Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sharing Research

Feel free to share your research here. You can also post your power points (if you are using any) and further material that you don't have time to show us in your 50-minute presentation.

If you can't decide on a topic - this is your opportunity to try out one - and then write about another.

NOTE: Please do NOT write about the same topic here and in the post "your presentations." However, you are welcome to comment on different topics from the list below!

Here the topics:
1.           Creating Positive Change/ A Better World
2.          The Power of Art/Music/Dance/Poetry/ etc.
3.          The Influence of Mind on Matter
4.          The Role(s) of Dreams
5.          Creativity in Daily Life
6.          Finding Happiness / Fulfillment
7.          Mirrors and Masks
8.          Accepting Yourself, Accepting Your Infinity
9.          Cymatics – or: the World as Vibration
10.        Magnetism
11.         Colours
12.        Crystals
13.        Sacred Geometry
14.        The Elements
15.        Magic
16.        Language and Thought
17.        Metaphors as Doors to the Unknown
18.        Media / Mass Media / Social Media
19.        Advertisement and Behaviour Control
20.       Consumerism and Its Effects on the World
21.        Our Responsibility as Humans
22.        Alternative Models of Education
23.        Civil Disobedience as Vehicle of Change
24.       Swimming Against the Stream
25.        Forms of Leadership
26.       Relationships
27.        Animal Relations, Animal Rights
28.       Going Vegan
29.       Atlantis / Lemuria
30.       Exploring Other Dimensions
31.        Death  / Near Death Experiences
32.        Time / Time Travelling
33.        Extraterrestrial Life
34.       Parallel Realities/ Parallel Universes
35.        Artificial Intelligence / Robots
36.       Technological Innovations
37.        Alternative Medicine / Ways of Healing
38.       A Shift in Paradigm
39.       The Interconnectedness of the World
40.       Creating World Peace


  1. The power of music on the human mind has been a well-contested subject among scientists and educators alike. Among the more recent well-known music advocacy projects that have become the subject of widespread controversy are the “Mozart Effect”, which is now widely believed to be based on misinterpretation and exaggeration. Many mothers will play music to their unborn children aloud. Scientists and many mothers believe that this practice will affect the baby, including fostering self-discipline, enhancing language and arithmetic skills, as well as improving physical wellness. Also, the media has exaggerated and distorted the claims. However, I find it hard to believe that it can affect the child's brain that greatly. Just because a baby is listening music doesn't necessary correlate with better intelligences in the future. It is unlikely the music or any other type of stimulation enhances an unborn infant's intelligence. While listening to music is beneficial and relaxing to the mother there is no way that either of these activities will make your child smart. Intelligence, while it may be affected by that of the parents, is mainly something that is learned, you can't be born with it. There's nothing wrong with having young people listen to classical music, but it's not going to make them smarter.

  2. My research essay discussed the importance and benefits of alternative education with reasons drawn from the inhumanities created by our current North American education system.

    Alternative and holistic education is based on the principle that students are able to find their own identity and purpose in life through connecting to the community, nature, and humanitarian values. It has become increasingly popular in the midst of various educational reforms, as individuals now recognize the importance of not only preparing students for success in academics, but also allowing them to learn about the challenges of living as a whole. This is essential in building assets and virtues such as social responsibility and compassion.

    With the negative repercussions caused by the current education system, it is important to also begin thinking of a way to change and create a new and holistic approach to education that will allow students to find their own meaning in life. (It was interesting to research this topic and find out more about the new and creative approaches to education as it does serve many benefits).

    According to Godin (2012), we invest thousands of hours exposing millions of students to fiction and literature but end up training most of them to never again read for fun. When reading a book is automatically associated with a test, students begin to have lack exploration and will no longer pursue knowledge for its own sake. One of the alternative solutions to this problem is to create more creative and fun activities for students that will foster their personal growth and will promote curiosity (an important trait that seems to have been lost as individuals grow older).

    Schools in Taiwan have already begun implementing these ideas through different teaching to learning approaches including cooperative learning, critical thinking, the application of multiple intelligence theory, small class sizes, mixed-ability, mixed-aged, and a less authoritative, facilitator role of the teacher (Forbes, 1996).

    In addition, Japanese reformist, Kuniyoshi, has created a system of learner-centered teaching for active education that is already prevalent in many of the alternative schools in Taiwan. This approach encourages exam-free humanistic evaluation, journaling in recording students’ foreign exposure, group discussions, group presentations, role play, and outdoor visitations and outing activities (Lee, 2000). Through implementing holistic and therefore more creative approaches in teaching, students are able to learn more about themselves, and are found to have more self-respect and self-confidence in building healthier relationships and promoting positive social behaviors.

  3. Also, according to Soares (2013), every individual has their own intelligence and interests and it is important for holistic education to place an emphasis on the development of these skill sets. When blending academics with creative and fun activities, students are exposed to experiences that enable them to think, create, and question the work required. In turn, this will allow individuals to apply and retain personal identities (Forbes, 2012), and allow them to be confident problem solvers and creators of change that is needed in this world.

    An example of a curriculum already implemented in Taiwanese schools, is a holistic approach to their physical education. Yoga, and the spiritual arts have been placed into the system, in which students are encouraged to think about themselves as a person in order to find their own mission in life, and what they truly want to do. Not only do these activities make education appear more appealing for students, it also contributes to the improvement of teaching practices and allows educators to realize the benefits and importance of physical and mental growth. The continuation of spiritual and creative activities will increase the students’ interaction with nature, animals, and other human beings and has been seen to prepare learners to solve personal, social, national and international problems (Forbes, 1996, Lillard, 1999).

    Alternative education has been seen to reclaim the fullness of our humanity—the moral, aesthetic, emotional, psychological and spiritual dimensions of human existence that allow us to become more than the mere processors of information (Liu, 2011).