Friday, December 02, 2005

40] Brain-based English Teacher

EDUCATING THE WHOLE BRAIN IN AN AGE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY : THE ENGLISH TEACHER AS A “BRAIN SURGEON” Azly Rahman Universiti Utara Malaysia Brief Paper for the Proceedings of Universiti Utara Malaysia Seminar in Research organized by the Center for Research and Consultancy 15 November, 1995, Convention Center, Universiti Utara Malaysia.
Future shock -- the disease of change -- can be prevented. But it will take drastic social, even Alvin Toffler, Future Shock (1970) Already we have fallen under its dominion. The year 2000 is operating like a powerful magnet on humanity, reaching down into the 1990s and intensifying the decade. It is amplifying emotions, accelerating change, heightening awareness, and compelling us to reexamine ourselves, our values and our institutions. (2) John Naisbitt, Megatrends 2000 (1990) A specture is haunting the world view of teaching and learning as we approach the next millennium. Within the last few decades, we have witnessed a major advance in the field of cognitive psychology in which there is rapidly growing body of literature which attempts to further conceptualize the working of the three pound human brain as more than a computer. Research in the field of neuroscience, cognitive psychology, and of late, in the field of classroom management are all pointing in the direction of synthesis with the rapid fission of “sociology of the future”; a novel field which attempts to describe the manner in which the human species will continue to survive in this age of “complexity and chaos” (see Appendix I). The purpose of this paper is to invite future educational policymakers, curriculum strategists, in general, and administrators and educators specifically to begin thinking about the cognitive processes involved in educating the human mind. Specifically, this paper, (as the title metaphorically suggests) is an invitation for the teachers of English to become “brain surgeons” who will take into consideration the complex innerworkings of the human mind and consequently engineer a progressive change as we enter another paradigm shift in the teaching of English. As this paper describes the “shape of things to come”, it rests upon the following well-researched assumptions that : (i) The survival of English Language Teaching is contingent upon the multitude of features characteristic of what is currently hailed as “The Decade of the Brain”. “Survival” here means “the ability of the system to sustain cognitively” given a progressive diet of higher cognitive skills. (ii) The nature of learning and teaching is inherently that of change. The way knowledge is viewed has always been constantly changing and as we approach the twenty-first century, change is all the more rapid and violent. Thus, the teaching of English must also be oriented towards change. (iii) The maxim “Knowledge is Power” coined by the British philosopher Sir Francis Bacon is all the more true in this age of ultra sophistication in information technology. The approach towards acquiring, managing, and disseminating knowledge must be treated more systematically and effectively in order to treat knowledge as a resource of power. (iv) The teaching of English albeit infused with political rhetorics of excellence as well as with an array of programmes for reform, may not effectively produce the greatest number of young intellectual elates who will be anable to cope with or bring about change in the next millennium. In other words, our school system is not yet a conductive breeding ground for future strategic and creative thinkers. Based on the above assumptions which are by no means exhaustive, I shall first discuss them as they relate to teaching of English. The second part of this paper will outline several philosophical and pedagogical considerations which can be made in order to sustain the progressiveness of the means and methods of teaching English. In short, this paper is titled “Educating the Whole Brain in an Age of Information Technology : The English Teacher as “A Brain Surgeon” for the prime reason that the thinking of this new age revolves around the notion that in order to progress one needs to understand the nature of brain-based learning in the teaching of English and consequently engineer a paradigm shift in our system so that we will be ready to face the challenges of the next century. The English Teacher hence needs not merely to be equipped with the art and science of teaching but also with knowledge of the current trends in our understanding of the brain (see Appendix IIa). THE DECADE OF THE BRAIN It is only within the last three decades that our understanding of the complexity of the human brain has got into its infancy with the earliest Nobel Prize-winning research of Roger Sperry of the California Institute of Technology and Robert Ornstein of the Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge.3 Tony Buzan, a proponent