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Crows, snails and Education today


SO  HOW  DOES  EVOLUTION HAPPEN AND  WHAT  DOES IT MEAN  FOR  EDUCATION TODAY ANWAY?


Spare a thought  for   snails and the  Corvids!


Snails  are not  renowned for  their speed, precision and  forward thinking. However, they are experts  on the protective  front as  any  self  respecting  corvid will tell you.


Corvids are  an  extraordinary family of  birds including the  crows. They quickly learn how to use  and  adapt  tools. They are forward thinkers!


One  day a  crow was out  for  a spot  of lunch and moved in on your  typically slow  slug who immediately went into the defence position of  retracting into  its  shell. Not renowned for it s  patience the  crow sat on the   fence and started to think  things  through.  At  precisely that moment in time, a car went  past and  drove over the  snail  smashing its  shell and  serving up a  freshly prepared main course of escargot  for crow.


Next  lunch time,  the  crow came upon another  defensive  snail, picked it up in its beak, dropped it in the  road and  waited for the next car, which didn’t take long to  prepare  lunch.  Did I mention that it  doesn’t  take  long for  crows to catch on to  new ideas?  Today  many crows have adapted to quickly preparing  their  favourite  lunch.


A  parable of  education today.


The  rationale for  change is  far more  expertly expressed through some of  my  personal  heroes  such as Sir Kenneth  Robinson and  Set Godin, please  see below:


http://youtu.be/AfTU_796XaM


And


http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/docs/stopstealingdreamsscreen.pdf 


A personal  journey of 35 years  has  revealed many insights and understanding   into the  failure   of    education  to  dust   corridors and blow  away  cobwebs in order to  allow  children to  breathe  fresh air! These children hold the key to our  future, they  represent the  greatest  investment  we can ever make.


The  destination of my  journey  has  provided  a solution, proven to  work through the  many commendations, awards,  accolades and testimonials  gathered  along the  way. Yet having  delivered the  Trojan  horse called HET  through the  gates of institutionalism I see a  few  brave pioneers breaking  down that  final  frontier,  the brick  walls of institutionalised resistance that still seek to  imprison children’s minds, hearts and souls .


Now is the time:


 To  join ranks, unite in understanding the  true  reasons why  children do not  reach their  full potential in an outdated, out moded, ‘one size fits all’ system of  education,  built on fear and  control, designed to fail and fragment young people.


 To explore the  simplicity of recent knowledge into  how we learn that will take the best  part of  half a century from  now to filter through into  academic  text books that  currently regurgitate old political models, no longer holding meaning or relevance.


To heal  experiences from the innocence of  childhood, naturally and  holistically, without resorting to  dispensing brain  damaging ‘meducation’


To provide a child centred, accredited  experience embracing a   joy of learning , not  systemised resistance and inherited  reluctance  to learning.


Join me….. lin@HETwebsite.com


Posted On 26/02/2014 06:22:42
Your opinion is important

I am carrying out a little activity to help me with my work as an Holistic Educational Therapist. Would you be so kind as to send me your comments on this Please?

Your comments are confidential. I will keep everyone who participates posted of the outcomes

Please repost on your facebook or twitter accounts, email me lin@HETwebsite.com  or blog me:

I will email everyone a little ‘thank you’ for taking part!

Lin

All I need is for you just to ‘say what is this picture about’?

 

PixHopt

Posted On 16/08/2011 07:49:29
Cameron's change of heart

I work with some amazing families who struggle with challenging behaviour from their children through no fault of their own. Many of these families are wonderful people who are excellent role models to their childrenn who genuinely need help not vilification.

 

hoodies

 

 

What a turn around in policy - David Cameron's speech  over the riots  aims to demonise  families whilst MPs' credit card bills picked up by tax payers lurks on the back pages of newspapers. His reaction to the summer riots draws attention away form the real  plight of genuine families and plays once more into the agneda of the pharmaceutical companies - How many of the young people arrested were under the influence of stimulant medications which are known to make  these types of impulsive and aggressive  behaviours worse  in so many cases??

Posted On 15/08/2011 10:48:26
Graffiti or writing on the wall

 Was the writing on the wall or was it just graffiti?

Getting ready for ‘Back to School’ signs in shops have made a poignant backdrop to the  broken windows and looters this summer.

child

Amidst  the  analysis and clean up in our cities, one thing is certain. The mood of a whole generation has shifted and can never be the same again.

