Slide 1

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
Viktor Frankl

Slide 2

A person is a fluid process, not a fixed and static entity; a flowing river of change, not a block of solid material; a continually changing constellation of potentialities, not a fixed quantity of traits.  
Carl Rogers


Education comes from the Latin prefix e- and the verb ducere, meaning to lead forth. Education is about creating the condition where the student can lead forth his/her full potential
Patrick Akrivos

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The disciple in children

I THINK I was the worst student of Latin in my class, something that now, years later, I dearly regret. Examining a word's source and identifying its original meaning is often most enlightening. And so it is with the word discipline, which nowadays has a negative connotation and is understood as the enforcement of order, often through the use of punishment.
However, a closely related word may give further insight into the essence of discipline, namely the word disciple, which in Latin as well as in English today is understood to mean a learner or pupil. Yet disciplining children is seldom understood as instructing and teaching them, which poses the greatest of challenges.

Wrong, wrong, wrong
"The education of our children today is largely mistake-centred,” Rudolf Dreikurs, an American psychiatrist and educator, wrote in his book Discipline Without Tears. “They are exposed to a sequence of discouraging experiences, both at home and at school. Everyone points out what they did wrong, as well as what they could do wrong. We deprive our children of the only experience that can really promote their growth and development - the experience of utilising their own strengths."
Say little Johnny comes home looking pale. His sadness and frustration at his low grade on his history test is buried under layers of fear of his parents’ reaction - and the disciplinary action that is sure to follow. At best he will get away with something along the lines of "You could have done better", or an exasperated "Why?" as if the parent himself had received the poor grade.
But inspired parents first address the child's feelings. "You seem to feel sad, even disappointed at your grade," the parent might say, and then simply wait and listen to what the child has to say.
Focus on positive
Next, the parent could review the test with the child and comment only on the segments where the child did well. "Wow, you got six out of 10 on this question. This must have really interested you, to remember the answer". Then, sign the exam for the teacher and leave it at that.
The parents in question reported that this simple strategy did not only bring them closer to their child, but the boy actually spent more time studying, being more relaxed in writing tests and in fact enjoyed learning.
Maybe the word discipline needs to reclaim its original Latin meaning, namely to teach children and inspire them to learn.
Patrick Akrivos is a counsellor and psychotherapist