Presentation - Thinking Schools International

Report
Concentration
June 2014
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Presentation by Mary Mountstephen MA (SEN)
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“We learn many things in our formal
education and lifetime. Unfortunately,
understanding and learning how to
concentrate is not one of them.”
(Bailey 2012)
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• Recent developments in the understanding of
concentration skills
• Introduction to the Bailey/ Brown Concentration
Assessment Profiling system and The
Concentration Bug
• Activities
• Further training
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Overview
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‘state of mind which reflects the ability
of the individual to apply themselves to
a task without interference from
distractions ‘
Bailey / Brown 2012
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Concentration is a……
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The ability to direct one’s thinking in
whatever direction one would attend’
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Reframing Concentration
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• Everyone can concentrate: Sometimes you just
happen to be in the wrong mode for the task at
hand!
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Reframing Concentration
• Sometimes it may be more difficult, but you can learn
ways to help you succeed
• It is a skill to expand and develop
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• It can be a pleasurable mental process
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Neuroscience
Brain connections can change
ADHD
Brain is in an immature state
Meditation
Alters brain states
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Research Background
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• Brain plasticity: ‘ The capacity for
continuous physical, chemical and
functional change’. ( Michael Merzenich,
PhD)
• Daily intensive, effortful learning that
requires close attention.
• Careful listening, precise movement
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The Brain Can Change
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• Brain immaturity: delayed pattern of
maturation
• Combined
• Predominantly inattentive
• Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive
• Classroom implications
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ADHD
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• ‘The Wandering Mind’
• Attention and auto-pilot
• Mindfulness for problem solving
• ACTIVITY : Watching the mind roam
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Meditation/ Mindfulness
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Mindfulness
Concentration
Empathy
Perceptual
Acuity
On
Levels of stress and
anxiety
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• Mindful techniques help with general ‘wellness’ but may not
address/ transfer to improved classroom performance.
• MacConville and Rae noted improvements in:
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• Mindfulness works: If
you practise.
• To be actively
attentive and aware
enables you to be
more calm.
• It is about noticing
and processing all
that is going on
around you.
Mindfulness can help
staff as well as
students.
Mindfulness on its
own is not always
enough.
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Mindfulness: An academic perspective
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• Effortful learning changes the brain
• The more we do, the more we can do
• The path to better performance does
not necessarily start with exceptional
genes, but requires some key skills:
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Key Points from Research
GPS
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• Grit
• Curiosity
• Persistence
• A growth mind-set
• A sense that the power to increase your abilities
lies largely within your own control, mediated
by appropriate environmental, physical,
emotional and psychological factors
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Key Characteristics
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• What you tell yourself about your ability
plays a part in shaping the ways you learn
and perform: how hard you apply yourself
for example and your willingness to
persevere in the face of difficulty’.
Brown, Roediger III, McDaniel
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Neuroscience: Changing the Brain
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• With effort the quality of
performance can be transformed as
inner life gradually becomes stronger.
• If you want to be top-class you have
to practise AND HAVE A SKILLED
COACH
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Nettle (2005)
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Dweck’s Growth Mindset
do some people become helpless
when they encounter challenges and fail at
them?’
• Why do others respond to failure by trying
new strategies?’
• ATTRIBUTION: ‘I’m not clever’. ‘I can’t help
it, I can’t concentrate’.
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• ‘Why
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Grit
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Persistence!
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Self-Discipline
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What interferes with concentration ?
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A] For you
B] For your students
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Distractors
Actions
I’m tired
Shopping list
I’m hungry
Bills to pay
My back aches
Lesson plan
Internal
I want to chat
I can’t understand
Nervous
I am not good enough
Irritated
Bored
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Body
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Thinking
Feeling
Distractors
Place
Playing
Too hot / cold
Competition
Noisy
Threatening
Messy
External
Beautiful day
Snow / wind /rain
Listen / take notes
Reports to write
Love to go for a walk
Too many tasks
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People
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Outside
Demands
ACTIVITY
• Take a minute to think about 3 things that help you to
concentrate more easily when you are not motivated.
• Write down one strategy you use in the classroom to
improve student concentration.
