NLP For Education


NLP`s practical applications include understanding how we learn, developing strategies for both students and teachers, using our five senses, and making use of accelerated learning techniques. Through NLP, trainers, teachers and parents can gain concrete methods for helping students to do well.

Classroom teachers are incorporating key pieces of the NLP approach into their teaching methods and classroom management. One of the key beliefs of NLP is that we all have different strategies for learning. A basic knowledge and understanding of NLP can help teachers and learning mentors appeal to each individual child’s style of learning. We all want each child to learn to the best of their ability. Understanding whether children best respond to visual, auditory or kinesthetic instructions enables the teacher to cater to the pupils needs. NLP can also be used amongst pupils and staff in any conflict resolution, which will produce a flexible, cooperative and creative working environment.

Improving attendance of a school refuser through rapport

I have used the NLP with a case of a family with a history of non attendance which is always blamed on ongoing medical issues. The child in the study is a year 10 girl who has struggled with her social skills and also often reports of being bullied and having no friends. The parents are happy to accept that she is unwell and often take her to the GP for minor reasons.

I spent the first meeting gaining rapport with the family through body language and using different language skills to make common ground. This was very successful and they seemed to respond to me well, they started to engage with me by telephone which had not happen in the past although were still unsure of any school staff.

After two meetings gaining rapport with both the parents and the child we moved on to dealing with the bullying issue, we had long discussions on what had gone on in the past and that it had kept happening to the girl. I then started to discuss “if you always do what you have always done you will get what you have always got”. I said to the family that this did not excuse the other Child’s behavior but we talked about different strategies and the way in which the incidents had happened. We then discussed with the child how things could change, i.e. not to go to certain areas of the field where the problems often arose, she often did not attend school the next day and said she was unwell without telling anybody that this was really down to the bullying issue. The rapport with the family also allowed me to discuss the medical issues and if there was anything that the parents could do differently to support their daughter with her health. Again we talked about making a change to how the family dealt with the health issues and this empowered the parents to seek other advice on the Medical issues and not to accept what they we first told, this lead to a referral to a separate consultant for an undiagnosed condition, and support with this.

Then talked to her about what it would feel like not to be bullied and after a few more sessions talked about being able to remember that feeling to make her feel better with herself. I did discuss making an anchor for this feeling but this did not really work, as although she could see the point, she could not understand the anchor point. I wanted to try and give her a coping mechanism so that she had something, to rely on in these incidents although she did not want to do this, I do feel that it made her think about the incidents differently.

After a few weeks her attendance at school started to improve and the incidents of bullying did drop and were reported to staff more regularly. I then spoke to her about how things were going, the whole family thought things were better, although the incidents of bullying have not stopped she has a strategy to deal with it.

This process has given her the ability to see why she needs to attend school and deal with her difficulties. Her attendance has continued to improve with less incidents of non-attendance. I feel that the students self esteem is going up and she is happy to talk about her feelings to others around her. I asked if she would like to try a timeline to see where she could be if she continued doing well with this, the family agreed the process would be interesting and the girl started where she is now and then said she wanted to eventually run a stables. We worked on this as the final goal and went along the process of what she needed to get to this goal in small chunks of time. School, College for business Studies, Specialist training and what this would look like, sound like and feel like.

I have learnt that using some of the NLP tool can have a great impact on a family’s life. I feel that I have had to use a variation of the tools to achieve this, but I feel that most of them have worked well and I would use them

NLP and Teaching: Case Study

How has NLP helped you?

NLP has helped me adapt my presentations to different audiences and representation systems. I base my teaching on visual, auditory and kinesthetic exercises and take into account differing maps of the world. Before a course, I can also "choose the right state" by anchoring it. Limited belief changing exercise, part of the Master Practitioner course, is also helpful. I now know that some people can be "towards" and others "away from" focused.

I also coach students on their motivation, methodology and on occasion on personal issues when needed. In that respect, NLP is also very useful for active listening since it helps to focus both on verbal and non verbal and more specifically to decode non verbal signals. Teaching can be stressful. I used to make mountains out of molehills. NLP helps me to be more focused on "here and now" and choose my states as mentioned above. I have noticed that when under stress/pressure, my rep system is very much visual and if in such moments I can concentrate on sensations, being more kinesthetic, this has an immediate soothing effect on me.

Generally, the Meta Mirror has helped me to manage stress in difficult relationships. Being able to disassociate in this case enables me to be more objective and efficient. As with maps and territories, the Meta Mirror can help to develop 'non-judgment' and be in other people's shoes. I often practice meditation.

Problems with exams

A University student had failed his first year exams. An issue he wanted to resolve was anxiety prior to the exam and an inability to recall information whilst sitting the exam.

The consultations involved evaluation of his representational systems and identification of the key learning method. This then led to an adjustment in the way he revised to maximize retention of information. A previous 'bad experience, was managed using a fast phobia technique. A 'concentration zone dome' was created in the exam room, together with mental rehearsal (including the daily use of an MP3 recording) and methods to better access information stored in the unconscious mind. Rapport between conscious mind and unconscious mind, circle of excellence and anchoring and personal history change helped profoundly over the student.

The result was a better emotional balance in the exam room, easier recall of information, more effective revision .....and passing the retake. Are you the type of person that relishes the challenge an exam brings, or does the very word ‘test’ send you into a frenzy of worry? Many intelligent people simply freeze in exam situations and information that was readily available to the mind before the exam is suddenly locked away. In this article, I will outline easy to use NLP tools that, when adopted, will take the stress out of exams, making it easy to pass. As human beings we face our first tests at a very young age. Tasks like singing a song in front of relatives, performing the new dance in front of Mummy and Daddy and simple arithmetic and spelling tests are examples of early tests.

