Any more ideas for NLP in the classroom?

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Any more ideas for NLP in the classroom?

Unread postby karen » 18 Jul 2004, 15:47

Auntie Lucy,

You gave me a description of NLP before.

Do you have any more ideas for using it in the classroom?

Thanks for your help.


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NLP - more ideas

Unread postby Lucy » 18 Jul 2004, 16:09

Dear Karen,

Care is needed when using NLP techniques and I would say that only certified practitioners can handle the situation. Some techniques can release very powerful emotions and can have people in tears. This is one of the strengths of NLP as a form of therapy but not very useful in the classroom!

You can, however, adapt your teaching style and the language you use following some principles of NLP. Any changes you make yourself can have an effect on the lesson.

In my previous response, I described the different preferences that people have for learning. Think about your own preferred style and consider whether you favour this method as a way of teaching. Many teachers are visual and auditory which means that if they teach in this way, the kinesthetic learners and communicators in the class will be disadvantaged. If you incorporate some kinesthetic activities (or the learning styles that you don't usually use), you will be making the work more accessible to more students.

You can also find out what your students' preferred learning styles are. You can use this knowledge to group students; either grouping those who have the same learning styles or those with different learning styles together. Then talk to the class about which they think works best. Any discussion about learning styles should be respectful of differences. It can help to be aware of them, but there is no place for judgement (one style is not better than another) and there is no question of expecting people to change. Students might want to experiment with a different style, but that is their choice.

Language use is also an issue in NLP. Language has been described as a loaded weapon, it can hurt when you least expect it (I think the term was coined by Dwight Bolinger). I prefer to see language as a sharp knife, it can be used to hurt somebody but also has a useful function. As I explained before, you can programme language which in turn sends messages to your brain. Think about this example: You can say to yourself "I have problems saving money". This makes the problem a reality in the present. Or you can say to yourself, "In the past I've had problems saving money. But things are different now". In the second instance, you have put your problems behind you, which leaves you ready to move on. Our constant internal dialogues programme the way we think. NLP practitioners state that changing how we speak to ourselves alters our perception of events.

This can be used in the classroom. So students don't have problems with the present perfect. Last week, there were certain aspects they didn't understand, but this week things are going to be different! Certain aspects, breaks down the notion into smaller parts. So, they're not reviewing everything, just small parts of it. Also, think about the word "tense". Would you prefer to work on the past tense or the past "relax"? Our relationship to nouns is different to our relationship with verbs. It's easier to change an activity (denoted by the verb) than it is to change a thing that exists (noun). For example, "I have a difficult relationship with my boss" is more difficult to deal with than "I have difficulties relating to my boss". We can change the way we relate to people more easily than we can change our relationships.

I believe strongly in the power of NLP techniques and I'd like to repeat that care is needed in using them with others. It's up to you to decide how you want to use the techniques for yourself - if you want to use them at all - but avoid using them to change others.

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