of brain-based research writes about the breakthrough : In California laboratories in the late 1960s and early 1970s, research was begun which was to change the history of our appreciation of the human brain, ... In summary, what Sperry and Ornstein discovered was that the two sides of your brain, or your two cortices, which are linked by a fantastically complex network of nerve fibres called the Corpus Collosum deal dominantly with different types of mental activity. (4) Buzan further writes of the discovery of the laterality of the human brain and how each side governs the functioning of the body : In most people the left cortex deals with logic, words, reasoning, number, linearity, and analysis etc., the so-called “academic activities”. While the left cortex is engaged in these activities, the right cortex is more in the “alpha wave” or resting state. The right cortex deals with rhythm, images and imagination, colour, daydreaming, face recognition, and pattern or map recognition. (5) Sperry and Ornsteinís research was further continued into the 1980s by Professor Eran Zaidel in which he found out that “each hemisphere also is capable of a more subtle range of mental activities.” (6) (see Appendix IIb on the dominant Processes of the two sides of the cortex. In another work on the complexity of the human mind, Jeremy Campbell wrote in The Grammatical Man : Information, Entropy, Language and Life : The basic inequalities of styles in the brain are well known. One hemisphere, usually the left, is good at handling things in sequence. It specializes in numbers and analytical thought and plays the dominant role in speech. The other hemisphere is better at dealing with space, shapes, pictures. It makes multiple and simultaneous connections among items of information, rather than treating them sequentially. The right side tends to use, a “top down” strategy, processing information as whole, perceiving its full meaning, rather than approaching it “bottom-up,” using the parts to construct the whole, which is often more than the sum of its parts. (7) Since the earliest Sperry-Ornstein research, brain science research has continued to move forward. Volumes of research and popular publications continued to be generated to reflect the propensity and immanence of the subject matter.8 Tony Buzan, in his well-received book on brain-based study techniques, Use Your Head, put it well when he said that your mind is better than you think. A recent editorial in a Singapore-based left brain/right brain newsletter went on further to state that “95% of all that has ever been known about the brain has only been discovered in the last ten years.”9 Futurists recommending policy changes in virtually all spheres of human endeavours outline the following “mega-brain” trends which will represent the features of this emerging paradigm of the new page. Specifically, they are: 1. Brain-based training 2. Brain-based education 3. Mental Literacy 4. Mind Mapping 5. Renaissance of the Arts 6. The Mega Brain 7. Global Intelligence/Brain 8. Space Exploration 9. Global Peace (10) The scope of this paper does not permit an extended discussion of each and every scenario presented, which together signify the advent of The Decade of the Brain in summary, they represent the proliferation of the new attitude in thinking about the brain. (See Appendix III on the new mode of learning). This is the prevailing neuroscience ideology in most of the advanced and supra-advanced nations such as the United States, United Kingdom, the European countries, and Singapore, to name a few. Those acquainted with the work of Tony Buzan and his Centurion Curriculum in the United Kingdom, The Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) in the United States, the astronaut Edgar Mitchellís Institute of Notice Sciences and Robert Ornstein’s Institute for the Study of Human knowledge and a multitude of others, will agree that brain-based training and education is a reality which is fast making itself felt in the spheres of modern living. It is within this context and assumption that a revolution in thinking, a paradigm shift, is needed in the way we look at the many decades of the teaching of English. A NEW WAY OF LOOKING AT “KNOWLEDGE” An abundance of literature predominantly that which has emerged from the field of the sociology of knowledge, hailed the advent and maturity of “The Age of Information”. The Father of Artificial intelligence, M. I. T. professor of computer science, Professor Herbert Simon envisioned decades ago the coming of the computer age. Futurist Alvin Toffler in his work Future Shock as well as in his other two works in the future-analysis trilogy, The Third Wave and Powershift reiterated that the nature of knowledge is that of constant change. Knowledge is commodity and subject to obsolescence. Perhaps it is not premature to say that what is studied in the science and humanities curriculum in our system consists of knowledge which is forty