Environmental factors such as
classroom or office light, temperature, air, cleanliness, acoustics, and
teaching aids (whiteboards, projectors) have a great influence on learning.
Remember when classrooms were set up so that the windows were on the students’
left? That was great… if you happened to be right-handed.
A study of European schools located near airports found
a significant negative impact of aircraft noise on children’s reading,
cognition, and memory. Stress from chronically noisy environments can lead
to increased feelings of helplessness. When a Munich airport was shut down,
the deficit disappeared. A similar study in Montreal confirmed these
findings. Curiously, constant noise from vehicular traffic has no measurable
Rigid school systems work
against many learners. The low-level skill testing,
developmentally-inappropriate curricula and the disregard for individual
learning styles have a demoralizing effect on learners. Do you have any idea
if you take in information more easily by seeing, hearing, or touching?
Competition in home, school,
work, and social environments causes stress because of inappropriate
expectations. Social conformity, competition in sports, and generally living
in a win/lose world contributes to lower self-worth.
Nutritional deficits point to
inadequate amounts of proteins, lack of amino acids and fatty acids, as well
as to diets high in simple carbohydrates, like sugar and white flour products.
According to Behavior, Learning & Health, a new booklet being released by the
nonprofit Feingold Association of the United States (FAUS), certain synthetic
food additives and foods can trigger symptoms of hyperactivity, attention
deficits, and other health problems in chemically sensitive children and
adults. Many school districts, having lost much of their government financial
support, have allowed commercial fast-food vending machines in schools as
fund-raising ventures. Some parent and teacher groups are instigating
reconsideration of these shortsighted decisions. One example is the Central
Alternative School in Appleton, Wisconsin, where they were experiencing
excessive behavioral difficulties with the students. In 1997, vending machines
were replaced, and the cafeteria began to serve wholesome food. Episodes of
suicide, drop-out, and weapons violations dropped to virtually zero.
TV, computers and video games.
Although each of these has positive educational and developmental aspects,
they also increase exposure to violence, decrease imaginative stimulation,
minimize interpersonal interaction (resulting in poor social skills), and
cause ocular lock (staring).
Developmental problems follow a
lack of sensory stimulation, lack of movement, lack of touch, lack of
interactive creative play and communication. Some of these symptoms are common
in Attachment Disorder.
Misalignments caused by a childhood fall can go undetected, causing problems
in the flow of energy throughout the body. Such a child will essentially be
running on less power, and aside from a number of physical ailments, may also
have behavioral and school problems with listening, speaking, reading,
writing, concentration, problem-solving, and memorizing.
Electrical challenges result
from inadequate water consumption, lack of oxygen, and excessive exposure to
electromagnetic fields (EMF). Dehydration of just 5 percent can cause up to a
30 percent decrease of mental capacity. Many people are unaware of the
diuretic effects of many of the liquids they consume, such as coffee and
Medical problems begin in the
womb. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a cluster of birth defects caused
by a mother’s consumptions of alcohol during pregnancy. It is typified by low
birth weight and decreased mental functioning. Stress experienced by the
expectant mother will also impact the fetus. Conditions that can contribute to
learning difficulties in children are infections, allergies, yeast overgrowth,
improper medications, inadequate diet or sleep, substance abuse, child abuse,
poor vision, and poor hearing.
Time wasters are often so
subtle that we treat them as “the way things are.” They include: lack of
objectives or priorities, shuffling paperwork, constant interruptions,
indecision, switching priorities, personal disorganization, cluttered desk or
work area, attempting too much, being unable to say “no,” limited access to
required equipment or materials, leaving tasks unfinished,
inadequate/inaccurate/delayed information, unnecessary socializing, plunging
into a task without planning, lack of self-discipline, and exhaustion.