The influence of a good teacher can never be erased

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We all know how important teachers are. We have met many of them, and some have managed to stay in our hearts. Some have broadened our minds, while others might have made us feel inferior. Since February I have been around in classrooms, having the honor to see how far teachers in Norway have come since I was a little girl, eager to learn. School today is not about rote repetition, it is about so much more: Learning life skills. It is also about learning HOW to learn, and awakening curiosity in eager minds. It is about helping children be kind towards each other and giving them positive feedback while also challenging them to think more deeply about issues. I have seen small tricks, like getting the children to clap their hands when the teacher does so, to make them stop and listen. I have seen teachers managing to remember who got to say something, and who did not. I have heard them talk about their worries, for example when a child keeps to himself. And their pride when somebody just learnt to read after trying for a long time. Teachers are amazing. They must be in the middle of thousand tasks, always caring and giving. They must engage the students, and encourage those who struggle to make sense of what they are supposed to learn. I only have respect for teachers. They really try their best to educate our future. And I know many of them go home, remembering the faces of children lighting up when they had yet another moment of mastery.


James Nottingham: How School should be

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Since I have started working with children with learning disabilities, autism, ad/hd and a plethora of other problems, I have learnt a lot about schools and teaching. I have three schools, and meet a lot of teachers and pupils. It is interesting to see how different the teachers and schools are. But what strikes me, is how warm many of the teachers are. They care about the children, and in addition to that they manage to engage them. But is there more the schools can do to challenge the children and make them learn? Next Monday I am going on a lecture by James Nottingham. We have prepared for this, by watching a movie about the learning pit and I have also read his book, and am inspired. He encourages teachers to make the children think. The following video will demonstrate his theory. I hope it will inspire people who work with children, and also parents. Children are our future, so we should do everything to equip them with the cognitive and emotional skills to thrive in their circumstances.

The Learning Challenge with James Nottingham from Challenging Learning on Vimeo.

Kiran Sethi: Kids, take charge

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Kiran Bir Sethi shows how her groundbreaking Riverside School in India teaches kids life’s most valuable lesson: “I can.” Watch her students take local issues into their own hands, lead other young People and even educate their parents.

Evidence-Based Treatments for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: New Online Continuing Education (CE) Course from HealthForumOnline

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HealthForumOnline (HFO) adds a new online continuing education (CE) course, Evidence-Based Treatments for Adults with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, to their library of over 100 online CE courses for mental health professionals and allied healthcare providers. This online CE course presents trauma treatment options for acute stress reactions, acute stress disorder, and PTSD with a focus on PET, CPT, EMDR, and SIT.

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PTSD is often a chronic condition, with symptoms persisting for over 10 or more years. Moreover, PTSD is frequently associated with significant comorbidities (e.g., depression, addiction) making it one of the most difficult conditions to treat.

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) March 30, 2015

HealthForumOnline (HFO) is pleased to announce a new online continuing education (CE) course entitled,Evidence-Based Treatments for Adults with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, to its extensive library ofover 100 online CE courses for mental health professionals. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most debilitating conditions resulting from exposure to trauma (e.g., child abuse, intimate partner violence, natural disasters, combat). While the lifetime prevalence rate for PTSD is only approximately 7% in the general population, a rate that appears steady for the past 30 years, PTSD is rising among military personnel and veterans (1, 2). Increased focus on PTSD has also been driven by the rape trauma and domestic violence movements, and military advocacy groups vocal about the deleterious impact of trauma on psychosocial and occupational functioning (e.g., 3). HFO, a nationally-approved (APA, ASWB, NBCC)provider of convenient, cost-effective online continuing education (CE), is pleased to offer this timely and important CE course for counselors, psychologists, social workers and allied healthcare providers, working in the trauma context.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), PTSD may emerge after exposure to an event that involves actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violation (4). The symptoms that characterize PTSD are grouped into four separate clusters: 1) intrusion (e.g., intrusive memories, nightmares, flashbacks), 2) persistent avoidance of thoughts, feelings, and reminders associated with the trauma, 3) negative alterations in cognitions and mood that are associated with the traumatic event (e.g., negative beliefs about the self and others, persistent fear and anger), and 4) alterations in arousal and reactivity (e.g., exaggerated startle responses, difficulty sleeping). DSM-5 states that PTSD symptoms must last for at least one month in duration and cause clinically significant distress or impairment.

