Fast learners get awsome possibilities in this fast world

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You realize it when you leave in a fast city and your subtle system is healthyly pending on the right side. Doors open and fresh opportunities arise for you. Fast learning is a beautiful gift which usually shows up in children already at tender age. Their eyes are shining and they seem to adapt easily to different people and daily patterns of life.

[foto: valeria bertogna]

Why I love Japa Anime

  1. Colors are fresh and realistic
  2. Good demons and bad demons fight
  3. Landscapes are paradisiac
  4. Animated details inside homes and cities are extraordinary 
  5. Characters are tender
  6. Other characters are really funny
  7. Musics are moving and wonderful
  8. Story plots are interesting and with lots of  imagination involved
  9. When i was girl i used to draw the same faces of the girls of these movies
  10. Innocence is there usually

This is taken from Howl’s moving castle with origianl song:

Positive epidemy of Indian art-forms

Which I wanted to briefly recollect here based on two trips, one in India and one not far from home in Hong Kong. These are the epidemy we love to hear arent they? These artistical injecton of bubbling lovely effort to raise our awareness and our energy levels. To push them higher towards humble and generous goals. To make them touch the souls of all the people around ourselves so that at least they can get a soft glimpse of ho wparadise laws work out. They work out thru love and compassion, thru dance and action.

You know how much i love dancing already. My mom used to tell me all the times when i was about 7: “daughter i am sorry you were born in Italy cause if you were living in Russia now i would have enrolled you right away in a dance school to work out your talent better”. Never mind i took other paths but dance is always in my heart. In the next post i want you to sniff two secrets of one kind of the indian classical dance which i am studying now. stay alert and move your body on the notes&sounds of heaven.

Developing love is basic reality to educate children

 

I spent more than an hour skyping with Clara and Vicky from England yesterday at my office. These two young girls, we were living together in Italy few years ago when I was nanny and their mother was pregnant of the third child. At office I did not have the microphone so could only write down everything and listening to all they were speaking from the other side. The most beautiful chat: little things: stories, laughs, sending funny emoticons, chewing candies and so on. Just in the middle of the busiest time of my schedule at work. Just at the perfect moment for inundating the heart with something strong and sane.

 

Now the attention towards how the children do spend their time is growing more and more everywhere. They are becoming the centre of our mind. There are plenty of books talking that we have to keep our kids engaged as much as possible to learn, to grow, to absorb in order to develop their skills and talents. This is false actually. I think that orientatively if they can be busy for half of their time with homework and activities they can also do nothing for the other half of the time. I grew up at this way: School, home works and dance class three times a week were all on a fixed schedule for about ten years from 6 to 19. All the left free time was spent to create things with the help of parents or friends. Painting, reading, listening to music, playing an instrument without any instructor, just alone, toys, journals, swimming in the summertime, going for mushrooms, asparaguses or cyclamens and mimosas during spring time, pic-nics, tons of free walks around the town and so on. The love surrounding was soft and spontaneous, just enough to guide explorations and personal growth.  

My birthday parties were memorable, sometimes at the central park among rocks and small animals sometimes at the beach, and aunties, mommies and friends were all enjoying at the same time. It has been going for years like that. There were no scheduled activities and we used to run free in the nature or making a volcano or a castle with the sand. Everything was really simple and familiar, the environment comfy and the people smiling. Love was developing on its own natural way… and still is.

 

Here in Hong Kong my friends-mothers tell that the schools are putting a lot of pressure on the little ones. They have to pass examinations and study hard even at night several times during the week. Plus at least three courses-activities in afternons and/or weekends. I am sure this is not the right path to educate children. I am sure both teachers and educators, parents are lovely and careful. But love and pressure do not combine nicely most of the times, do they? If a child feels he is too often forced to do something, that means he is not comfortable with this rhythm and this situation will be translated sooner or later in another problem. It is obvious. There are other ways to educate which are safer and more adapting to a child inner self. And it is in the inner self where all the talents and the skills already reside! 

Islam had been quite progressive towards women

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There was no question in my family that my sister and I would be given the same opportunities in my life as my brothers. Nor was there in Islam. We learned at an early age that it was men’s interpretation of our religion that restricted women’s opportunities, not our religion itself. Islam infact had been quite progressive towards women from its inception: the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)* had forbidden the killing of female infants common among the Arabs of the time, and called for education for women and their right to inherit long before these privileges were granted to them in the West.

Bipi Khadijah, the first to convert to Islam, was a widow who ran her own business, employed the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)* when he was a young boy and later married him. Umm e-Umara fought alongside the men in the Muslims’early battles against their enemies, her powerful sword-arm saving the life of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)). Chand Bibi, the female ruler of the South Indian state of Ahmadnagar, defeated the Mogul Emperor Akbar and forced him to enter into a peace treaty with her. Noor-Jehan, the wife of Emperor Jehangir and the virtual ruler of India, was famous for her skill in the field of administration. Muslim history was full of women who had taken a public role and performed every bit as successfully as men. Nothing in Islam discouraged them, or me, from pursuing that course.

*Peace Be Uoon Him

[from the book: Daughter of the East by Benazir Bhutto]

It’s not true that a new language should be taught by mothertongues to the kids

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I have two close examples which support the fact that children can learn a new language not necessarily from mother tongue teachers.

