Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Review - Strength of Mind: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Review - Strength of Mind: News

Article excerpt

A book on how to boost students' resilience is essential reading.

I believe that a student's academic success is inextricably linked to their emotional well-being, and that equipping students with strategies to manage their emotional health will result in better learners.

So the handbook Success in Schools is, in my view, essential reading. Its author, Tamba Roy, has been a headteacher at two schools, and is an education consultant and practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming. In this book, he has used his knowledge and experience to create activities that promote emotional intelligence.

The activities are practical visualisation tools that can be used by parents and teachers to encourage students to become more resilient, with the aim of helping them to achieve greater success at school. The 15 creatively named tools, suitable for students of all ages, include "brilliant breathing" (breathing techniques for relaxation), "the smasher" (visualising a negative self-belief on a wall and smashing it down) and "shield" (imagining a shield that repels problems).

These tools encourage children to develop strategies for recognising and managing barriers to success, such as low self-esteem, fear of failure, poor attention span and low motivation. The activities may sound as if they are straight out of a therapy session, but who can argue against the need to encourage students to become emotionally healthy, independent learners?

The book also contains insights from neuroscience. An understanding of how the brain works could be valuable for students, and Roy promotes the idea that intelligence is a trait that can be developed with hard work (as supported by Carol Dweck and her theory of growth versus fixed mindset). …

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