A Rambling Journal Entry:
Maximizing What Works:
Creating a Stimulating Environment That Encourages Positive Self-Actualization
The American education system is inherently flawed. The result is an apathetic approach towards the exploration of the unique idiosyncrasies residing within individual students.
Learning, as it pertains to the acquisition of knowledge and understanding, requires a conscious agreement between a person’s intuition and the relevant experiences that bring the individual closer to satisfying their deepest desires. Although learning has been made an objective science based on a cumulative system of empirical findings, at its heart it’s solely a subjective experience that ebbs and flows as meaning is placed and replaced on more reliable truths as a means to transport a person towards a greater understanding of fulfillment.
The current American school system is a place where obedience is enforced and reinforced. Understanding proper discipline, like pruning a plant for proper growth, seems to be undermined by the rigidness associated with a system that allocates value on obedience and the ability to follow the unquestionable direction and guidelines of superiors. Little trust is fostered between student and teacher. The once highly regarded profession of teachers who taught students the idiosyncrasies of life, backed by their wisdom, learnedness and selfless pursuit of exposing every truth where it could be uncovered, are now in the modern age, mere automatons, produced by the system they’re apart of. The system of analytical thinking is the favored way of approaching information. The school system adopted this form of thinking into it’s classrooms as a means to categorically gauge the ‘proper’ progression and development of students with aspiring desires. Grade’s one through twelve, judging the value of a students work by allocating number’s, specific course curriculums and chapters, accelerated and standard classes are all a means to categorize. Placing this kind of value and arriving at formulas for accurate prediction of progress and development are no doubt an effective means to account and organize, but there is a side that is lacking.
Human’s have an amazing ability. This ability is what set’s us apart from all the other species of animals on this planet. It is the ability to create. As I illustrated, the school system is built to keep order which is conducive to a linear and analytical school of thought, yet it lacks the aspect to foster creativity. To gather new information and present it into the system to further explore the possibility of unprecedented concepts, maxims, and understandings contrary to accustomed schools of thought. Creativity is a subjective experience as everyone can draw from their own unique experiences and understandings. The average system has lead people to believe that their methods are not effective or efficient, not worthy or valuable, and that they have no place in a classroom. This causes people to become apathetic towards thinking. They don’t explore or challenge what they think, and they lose any hope and courage of challenging others, like their experiences are more valuable and give them an unquestionable superiority.
My impression is that the majority of people see writing as a formula of expectations that need to be addressed by producing some content that reflects a glimmer of their motivating intent. The general population do their best to grasp the teachers understanding of what should be conveyed, and do their best to structure their style in the most according way. I’m not sure too much creative talent is dumped into classroom writing that isn’t motivated by the desire of the pupil to stroke the ego of the teachers certain understanding of creativity and societal standards. The driving force should be to gain a deeper understanding of their accumulated experiences and convictions, calling certain maxims they’ve encountered into inspection for further development for understanding. Whenever a student enters a scenario that involves a teacher attempting to draw out some response in accordance with their expectations, the student writer is rarely thinking of what lies within the depths of his own soul. The creative conscious is something that is shunned in the school system. It is seemingly treated like it can be taught rather that what it truly is: our mode for assimilating the intuitive understandings of life experiences by introducing the possibility of endless ideas and their combinations, relating to the various relationships of information whether it’s metaphorical or analogical, in order to foster the progression towards your individual desires, namely real truth. School is composed of strictly semantic constructs: curriculum material and information based on understandings deemed as unquestionably concrete deductions by people who’ve preceded us that we’ve accepted as infallible. Very little is seen as relative. The possibility of anything existing outside the system that’s being forced upon us is a reality that seems, unquestionably, impossible to attain.
I think teaching is one of the most rewarding undertakings a human can aspire to do. I find it unfortunate that the education system in place inhibits creative approaches to teaching. It appeals solely to the masses in an analytical format. It’s hard for teachers to encourage creativity, or the idiosyncratic tendencies within a person, in such a rigid environment. If they do they’re simply stroking the muse within us to accept that we’re incapable of exploring it with success. As I reflect from my early years in the education system, this only teases us, taunting us into an apathetic depression where identity and sense of self is lost. At the heart of idiosyncratic writing is creativity. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” (George Shaw). To create ourselves by testing all that we’ve been subjected to, to everything we’ve experience and been exposed to previously. We compare and contrast our assimilations freely without the hindrance of people telling us that our experiences are wrong and not within the scope of commonality. I think it’s tough to be a creative teacher with the desire to teach people to question things and teach creatively. I have a passion for those teachers and I respond to their efforts with the highest appreciation I offer as a person.
