Brain Education Helps Students Do Better in School

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Today's schools, with their 19th century factory model, are out of step with the new world of information, technology and globalization. Ilchi Lee offers a new educational model that recognizes the power and potential of the human brain itself to be educated. His Brain Education (BE) system for enhanced learning is an enriching addition to educating students in pre-K to 12th grade. BE body-mind exercises promote student health, happiness, peace, productivity, creativity and academic achievement. In the U.S., BE is now taught in 194 schools to 13,725 students by 549 teachers (trained by PowerBrain Education LLC).

Brain Education (BE) is the next frontier for education because it focuses on the brain, where all activity originates and from which one's life state and performance are determined. According to its founder, Ilchi Lee (http://www.ilchi.com), president of the University of Brain Education (South Korea), "Developing the brain as the core of education involves awakening the student's inner self, where innate human capacities can be enhanced. Thus, BE enhances student learning, health, emotional, social and ethical behavior, thus improving their educational performance and life quality."

BE offers a new educational approach for students in pre-K-12 grades. In the United States during 2007, PowerBrain Education LLC (http://www.powerbrainedu.com), Sedona, Arizona, has delivered BE training to 549 teachers in 194 schools, who are teaching BE to 13,725 students, daily or a few times weekly.

Lee reports the results of BE programs in three different types of American schools:

1. Urban Detroit: Charter School of African-Americans. Its 36 teachers teach a 15-minute BE module every morning. Students have come to realize that they have the power of choice, and have control over their brain to make choices and their behavior results from their choices. Now many students say, "I want to go to school to enjoy BE." BE is seen as fun. Research at the school showed substantial improvement in students' emotional behavior, conduct problems, hyperactivity, peer conflicts and sociability.

2. Rural New Mexico: High School on Native American Reservation. BE classes were taught by one instructor in the school dormitory, three times weekly for three months. Because of the BE training, the high student dropout rate, high detention rate, and many fights in the dormitory - all fell to zero. To the surprise of the administration and faculty, students started visiting the school's counselors for the first time.

3. Suburban Long Island, NY: Elementary School. BE was taught daily by one teacher who had been trained in BE. In his classes, the results have been dramatic. With greater harmony among them, students went from fighting to smiling, expressing humor and playing BE games. Easily frustrated students learned to focus on their body's energy, look inside, and take think rather than react impulsively.

Emerging as the Industrial Revolution began, the "factory model" of education, which emphasizes orderliness and obedience, still dominates our schools. In the 1940s, measuring behaviors and reward-and-punish methods became accepted. Lee points out, "Students sit in rows of desks and teachers 'teach to the tests.' However this educational system is increasingly out of step in our global-scope, information-rich, technology-powered and fast-changing world."

Lee further observes, "The current educational system is burdened by self-centered students who resist social responsibility; youth with no sense of purpose and meaning in life; bullying and school violence generating fear and alienation; and cognitive-oriented content to the exclusion of innate capacities, such as wellness, joy, peace and respect for the Earth.

Meeting the educational needs the 21st century, the BE approach is distinguished by these attributes: brain focus (to deal with the source of all thinking, emotions and behavior), inner-self directed (to develop empathy, altruism, self-confidence and compassion), power of choice (to steer the development of the brain's functions), overall well-being (to integrate physical, emotional, social and learning situations), and self-efficacy (to build self-esteem, creativity and achievement).

Research studies in the U.S. and South Korea have found that BE promotes behavioral, emotional and cognitive improvements, including positive effects on learning efficiency, multiple intelligences, and stress-coping strategies.

How is BE used in schools that have adopted it? BE does not replace the school curriculum; it is inserted in it to improve how students related to the existing educational system. There are 30 BE modules that cover the full school year; one module can be taught each week. Lee states, "Because BE is flexible and designed to adapt to the needs of each school, it can be implemented to support the school's objectives." BE methods have been used a few times weekly, daily or even more often in these ways: to jump-start the day, after lunch, before a test, in the transition between subjects, and when students seem lethargic or hyperactive.

Lee invites us, "Imagine a world in which all schools, all over the world, have integrated BE into their programs, and with the positive results that students increase their motivation, capability and performance. Then, when they become adults, they can contribute to creating a world of greater health, happiness, productivity, innovation and peace."

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Larry Rosenberg

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