Some children thrive on showing everyone how good they are and as a consequence grow older with a positive association to tests and exams. Others feel embarrassment, perhaps are ridiculed and end up with a negative association to tests. From the associations formed with early tests, we create generalizations that either support us in exam conditions or bring us out in a cold sweat. We create mental filters that mediate our experience, so in the present day state we run mental programs as a result of the filtering of internal and external stimuli. The output will be exam anxiety or exam confidence (or perhaps somewhere in the middle) depending on the individual. Generally, anxiety and studying for exams do not go well together.

However, according to Csikszentmihalyi (1990) a low level of anxiety, combined with focus and heightened awareness are components of a ‘flow’ state. However high levels of anxiety while revising or taking the test itself severely limits recall and flow of information I would suggest an overall strategy for passing exams that includes being aware of the bigger goal, visualizing success, creating an optimal learning state, planning study and being a smart reviser. In the paragraphs below I will outline each step. the goal. Start to think about the benefits of passing the exam and what you can do with the qualification. Visualize the goal beyond the goal in the steps below to create some excitement and momentum.

Create a positive future history (visualize success)

Many people experience exam anxiety because they mentally picture the struggles they will experience with the exam and in some cases people imagine themselves failing and then wonder why they experience anxiety! You will reverse this process; you will create strong representations of passing, and set up in your circuitry what the legendary Muhammad Ali used to call a ‘future history’.

Before you begin the revision process, get in your head what you are capable of doing here, and that is passing the exam. A visualization process is helpful for this. Access your relaxed and open state (see paragraph below) and let your eyes close. Now create a movie or play in front of you. You are the star of this play, you are centre stage. The scene you are creating ahead shows you, in all your glory, having passed the exam. Notice all the qualities present in passing this exam. Now get a sense as you step into the scene, you see the world around you at the time of passing the exam you feel the feelings linked to passing. You are a very successful and you have passed.

Now become the director of the movie.

Mentally step back out of the experience and make any changes to the scene that will make it even more appealing and wind the clock forward so you can also see the goal beyond the goal, the benefits of passing this exam.

Get in touch with the big picture

For many, exams are an aggravation that consume time and cause stress. This style of thinking causes you to mentally limit yourself on the hassles of the exam and preparation work. It’s better to think at a much higher level, and that is about what happens once you pass the exam. In the last issue of Rapport Magazine, I wrote about the goal beyond

Take lots of breaks; Research has shown that time frames between 30 minutes to 45 minutes are optimal session for peak concentration

You know how you learn and remember best, use what has worked for you. Below are some smart revision tips:
Take lots of breaks; Research has shown that time frames between 30 minutes to 45 minutes are optimal session for peak concentration. Longer sessions and your mind wanders.

Plan your study

Review all the material that is on the syllabus and likely to be in the exam. Chunk the material into topics and themes and create a revision timetable. If you have multiple exams, this is an important task to ensure you give sufficient times to key topics and subjects. When you are revising a subject or topic within the subject, stay on topic giving it your full attention, rather than drifting randomly through material you did previously. So you can re-create your bedroom posters in your mind before the exam. Some people find linkage and association useful, including in the visualization the other items in your bedroom and associating the items. Engage all the senses. Dance, sing, act, shout, do whatever you have to absorb the information at a deep level. All of the processes in this article are easy to implement with no formal NLP training.

To really capture peak states of performance for exam passing, I would encourage people to learn NLP. NLP has a series of games and principles designed to maximize unconscious performance. NLP is a system developed to use the whole mind for reading and assimilating the written word at amazingly fast speeds with heightened recall. Combining these two methodologies for exam passing gets excellent results. I would encourage every learner to follow the simple steps here to make exam passing easy. Be aware of the goal beyond the goal, create a positive future history, create a useful learning state, plan your study and be a smart reviser. Adapt the processes in this article to suit how you learn best. Enjoy passing those exams.

Focus attention by looking at spot ahead of you, perhaps on the wall.

Adjust your breathing. Breathe in through your nose, hold, and exhale slowly through your mouth. The in/out breath ratio should be 1:2, meaning your out breath is twice as long as your in breath. Access peripheral vision by practicing it you can improve. As you hold your attention on the spot on the wall, expand your visual awareness so that you are simultaneously aware of the area one meter either side of the spot while still being aware of the spot. Do this by expanding your visual attention without moving your eyes. Now expand your visual awareness further to so you are simultaneously aware of two meters either side of the spot while still being aware of the spot. Then expand your awareness so you are visually aware of everything ahead of you. (Optional) Focus your attention on the space. Use another part of your mind in the break, do a physical activity or mediation, so that you return to your studies refreshed.

Use music, (if it helps you learn). Research has shown the rhythm of rock music and classical music helps people access an accelerated learning state. Take non-linear revision notes. Use lots of colors, symbols and acronyms. Mind maps, spider diagrams and shape charts are all useful. Use big sheets of paper. I suggest A1 poster size, for use as below: Decorate your bedroom with your posters; Take your Mind Maps (or other form of non linear notes) and stick them on your bedroom walls. Just as you tuck up in bed, review one poster. Close your eyes and picture it in your mind. When you wake up, picture it before you look at it. The next night repeat the process with another poster AND the one

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