The system does teach us to think analytically however. It does have its value. It teaches us to achieve discipline, focus, and persistence in order to see idea’s through logically and reasonably. I find that students with ADHD require greater stimulating and rewarding environments, otherwise their attention is lost and they overcomplicate the simple problems in order to extract meaning. When no meaning is found, listlessness and apathy are sure to follow.
I think students deemed ADHD are basically people who think far more creatively than those who succeed and excel effortlessly in the system. My interpretation and first hand experiences have led me to believe that those dubbed ADHD can succeed, but struggle with the education that typically involve a dry and rigid classrooms that lack dimension, meaning and significance, something that people who are creative and people with ADHD strive to achieve. Staying on task and staying focused is an issue people the ADHD struggle with. Their thoughts typically search for and process far more information than typical people. This can cause positive and negative effects. Organizing this flood of information and stimulation is a problem that can be dealt with using coping methods that involve a variety of success strategies and study habits, often not taught by the system. The correlation I’ve tried drawing out in this essay is that in a rigid school system that requires specific, sequential, linear, progressive steps in order to gauge the development of a student, it becomes too dry and un-stimulating, resulting in a lack of meaning and significance.
Another inhibiting factor with the creative people (used interchangeable ADHD), is that they are more prone to failing far more often than none creative people. Their tendency to try so many alternative possibilities and approached that they may fail nine out of ten times, often putting ten times the work into a problem, but they learn from these experiences. Instead of realizing that each failure is a lesson, the students are led to believe that they are incapable and have a deficiency or disorder for their curiosity and creative alternative approaches. In a grading system where each grade dictates your value, not the effort, this can be debilitating to a students zest for learning.
My approach to stimulus from the world around me it ends up in a place where I account for relative facts to be organized into an effort to further an understanding. My desire is what fuels my attentiveness. The stronger and more focused my desire on an end, the more apt I am to absorb stimulation around me to get me there. I like to think laterally and often find myself overloaded with information that bogs down my analytical understandings of linear reasoning. As I absorb large amounts of information, it is held in an area of my brain similar to immediate memory. My immediate memory is very open and tends to be bombarded by tons of unorganized information waiting to be processed. The majority of my thinking resides in the working memory where I pull out all sorts of connections from my long term storage and schema’s, cross referencing connections and associations that could prove to be related if explored. I use quick analytical approaches to explore the possibility of these abstract juxtaposes. If a concept seems to be supported through this process, I draw from my immediate memory to look for information to further analyze. The working memory is where I assimilate and solidify my understandings before they are stored long term in different schemas. The more time I spend hammering a concept together the better understood it is and the more connections it is supported by in the long term memory and schemas.
My strength’s reside in my ability to think comprehensively and abstractly by retrieving my past understandings, experiences, and assimilations from long term memory. I can retrieve information quite well as long as the desire and end-goal is in line with the process. If I choose to further develop an understanding that’s aligned with my supporting desires, I examine the implications and make connections that tend to be as broad as they are deep. My immediate memory, where I briefly store the stimulating information around me, allows me to see many sides of information for a more comprehensive look at the implications on my life and previous findings.
Being ADHD, my immediate memory tends to be compromised in analytical sequential processing as I absorb too much unrelated information while trying to establish an idea or learn. A rigid based curriculum in school can be dry and the information lacks meaning as there is little breadth that is exposed to the different meanings it could have on my holistic understanding. I’m often bombarded by too many thoughts which leads to an over complication of simple concepts. I would attribute my immediate memory as the main contributing cause for the result.