to fifty years outdated! The knowledge “explosion” characteristic of The Information Age has rendered it so and any learning system’s failure to deal; with knowledge dissemination at a faster and effective rate will have dire intellectual consequences. Teachers of English in this case, cannot hope to produce first-rate intellectuals resilient to the changing nature of knowledge and constantly aware of the changing trends in society. To illustrate the point above, the scenario in our schools is such that, what is taught is generally from the viewpoint of something which is near obsolescence. In the study of Mathematics for example, whilst the dominant orientation is that of the Euclidean Geometry (the study of circles, squares, triangles, etc.) advance research and development in this field has rendered the possibility of a paradigm shift. Factual geometry (i.e. superimposition of geometric shapes based on a single mathematical concept) is now in fashion. Mathematics is no longer that of plane-geometry but pattern-like computer-generated design used widely for example, in measuring the Earth’s topography. Another case in point is in the study of Geography where, instead of looking at single nation states for analyses of their geographic activities, global political economic and historical factors are taken into consideration when studying a nation-stateís economic activities. Various other forms of integrated learning global in nature, in other fields of study, should take into consideration the exponential rate by which knowledge “explodes” so that the curriculum as well as those we attempt to educate can always be in tune with the issue of knowledge becoming obsolete. The maxim “ideas move nation” commonly used by many a political scientist will be all the more valid if those in control of managing knowledge or ideas are aware of the latest developments in the changing nature of knowledge. Harvard philosopher of science, Professor Thomas Kuhn, in his classic work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, analyzed this phenomena as a shift in world-view when the one proceeding can no longer provide a logical consistency in rationalizing its existence.11 In short, the Kuhnian analysis asserts that when too many questions are asked, the mode of viewing that particular world view loses its foundation and hence, that world-view is forced to collapse to make way for a new one. The latest example is in the field of world politics whence orthodox Communism collapsed out of its own internal contradictions and hence gave added advantage to the onward march of modern-day “Reaganomics” brand of capitalism. This in turn saw the preponderance of the “global market place of the free world” and signified for example what a Washington-based strategic analyst, Francis Fukuyama, coined as the “end of history”. The force which propelled the scientific way of thinking such as The Copernican Revolution (astronomy), The Discovery of the Double Heliz (bio-chemistry), The Computer Revolution and Cybernetics (information technology), and The Special Theory of Relativity and The Principle of Singularities (theoretical physics) is the one responsible in changing the nature of looking at knowledge. Recent work in the ìsociology of futureî characteristic of futurists such as Arthur C. Clarke, Alvin Toffler, John Naisbitt, Jacques Ellul, Lewis Mumford, Marshall McLuhan, and Edward Cornish (of the World Future Society) to name a few, has amplified the need for us to understand the complexity of knowledge as well as its development as truth and commodity. Especially relevant to this assumption that knowledge is constantly changing is the mentioning of the nature of the term “knowledge”. It has, since the last century, been subjected to various etymological and epistemological debates. On the one hand, many a philosopher would look at it as phenomena whilst on the other hand many would view it as commodity subject to the control of those who own knowledge to the control of those who own knowledge. In conclusion, it is within this context and assumption that I am suggesting another approach of looking at the process of managing and utilizing knowledge so that, “to be knowledgeable” can no longer mean “in possession of age-old facts and obsolete half-truths” but rather to mean “to be able to systematically and creatively acquire and synthesize new information for a more lasting advantage.” KNOWLEDGE IS POWER One of the worldís best-known futurists and social thinkers, Alvin Toffler, states in his latest work Powershift that “ (t)he metabolism of knowledge is moving faster” and that knowledge is constantly being reorganized by those in possession of it. Toffler attributes this phenomena to the computer revolution. He notes : The wildfire spread of the computer in recent decades has been called the single most important change in the knowledge system since the invention of writing. Paralleling this extraordinary change has come the