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
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.