We may well ask ourselves what schools can do, to prepare themselves for September return of their students?

 


What has become only too apparent is the amount of arrests involving young people:

·         Arrests ( at the time of writing) totalled 1,927

·         Half of those arrests were young people born in the 1990s

·         26% were below 18 and 12% were below 16.

·         38% were unemployed. 1 in 5 young people aged between 16- 24 in the UK is now unemployed.

 

 

Perhaps it’s time for a short history lesson to see whether there was  writing on the wall  5 years ago that we failed to listen to.

 

Was  the inevitable outcome  of this failure, played out on our streets this summer?

 

Do  those  leaders and politicians only perceive that writing on the wall  as  graffiti?

 

In 2006 David Cameron made a statement to the Tory Think Tank on social injustice:

 

“When you see a child walking down the street with a hoodie up, head down, moody swaggering, dominating the pavement – think about what  has bought that child to that moment.”

Let’s turn back some more pages in our history book:

 “More than a million children have mental health problems, a doubling of the number in a generation, devastating research reveals today. An epidemic of disorders ranging from depression, anxiety and anorexia to violent delinquency has struck one in ten youngsters.”Quote Daily Mail June 20th 2006

 

Almost 5 years ago to the day, Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury hit headlines by defining a generation in crisis. His  remarks come on the same day that the Children’s Society launched an inquiry into the state of childhood, concerned at reports of rising levels of child depression in the UK. They expressed concern about a climate of "fear and confusion" among young people, pointing to higher levels of depression and mental illness in this country than elsewhere in the European Union.

 

5 years ago David Cameron delivered the following headline:

 “The ‘Hoodies’ need love not hate”.

Today he blamed the recent riots on selfishness and family breakdown. He began by attacking "moral neutrality" and relativism, where bad choices were explained as merely "different lifestyles". He blamed irresponsibility, selfishness and absent fathers for the riots

Undoubtedly some of these issues may well write a script in some back stories for some of these young people. However, the writing on the wall is still not being read:

·         The British Psychological Society, and the Association of Educational Psychologists  are calling for an urgent review into the use of stimulant medications like Ritalin, given to children sometimes as young as 3, ( as was the case with one disaffected and dysfunctional young ‘Hoodie’ now aged 15, with whom I am now working).

·         These are  currently prescribed to young people to address ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. This is a  condition with symptoms defined by a behavioural checklist  which  includes  acting without considering consequences, impulsivity, lack of focus, outbursts of aggression to mention but a few. Approximately 2.5% of children aged between five and 17 in Britain today has ADHD. That translates as   220,000 young people.

·         60,000 of them are being given medication to help control their behaviour.

·         The number of prescriptions for these  drugs ( which work in a similar way to illegal drugs like speed or cocaine)  has risen  from 480,000 to 800,000 in the last five years. Despite  professionals within the worlds of psychiatry and psychology disagreeing  strongly on the use of this medication, as there are potentially serious side effects! Many children lose their appetite, or desire to sleep. A few children react badly, and therefore can have delusions and other serious side effects.

 

HOW MANY OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE ARRESTED FALL INTO THIS CATEGORY?

HAS ANYONE DARED TO ASK THE QUESTION?

 

We live in times when more and more educational establishments are struggling with increasing demands and diminishing resources, as we face an autumn of planned strikes and demonstrations by professionals who work at the grass roots in the face of more public sector cuts and  job losses. The time has come to shift the focus from the political spin and embrace the solutions.

 

Let’s start looking at the writing on the wall.

 Let’s start reading between the lines!

 

Linda Porter (B.A.,Cert.Ed. MIPTI, BFRP, MACTA, Dip.Phy, FMHET.), is a national educational consultant, teacher, therapist, author and media presenter. She has pioneered the HET Holistic Educational Therapy Programme 12 years ago. HET has won awards and commendations for behavioural support for families and professionals, living and working with challenging behaviours. She is currently working as an in-house consultant for an innovative alternative provision provider dealing with some of the most challenging behaviours in the country.

Anyone wishing to access materials and resources or contact her for help can do so through www.HETwebsite.com


 

 

Posted On 15/08/2011 07:48:33
Riot Pie, Humble Pie or Just food for thought

Riot Pie, Humble Pie or just  food for thought?

