The IDEAL Educational System
The Ideal educational system, Excelearn, has evolved from the forty plus years of teaching and the lifetime of learning experiences of its founder and conceiver, Paulette Jones-Imaan. Her experiences include consciousness expanding techniques such as meditation, breathing and yoga, and the use of theater techniques to enhance learning. These led to the exploration of brain-based learning methodologies, accelerated learning and superlearning: the evolution of Ideal Excelearn. From these experiences, came an important discovery: the same conditions, techniques and programs were required to produce the super mind and the super learner. They also expand consciousness to develop an enlightened individual, actualizing his/her full potential.
Ideal Excelearn has particularly focused on the means to help the student move beyond the realm of outer consciousness into the realm of inner consciousness during the learning process. This practice allows the learner to function from a higher, more focused level of thinking. Some researchers have called this state of mind present during an Excelearn lesson, as a 'heightened state of awareness. Scientifically, however, Ideal Excelearn techniques allow the student to integrate the functions of the right and left hemispheres of the brain so that they are synchronized and work together harmoniously. When the logical, analytical, detail-oriented left-brain and the creative, intuitive right brain function together in an integrated manner, the student acquires information faster, retains it longer and is empowered to creatively apply it.
The elements of Ideal Accelerated-superlearning are as follows:
1) Building self-confidence;
2) Creating a fun-filled learning environment;
3) Learning the Relaxation Response;
4) Visualizing Success; and
5) Using Music and Rhythm.
To these elements Ideal Exceleam has added
6) Using Stories, poems, art, drama and dance (the creative arts);
7) Using VAKTO, Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Tactile and Olfactory approaches;
8) Employing the I.D.E.A.L. teacher for the Ideal class; and
9). The integration of values/character education to bring out the Ideal person.
1. Building Self-Confidence
Students must believe that they can achieve their goals. This involves dispelling and purging the mind of fear, doubt, self-blame, imposed limitations, and limited expectations. This goal is accomplished through the use of affirmations (positive, powerful statements of truth, spoken with conviction and implanted in the subconscious mind), and denials (powerful statements which purge the mind of false, negative statements which may have previously been accepted by the individual).
Self-confidence is also built by giving the learner many opportunities to experience success in the learning environment. It may be accented and encouraged in several ways: for example, by acknowledging student success through sincere, praise; providing small immediate rewards, such as stickers and happy faces; and/or by awarding pins or certificates to students who have consistently applied themselves.
The teachers at the Ideal Academy are encouraged to provide students daily verbal and non-verbal affirmations of acceptance, as well as, expressions of high expectations for personal accomplishment.
2. Discovering the Joy of Learning
When students realize the joy of learning, they not only become permanent explorers in the great adventure of life and learning, they also become enthusiastic learners. Enthusiasm is a key component of Ideal Excelearn and the Ideal student. Enthusiasm and the emotion of joy produces in the brain the condition necessary for long term learning. Teachers at the Ideal Academy create an environment which promotes and espouses fun-filled methods of teaching and learning. They may use games, pictures, projects, high interest books, visual aids, hands-on manipulative and other tools for increasing the joy in the learning process. When students achieve success, they express an intrinsic and contagious joy. The combination of an enjoyable learning environment with many and varied opportunities in it for success in learning creates a learning circle of success
(Learn - Enjoy - Succeed ! Learn - Enjoy — Succeed!)
3. Learning the Relaxation Response
A relaxed, happy mind is the major prerequisite for learning. Therefore, the relaxation response is one of the most critical phases of Ideal Excelearn Techniques. The calming of the mind creates inner conditions that integrate the functioning of the right and left hemispheres of the brain in the process of learning. The relaxation response refers to the state of awareness achieved, when mind and body are relaxed and the mind ventures beyond the normal, active state to a quieter, calmer, more focused state of awareness. This is achieved through centering and meditative techniques that are used in the classroom. During the relaxation response, the mind settles down. The learner is able to tune into his or her higher mind or Super-mind.
Relaxation is a key element in the learning process. Relaxation helps students become more focused and able to understand and retain information with greater ease and clarity. After completing the relaxation response, the class is better equipped to successfully enter and benefit from the next phase of the Ideal Excelearn- process, Creative Visualization.
4. Using Creative Visualization
Visualization is the ability to create and sustain pictures in the mind. The process is used in several ways in Ideal Excelearn. Teachers guide students to visualize their success, helping them to create positive, clear pictures in their minds of successfully accomplishing challenging academic tasks. This technique can also be used to help students change negative behavioral patterns into positive behavior. The use of visualization in these ways helps the student to build in his or her subconscious mind an indelible image of himself or herself as a whole, complete, positive and successful person. Visualization is a also useful tool to aid higher level thinking and reading comprehension. Students are guided in creating mental images of materials they are reading. This helps the individual to experience reading content on a more intimate and involved level.
