Tag Archives: education

How to help organise brain development in adolescents

Helping the youths to achieve more

Helping the youths to achieve more

Brain Development and Adolescent Growth Spurts

Judy Willis MD

Neurologist/Teacher/Grad School Ed faculty/Author/Guest Blogger

As your students move through adolescence, their brains are going through a dynamic change from chaos to clarity. These developmental changes have profound implications for how you’ll be able to guide students during these transformative years.

Brain Remodeling: Chaos to Clarity

The brain first goes through a rapid maturation phase in the months before and after birth, and a second maturation phase throughout later childhood and adolescence. During this second phase of increased brain growth, the prefrontal cortex is the site of the brain’s most active reorganization and growth. Before building your understanding of what is taking place in the prefrontal cortex during its adolescent growth spurt, let’s explore what is housed in this late-developing part of the brain.

The prefrontal cortex is where the highest cognitive and emotional control networks are being constructed, especially during the school years. These networks are what neurologists call executive functions.

The networks of the executive functions direct the complex mental processes that you see emerging as students grow. Executive functions can be thought of as the skills that would make a corporate executive successful, abilities that allow them to:

  • Organize
  • Prioritize
  • Communicate effectively
  • Accurately interpret validity and value of information
  • Make long-range plans to achieve goals
  • Assess risk
  • Solve problems creatively
  • Innovate

These networks do not reach full effectiveness until early adulthood. When well nurtured by use, executive functions ultimately guide the brain’s abilities to:

  • Manage emotional stability
  • Control impulses
  • Plan
  • Respond productively to corrective feedback
  • Learn from mistakes
  • Remain resilient to setbacks
  • Reflect thoughtfully before making decisions and choices.

Early adolescence (ages 10-12) is a good time to build students’ skills of organizing and prioritizing information and time management. The opportunities you provide to guide them in using these executive functions also provide the activation to strengthen these networks when they are at peak neuroplastic responsiveness. As a result of this strengthening, your students will build more skills en route to becoming self-directed learners.

Helping Students Organize Themselves

Successful organization is needed for preparing and completing most activities related to school. The development of this executive function becomes even more critical as the responsibilities and requirements of school and extracurricular activities increase each year. Using strategies that increase student awareness of these skills and providing guided opportunities to use them will help adolescents build the brainpower that they need.

Start by promoting student awareness of their existing organizing skills. Ask questions such as:

  • How do you sort your music on playlists?
  • How do you organize your files on your computer?

Also, ask questions about familiar things that are already organized systematically, such as:

  • How is the content of this book organized into chapters?
  • What organization do you see in the periodic table of elements or in dividing plants and animals into classifications such as kingdoms, genus, and species?

Other Strategies

1. Teacher Modeling and Discussion

Model your systems of organization (filing, recording progress, how you set up the classroom, etc.). Draw students’ attention to the organizational strategies that you use during instruction.

2. Clear Instructions

Initially, when providing organizational strategies, emphasize them both verbally and in writing. Give students clear instructions for procedures, projects, or class transitions as you model organizational structure.

3. Student Modeling

Assign selected students to model the procedures that you’ve described, such as the right way and the wrong way to organize their class groups during collaborative work time.

4. Checking for Understanding

Stop between segments of complex or multi-step instructions, allowing students to organize their thoughts and ask questions. Ask students to repeat back their understanding of the instructions so that they can respond to your feedback and reorganize appropriately.

5. Gradual Release of Responsibility

Throughout the year, plan a gradual decrease in the scaffolding that you provide for student organization of time and goals. For example, back away from giving them your timeline schedule for parts of a book report or project, let them plan and write their own timelines, and revise these as you help them monitor their progress.

6. Feedback

Observe student progress and setbacks and provide feedback with opportunities for them to revise their organizational systems.

The Case for Investing in Executive Functions

As the caretaker of your students’ brains during the years of rapid prefrontal cortex development, the opportunities that you provide for them to use these critical neural networks are precious gifts. The tools and skills that you help them build will empower them to achieve their highest potential now, and will increase their satisfaction and success as they inherit the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Download your free report on Strategies for Modernising Corporate Elearning by Diane Shawe

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Manisha Gaur discusses why Global Accreditation is leading the way to unified integrated accreditation

The rise of International Accreditation

News Title

by AVPT Global

For decades, regional accreditation bodies had been granting educational institutes with primary accreditation after evaluating them on a regional scale. However, as globalization grew, it became extremely important for educational institutes to be acknowledged world over so that when students look for credit transfer and international job opportunities, it does not stand in the way.  This gave rise to International Accreditation. This topic was represented by Ms. Manisha Gaur, Director Operations at Venkateshwara Group of Institutions, India.