 

Since the riots of summer 2011 in England  began, we have heard nothing but analysis.

child
Why ? Who? When? Where? What for?


Everyone holds an opinion on the reasons underpinning the drama playing out in our streets.  A week later, we are dizzy from the spin of political dogma and social agendas that  are self justifying  in the evaluation of lost causes.


Holding an opinion is as “Easy as pie”!


Well, There are a lot of ingredients that go into making a home-made pie. It’s not just about stirring and flaky pastry! It is only when ingredients come together in the right mix, proportions and conditions that  “pie” is made.


This is the very situation that major cities like my own in Wolverhampton England, found stewing,  over the summer vacation period.


So speculation to one side – let’s look at a few basic ingredients…


• Arrests ( at the time of writing this article) totalled 1927, of which 445 (23%) were made,  in my area, the West Midlands.


• Well over half of the arrests were young people born in the 1990s with an average age of 19 years 11 months.

• 26% were below 18 and 12% were of school age.

• Cost of riots, at present stands well over £100 million pounds and rising.

• 38% were unemployed. 1 in 5 young people aged between 16- 24 in the UK is now unemployed, a global problem affecting  no less than 81 million young people worldwide.


• Educational cuts, local authority cut backs,  abolition of EMAs and increasing higher education costs  mean that climbing out of the pit of hopelessness is “pie in the sky” for many of these young people today. Many students ( my own son, a case in point have already been brought to financial ruin at a tender age and stage in their career due to mismanagement and incompetence of nameless bureaucrats heading  a student finance services organisation, forced to apologise to the nation  for its own blundering bureaucracy.

• Against a backdrop of the riots were unprecedented swings and speculation, as a global economy teeters precariously on the edge of collapse. Forewarnings of an autumn of planned demonstrations  and strikes against public sector cuts and  job losses.

What of daily launched media messages fuelling this “summer of discontent”?


So what else does our ‘Riot Pie’ need next?


Simmering  at the  right temperature?


In physics we have something called the ‘critical point’. This is where a substance changes state, for example when water changes into steam. Around about ‘critical point’ things start to get very interesting….


There is also a sociological trigger point – a critical temperature that is known to ignite social unrest and riots. Lance Workman, head of the Psychology Department at Bath Spa University College, has linked hot weather to levels of serotonin (the feel good factor chemical ) in the brain, which can cause aggression.

 

 “The majority of riots occur when temperature increases to between 27C and 32C,” he said.“When the temperature goes over 32C, however, riots level off and begin to fall because people become so hot they can’t be bothered.”`

 


So how were the ingredients of ‘Riot Pie’ prepared?

 


September 2007, saw freshly harvested ingredients. Maturing in casks of oak, almost 5 years to the day since Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury hit headlines by defining a generation in crisis. His  remarks come on the same day that the Children’s Society launched an inquiry into the state of childhood, concerned at reports of rising levels of child depression in the UK. They expressed concern about a climate of "fear and confusion" among young people, pointing to higher levels of depression and mental illness in this country than elsewhere in the European Union.


Lets not forget the ‘piquancy’ of David Cameron’s quote from July 2006:


 “The ‘Hoodies’ need love not hate”. Party political agendas tasted of a very different flavour when the Tory leader said to the public that that they needed to be more  understanding of the reasons why young people turn to crime.

 

ADHD? The revenge of a generation on Ritalin.

 

June 20th 2006 saw  a new recipe for disaster served up:


The Daily Mail quoted “More than a million children have mental health problems, a doubling of the number in a generation, devastating research reveals today.


An epidemic of disorders ranging from depression, anxiety and anorexia to violent delinquency has struck one in ten youngsters.”


An interesting added ingredient to this ‘Riot Pie’ is  what was served up over the past 5 years to address an increasing population of young people with problems which sparked the “generation in crisis” debate.

This year has seen the British Psychological Society, and the Association of Educational Psychologists  call for an urgent review into the use of medications like Ritalin Stimulant medications given to children sometimes as young as 3, ( as the case with one disaffected and dysfunctional young ‘Hoodie’ now aged 15, whom I am now working with).