equally astonishing spread of new networks and media for moving knowledge and its precursors, data and information. ... Had nothing else changed, these twin developments alone warrant the term knowledge revolution. (12) Our system of educating must come to terms with Toffler’s notion that “whosoever controls knowledge, controls.” The new mode of thinking should be characteristized by the deliberate and systematic effort to globalize and not to compartmentalize the curriculum and the way of transmitting knowledge. Transdisciplinary approaches to teaching should be the feature of the English Language classrooms of the future. Integrated learning,î which cuts across the curriculum should no longer be buzz-words superficially attempted but rather be the dominant, classroom practices of the next few years and beyond. Our aim should be to produce global thinkers who will be able to see “wholes” rather than ìpartsî and it will be such an aim which can help us orchestrate the teaching of the skills to control knowledge. As American educator Steven Benjamin wrote in his article “An Ideascape for Education: What Futurists Recommend,”: In the future, learning will be centered around ideas and problems, not fragmented into discrete subject areas controlled by a seven-period day. The educational futurists call for a curriculum that is activity and idea-based, a transdisciplinary one. (13) Benjamin supported such a view by attributing to the idea that ìthe complexity of todayís problem requires us to draw solutions from knowledge in a variety of fields. 14 If we juxtapose Toffler’s analysis of the impact of the Computer Revolution with Benjaminís call for the globalization of knowledge, one thing is clear : our education system needs to be introduced to be introduced to the use of data base for transdisciplinary research work. Our system may well be equipped to impart the knowledge of utilizing data bases. Thus, it is within such a context above, (that knowledge is power and those who can get wide access to computer-based knowledge, rules), that our system can produce individuals capable of managing vast storehouses of information. THE NEED TO CREATE STRATEGIC THINKERS The field of English Language teaching has been exposed to Edward de Bonoí s lateral thinking for the last few years. Thousands of dollars have been spent in such a pursuit to educate the brain to think systematically and creatively. The question is : have the efforts yielded positive results? Perhaps many of us would prefer to believe that as long as lateral thinking is taught in a vacuum and deliberate effort is not made to permeate such thinking into all the subject matters, the thinking programme in our system can malfunction. The future calls for an urgent need to create more ìphilosophersî and creative thinkers among our children. By this I mean those who can argue, criticize and rationalize logically when given any propositions, those who will be able to hold all facts tentative, challenge assumptions and synthesize arguments, facts and opinions into an eclectic mould. By this I also mean those who can create, transform, imagine, and invent. Again, according to this analysis this grave concern of the rising tide of mediocrity in thinking amongst our future leaders can be attributed to the fact that knowledge and how it is viewed is compartmentalized via a fragmented curriculum. Those entrusted to manage knowledge and transmit it may perhaps need to be trained in the advanced principles of teaching and introduced to the field of Cognitive Psychology. In other words, teachers need to be trained in this new philosophy as urgently as Socrates’ insistence for “Kings to be Philosophers.” Survival in the rapidly changing world of uncertainties -- due largely to the constant bombardment upon our senses, of the electronic and printed media -- is contingent upon the ability to think logically and creatively. To think critically is a valuable skill which needs to become second nature to our system of education. Perhaps philosophy as a subject needs to be urgently introduced in our curriculum. I believe our children can benefit enormously from the introduction of the work of great philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Confucius, Wittgenstein, Russell as well as the philosophies embedded in the great religions and their respective world views. The assumptions I have briefly discussed in the proceeding paragraphs as well as the need to understand them in the context of our education system, have one theme in common. It is that we need to get to the root of the matter in order to equip ourselves in facing the challenges of the 21st century. The root of learning and knowledge acquisition may not, in sum, lie predominantly in the means and methods of our instruction but rather in our ability to understand the wholistic nature of thinking, as well as in the role “knowledge” interplay’s with the brain. When our philosophical outlook is fragmented, the