Time For Revision
Welcome back to our Newsletters for 2022. It has been a long journey from our first offering in March of 2017 up until the end of last year, December 2021. In that time we have published 186 free editions. A lot has changed over these years, some dramatic and sequential such as the impact of COVID and others gradual and progressive like the emergence of the punitive demand for accountability. The first exacerbation, the pandemic is a problem shared across the community including the unfair increase in teachers’ workload that is a burden placed on a single part of our community; the teachers. So, we go into a new year with teachers being subjected to even more pressure without any significant increase in assistance.
One major demand on teachers that was there before the pandemic and has been there since the beginning of organised education is the management of classroom behaviour. Helping teachers address this issue has underpinned all of our work and it will continue to be that way. I believe it is time we reflected on the work we have done, revisit crucial issues and create, if you like a second edition of many of the significant subjects integrating new material. In this essay we will examine the benefits of having a calm and safe classroom.
The brain is at the heart of all behaviour, if not the brain than what? Our approach accepts the thesis proposed by Richard Dawkins in his seminal work the Selfish Gene and that is our fundamental drive in life is to survive and reproduce. To survive requires an optimal set of environmental conditions that support life. These conditions allow us to maintain our body in a steady state of internal biological, physical, social and intellectual equilibrium a condition referred to as homeostasis. When the perceived conditions of the external environment will not satisfy our needs we are in a state of disequilibrium. When we are in this state our cognitive energy focuses on behaving in a way to return to equilibrium.
We have what is referred to as a triune brain, that is three levels that have developed sequentially over time. The first is the brain stem and mid brain, often referred to as the reptilian brain. This is the area that deals with our biological and physical demands. Things like heart-beat, blood pressure, balance and other body motions (see illustration below).