Friday, 26 August 2011

Buddhist Learning thinking

This is a collection of thinking in a Buddhist way and how this thinking could apply to learning. I got the inspiration from a programme I watched on the BBC iplayer called;

'Seven Wonders of the Buddhist World'

This is a series of notes taken on my iPhone as I watched the programme. It is a series of things to think about from a Buddhist spiritual perspective for various ways of learning. I am currently really exploring my mind for one reason or another and am going through a real creativity patch I actually put it down to this way of thinking and am going to stick with it for a while and see where the journey takes me. I wouldn't call myself a religious person or a spiritual person but perhaps a reflective person.

Take it point by point rather than as an overall methodology as the flow could be better!

The main aim is to Empower individual learning, collaboration, reflection, and passing on learning to others to enlighten all.

Buddha created a radical change of thinking. Mark out YOUR path to follow for self revelation . Make it a rigourous quest to avoid complacency and stale state.

Meditate - think deep on a problem. Enlightenment state don't move from a problem until you have created or thought of a possible solution or range of solutions.

Sit under a tree to reflect. Have a different location to mix thinking up so it is free from the classroom. Go back to that spot to remind you that you came up with an idea to physiologically train the mind that this is a thinking spot where successes are born. Let students discover physical places that work for them. Let them explore. My place is virtual I find I am most creative on twitter between 6pm-3am (a big window to fuel my insomnia)

3 jewels of life:

An idol - Try to have a trio found this most manageable I have a learning Trio currently of David Didau, Alex Quigley and Zoe Elder who I find have had most impact on my teaching and learning.

They could equally be themed so Geographers for me would come from this list everyday of the week as my go to for inspiration. (The Geography Collective Dan Raven-Ellison, Tony Cassidy, Alan Parkinson, David Rogers, Richard Allaway I'll come back to this....

It is important everyone is Responsible for their own learning. As a teacher I am not 'The Saviour' be critical and highlight this to students! They are someone to gain curiosity from, to ask for guidance of where to find help i.e resources, peers etc.

Create self evaluation learning plans. Be True to self of strengths and weaknesses for all in class.

Personal morality - Many Buddhist temples have faces as focal points.
Eyes - teacher role to watch/assess not do.
Ears - to listen. I want students to come up with strategies as a community to answer them.

3 jewels again....
1. Buddha founder - The Big Picture
2. Community - Learning community
3. Preaching - Spread Learning to peers, community the World. - twitter, blog, website, youtube, teachmeets, staff briefing/news, display

Journey paths to enlightenment: 

I wrote these all down and found it really helped. I recently had some help on how to cope with my loss using CBT - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and am writing a lot of things down and finding it has untangled a lot of my thinking webs that I have in the past got trapped in.

Chanting - repeating strategies to gain enlightenment to one self's learning and progress.
Earth, water, wind, fire, space, mind into a plan. Is awareness that universe is ideal

Earth - solid aspects to own learning in geography and T&L. (Geography - using description, explanation, investigation, opinion and interdependence across various scales incorporating human interaction with the physical world at the forefront of my learning for geography. T&L - using solo, critique, questioning, collaboration.)

Water - what learning flows well for individuals?

Wind - what blows over you? What do you struggle to grasp / sense?

Fire - what frustrates you most about your learning? Key weakness target.

Space - goal - aspects of awe to you.

Key behaviours:

Sangha - focus on learning (during lessons stay focussed to gain wisdom.
Dharma - teachings. According to understanding to do what you do practically without doing any harm. To try to gain 'Purity of thought' understanding whilst not restricting others and aiding others as we're all the salt of knowledge.
Karma - emphasis on consequence of actions. How we think and act. Twisted we should think and act (create) to bring about a consequence/product- to evaluate review.

My room in the past has been messy and still is to an extend I am working very hard on creating an 'awe of class should be full of wisdom and have decadence properties / respected by all who enter'. A place people are proud of and want to enter. So that it hopefully produces positive Karma. So My walls are filling up with breathtaking pieces of learning from students who have taken time and pride in their work.

I want to create this positive mindset in the room of excellence and not mess - It shows I don't care, take pride in my room, myself so why should the students? This is a huge push in my marginal gains for my learning in my classroom. No stone will go unturned to bring about excellence in my classroom from myself and my students. This I believe will lead to greater resilience of learners in my room. I am bringing this about hugely at the minute with my language of choice in describing tasks and expectations. The minimum is just not good enough. 

Allow for creativity. Artistic (This is a figure of speech it could be presented from any of the multiple intelligences) work for students to take time and pride and aim for the look at what we have created. Sharing moment that brings me so much pride and love of the job. It happened so many times yesterday from students who normally come into my room and say I can't or give me behaviour gripes. Perhaps the task wasn't outstanding but the learning was breathtaking to me and more importantly to the student who shared.

Large scale (interpret as you might) be big on creativity - take it to next level don't think small think of something that will make people sit up, observe and listen and act.

Aim to reach enlightenment samsara.

Go through cycles of learning like - TEEP or the 7e's that Hayley Thompson introduced me to as a planning strategy, until for that specific learning objective you gain enlightenment and can be reborn to focus on the next learning objective. So allow students to escape Samsara. We shouldn't think ok that lesson is over now, next lesson we are learning this, here are the next set of objectives when students haven't achieved their last set of objectives! This will only create frustration and student behaviour of 'I can't do it' because the goals are 'too big' in the time frame for them to achieve and so they gain a defeatist attitude. We keep hearing it but PERSONALISATION of learning really is key. This could be targeted for specific students. But don't make them too easy, allow for that strive, that challenge that is achievable but only through real drive and ambition.

Samsara can also be thought of to examine the daily life around us. To review the passions, desires and destructions of everyday life. And reflect how these conflicts can come to Nirvana - peace.

This has been key to me. I have been so angry lately from those who I have told or have read about my past. I have been working on this hugely and I am making massive strides with it. A direct correlation with myself being more at peace with myself that my teaching is going to new and improved places. Mainly due to the great learning I am reading on twitter, blogs and books people mention.

The main message I would like you all to take away from this post is to:


The next bit will be ramble as I try and form it in my mind so bare with it:)

Cambodian Buddhism is to take a more human face. Be humble reflect look at different views / opinions, have different temples - seeds for thought. Reflect on destruction around us the fragile nature of the world around us reflected in the temples that are crumbling empty now like areas that are affected by war, natural disasters, poverty etc and see the liberation that occurs in the time after.

Areas that are good to meditate according to Parli Cannon:

'Mountain, hill side, open field, forest cave, root of tree' - this highlights as geographers we have to explore visit to meditate allow the human mind to explore and to transcend the world around us and not be happy to just read about these things.

Also from Ankor Wat explore drama (re-enact scenes, role-plays, future) the dramatic lives that exist around us and not to limit where we examine. Apply on a monumental scale. - pass on experiences to parents, friends, other schools the community, other countries through blogging etc. So the Power and wisdom of what we learn / experience is available to all.

Zen - Qualities are not just unique to me. Explore - Discover - Share - Teach - Coach - Pre-structural - Multi-Structural - Relational - Extended Abstract by seeing how others take the learning.

I hope this helps your thinking:)

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