How Education Influences What We Become

How education influences what we become

When referring to education, I refer to parents and teachers in the same way. Both play an important role in educating a human being. I believe, that some of them underestimate the influence they have on a child’s entire life.

When addressing the topic on the influence of education on a human being, I would like to start with two philosophical questions.

1.   “Who are we meant to be?” and
2.   “Who are we meant to become?”

Let’s say, a child is born with an unbelievable amount of potential. In the process of growing up, we add to this potential a critical ingredient which is called “education“. What exactly is added by education will define in many aspects what this human being will become.

The terminology Education includes for me many different aspects:
– the establishment of a personality
– the learning of rules of the society in which a child lives
– the gaining of academic knowledge
– the behavior towards the environment
– the recognition of social duties
– and much more.

Let’s look at some of these parts:

When a child is born, the brain contains about 100 billion neurons. This is twice the amount of an adult. Of course, this number will reduce during transforming from a child to an adult, because mother nature made sure that everything is there for the baby to be able to survive and grow.

An infant can learn any language, not depending on what physical gens it has but rather depending on the environment in which it grows up. You can take an Austrian baby and place it in an Indian family. It will learn Hindi or a state language and most commonly English. If you take the Indian infant and place it in an Austrian family, it will learn German. All of this is possible, because of the amazing amount of potential in a human infant. This example already makes visible, what important part education plays.

The same is applicable to memes and belief systems. The surrounding in which a child is growing up will influence its beliefs and memes. The beliefs of the people around will shape the child’s ideas of how the world is. As long as the child does not question these given ideas, it will stick to them consciously or unconsciously. Belief systems are therefore educated programs.

Memes are mostly unconscious. It is what we observe and imitate without even discussing it. This is how the roles of men and women are passed on from generation to generation. Even though we teach children in school equality, it turns out, that in many areas children duplicate what their family members or culture and tradition which surrounds them shows. A project in the so called free and educated America showed, that children even today see the profession of a fire fighter as male and the profession as a early childhood teacher as female. Nowadays, the influence of the media is also very high and creates memes too.

So what should we add through education to a child’s life?

What a child needs in its process of growing up, is the participation of the adult in its trial for becoming an independent being. All exercises like crawling, walking, speech development and so on are tools to become more and more independent. Education may support this process. Parents and teachers are guides on the way. Our job is to protect and to support where needed. We may start understanding, that – like walking – a child has all of the potentials inside. It is able to learn everything and it needs a surrounding which supports its curiosity and interest in learning. Naturally, the child will mature because this is how mother nature designed humans.

What kind of education may inhibit the child’s manifestation of its full potential?

In families, some of the factors that may cause a child to stop manifesting their greatness can be:
– constant comparison with siblings or other children around
– intense pressure on academical results
– a surrounding which does not support its talents and interests
– the overwhelming flow of information and inputs
– the underestimation of the potential of a child

In educational institutions, some of the factors that may cause a child to stop manifesting their greatness can be:

– Bullying
– Competitive tests
– Too many children in a classroom
– Focus only on academic knowledge and results
– Too much of lecturing

These are just some of the points in which we can start to understand how and why children may not live their full potential. Living one’s full potential does not necessarily mean being super smart but rather includes the fact that we all have our talents and strengths.

If education can bring forth the best within us, it did a good job.

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Does education make our children “average”

Last week, I gave an Introductory talk on TLI Pedagogics in Delhi, India. It was an amazing event with very engaging and interested teachers and parents. During my talk I used a slide:

The first slide states:                    Inborn potential + Education = Average
The next slide states the same but then: crossed off the word “average”.

It seems that these two slides caused some misunderstanding therefore, I would like to collaborate on the thought behind those two slides.

We know, that children are born with an endless amount of potential. For example, they hold 100 billion neurons in their brain, while an adult brain has only half of this amount. Nature creates in a newborn a situation, that the brain can adjust to any situation. Let’s say we have an Indian baby which then is placed in a German family – the baby will adjust to the memes*, language, and habits of the German family. The same is true in the opposite direction. If we would take a german baby, born by a german mother and given to an Indian family, the newborn would adjust do the Indian memes, eating habits, language and whatever. This simply means that the potential, which drowses deep inside of each infant is unmeasurable and seemingly unlimited.

What role does education play in this development?

One of the roles education plays in the development of a child is to either unfold the most of this potential hidden inside and allow it to grow or to simply make the child an “average” person by standardizing processes. In this part parents, teachers and the educational skills used will influence the outcome to a high degree. Education by parents and educational institutions shape the child’s future.

What does this exactly mean?

