Our Mission

About Us

Gestalt Minds uses Neurological approaches to transform the classroom. Free of stress and anxiety, it focuses on classroom experiences that are enjoyable, relevant to the students’ lives, interests and experiences. As the retention of information is highly associates with strong positive emotions, the programs inspire emotive story telling as a way of teaching subject matter.

Whilst there are a number of approaches to challenge the pedagogical practices that support children’s well-being, the role of educational neuroscience offers promising outcomes as it offers multidisciplinary research to draw from.

Happy children in classroom.  The Social, Emotional and Mental Health of Children
Who is Gestalt Minds

Who we are & what we are about

Gestalt Minds uses the union of research across various disciplines, including psychology, neuroscience and education to better understand children, what makes them thrive or what hinders their social, emotional and academic development and performance. Whilst we understand genetics and how this impacts a child, we also know that culture, experiences, relationships and the environment play a massive, ongoing role in a child’s development. This is significant in a number of ways, how the child learns in the classroom based on the relationship with the teacher, how they perform in class as a result of passive pressures at home or how they behaviour at home with mum and dad that can be a direct consequence of social relationship with their peers.

In supporting children to thrive, Gestalt Minds focuses on the brain, how its performs socially, emotionally and academically. The structure and development of the child’s brain begin prenatally and continues to develop well into adulthood. In line with Dweck’s theory of Growth Mindset, we acknowledge that the brain is highly malleable and fluid and has the potential to change itself. Children should not be considered ‘fixed’, whether it is academic struggles, social or emotional issues or behaviour, understanding the brain gives us greater insight into what is going on inside the brain, this therefore gives us greater opportunity to alter the situation to assist the child to flourish.  

Happy children in classroom.  The Social, Emotional and Mental Health of Children
The Process

How we do it

Did you know that laughter promotes learning retention? Laughing clams down the amygdala allowing learning to pass and enter the hippocampus, the place where long term memory is stored. So, applied in a classroom our method suggests 10 minutes of learning the topic, a funny video to get kids having a big deep belly laugh, then back to the topic for another 20 min.

As an example, in a grade 5 class when teaching BIDMAS, we would apply this to the first lesson. The first 10 minutes would break down the acronym of BIDMAS, get the students into a deep belly laugh and then for the remaining 20 minutes, the children would work collaboratively on BIDMAS equations. Effectively, this reduces the need for the extensive time on BIDMAS lessons because the potential for the concept to be committed to long term memory is greater.

Our Values

Building happy healthy & clever little minds

Neuroscience refers to the study of the brain. In recent times, educational neuroscience has harnessed critical research and findings in both education and psychology to develop a new discipline that  truely considers the brain's behaviour during learning. In doing so, we have a far better understanding of children, how they learn best, how their brain behaves in times of social pain or how laughter can impact long term memory in the classroom.

Gestalt theories emphasise that the whole of anything is greater than the sum of all of its part. Gestalt Minds focuses on building all of a child's parts, mental health, self efficacy, friendships and academic performance to make a happy well rounded child. The word 'Gestalt' in modern German, means 'put together'. As parents and teachers, we are invested in how we 'put kids together', but sometimes we need to break down those parts, tweak them a little and then put them back together again, for the benefit of the child's well-being.

We recognise the human brain is learning machine

The Gestalt Mind framework is built on a 3 levels Pedagogy

Education Neuro Science, Child Psychology, Neuro Science
The Beginning of Gestalt Minds

Founder Elise Brown

Founder of Gestalt Minds, I am committed to the research and development of children, their growth and development and providing them safe, happy little lives. My work and research has always been fixated on making learning, school and young people’s lives richer, more productive and happier.  

I teach Kinder, Primary School, Secondary School and University Bachelor of Education, Post Graduate degree in Early Years education and have also previously taught in the Diploma of Primary Education. I have a Bachelors of Education & Bachelors of Applied Science Psychology as well as Masters of Education & Post Graduate Degree in Educational Neuroscience.  

I am opposed to toxic happiness, the social tendency to always look on the bright side and be happy, for example, ‘you’ll be ok’, ‘it’s for the best’, ‘be grateful for all that you have’. Sadness, worry, concern and grief all deserve to be validated. We need to stop asking children to always be happy, validate their concerns and then educate them, using Neuroscience about the brain and how to deal with their thoughts.  

I believe that Australian classrooms have the potential to support learning and the social and emotional wellbeing of children, using the pedagogical practices involved in educational neuroscience, to turbo charge learning and stabilise the mental health of children.  

My approach uses brain structure and function to understand how children learn, how information is retained and to explain just how damaging stress, anxiety, worry and concern can be on the brain during learning.  Our current policy and curriculum is fixated on standardised testing and assessments, these are often more likely to have negative impacts on mental health than improve a child's academic ability. The Gestalt Minds approach encourages learning that provokes joy and happiness and sees this as the key to academic success.

As children progress through the Australian Education system, rote learning and standardised testing increases, this tips the scales for fun, joy and happiness, resulting in children becoming less engaged and a significant decrease in the happy brain chemicals that help children learn. Neurologically, we are doing it all wrong.

Happy children in classroom.  The Social, Emotional and Mental Health of Children

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