A Profoundly Humanistic System of Education for all
Ostrander and Schroeder in their book 'Superlearning', state: 'The reading rhythm, intonations, music and breathing make links with the unconscious, as the data simultaneously links with the conscious mind. Harmonised rhythms strengthen the information signal'. As a student starts to succeed and believe in himself, his self-doubts just drop away and his natural abilities increase. The second revision is called the Passive phase. Students lay back, close their eyes, and completely relax. The teacher presents the text in an artistic reading, using intonation and the 8 second cycle. A particular type of music is played.
The music is called Baroque- a 'largo' beat, played by stringed instruments has the best results. This music has been shown to relax the body and place the brain rhythm into an Alpha level. The students mind drift between voice, music and breathing. The following day the teacher activates the information by role-playing and games, for example throwing a ball to a student while he asks a question, or encouraging students to enact the information in a creative, fun and safe way. Giving the students a new identity through role-playing diminishes their worries about making mistakes and develops confidence. In a Lozanov class, the first week is devoted to teaching the students how to relax their bodies, and how to use their 5 senses in mental relaxation exercises.
This psychological element removes the negative blocks towards learning. Use of simple affirmations has been found to improve a student's memory by over 60%. Exams are self-making and are only given to help the students obtain an idea of their level of success. If the student is not reaching the required level it simply indicates that more time is required to be spent on helping him relax and remove his self-doubts. Dr.Lozanov calls it the 'snowball effect'; as a student starts to succeed and believe in himself his self-doubts just drop away and his natural abilities increase.
With this method slow learners have been able to catch up one year's work in 8 weeks. Retarded children, dyslexics, delinquents, brilliant students, the educated and uneducated have all reported improvements in health, attitude and co-operation. Students develop a real hunger to learn and progress. Teachers don't miss out either. All the teachers who have used Accelerated Learning in the classroom have commented on the deep satisfaction that they now get from teaching.
Professor Schuster of Iowa University, a leading expert in Accelerated Learning described how Charles Gritton, a teacher of Woodrow Wilson Junior High, was just about to give up teaching. Gritton wrote, 'you'd give a good lesson and afterwards you'd realize the kids didn't hear a damned word you said. You'd go home at the end of the day wanting to shoot yourself.' Schuster explained that the school was in a low income neighbourhood. He said, 'The kids had their own worries to think about. When a police siren goes off down the street, there are a half-dozen kids in a class of fifty who look nervously around. If there's a knock on the door and a policeman comes in that door, three kids go out the window.' Pessimistically, Gritton had learned to live with limited results, only possible through heavy discipline.
When Schuster told him about Accelerated Learning he was scornful. 'Nobody can teach kids fifty or one hundred new science terms in a week, let alone a day, and make them like it.' Nevertheless he gave it a try. His classes began to learn more easily and successfully and Gritton began to get a kick out of teaching again. The kids it seemed were elated, and proud of their new-found skills. For many, it was the best they had ever done in their lives. Gritton knew for sure there was something different about Accelerated Learning when kids sent out in the hall for misbehaving didn't cut classes, but hung around his door trying not to miss anything. 'If Accelerated Learning helps but one, it would be worth it,' said Gritton, 'but when you have 115 students at a 97 percent level, teaching is a lot of fun.'
Educational researchers feel that if we continue trying to cope with world problems and the information overload, in areas from world economics to government, with out present limited abilities we will never catch up. Unless we switch on additional learning circuits in the human brain, progress could come to a standstill.
Professor Cecilia Pollack of Lehman College, Long Island, who has remarkable success with dyslexics using Accelerated learning, wrote, 'Accelerated Learning is a profoundly humanistic system of education for all. Instead of failure, it offers psychological relaxation and enjoyment. It helps people overcome their socially related fears and anxieties become relaxed and disappear. It is destined to usher in a revolution in learning. All the boredom, the drill, the meaningless tests will be swept aside to make way for integrated knowledge, to the tune of music and song, poetry and puppetry, jingles and jokes...Dr Lozanov expects people to be ten feet tall...And they become so.'
Over the years I have conducted the Accelerated Learning Workshops, I have seen many people experience an exciting jump in their learning abilities. It has been very satisfying for me to see the smiles on peoples' faces when they realize that they have such a great mind. They become excited about the future, they are able to see the unlimited possibilities.
Many people have told me the workshop has changed their lives because it has given them hope and a love of learning that they never realised they had. I have come to realize that there is no improvement in learning without a healing of the mind and that a healing occurs only when we learn to love and believe in ourselves.
Accelerated Learning is very new throughout the world. Research is still being carried out, for their ear many areas of the brain of which little is known. Yet now we do know enough to change the old system. It's time the barriers of an outdated educational system were removed. We have no excuse except the laziness and inertia of old conditioning. Our schools are causing us to be 'de-educated', and with this comes failure, sadness, poor self-esteem, anger and resentment. How many of society's problems are due to poor self-image and learning failures?
When half a class succeeds, it also means that half a class fails. Accelerated learning gives everyone the chance to succeed, everyone the chance to go as high as they wish. We all must be willing to discard the outdated concepts that learning and teaching have to be hard work and a bore.
If we have the courage to change and see the fun, enjoyment and success that Accelerated learning has to offer think of the rewards; high self-esteem, success at whatever you choose, good health, a happy, creative and peaceful mind, and most importantly a real love of learning.
I learn to live and I learn to love. What is important is My willingness to learn. For all life is learning. Sometimes the student, Sometimes the teacher.
Reference: SuperLearning and Superllearning 2000 by Sheila Ostrander & Lyn Schroeder, Sphere Books.
Accelerated Learning by Colin Rose, Topaz Pub..
Article by Robert Kendall