Additionally, the teacher uses visualization during the teaching/learning process. The visual memory is said to be the perfect memory, whenever an individual can create a clear mental picture of a concept, he/she has locked in the mind. Therefore, teachers are taught to help students mentally see the lessons in concrete terms. Teachers may simply use clear, concrete examples or tell stories or anecdotes that bring the students into a relaxed state with eyes closed. Then, the teacher creatively weaves the lesson into a fantasy with concrete images of color, sight, sound and if appropriate, other sensory awareness This process automatically results in students gaining a firmer grasp of the subject with greater ability to retrieve the information.
5. Employing VAKTO
(Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, Tactile, Olfactory Activities)
Educators are now aware that students may have different learning styles. They acquire information through the senses. Sensory mechanism dominating their learning situation determines whether they are visual, auditory, kinesthetic or tactile learners. Most individuals learn using more than one sensory receptor. For example, auditory-visual learners must be able to hear and see the material in order to grasp it fully. Kinesthetic learners require more movement and balance and tactile learners need to touch or experience "hands-on" learning. Ideal Excelearn has also incorporated the science of aromatherapy into the learning process. Certain fragrances and oils stimulate the thinking process while at the same time calming the nervous system, thus helping to produce the relaxed alert consciousness necessary for higher learning. In order to assure that each student reach his/her maximum potential in the learning situation, the Ideal educator incorporates VAKTO throughout the curriculum.
6. Using Music and Rhythm
Rhythm is the heartbeat of the universe and has a direct effect on all life, including people. Children are moved by music and rhythm. The "beat" enhances the memory. Young people quickly learn the words to the music that they prefer and to rap songs. There are certain types of music such as quiet meditative or baroque music which have a powerful, positive effect on creating a relaxed, alert, receptive state of awareness in learners and which contributes to their ability to receive information, process it, retain it and apply it.
The type of music used for this portion of the Accelerated-learning process is critical. Experiments have shown that certain types of music, such as rock music, have a detrimental effect on the mind, while some music, such as new age meditative, classical, Native American, and Baroque have the opposite effect. Rhythm is the key. The rhythm of 60 beats per second, found in most Baroque music, is closely aligned with the rhythm of the heart when a person is at rest or relaxed. The combining of carefully chosen musical selections with the rhythmical presentation of lesson has a highly effective impact on the teaching / learning process.
In the Ideal Excelearn classes, teachers use music that is applicable to accelerated learning, in order to maintain a relaxed-alert, enthusiastic mood in the classroom and to enhance and accelerate the learning process. This music may be played in the classroom in several different ways: 1) during the concert reading, when teachers present the lesson rhythmically and dramatically with music as a background to the presentation; 2) during quiet relaxation times to enhance quietness and relaxation; 3) at transition breaks a more up beat selection may be played and 4) during relaxed/quiet work times, when no explanation is being given by the teacher.
7. Creativity - The Arts as an Educational Tool
Integrating the arts into the learning process has been proven to have a positive effect on memory and learning. Such activities involve left and right brain functioning; requires higher level thinking processes of application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation; and often brings to the learning situation the emotion of joy, which solidifies the learning process.
At Ideal, visual and performing arts are used as a powerful tool to help develop positive self-esteem in students and strong communication skills. Often students with histories of academic failure who may be significantly behind in their academic pursuits, also carry a false poor self-images. Many are predominantly right-brained students. Involvement in the arts, gives them a platform on which they can let their lights shine.
Students who are involved in the arts often become more closely attuned to their inner feelings and more capable of expressing their emotions. Furthermore, students who are involved in performing arts, most especially theater, learn to appreciate poetry, literature, music, and dance all of the arts. They learn how to work together as a team for the common goal of creating a product that reflects the talent, and creativity of everyone who contributes to the work. They experience a unified effort that has within it, a terrific power to positively influence the opinions and lives of larger bodies of people. At Ideal, theater is used to teach history, positive values and to encourage students to work cooperatively with each other and to think, explore and express themselves effectively.
8. Developing Ideal EXCELearn Educators
The key that opens the door to the Ideal Excelearn class is the I.D.E.A.L. educator. The LD.E.A.L. educator creates this exciting fun-filled creative and effective class that propels students to success. An LD.E.A.L. educator is one who
a.) Integrates the knowledge of Inner and the outer life in all of his/her endeavors.
b.) Is Dedicated and Devoted to children and Determined to help them achieve
c.) Is Enthusiastic about Education for Enlightenment and Engenders Excitement in the classroom.
d.) Is Actualizing the highest in life
e.) Is a Living example of the results of Ideal Education
9. Integrating Universal Values of Life
Ideal education has integrated into its system the teaching of the highest universal values of our culture for the wholistic development of the child. These values are taught specifically through the Ideal Writing Reading and Values Education (I W.R.A V.E.) program, and they are interwoven throughout the curriculum. Even the methodology itself presupposes and supports such values as "There is an Ideal person in every person." Enthusiasm and joy, love and truth, service and commitment are some of the Ideal values intricately included in the methodology of Ideal Excelearn. The purpose of the systematic inclusion of these values into the pedagogy of Ideal Education is to insure that students will reach their highest potential and attain the goal of Ideal Education – Enlightenment.