She discussed how globalization has affected today’s education systems and the education providers are looking forward to establishing a centralized education system.

The phenomenon is occurring, but at a very slower pace and this is where the accreditation agencies have to play their role. They need to set up a unified and integrated accreditation system for all the educational institutions globally so the standardisation of education can be done successfully.

A smarter way to study with www.avptglobal.com

A smarter way to study with http://www.avptglobal.com

Regional accreditation bodies have existed and also evaluated education providers on a regional scale, thereby granting them Primary accreditation.  However, the rapid growth of globalization calls for a global entity which can evaluate them against internationally proven standards of education and grant them an internationally recognized Secondary Accreditation.

This secondary accreditation is basically known as International Accreditation. With international accreditation, the school, college or university will be internationally accepted. Students of such educational institutes can further study in the educational institute of their choice in any country without the tension of their credits transfer and also, work with any employer without the tension of their degree acceptance.  For these reasons, it has also become a major deciding factor by students when selecting their higher educational institutes/ universities. Additionally, it has also become important to employers. Employers globally feel more comfortable hiring students from internationally accredited institutes.
Based on this information, she presented why international accreditation is needed globally and how, in the last couple of years, it has gained massive importance, even more than national and regional accreditation bodies. Her topic also informed the participants as to how International accreditation bodies evaluate the institute on the basis of their academic and organisational management and provide them with international accreditation. This international accreditation not only enhances the institute’s profile regionally but also internationally which is why, today, we see a majority of the students and institutes around the world demanding international accredited programs.
About the Speaker

Manisha Gaur is a highly respected member of the Indian education community. She is not only involved in the teaching of the students but she takes it as a responsibility where she wants to develop students into becoming pillars of the society. She has been associated with the Indian Education Board and the National Accreditation body where she has conducted various presentations and has published various researches. She has also received numerous awards from the regional and international community for her services.
AVPTGLOBAL almost 400 courses all globally accredited

AVPTGLOBAL almost 400 courses all globally accredited

Preserving Quality in on-line education

Article by Diane Shawe M.Ed.

Various transformations taking place throughout the world had impacted  changes in teaching and learning– one of the activities with the oldest traditions in human history. Globalisation is changing established relationship, practice and culture and destroying territorial boundaries.  An important role in reorganising education systems and the implementation of lifelong learning principles is an obligation of higher education institutions, especially K2 educational institutions.

It is important for higher education institutions to respond to changing social needs for new learning styles and ways.  These include training teacher within the lifelong learning sector and administrators to focus on quality improvement in on-line education.

To continue discussion about on-line study quality and areas of effective use of these studies it is necessary to conceptualise what is quality in on-line studies.  Exploring by what means it can be achieved and what is the impact of technology on these studies. However, analysis of scientific literature shows that still little attention is given to on-line learning quality, more research studies are devoted to analysis of quality of traditional education, although much from the latter is adapted in on-line learning.

The term ‘quality’ can rarely be heard in public discussion about learning. What I mean by ‘quality’ is in the delivery and assessment processes when delivering  blended learning contents via various media’   Opinion about the quality of learning depends on numerous aspects, for example, on a person’s experience, status (teacher, student or other), circumstances and so on.  Even if learning is determined to be ‘quality’ at a certain period, it will not remain forever static, because the assessment of ‘quality’ is forever developing, on-going innovative learning technologies and methods are being discovered, approach to learning is changing and so on.

I believe that we should endeavour  to agree that ‘quality’ in on-line learning is an objective which is improving, continuously being searched for but it is not possible to claim that it is achieved.

Seeking to use modern technological opportunities for the delivery and improvement of on-line learning  several  necessary external conditions need to be satisfied in order to move towards ‘quality’:

  • Both students and teachers must possess satisfactory computer literacy;
  • Learning Management Systems must be synchronous and asynchronous;
  • Both students and teachers have to have access to e-learning technologies;
  • Quality digital contents (courses and learning material) must be designed;
  • Computer networks and the Internet reaching all communities of the country must be established;

E-administration tools that delivery Course Management Systems (CMS) is often confused with Learning Management Systems (LMS);  for  instance Moodle which is predominantly  a Course Management System has probably hampered the real introduction of asynchronous LMS from which real on-line interaction between student and teacher can be directed.  Whilst there is a place for CMS to support self-service,  it is to be viewed as a segment that would contribute to the whole online LMS blended learning  principles.

Every new learning technology (books, computers, the Internet) has caused revolutionary changes in learning. The quality of on-line study is a goal. It can be improved, sought, but the process is never-ending due to changes of conditions, learning technologies and at last– the concept of the quality itself.

Diane Shawe CEO of Academy of Vocational and Professional Training

Can on-line courses be accredited successfully?