Looking beyond diagnostic guidelines, the clinical evidence suggests PTSD is often a chronic condition, with symptoms persisting for over 10 or more years (5). Moreover, PTSD is frequently associated with significant comorbidities (e.g., depression, addiction, suicidal ideation, health problems), making it one of the most difficult conditions to treat. Not surprisingly, a diagnosis of PTSD places an enormous burden on patients and their loved ones. Collectively, PTSD exacts significant costs on society as well, resulting in billions of dollars in health and mental health care expenditures and disability compensation (6).

This online CE course will present the three-stage model of trauma recovery, along with treatment options for acute stress reactions, acute stress disorder, and PTSD with a focus on the most widely used evidence-based psychological treatments (e.g., Prolonged Exposure Therapy; Cognitive Processing Therapy; Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing; and Stress Inoculation Treatment). Sociocultural factors associated with response to trauma, as well as treatment, are reviewed to facilitate culturally sensitive approaches. Additionally, available pharmacological and alternative/complementary treatment options are explored. Lastly, common patient-based (e.g., impediments to trust in the therapeutic alliance), as well as provider-based (e.g., vicarious traumatization, self-care strategies), treatment-related issues are addressed.


New Frontiers in the Neurobiology of Mental Illness

1. Norris, F.H., & Slone, L.B. (2013). Understanding research on the epidemiology of trauma and PTSD: Special double issue of the PTSD Research Quarterly. PTSD Research Quarterly, 24(2-3), 1-24.

2. Richardson, L.K., et al. (2010). Prevalence Estimates of Combat-Related PTSD: A Critical Review. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 44(1), 4–19.

3. Foa, E.B., et al. (2009). Effective treatments for PTSD: Practice guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (2nd Ed). New York: The Guilford Press.

4. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

5. Jonas, D.E., et al. (2013). Psychological and Pharmacological Treatments for Adults With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). (Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, No. 92). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

6. Marciniak, M.D., et al. (2005). The cost of treating anxiety: the medical and demographic correlates that impact total medical costs. Depression and Anxiety, 21(4), 178-184.

The sound of one teacher

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  Psychology – A class divided

A Class DividedElliott divided her class by eye color — those with blue eyes and those with brown. On the first day, the blue-eyed children were told they were smarter, nicer, neater, and better than those with brown eyes.

Throughout the day, Elliott praised them and allowed them privileges such as a taking a longer recess and being first in the lunch line. In contrast, the brown-eyed children had to wear collars around their necks and their behavior and performance were criticized and ridiculed by Elliott.

On the second day, the roles were reversed and the blue-eyed children were made to feel inferior while the brown eyes were designated the dominant group. What happened over the course of the unique two-day exercise astonished both students and teacher.

On both days, children who were designated as inferior took on the look and behavior of genuinely inferior students, performing poorly on tests and other work.

Like many readers already know: I am an incurable softy. I get touched by everything beautiful, especially people`s courage, personalities and thoughts. I must confess that this documentary awoke a mix of different feelings: Sadness for the wrongs we`ve done, but also hope for the future and love towards humanity. It also excited some thoughts: What if we could teach children by asking the right questions without feeding them our own pre-made solutions?  Do we learn teachers how to teach, what to focus on and how to take care of our future at all? Because, our children are the future, and I really hope they will do better than we did.

I`d rather know this before I have my own children; I want to know that the world can be better, before I let them run around in it. Peril will be everywhere, of course, but as long as there`s hope, I`m willing to take a chance. I want to protect them from landmines around the next corner. 

My eyes are still filled with tears, touched by the courageous woman who wanted to show her class what racism is by making them really understand it. My first sceptical «be-carefulness», was convinced by her gentle voice that soothed both the children in the “experiment” and me.

Thank you, brave woman. Thank you for not closing your eyes.

I embed hope in my touched tears, and know they won`t be shed for nothing.

The documentary

The horrible part was not that one was forced to join in: But that it was impossible not to.

G. Orwell: 1984


since I don`t yet trust the world completely,
I`ve raised my own baby that wants to save the world:
My baby and her friends

Giving back

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Just wanted to thank everyone who so far have read posts I`ve written. I know a lot of them has been about the dark sides of life, and even if I know a lot of you truly care for people suffering, but everyone needs a break now and then.

Thanks for being there, and I look forward to reading and hearing more about you.

I have thought about how I can give something that you can recieve and use, no matter how far away you are. At last I found something that I hope will give you as much joy as me. A way to recharge your brain in every possible way. Remember: Fit brains can move mountains.





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