Chapter 11 - But what if you start late?

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But what if you start late?

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UNLIMITED Learning - the new learning revolution and the seven keys to unlock it.

Two key principles: the mind-body connection and the mind-brain connection
 
  The first principle to restress is that learning is not only an academic process. Just as an infant develops his brain by sucking, grasping, crawling, creeping, walking, climbing, rocking and spinning, so too with children and adults. You may never develop another cerebral cortical brain cell after you are born, but you can keep growing those dendrites - the brain's connecting and "storage" branches - throughout life.
  Professor Diamond and her co-researchers at Berkeley have proven conclusively that the more effective the physical and mental stimulation, the bigger and better the dendritic brain growth.2 Professor Palmer has proven in Minnesota that physical routines at kindergarten can dramatically improve five-year-olds' academic performance, because those concentrated physical activities actually grow the brain.3 Secondly, the brain and the mind are not the same. To oversimplify: if you were to compare them to a computer, the brain would be the hardware and the mind the software. The brain is biological and neurological: it has neurons, glial cells, dendrites and myelin sheathing that together provide the biological mechanism. In the context of this book, the mind is the content of the brain. It is not only possible but highly desirable to stimulate the mind through the body as well.
  Again, Helen Keller is a classic case-study.4 It took her three years merely to learn the alphabet. Her teacher, Anne Sullivan, was able to communicate with the girl's brain and mind through a sense of touch. She later spelled out words on her hand. Helen then learned to read and write in Braille, but in her own time.
  Five main factors influenced Keller's ability to learn: time, culture, context, support and the freedom to choose.
  Time was obviously vital. Her first learnings took a long time. But once she made her initial gains she was able to build on them rapidly. Learning had nothing to do with being "disabled"; it had everything to do with having handicaps and needing her own time-clock to overcome them. She would never have succeeded by starting in today's regimented graded classrooms.
  Culture was also important. Helen Keller's culture esteemed the ability to talk and read. By comparison, in a culture without a written language, navigation might rate much higher than reading; thus culture determines the context of learning - and learning problems. "Special

 

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