way we design our curriculum and the manner we instruct our children will also be fragmented. Hence, we will create, in the American philosopher Herbert Marcuse’s term, “one-dimensional” beings who will only be capable of constructing his/her own world views which are contrived and construed. No amount of rhetoric of excellence and no amount of programme to infuse thinking skills into the system can bring the brains we are educating towards the next century without in depth understanding of the “wholeness” of the brain. TOWARDS A PARADIGM SHIFT : PHILOSOPHY AND PEDAGOGY OF BRAIN-BASED LEARNING AND TEACHING The new learning calls for the understanding of the brain. The brain-based approach as widely written by those who have done extensive research on it, can offer educators a new way of looking at the world. Such a way is characterized by features such as “complexity”, “interrelatedness”, “unity”, “emergence”, “wholism”, “generativity” and a multitude of terms which rise from neuroscience. American educationist Sam Crowell in his article “A New Way of Thinking : The Challenge of the Future” outlines the principles of brain-based learning among which are : i) the brain processes information simultaneously ii) learning is a physiological experience; not merely a mental exercise iii) the brain organizes knowledge actively and retroactively iv) experience helps determine content of new knowledge v) the brain processes parts and whole simultaneously vii) the brain responds to the challenges but is less effective when threatened (15) A great deal of the psychological and physiological aspects of the brain need to be studied in order to understand the complexity of whole-brain learning. A theoretical understanding of this development will lead to pedagogical enrichment in that the English classrooms of the future, and in fact the entire organization of subject matter, can be structured with the knowledge and understanding of the left/right hemispheres of the brain. The mode of learning will move from traditional rote-learning to learning with the five senses which is orchestrated by the brain. Diagnostic tests to determined the laterality of the brain hemisphere should be conducted at the entry level. Teacher training and staff development should be tuned to this new development. The mode of teaching would be guided by the principles of neuroscience. Based on the above principles of neuroscience, here are some of the features of the English language teaching system which could emerge as 21st century approaches : 1. Diagnostic tests based on intelligence, attitude and laterality of the brain. 2. Brain-based method of teaching such as memory-training, concept-attainment, synectics, sense-awareness training, suggestopedia, jurisprudentially and social inquiry methods, biological science inquiry, and a plethora of other principles of teaching based on the art and science of brain-based teaching. An excellent introduction to the principles of advanced classroom management and instruction is the work of Bruce Joyce and Marsha Weils, Models of Teaching. 16 3. Study techniques based on the understanding of the functioning of the brain will be transmitted not as intervention plans but as part of the early training at the beginning of the semester of a childís entry into the system. A dominant feature of this training programme will be the teaching of mind-mapping as a note-taking skill (see Appendix Iv a, b and c for example). 4. Progressive classroom management based on creating the most highly-interactive aspect of communication. An excellent required reading for brain-based classroom management is an article by Bernice Mc Carthy “Using the 4MAT System to Bring Learning Style to Schools”. This appeared in the September 1989 issue of Educational Leadership. 17 (See Appendix V for the 4MAT system.) 5. Classroom management which reduces teacher authoritarianism and moving towards a power shift in human relations. 6. Teaching of philosophy and the increase of deliberate teaching of the types of thinking skills, such as synectics, (creativity), principles of inventing, problem solving, etc. 7. Establishment of institutes of advanced studies which will give rise to transdisciplinary teacher and student research. A trans-disciplinary research paper will be a requirement for graduation. During my three years of coordinating the MRSM Perlis’s Programme for the Academically Superior/Gifted and Talented, students were required to do a one-year transdisciplinary research paper as a requirement for graduation. 18 8. The widespread use of data base as a powerful tool for transdisciplinary research, reducing the classroom to a meeting room for ‘student researchers’. 9. An intensive programme of reading of Great Works in the Arts and Sciences so that those who graduate from this system will have been introduced to the history of ideas and especially that of scientific revolutions. 