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It's raining brains at BIS

PHUKET: A team of passionate and experienced educational specialists has jumped at the opportunity to work for three months with school students, parents, teachers and the general community in Phuket.

Friday 24 August 2012, 06:00PM


Focus Education Asia, headed by John Joseph (the Brain Man) will begin working from September this year in the newly opened International Learning Centre (ILC) located within the grounds of the British International School in Phuket. They will be offering mind-active workshops and conferences to engage and support parents, students and teachers.

The work of Focus Education Asia is based on translating and sharing current research in neuroscience, cognitive psychology and classroom studies – collectively known as Neuroeducation.

The knowledge in this field has been growing rapidly over the last 15 to 20 years and John Joseph and his team have presented in 26 countries for more than 350,000 delegates over the past 16 years. John Joseph said “Our mission is to advance the understanding of Brain, Learning, Memory and Behaviour within school and family contexts”.

Focus Education Asia will also be undertaking some Action Research while in Phuket on the impact of Critical, Creative and Curious thinking on learning outcomes.

“The brain is a pretty amazing bit of gear really,” said Dr Kery O’Neill, a trainer with the group. “We all can, and do, build our own brains throughout our lives and learning how to be the site manager for this project is incredibly powerful stuff!

Regardless of our heredity, socioeconomic status, culture or age, each of us has a right to know what we are capable of achieving for ourselves, for our families and for our communities in the future. With the evidence coming from research into brain plasticity it is very exciting to think about the great level of control we have over the success of our learning experiences.

We can all make our own ‘smarts’ and we all make our own choices about what we do with it. Focusing on a brighter future is a wonderful motivator.”

“Recent research into how the brain learns offers an unprecedented opportunity to reflect on what education is all about. It also informs debate on creating learning environments and working conditions that can engage and empower all individuals in our diverse populations,” said John Joseph.

While there has been debate about the validity of some ‘brain based’ approaches in the early days, and indeed some debate continues, educational experts agree that the language of the basic biology of the brain and a knowledge of basic function are things that are becoming more important for communicating how we learn, how we feel and how we behave. Projects like Harvard’s ‘Cultures of Thinking Program’ and John Hopkins University’s ‘Neuroeducation Initiative’ are examples of this in action.

Mr Joseph said, “For students it can kick start their motivation and learning capacity. For teachers it can help create high performance classrooms that boost student achievement and satisfaction and reduce teacher stress, and for parents it can help support parenting our kids in today’s challenging, fast paced, igadget world“.

Integral to the launch of the International Learning Centre (ILC), Focus Education Asia are running a free thought provoking, fun and interactive seminar on Wednesday August 29 to share some of their work (which will include a dissection of a pig’s brain).

This is a free workshop at BIS and is open to everyone in Phuket (parents, students and teachers). So that everyone has the chance to attend, the free workshop on Wednesday 29 August will run twice, firstly at 1.30pm and then in the evening at 6 pm.

To confirm your place at the free workshop please email Viktoria (Director of the International Learning Centre) via ILC@bisphuket.ac.th

For further information about Focus Education Asia please visit www.focuseducationasia.com

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