Let me give you an example of academic outcomes:

If your child attends a school, where a standardized lecture is given to all children in the classroom at the same time, the potential of the children will be touched differently. For some, it might be too difficult. For others, it might be too easy. In both cases, the potential of each child cannot unfold completely. The child who finds the task too easy will have limited stimulation in the brain, therefore, it will not engage completely. The result from the viewpoint of what its brain could achieve – will be “average”. The other child, who finds the topic too complex or difficult will only remember a limited amount of information. If the same task would be taught according to its way of understanding, the speed it can follow as well as the number of repetitions which are needed – the child could acquire more knowledge than through the offered way of learning. In this case, the child’s potential also will not be unfolded and education will create and an average person.

This is one example, how education helps a child’s potential to unfold or limits it to become an average student.

This example can now be brought into practice on the development of emotional as well as social intelligence. Personalized teaching, therefore is a tool we will have to look more and more during these next years. TLI Pedagogics uses personalized teaching a lot.

What worked for the last 150 years, worked for society during the industrial age. Now, we are moving into a new age, which makes different ways of learning possible and available as we understand so much more. 20 or 30 years back we did not have the same understanding of human development and we did not have the same tools available as of today. Education by parents and educational institutions is what shapes the child’s way of understanding the world and life. Now, we can upgrade to the modern style of education. I put lots of energy and thought into spreading the word that we need intelligent education, that encourages children to live in these unstable and flexible times. With the right tools on hand, they will be able to live successfully and face the challenges which are coming. If we stick to the old methodologies and systems, we will not support the children’s growth.

TLI Pedagogics was developed over a period of 17 years, including empiric research, the study of hundreds of different research articles (including neuroscience, modern psychology, attachment psychology, artificial intelligence, social intelligence, environmental responsibility) as well as collaboration with many modern educational concepts. I believe, that we should turn our focus toward personalized teaching or even more toward the guidance of the potential of each child along its path of growing up.

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Children’s life does not need to be stressful and exhausting

The life of children does not need to be stressful serious and exhausting. It can be filled with joy, enthusiasm, and inspiration. Neuroscience nowadays knows that our brains learn way faster if they are filled with positive vibes rather than negative or depressive. Therefore, it is time to bring more joy and play into education.

Education takes place in so many different parts. When addressing the topic of education we speak about both parents and teachers. Their question frequently raised is, “How can I balance play with rules and order?”

Marion Hopfgartner, today educationalist, international speaker, author and founder of TLI Pedagogics started her educational career in 1997 as a principal of a pre-school. After more than 17 years of empiric research, the study of neuroscientific research results and hands-on-approach in educating children, she developed the Certified TLI Teachers and the TLI Parenting program. Today, she gives us some hints on how we can approach the difficult task of parenthood and education.

“You simply make the children your companion and you softly guide them along the way. The older they become, the more you become a mentor and you make sure each and everyone knows what is their individual role and place in life. This will not just help you with rules and borders but also with creating strong self-esteem and self-awareness within children. When speaking about a companion, I do not mean that we become friends with our children, but rather to be committed to them so that they can rely on us and anchor.”

While many people focus a lot on academic knowledge to give children future possibilities in business, a huge part of early childhood care is the creation of social-awareness in these young children. It is upon the role models what behavior towards others, toddlers and young children integrate and how our future society will look like. When speaking about role models this includes the parents the teachers as well as the strangers on the street. During the first five years of life, children absorb the most important behavioral structures most of the time unconsciously into their brains. During the next seven years, those programs will deepen and strongly shape the personality of everyone. At the age of 12, the peers take over more and more. One psychologist even says that the structure in the psyche is built during the first five years of life and will be repeated throughout the rest of your life over and over again. Therefore, education is not just about the play but also about creating a stunning future for all of us.

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Child learning a second language

Dear Parents and Teachers,

Prof. Dr. Novert Herkowitz and Prof. Manfred Spitzer (Germany) speak in the book “Wie Kinder denken lernen” (how children learn thinking) about a study that shows, the brain of a child starts learning grammar at the 7th month of life. In most countries this is long before they enter a school.  The brain starts to focus not on the content but rather on the structure of a sentence. They are able to detect structure changes in a three syllable sentence. This is an amazing finding. It shows that even learning grammar is not necessarily bound to being lectured. A huge focus should be pointed toward speaking and discovering. In the first step a language always is something natural. It is alive and it should not be put into a complicated learning structure. Children all over the world learn their mother tongue without getting any teachings or explanations on how to do it – and surprisingly they are able to learn it properly as long the person in communication with them speaks the language well. No mother sits down with a baby and tells them how to build a sentence or anything else, but the more they speak with their child, the faster and the better language skills are developed.As we start to understand more and more, how the brain develops and what steps it takes to discover, this knowledge can be used in learning a new language.

Do I say, that it is wrong to study about a new or second language and learn proper grammar, wording, etc?    No!   What I say is, that in each language, first, we should focus on speaking and thereby naturally learning words, syllables and short sentences. In TLI Pedagogics we allow children having fun in speaking a language and communicating in a very new and different way. They should not be judged during the first two years of trial.

Marks do not make sense, when the brain tries to adjust to a new level. In TLI Pedagogics we focus on development-sensitive learning approaches.