10. The widespread interest in high-cognitive games such as “Olympics of the Mind” and computer-aided mental literacy games. 11. The widespread use of outdoor techniques as a major vehicle for field work type research. (19) 12. Increasing awareness of the importance of the arts -- music, art, literature, etc., -- in the school system in order to create a full realization of the potentials of the right brain. 13. The creation of art galleries, workshops for invention, and a fine arts studio to display and perform work of students and teachers. 14. At the national level, corporations will play a more active role in their internship programmes for teachers and students. (20) 15. Departments will function as consulting groups in their respective fields of expertise. Via the school cooperative movement, they will be able to practise consulting skills and hence interact better with the outside world. This exercise will foster the growth of teacher professionalism. Teachers will be given opportunity to conduct research into brain-based teaching. Grants will be awarded for minisabbatical programmes, provided that they would not greatly interrupt the routines in school. 16. Schools will be internationalized that is there will be high schools which will be corporate members of several international groups among which those which will deal especially with studies of future trends in education. 17. English classes will be networks of this new “futuristic” movement in learning (as mentioned above) and will play a more important role in the advancement of mental literacy. 18. Students will correspond with their counterparts in other countries and “international exchange programmes with progressive schools” in the ASEAN region will be widely experienced. In the distant future this experience will be extended globally. This will increase our sensitivity towards the concept of ‘global interdependence’. This will also develop the need for the introduction of other major world languages into the system, thus opening doors to other peopleís point of view. At the national level, the system will play a more active role in promoting “multicultural understanding”. 19. The English department will have its own “effective outreach programme” so that the advanced principles of teaching and learning will be “shared with society at large”. 20. There will be an increased awareness of the issue affecting ‘the environment’ as well as those on “human rights” and “global peace”. Each school will celebrate important consciousness raising events which are celebrated globally such as Earth Day, Human Rights Day, World Literacy Year, etc. Student activists (in the progressive sense of the word) will emerge. 21. Transdisciplinary curriculum will be the major force of the system’s attempt to globalize knowledge and information. 22. A strong and effective leadership programme for students and teachers will be established in order to create leaders able to generate progressive change. Classrooms will be transformed into think tanks and will be training grounds for corporate leadership. 23. Grants and other forms of financial aid will be awarded by the government schools intending to carry out out brain-based programmes for reform such as the creation of whole brain classrooms and the staging of international-level seminars on global learning. 24. “Mental gymnasium”, “biofeedback tools”, “peak learning”, “photo reading”, “subliminal tapes”, “cybernetics”, “noetic science”, and “altered states of consciousness” will be among the plethora of buzz words which will be the jargon of the English classroom of the future. 25. High in protein - low carbohydrate diet and supplementaries will be the feature of nutrition in the system. This will increase the capability of the brain to produce more and more complex neural connections. (21) 26. Vestibular exercise will dominate the playgrounds, setting pace for the progressive move towards educating the brain through physical activity. Optimal Learning type of audio stimulus will dominate the corridors of the living and learning quarters of the system. Theta-wave type of music (the type which stabilizes the brain waves to a state conducive for learning) will be widely used in teaching all subject matter. (22) 27. A Democratic school environment based on deep respect for the individual will emerge. As corollary to this, the concept of disciplining with dignity will be fully realized. 28. A deliberate attempt to merge the study of modern science with the study of the “stations” of the human soul will be made and proliferated in preparation for a more conscious living in the Age of Information. (23) 29. Schools may become a ìMalaysian-flavoredî high-tech Summerhill and Bronx High combined in which the features of a high school of the future and an environment of real democracy will be present. 