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Human Givens



Sleep and

Trauma and



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The essence of what good teachers do is that they enter each pupil's world to discover what they already know, then find ways to connect up new knowledge and/or skills to what already exists in the pupil's mind, thus expanding the learners model of reality. In other words, what is already in them has to be drawn out and extended.

It is through this subtle attention exchange process, which is different from training and conditioning, that a child's mind is best prepared for the world.

If real teaching is to take place the method cannot be bypassed. All children have an innate need to be stretched and connected up to more of reality. It is a psychological law of nature. Consequently we can say that, whenever teachers are having difficulties in schools, it invariably comes down to the fact that they are not working with, or being allowed to work with, that fundamental truth.

This ancient insight applies as much to teaching adults as it does to teaching children and is no different to what happens in effective counselling and psychotherapy. Counselling for emotional distress and behaviour problems is, after all, a specialist form of education.

There is an even more obvious crossover between teaching and counselling. All participants in these processes — teacher/child, therapist/patient — find it harder to function if their spare capacity is absorbed because their needs are not being met outside the school or therapy situation. That always has to be addressed when people show problem behaviour.

That's why, when factors in children's home environment are preventing them developing well (perhaps by not being mentally and physically healthily stretched, or by having their attention mechanism damaged by watching too much TV*, endlessly playing computer games, or experiencing emotional or physical violence in the home etc.) they will need additional psychological help.


*For further information, including research, see 'Remotely Controlled: How television is damaging our lives and what we can do about it', by Dr. Aric Sigman.

Also see Ivan Tyrrell's interview with Dr Aric. Sigman in Vol 13, No 1 of the Human Givens journal.

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