Ritalin and similar  medications are currently prescribed to young people to address ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. This is a  condition with symptoms defined by a behavioural checklist  which  includes  acting without considering consequences, impulsivity, lack of focus, outbursts of aggression to mention but a few. It is estimated that approximately 2.5% of children aged between five and 17 in Britain today has ADHD. Approximately,  220,000 young people.


60,000 of them are being given medication to help control their behaviour.


Here is a key ingredient to our Riot pie: The number of prescriptions for these  drugs ( which work in a similar way to illegal drugs like speed or cocaine)  has risen  from 480,000 to 800,000 in the last five years. Despite  professionals within the worlds of psychiatry and psychology disagreeing  strongly on the use of this medication.

Critics point out that the largest most comprehensive study of ADHD and medication shows that after eight years, there is little difference between those who have taken medication, and those who have not. And there are potentially serious side effects! Many children lose their appetite, or desire to sleep. A few children react badly, and therefore can have delusions and other serious side effects which are far worse than the original behaviours that they were showing before medication.

So having been left with a nasty after taste of riots and reasons where is the solution?


12 years ago I pioneered a programme called HET Holistic Educational Therapy in the City of Wolverhampton. This the seat of such a disproportionate number of arrests per head of population in the recent riots. HET is a highly successful programme, having won awards and commendations for supporting young people with challenges like ADHD and other behavioural labels, alongside their families and professionals. A programme which addresses causes behind many of the 1 in 3 misdiagnoses of ADHD and the 50 different conditions that mimic ADHD symptoms.

HET includes natural and effective approaches to behavioural management  that don’t have side effects like the medications which are under call for urgent investigation by concerned professionals.
Most of the 100 support organisations, like the pupil referral unit in Wolverhampton that was commended for delivering the HET programme in the early part of the last decade are no longer delivering this programme today due to  breaking up of local education authority support.


It would be refreshing to see a serving of “Humble Pie” from our politicians by carrying out a survey into how many of  these  young people arrested were taking medication for ADHD?


To quote Mr Cameron’s address to the Tory think tank for social injustice in 2006:


“When you see a child walking down the street with a hoodie up, head down, moody swaggering, dominating the pavement – think about what  has bought that child to that moment.”


Especially hard to swallow  in light of an email  I personally sent to an aspiring prime minister 5 years ago:


“The reason I am writing to you now is to request an opportunity to meet David. Within HET we have a proven system over 8 years that support disaffected young people and their families and all the issues that David has campaigned so tireless for over the years. We consistently achieve over 85% of the objectives set with these young people and there is no other behavioural strategy that matches our success rate. Despite being heralded a  "flagship of excellence" by a DfES consultant and commended by OFSTED, and there being a phenomenal demand and interest from parents, children and professionals for this approach... I have been unable to gain support from anyone in the political arena for this programme.”


 

This is the reply from his office  -  Kate Marley:

 

 


“As much as David would love to invest some time in meeting with you, unfortunately I do not think this will be possible any time soon. As I am sure you can imagine his diary is just so busy at the moment, what with the local elections round the corner. He has so many plans for regional tours that his diary is booked up well into and after May at the moment!
It might therefore be advisable for you to approach our Shadow Education team in case they are able to meet you or get involved a little more should they wish.”


Needless to say they didn’t!

Anyone interested in finding out more about the solution rather than the problems, including young people, families and professionals seeking support at this time for behavioural issues can access online help, support and resources from
www.HETwebsite.com

 

REFERENCES:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/aug/09/uk-riots-data-figures

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jan/19/youth-unemployment-heads-towards-1-million

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-463194/A-million-children-suffer-mental-health-problems.html
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-394742/Now-Cameron-says-We-love-hoodies.html

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article642589.ece
.

Posted On 14/08/2011 11:48:26
genetic research into ADHD

We all woke up this morning to the media and newspapers informing us in no uncertain terms, that ADHD is a genetic disorder!

Well, well,  well!!

First of all tell us something that we don’t know – yes it has been long established that there are patterns of ADHD in family groups – is that genetic? Or is it perhaps an inherited hypersensitivity to additives in diet ? Or even perhaps learned behaviours?

What about the research findings earlier this year that had us all believing that  ADHD was down to pesticides? As the urine samples from children with ADHD had significantly higher concentrations of pesticides than the urine samples of children without ADHD!