The first is a long study to which by myself I participated in 1998-1999 with a master thesis in Rome. Based on the main idea of Bruner about constructivism in psychology and learning processes we focused on children at kindergarten level living in an Italian context and being exposed to the English language as second one (L2). The research was inspired by 400 teachers and their young pupils. We eventually wrote this book comprehensive of all the work done. The cool point is that maybe only one of the teacher was a native English speaker, all the others learned in our seminars and transmitted their knowledge in the classroom. We analyzed their progress, prnunciation, improvements, diaries, workshops, a lot of interesting material…They did an excellent job and the children learnt each year more and more! Statistics and databases inclueded in the same book. Do you know why the children learnt English? The main result was that is because the teacher love them and express her lovely attitude plus interest towards them daily and firmly. A section of the project was dedicated to the expressions of her face, to her words and behaviours with the little ones. They love the L2 because they love in primis the person who is teaching them. That is why we intitled the book “The magic teacher”. This magic is nothing but pure love!

Second example is fresher and again comes from an experience in Italy which I only heard about directly and am supporting with material in Chinese language. My auntie, an experienced teacher and coordinator of seminars and workshop at a primary school, is already conducting Chinese classes in ludic form to the kids. And she never spoke Chinese before. She is using the modern Youtube way, karaoke, playful settings and real small storytelling linked to the new life of her adorable daughter (me 🙂 ) Here is an example i provided her few weeks ago. It is just so much sweet:

Children understand love more than anyone else” (Nirmala Srivastava)

The cute aspect of speaking in Chinese

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If one day you may decide you want to do something cute for a long term then please take Chinese language classes. This language has strong sweet connotations and they can even be absorbed in the character and attitude! Learning Chinese is good because:

  • It makes you smile
  • It transmits a real sense of purity to yourself
  • It makes you talking with a sort of a new voice
  • It allows you to go back to childish verbalizations but seriously and in the present

A wonderful lyric about the powers of the big mother earth:

dang wo men tang zai da di

xiang tou shen zai shou hu

huo de zi jiao hou chong sheng

qi fa nei zai di guang

Parable of the Pencil

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The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box.
“There are five things you need to know,” he told the pencil, “before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be:
1.You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand.
2.You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you’ll need it to become a better pencil.

3.You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.

4.The most important part of you will always be what’s inside.
5.On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.
The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.


Now put yourself in the place of the pencil.
Always remember this and never forget, and you will become the best person you can be:
1.You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand. And allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.
2.You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems in life, but you’ll need it to become a stronger person.
3.You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.
4.The most important part of you will always be what’s on the inside.
5.On every surface you walk through, you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you must continue to do your duties.
Allow this Parable of the Pencil to encourage you to know that you are a special person, and only you can fulfil the purpose which you were born to accomplish. Never allow yourself to get discouraged and to think that your life is insignificant and cannot make a change.

If you open one door the air won’t come in

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 ” Then there are two other symbols  that we see. With Her hand She gives. If you open one door the air won’t come in. You have to open the other door. She must give. So all those who have Lakshmi tattwa developed in them, they think what they have to give, but they don’t give the worst they have, just like the waste paper basket. “O, this is useless so I can give to this friend”. Alle friends are used as waste paper baskets. Whatever is the worst is given. How can you touch your depth like this? Whatever is the best, you should give. If you are free to give then you should give the best. ….. we are very ego oriented, we understand what will give joy to us. We don’t understand what will give joy to others and when we understand this then the joy reflects on us thousand times more.

On the periphery both forces work on. On one side are the misers and on the other side are the exploiters. If you become generous, the exploiters are there. So there is an antithesis. Another type of people become nervous who don’t know what to do. Sometimes you are exploited, doesn’t matter. That’s not your look out. You have not committed the sins. The one who has exploited has committed the sins and he is going to suffer. So why to worry? With the help of this Divine Power the one who exploits will suffer. You get more than you lost. This is what is to be understood… ”

[Nirmala Devi] read an article about N.D.

Globalizing our education

 Always impressed by the people who talk wisely about what global means. Thank you to Mr. De Bary, professor emeritus, to have spent the time of a life to research and understand the connection between East and West from the educational point of view.

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Today I wish to amplify these points in regard to certain specific issues in contemporary education. The common denominator among all of our educational situations is (1) the challenge to sustain any kind of humanistic learning at all in the face of the extreme competitive pressures of modern technologies; (2) the need of most educational systems to reengage with their own local traditions, from which they have been largely cut off; (3) the need but also the difficulty of sustaining this effort, beyond the initial stage, to encompass other traditions so as to achieve, over time, a global literacy as the standard of what every educated citizen of the world should know in order to engage in meaningful discourse with other peoples.

 

Within each major tradition, this dialogue has taken place through a process of constant, repeated cross-referencing and back-referencing, internal and largely independent of external involvement except to the extent that, from at least the seventeenth century onward, writers in the West, great and not so great, have confirmed for themselves what important writers in the Islamic, Indian, Chinese and Japanese traditions have long held in esteem. Thus in the Islamic tradition al-Ghazali and Ibn Khaldun have based themselves on the Quran and commented on the great Sufis, while European writers, no less than Middle Eastern, from medieval times onward have recognized the stature of al-Ghazali and more recently Ibn Khaldun. Something similar is true of India, with the Upanishads and the Ramayana taking up the discourse from the earlier Vedas, the Gita from Upanishads, and Shankar from both. And it is true too of China, with Mencius, the Laozi and Zhuangzi taking issue with the Confucians, and so on.

 

Today in a multicultural education that serves human commonality as well as cultural diversity, both content and method may vary in different educational situations, but a core program should make the repossession of a given society main cultural traditions the first priority, and then move on, in a second stage, to a similar treatment of other major world cultures. Further, to the extent that time and resources allow, it would provide for the consideration of still other cultures that, for a variety of historical and geographical reasons, have not so far played such a dominant role in world history (In the East Asian context I would certainly point to Korea in this respect).

 

[from “Confucian Tradition & Global Education” by W.M. Theodore De Bary]