The effects of large quantities of information being absorbed and taken into account due to the immediate memory overload is the main component of ADHD. People with ADHD have a difficult time thinking in a linear fashion because they absorb so much information, or they counter this overload by filtering out all the information. This would explain the attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder, in that either not enough, or not the right amount of information is absorbed and understood, or too much information in absorbed. When the material has relevance the person dubbed ADHD can hyper-focus and super analyze, creating great understandings of larges amounts of information. Repetition and elaborative rehearsal is the most effective way of absorbing and storing information. In this way, if the time is available and taken, large quantities of information may be examined in order to extract specific understandings. This allows for lateral thinking, involving great amounts of information to be taken into account in order to understand a singular meaning. Rote rehearsal is too simplistic and linear. Regurgitating the information may be confused with all the other degrees of information or thoughts occurring simultaneously in the immediate or working memory. Rote rehearsal can be effective if enough time is dealt with the process and if the material is stimulating. Dividing the time allocated for rote rehearsal into fifteen minute segments with three to five minute breaks in between would allow for much better retention due to the increase in stimulation. For those dubbed ADHD, I would think most memory rehearsal that’s anything but elaborate, offering extensive dynamics and stimulation, lacks meaning and is too dry and un-stimulating to a produce real and lasting impact in the memory.
I’ve found the most impressionable experiences of storing information effectively involve ensuring an episodic dynamic is involved. Experiences construct a realness of life that extends past many semantic boundaries of understanding. Having all the answers doesn’t help me if I don’t know how to use them or if I’ve never used them. Information for the sake of remembering presents very little recall value unless specific instructions were given to use that information for the specific task or experience. Episodic memory also transcends semantic memory in the variety of senses used to absorb the stimulus. If I’m are attempting to absorb new information and learn something, I’d be more apt to remember the process due to the multiple streams of stimulation I receive through the senses in order to assimilate more comprehensively, allowing us to mold our understanding to a higher degree. This also adds an important emotional significance to the event by encoding and coloring the information to be stored with additional dimensions. Episodic memory is more likely to be practical since real world experience has already been attached to the application of information. When this happens with each subsequent recall of information, a better configuration and sharpening of our understanding is honed for a more accurate application. Procedural information is most likely involved in the episodic memory absorption to a large degree, especially if we are physically involved with the pursuit of absorbing and learning the information.
Classrooms that foster a relationship with students and nurture a caring bond about their progress are probably the most effective forms of teaching. This presents meaning and hope to a student, giving them a faith to actualize themselves in accordance with their intuitive desires. A classroom that examines breadth and depth, that specializes in elaborative efforts to instill information in the students.
As I’ve gotten older and my experiences with failure and success have become more numerous, I’ve made it a job to cling to what works best and flee from anything that contributed to failure. I refused to lie to myself and I chose to take a critical, totally objective view of myself. There is certain time tested principles involved with my process that I specifically cling to. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to be more humble and began seeking out words of wisdom and advice from people who are at the pinnacle of success in a field I deemed worthy of aspiring to. I would read their books and go out of my way to ask questions and pick their brain. I’ve learned principles such as organization, goal setting, positive thinking and maintaining a proper balance of between the mind and body through attention to health and wellness.
I’ve learned to set goals, writing down the end vision I wish to attain, and acknowledging the steps in between. I would previously get caught up in thoughts from misplanning and overlook important details and information. The approach that works best is repetitive review and contemplation, visualizing and meditating on the ideas on the forefront of my priorities, whether it’s in or out of the classroom. To gain a solid ground on the material I find multiple resources and thoroughly construct an elaborative understanding by cross-referencing previous ideas and seeking out new information to give me the most detailed, colorful, faceted impression possible. I follow up with these brainstorm’s by give myself ample time to mull over the information and insights in order to organize them into the most appropriate schema’s for recall. This is especially the case when writing research papers. My sources are details and broad and I examine the implications of every detail surrounding it by asking the question ‘why’.
Meaning is a huge factor involved with the recognition of what’s worked. If the material has meaning, if it speaks to me and appeals to my heart’s desire to find truth that is translatable and applicable in every situation, than I am incredibly likely to absorb every detail with the greatest ease. The material needs to speak to me, or it has to have some truth in it that can be inspected to yield value that would add to the reservoir of knowledge. Meaning and goal setting intertwine in many aspects of my process. If I make the commitment to achieve a goal, it has meaning and I see myself obligated to seeing it out until completion. Meaning also ensures that I put my all into the process.
Organization supplements the process of achieving success in an endeavor. If my external world is organized and well thought out, my mental scape exists in a collective calm state. I also do this to judge accurately the goals I’ve set out to accomplish certain objectives I’ve set out for myself.