And whilst we are on the subject, what about the research from Australia  a few months ago that said that 1 in 3 children with ADHD were misdiagnosed – who tested the sample groups of ADHD  for the latest genetic research then and how robust is this research if 1 in 3 of those diagnoses were incorrect.

So let’s look at how this story has been reported so far:

The sun says: “The behaviour of children with the disorder can be explained by differences in the brain rather than parenting skills or diet.”

Well, we may ask?  what about the 33% that have been misdiagnosed and do present these symptoms due to diet or parenting skills etc?

So what does the Guardian have to say about all of this then?

“the particular DNA markers they (the scientists)found are in the same area of the brain as genetic variants linked to autism and schizophrenia”

Interesting , when there is no single  explanation for the causes of either autism or schizophrenia.  It is also interesting to trawl through the origins of the Wellcome Trust who funded the research undertaken at Cardiff. Check out Wikipedia for example and ask yourselves how much this organisation has been able to divest itself of any influences from the pharmaceutical industry in light of its early origins?

Some coverage even incorrectly implies that this is the first evidence of a genetic link with ADHD and that the study rules out a role for any non-genetic factors in ADHD.

Hardly!!!

NHS choices writes:

“The causes of ADHD are not known, but both genetic and environmental factors are considered to play a role. It is important to note that this study does not rule out a role for other genetic factors in ADHD, nor for environmental factors”

 

What we do know now however is that a genetic predisposition is not generating a victim legacy in the next generation but a potential trigger which can be turned on by an environmental factor

So what’s new then? It would seem that the reporting of research findings into ADHD is more controversial than the condition itself!!!

 FONT>

Tags: ADHD Genetics
Posted On 30/09/2010 16:15:10
HET Safaris

I want to get some garden and neighbourhood safaris and conservation projects going online with young people and their families and professionals. To help me get this running I have entered a competition to go on a conservation safari with landrover ( I love off roading!)

 

Will you help me please by visiting this link and rating my film ..... PLEASE???

http://gobeyond.landrover.com/entry/86064

 

Thank you

Posted On 23/09/2010 06:32:39
Fame and ADHD!

Well , have I had an evening with Daisy or what!!

Daisy gave a press conference last week and guess what?

 

This week she made the headlines of Wolverhampton Chronicle.

She hasn't stopped talking about it - HONESTLY!!!

 

All evening she has been coming over to the window opening the patio door - sticking er head and shouting about it all!!

 

What a Diva...Miss Piggy - you have serious competition - she'll be strutting around in shades giving autographs next!

daisyfame

Posted On 09/09/2010 14:48:09
understanding AAADD

My thanks to Linda Morgan for forwarding this to me!!

I had to share it - it explains so much!!

 

AAADD- KNOW THE SYMPTOMS.....

Thank goodness there's a name for this disorder.
Somehow I feel better, even though I have it!!



Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. -


Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.



This is how it manifests itself:

I decide to water my garden.

As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I head towards the garage,
I notice post on the porch table that
I picked up from the postman earlier.

I decide to go through it before I wash the car.

I put my car keys on the table,
put the junk mail in the recycling box under the table, and notice that the recycling box is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back
on the table and take out the recycling first.

But then I think,
since I'm going to be near the postbox when I take out the recycling paper anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my cheque book off the table
and notice that there is only one cheque left.

My extra cheques are in the desk in my study,

So I go into the house to my desk where
I find the cup of coffee I'd been drinking.

I'm going to look for my cheques
but first I need to push the coffee aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.

The coffee is getting cold,
and I decide to make another cup..

As I head toward the kitchen with the cold coffee,
a vase of flowers on the worktop catches my eye - the flowers need water.

I put the coffee on the worktop and
discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk,
but first I'm going to water the flowers..

I put the glasses back down on the worktop,
fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote control. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realise that tonight when we go to watch TV,I'll be looking for the remote,
but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers,
but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I put the remote back on the table,
get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to
remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

The car isn't washed

The bills aren't paid

There is a cold cup of coffee sitting on the kitchen work-surface

The flowers don't have enough water,

There is still only 1 cheque in my cheque book,

I can't find the remote,

I can't find my glasses,

And I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all bloody day and I'm really tired.

I realise this is a serious problem,
and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.....

Do me a favour.
Forward this message to everyone you know, Because I can't remember who the hell I've sent it to.

Don't laugh - if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!

Posted On 30/08/2010 02:30:50


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