP immediately began spreading like a virus into the corporate world, infecting sales trainings around the world, as managers realised that this work could make their people more effective and therefore their make companies more money. Modelling “rapport”, and “anchoring their intentions” with powerful gestures and mental images, firstly sales people, and then all levels of corporate management began to expand their understanding of how we all think and operate. Training and Development Journal says “NLP does offer the potential for making changes without the usual agony that accompanies these phenomena….it offers the opportunity to gain flexibility, creativity and greater freedom of action than most of us now know.” NLP has been instrumental in the shift to a greater consciousness within our corporate world.

NLP has also been hugely influential in the field of sport and other high performance categories. Coaches and athletes have benefited from the techniques employed by NLP – “reframing” their communication to be able to perceive new possibilities and identifying our sabotage tendencies through “parts integration.” Golfing star Tiger Woods and tennis great Andre Agassi both utilised NLP techniques to reach the peak of their particular sports. A strong mental performance is such a vital component of any successful performance, be it on the sports field or on any other world stage. Politicians and performers have also taken advantage of the NLP approach, with Bill Clinton and Tony Blair as two notable examples.

NLP is, of course, all about education, and it focuses on the effective teaching process through “modelling” and recognising the different ways we learn, depending on whether we are more visually inclined – “I can see what you mean” – or auditory – “That rings a bell” – or kinaesthetic – “That feels right to me.” These defining sub-groups allow teachers and trainers to use the language that each student’s brain is most able to effectively process. Concepts are grasped quickly and learning occurs without the pain of incomprehension. Recognising that each individual has a preferred representational system (PRS), was a key to designing effective “sub modality” tools, like visual, sound and textual imagery.

The techniques which NLP practitioners employ bring awareness to naturally occurring processes, and enable us to enact change in our behaviour at will. As the great teacher Osho would always say, “awareness is enough” – once you become conscious of something then transformation can happen spontaneously. Ask yourself the question who am I? Keep asking and with each round of answers you will discover more and more parts of yourself. Some seemingly buried in your unconscious and quite a few in apparent conflict with each other. Recognition and understanding of these disparate parts and their desires can allow us to move forward and to let go of attachments to unhelpful behaviours. These processes can release a tremendous amount of previously pent up energy and many people who have done the trainings have reported such results. NLP can also help you gain access to the many resources in the unconscious mind – that great storehouse of learning, memory, behaviour and emotion.

One of the fundamentally correct things about NLP is that it was formed out of the observation of what works – Bandler and Grinder analysed the language and behaviour utilised by three excellent psychotherapists in their consultations with clients that affected positive healing outcomes. It is solution based rather than symptomatic. This is, I think, one of the main reasons it has gone on to become the most influential transformative process on the planet. To understand how our brains work and the important role that language plays in how we process information and perceive reality is heroic stuff indeed. Bandler and Grinder, and all those NLP innovators who have come after, have created a system that allows humanity to develop, change, grow and evolve. Christopher Partridge, author of New Religions, states that “NLP may be best thought of as a system of psychology concerned with the self development of the human being” and “It is concerned with the function of belief rather than its nature. It is not concerned whether a belief is true or not, but whether it is empowering or disempowering.”

In Australia we have a number of innovative and excellent NLP Master Practitioners, who have taught, trained and created – transforming lives along the way. There are also NLP schools where you can become a teacher/trainer in a variety of NLP associated modalities including hypnosis, time line therapyTM and NLP life coaching. (Many thanks to Sue Sharp of Australian College of NLP for editorial contribution to the above article.)

Break out Box:

Creative Future Dynamics

Creative Future Dynamics has been described as the training company with heart. Our vision is to provide groups and individuals with the tools to effect lasting change in life, create the future as they want it and take their life to the next level. The powerful combination of NeuroLinguistic Programming, Time Line TherapyTM, Hypnosis, Hawaiian Huna and performance creates memorable and life changing experiences for all who are serious about achieving their desired outcomes and dreams. This is the promise of Creative Future Dynamics. Martha Follent, the Director of Creative Future Dynamics, is a Trainer of NLP, Time Line TherapyTM and Hypnosis and has a varied and extensive background in business, public and private health systems, coaching, training and the performing arts. From this base, the seminars run by Creative Future Dynamics take on new dimensions for personal growth and development. Courses include weekend seminars, certification training programmes for Practitioner and Master Practitioner of NLP, Time Line TherapyTM, and Hypnosis, Hawaiian Huna initiate training, coaching for excellence, performance enhancement, counselling and customised corporate training and coaching. All areas of life can be worked with including career, relationships, health and fitness, personal development. Our clients include business people seeking to enhance business performance and relationships with clients, customers and colleagues, corporate and public groups and individuals wishing to achieve outcomes such as greater career clarity and opportunities, better relationships, greater health and fitness, personal growth and development, more money.  Anyone who takes advantage of our certification programmes is, following certification, eligible for membership (at the appropriate level) with the Australian and the American Boards of NLP, the American Board of Hypnosis, the Australian Society of Clinical Hypnosis and The Time Line TherapyTM Association. Find out more at: www.creativefuturedynamics.com

Break out box:

Australian School of NLP

Our Practitioner, Master Practitioner and Trainers Training courses are internationally recognised and meet the standards of the American Board of Neuro Linguistic Programming, American Board of Hypnotherapy and the Time Line Therapy Association. We have high standards on our courses and feel it is important to be accredited by one of the most, significant boards in the world.

Our courses are supported with pre-study kits allowing you to listen to CD’s and digest information at your own speed prior to the course. We have high standards and we want you to be the best practitioner you can be. Completing pre-study means that we spend most of the course practising and honing your skills in a supported and professional learning environment. We teach Time Line Therapy® and Hypnosis together with NLP at Practitioner and Master Practitioner courses. What’s the benefit? Time Line Therapy® is a highly effective way to rapidly let go of limitations and negative emotions that are preventing you from performing optimally and achieving your desired outcomes. Hypnosis is excellent in creating and supporting new habits, beliefs and behaviours that enabling us to put our desired changes into action in the real world. The three modules (NLP, Time Line TherapyTM and Hypnosis) work most effectively as a combined package although each individually provides a powerful toolset for your mind. Find out more at www.asnlp.com.au

©Eco Living Magazine

Eco Living Magazine

Midas Word