TED Conversations

Rebecca Kaplan

STEM Coordinator, Fraser Woods Montessori School


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Educating students about how their neurobiology impacts the way they feel can improve lives.

At a time in their lives where changes in their bodies often seem completely beyond their own control, teaching them techniques to manage their feelings (and therefore their destiny!) will change their lives.From experience, kids are very interested in how their own bodies and minds work, although life can seem very puzzling or challenging to them. Teaching them to recognize patterns in their feelings or behaviors that might just NOT be related to their character, but instead their physiology, is empowering in a way that is captivating to students.


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  • Oct 10 2013: I think that what affects people far more are psychological problems of various kinds rather than anything created through neurobiology. If it is neurobiology which gives rise to the psychological problem then this is part of the psychology aspect.Note that I am NOT talking about psychological illnesses of the severe type but simply those aspects of the human character such as prejudices, habits etc which reside in everyone. These sorts of things are almost unconscious nowhere near the sort of obvious creation of symptoms you might notice with severe psychological illnesses. As such they are subtle and hard to notice by most people. Even if they are noticed and believed to be something which needs to be addressed by the person involved they are often ignored by them or put down as part of who the are. The only way to address such problems is in awareness of self, that is in being aware of these habits and prejudices ruling your life in terms of almost reflex reactions. Only then can they be addressed, its a kind of constant alertness that is required to solve such problems. This can change a life in a deep way.
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      Oct 10 2013: You are right! It really is all about being self-aware. Bringing the knowledge to students that it is POSSIBLE to be more self aware, and that increased self-awareness can result in a feeling of greater well-being, especially when you know you can influence the way you feel by doing simple things.

      Did you watch the talk by Amy Cuddy? i can't recommend it enough! A friend used her techniques just before a big meeting the other day, and she said it really worked!
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      Oct 10 2013: Also, how do you suggest we teach kids to become more self aware? I started with the Amy Cuddy talk and we always talk about learning styles, but what else could we do?

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