As you know, some children are fast learners and some are slow learners. It does not make sense,that when a child learns something new and its brain absorbs information slow – to punish them with a bad mark and comparing them with brains who absorb information fast. It creates an imbalance and does not say anything about the child being able to use the language in the future. But, it creates a frustration about the language which keeps the child in the future from being able to learn this language easily and properly. More about the brains speed of learning I will tell you in our next blog.

Wish you a great day and joyful moments with your children
Yours sincerely
Marion Hopfgartner

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Education – a challenge for children, parents and teachers

Children’s motivation in Learning does not need to be developed. The inner motivation or the inner drive to learn new things and to be interested in everything exists and is a basic credential for children on their way of natural development. Young children love to learn new things and are constantly working on getting to know more and more. We all know, that children gain knowledge very fast in those areas which they really like and still we ignore this fact when it comes to schooling.

So, as parents or teachers, we should ask two important question,

1. “Why does this interest decrease or even disappear after some years?
2. And more importantly, “How can we keep the motivation up?”

When we understand, that knowledge is gained automatically in the proper surrounding, we can start focusing on increasing the “fun-factor” for learning. This perspective helps us to understand, that the most important step is our nurturing of the children’s interest and allowing them to grow like a plant through proper nutrition. To learn something of no interest is neither fun nor easy for both – adults as well as children.

In our present education system, we also learn lots of information in advance. That means that we accumulate knowledge about things, which we don’t need for the next decade or even never. US Studies show, that 95% of information studied only for a test or exam will be forgotten about three days after the test has taken place. Having this knowledge it is even more surprising that in many countries, content based learning and lecturing with no real-life experience, is still the main methodology in school.

Thereby, all of us hold the key of transformation in our hands. When we dare to allow children to grow in their own speed of curiosity and knowledge, I guess we will be surprised on how fast children accumulate information and knowledge. Education then becomes a new and interesting path for a child and a teenager to walk. They could use their first twenty years of life to become the best version of themselves and to manifest their potential to a much higher degree.

It is easy said, but reality shows, that system and curriculum does not always allow this kind of approach. And even if the Curriculum gives this direction, it takes well educated and mature teachers to manifest a different learning approach.

We also realize! Besides the inflexible and rigid systems, new movements start. We notice that Education world-wide is in a transition period. The time is now! The process to create a very new way of education has started already. In different areas on different places of the world – new and innovative ways of education grow. Parents as well as innovative modern-thinking teachers are moving towards these ideas, strongly feeling, that the approaches of the 20th century should be left behind.

We welcome this movement!
We, at TLI Pedagogics are a part of this movement!
Join us in this uplifting times!

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Neuro Science on the brain of toddlers

Neuro-science tells us that the brain during the first years of life absorb all surrounding experiences. This is not just true for the play material but also for the people which surround a child. In the Yales University psychologists worked on some research papers. They showed children two scenes in which one figure played the nurturing and the other figure played the suppressor. In this experiment researchers discovered that the six-month-year-old child decides on the nurturing figure while in the one-year-old children 60% decide on the suppressor. Through this experiment it became very much visible how much surrounding effects the behavior of a child. While it has been nurtured in the first month of life, now when being around 1 year – a child hears more no’s and don’ts!

So when we see children which are willing to share and nurture, one reason is that they have observed others behaving like this. Of course, this is not the only one factor. Also a child’s maturity plays a certain role – but Do Not UnderEstimate the Power of Observation in children!

This is why, parents and teachers should think about what they want children to observe and thereby reflect their own behavior, ideas, mindset, ways to speak and act in daily life!

It is our responsibility to create a surrounding that nurtured and grows young children and people. Trough academic learning we may not be able to change the world and how we treat each other!

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Welcome to TLI Pedagogics

Dear Reader,

Welcome to TLI Pedagogics

I am happy you found your way to this website. It shows me that your interest in high-quality childhood care and naturalistic learning is high.

The care for our children during the first five years of life is way too important to leave it to a chance. Many scholarly reports and scientific results point towards the need for “proper care” in the early years of life. This includes the best upgrade-education for teachers, educators and parents. Only then we can make the first five years of a child’s life to a life-long benefit.

TLI Pedagogics is a Research based System!

TLI Pedagogics was built on:
the personal experience in working with children,
the study of educational systems in many global areas as well as
17 years of empiric research and observation of small children by the founder Ms. Marion Hopfgartner
Later, the results of modern neuro-scientific findings could be added as they resonate with the pedagogical philosophie behind TLI Pedagogics.

It underlines the importance of Early Childhood Care from a modern perspective. TLI-Pedagogics can be used in educational institutions but also in home care by mothers and fathers, day-mothers/-fathers, nannies and others. It is not limited to a group or person but it should be followed accordingly to the system set up.

Read you soon again
Yours sincerely
Marion Hopfgartner
The Founder
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