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You can concentrate on your games, why
can’t you do it in history!
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What could you begin to do to improve your concentration.
How might you start to help others to improve their
concentration?
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How can you alter the messages you give to
yourself and others about concentration?
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• Development of the CAP
• Concentration as a process
• Domains intrinsic to concentration
• The Bailey/Brown process model of
concentration
• The significance of motivation
• A practical and practicable model
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The Concentration Assessment Profile
Bailey & Brown CAP©2013
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Assessing and Improving Concentration
Bailey & Brown CAP©2013
•
•
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•
•
•
•
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•
Self-assessment
Self-understanding
Self-management
Self-development
Student/client assessment
Student/client understanding
Student/client management
Student/client self-development
Group assessment/understanding/management
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Using the CAP
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• Doing
• Thinking
• Receiving
• Emotions
• Environment
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The Domains
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Symmetrical Profile
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Segmented Profile
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Training Activities
Understanding concentration
Assessment
Analysis
reframing
Thinking
Positive thinking
Problem-solving
Planning
Quiet contemplation
Doing
Planning
Time management
Task management
Getting started
Enhancing Focus
Mindfulness
Visualisation
Relaxation
Managing distraction
Listening / Receiving
Listening skills
Observations
Details vs big picture
Memory
Emotions / arousal
Mental preparation
Stress management
Dealing with anxiety
Emotional regulation
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Self Awareness / Analysis
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• Explain how
concentration works.
• Teach students
different ways to
concentrate
• Create desirable
environmental
conditions
• Practice regularly
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Tips for Teachers
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Resistance to change is linked with insecurity
You can do this by:1. Allowing the student to feel secure and valued
2. Developing a culture of active concentration
3. Praising effort : GPS
4. Daily embedded school level approach
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To lower resistance and build momentum for change
you need to increase the students sense of security.
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Strategies
Use of stillness and silence as a practice built in at whole school
levels
Use of reflection: It promotes retrieval
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WAIT TIME: Increase from 3-7 seconds leads to significant and
profound changes in the classroom ‘Percolation time’:
Particularly for students who need more processing time
Slow down when concentrating on reading: make images as you
go.
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• Mindfulness as a beginning ritual at the start of each lesson as
a way of alleviating anxiety, establishing calm and getting
lessons off to a positive start.
• Breathing and relaxation : Brief rests/ intentional resting
( MacConville page 30 : Teaching Happiness)
‘Practitioners know that a pupil’s ability to direct
and maintain attention on a task at hand has a
direct impact upon successful learning.
Mindfulness has the capacity to nourish the quality
of one’s attention’.
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Strategies
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• Rather than the adversity itself, it is our belief about the cause
that triggers the feeling response and behaviour.
• What was the problem? ( Adversity)
• What did I believe about it? ( Belief)
• What was the result? ( Consequence)
Children can work to identify pessimistic thoughts and replace
them with more favourable viewpoints.
With practice children learn to reframe and consciously
generate ways to concentrate automatically.
(MacConville 2008)
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The New ABC
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• Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning: Brown et al ,
(2014) Harvard University Press
• Mind-set: The New Psychology of Success: Dweck, C. (2006)
Ballantine Books
• How Children Succeed: Tough, P. ( 2012) Houghton Mifflin
Harcourt
• Silence in Schools: Lees, H. (2012) Institute of Education Press
• Helping Students Take Control of Everyday Executive
Functions: The Attention Fix : Moraine, P. (2012) Jessica
Kingsley Publishers
• How to Detect Developmental Delay and What To Do Next:
Mountstephen, M. 2010) Jessica Kingsley Publishers
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Further Reading
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• Happiness, The Science Behind Your Smile: Nettle, D. ( 2005)
Oxford University Press
• Teaching Happiness: A ten-step curriculum for creating
positive classrooms: MacConville, R. (2008) Optimus
Education
• Publishing Jan 2015: The Concentration Bug : Mountstephen
and MacConville
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Further Reading
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Contact Details
Mary Mountstephen
www.kidscansucceed.com
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( School training: The Concentration Bug
The Concentration Assessment Profile)
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Roy Bailey and Elvie Brown:
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