30. The age-old maxim Know Thyself imbued in Islam as well as other major philosophies “to better mankind” will be all the more realized. This maxim should be the guiding light of the next generation of strategic level creative thinkers. The list of future scenarios discussed is not exhaustive and not treated as any sort of classification. Nonetheless it represents some of the major trends we will see shifting the English language teaching system from its current pseudeo-progressive paradigm to a brain-based analytical-humanistic philosophical and pedagogical orientation. This may be the dawn of a new era in the survival of it will depend on our ability to create strategies thinkers, and creative young philosophers out of those we attempt to educate. The task is certainly large. For, anything which deals with ideals and a shift in a system and habit of thinking as well as attitude, is bound to be reactionary. Nonetheless, if we study closely the work of great social thinkers both ancient and modern -- from Socrates to Shariati -- we are bound to come to a conclusion that ideas indeed move nations and that we learn things from the past so as not to repeat historical accidents but rather, to learn from them and move to a new world view. As Stephen Hawking the foremost British physicist of this century put it in his opening chapters of A Brief History of Time, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants (Lucan, Newton, and Einstein) that this new revolution in theoretical physics is finally realized. From a careful reading of Paul Kennedy’s. The Rise and Fall of Great Powers, John Naisbittís Megatrends 2000 and Alvin Toffler’s trilogy Future Shock, The Third Wave, and Powershift we will realize that change -- be it technological, political, scientific, etc. -- is imminent and can be violent. Those who anticipate change and deal with it strategically will survive the upheavals which come about from change. We shall therefore anticipate the coming trends and design oucal action. No matter how individuals try to pace their lives, no matter what psychic crutches we offer them, no matter how we alter education, the society as a whole will still be caught on a runaway treadmill until we capture control of the accelerated thrust itself. (1) I thus conclude this “invitation to think” paper with the following passage which I oftentimes reflect upon. The great Iranian social thinker Ali ‘Shariati said in one of major speeches concerning the ideal man : He is a man whom philosphical thought does not make inattentive to the fate of mankind, and whose involvement in politics does not lead to demagoguery and fame-seeking. Science has not deprived him of the taste of faith, and faith has not paralyzed his power of thought and logical deduction. Piety has not made of him a harmless ascetic, and activism and commitment have not stained his hands with immorality. He is a man of jihad and ijtihad, of poetry and the sword, of solitude and commitment, of emotions and genius, of strength and love, of faith and knowledge. He is a man uniting all dimensions of humanity. He is a man whom life has not made a one-dimensional fractured and defeated creature, alienated from his own self. Through servitude to God, he has delivered himself from servitude to things and people, and his submission to the absolute will of God has summoned him to rebellion against all forms of compulsion. He is a man who has dissolved his transient individuality of the human race, who through the negation of self becomes everlasting. (24) I end my modest proposal with this perennial question : What then must we do? And we English teachers do not have anything to lose, except our Ignorance! REFERENCES Benjamin, Steve. “An Ideascape for Education : What Futurists Recommend.” Educational Leadership, September 1989, p. 10. Buzan, Tony. Use Your Head. London : BBC Books 1990. Campbell, Jeremy. Grammatical Man : Information Entropy, Language, and Life. New York : Simon and Schuster, 1982. Crowell, Sam. “A New Way of Thinking : The Challenge of the Future” Educational Leadership, September 1989, p.62. “Future View : Mega Brain Trends to Watch”. Hamilton, Stephen F. and Mary Agnes. “A Progress Report on Apprenticeships.” Educational Leadership, March 1992, pp. 44-47. Hammerman, Donald R., et. al. Teaching in the Outdoors. Danville, Ill : IIP, 1985. Joyce, Bruce and Weils, Marsha. Models of Teaching. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey : Prentice Hall. 1980. “Keep Your Brains in the Driver’s Seat - Feed it Right.î Left Brain/Right Brain Newsletter. July/August 1992, p.5. Kuhn, Thomas, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1970. (London : Pan Books, 1992)p.1 Tony Buzan, Use Your Head (London : BBC Books, 1990) p. 17. Ibid. Ibid. Ibid. Jeremy Campbell, Grammatical Man : Information, Entropy, Language and life (New York : Simon and Schuster, 1982) p.239. Robert Sylwester, ìAn Educatorís Guide to Books on the Brain,î in Educational Leadership, September 1989, pp. 79-80. “Future View Megabrain Trends to Watch,” in Left Brain/Right Brain Newsletter, March 1992. Ibid. Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1970). Alvin Toffler, Powershift (New York : Bantam Books, 1990) p. 419. Steve Benjamin, “An Ideascape for Education : What Futurists Recommend,” in Education Leadership. September 1989, p.10. Ibid. Sam Crowell, ìA New Way of Thinking : The Challenge of the Future,î in Educational a Leadership, September 1989. p. 62. Bruce Joyce and Marsha Weils, Models of Teaching (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey : Prentice Hall, 1980). Bernice Mc Carthy, “Using the 4MAT System to Bring Learning Styles to Schools,” is Education Leadership, September 1989, pp. 31-37. Simathurai, “Where Students Write Mini Thesis,” The New Straits Times, 22 October 1991. See, for examples, Donald Hammerman, et. al., Teaching in the Outdoors (Danville, Ill : IPP, 1985). NOTES 1 Alvin Toffler, Future Shock (New York : Random House, 1970) p. 428. 2 John Naisbitt and Patricia Aberdeen, Megatrend 2000 (London: Pan Books, 1990) p. 1 3 Tony Buzan, Use Your Head (London : BBC Books, 1990) p. 17. 4 Ibid 5 Ibid 6 Ibid 7 Jeremy Campbell, Grammatical Man: Information, Entropy, Language, and Life (New York : Simon and Schuster, 1982) p. 239. 8 Robert Sylwester, “An Educator’s Guide to Books on the Brain”. in Educational Leadership, September 1989, pp.79-80. 9 “Future View : Megabrain Trends to Watch,” in Left Brain/Right Brain Newsletter, March 1992. 10 Ibid 11 Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1970). 12 Alvin Toffler, Powershift (New York : Bantam Books, 1990) p.419. 13 Steve Benjamin, “An Ideascape for Education : What Futurists Recommend, “ in Educational Leadership, September 1989, p. 10. 14 Ibid 15 Sam Crowell, “A New Way of Thinking : The Challenge of the Future,” in Educational Leadership, September 1989, p.62. , in Educational a Leadership, September 1989 16 Bruce Joyce and Marsha Weils, Models of Teaching (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey : Prentice Hall, 1980). 17 Bernice Mc Carthy, “Using the 4MAT System to Bring Learning Styles to Schools,” is Educational Leadership, September 1989, pp. 31-37. 18 S. Simathurai, “Where Students Write Mini Thesis,” The New Straits Times, 22 October 1991. 19 See, for example, Donald Hammerman et. al., Teaching in the Outdoors (Danville, Ill : IPP, 1985). 20 See, for example, Stephen F. Hamilton and Mary Agnes Hamilton, “A Progress Report on Apprenticeships,” in Educational Leaderships, March 1992, pp.44 - 47. 21 “Keep Your Brains in The Drivers’ Seat - Feed It Right !” Left Brain/Right Brain Newsletter, July/August 1992, p.5. 22 Tom Kenyon, “How Sound and Music Affects the Nervous System and Behaviour” in Ibid, p. 4. 23 See, for example, the classic study on human consciousness in Robert Ornstein, The Psychology of Consciousness (Middlesex, England : Penguin Books, 1986). 24 Ali Shariati, On The Sociology of Islam, trans. Hamid Algar, (Berkeley : Mizan Press, 1970), p.122. BIBLIOGRAPHY Benjamin, Steve. “An Ideascape for Education : What Futurists Recommend.” Educational Leadership, September 1989, p.10. Buzan, Tony. Use Your Head. London : BBC Books 1990. Campbell, Jeremy. Grammatical Man : Information Entropy, Language, and life. New York : Simon and Schuster, 1982. Crowell, Sam. “A New Way of Thinking : The Challenge of the Future” Educational Leadership, September 1989, p. 62. “Future View : Mega Brain Trends to Watch.” Left Brain/Right Brain Newsletter. March 1992, p.2. Hamilton, Stephen F. and Mary Agnes. “A Progress Report on Apprenticeships.” Educational Leadership, March 1992, pp. 44 - 47. Hammerman, Donald R., et. al. Teaching in the Outdoors. Danville, Ill: IIP, 1985. Joyce, Bruce and Weils, Marsha. Models of Teaching. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey : Prentice Hall, 1980. “Keep your Brains in the Driver’s Seat - Feed it right.” Left Brain/Right Brain Newsletter. July/August 1992, p. 5. Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1970. Mc Carthy, Bernice. “Using the 4MAT system to Bring Learning Styles to Schools.” Educational Leadership September, 1989. pp. 31 - 37. Naisbitt, John and Aberdeen Patricia. Megatrends 2000, London : Pan Books, 1990. Ornstein, Robert. The Psychology of Consciousness. Middlesex, England : Penguin Books, 1986. Simathurai, S. “Where Students Write Mini Thesis,” The New Straits Times. 22 October 1991. Sylwester, Robert. “An Educator’s guide to Books on the Brain.” Educational Leadership, September 1989. p. 62. Toffler, Alvin. Powershift. New York : Bantam Books, 1990. ___________. Future Shock. New York : Random House, 1970. [a:edwbrain/d.azly3/snj]

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AZLY RAHMAN is an educator, academic, international columnist, and author of nine books on Malaysia and Global Affairs. He grew up in Johor Bahru, Malaysia and holds a Columbia University doctorate in international education development and Master’s degrees in six areas: education, international affairs, peace studies communication, fiction and non-fiction writing. Twitter @azlyrahman.