"Studying is like sailing against the current: a boat must forge ahead or it will be swept downstream." an ancient Chinese saying
There are topics in academics that can be difficult for any of us. Thus, tutors and academic coaches can help. But most Academic Coaching is narrowly focused upon academics. Instead, many things get in the way of academic success. Few academic coaches have the background in neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy to help with these complications:
Distractions and Misdirection
Children, teenagers, and young adults are distracted. This disrupts their conversations, their thinking, and their studies. For children, playing begins as an important neurological and mental activity for the sake of understanding nature, developing physical skills, interacting, sparking creativity, etc. As school starts, the desire to play still predominates, but play has to diminish accordingly without disappearing altogether. Later on, teenagers and young adults develop a different type of play but become shackled by social media and technology. They are pulled toward their devices and become dependent. The added danger is that other people can play with them, manipulate them, devalue them, and misdirect them.
Meaning and Relationships
In addition to the analogy for studying, teenage life often looks like a struggle to sail against currents and storms of teen and subcultural social perspectives while avoiding beautiful reefs and ragged rocks that can sink their ship. Many teenagers are concerned about their worth and meaning without constructively realizing the philosophical aspects of it. Although academic improvement may be a concern to a student and/or their family, issues and distractions regarding relationships, identity, etc. often derails students. Many of them cling by their fingernails to their problematic social media apps.
For too many teenagers and young adults, they derive their meaning not from philosophy but from the superficiality, spontaneity, chaos, and peril of social media that does not actually care for them. They become habituated to superficial relationships as they become addicted to their apps. They confuse their online self with actual potential and achievement. Meanwhile, too many people use social media not for constructive relationships but for offense and defense. Their ability to relate to each other in person deteriorates considerably as they close their minds off from others around them.
"Isn't it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned? Isn't it also great when friends visit from distant places?" Confucius
Negative Meaning and Devaluation
How many times have we heard a child or teenage immediately proclaim "I can't do it" when they actually can learn and do something? This negative declaration turns off their thinking brain and reinforces negative concepts of themselves.
In addition worry about meaningfulness, teenagers and young adults often become ensnared by negative meaning, negative thoughts, negative feelings. They need a coach who can help them replace those with constructive thoughts.
Integrating Life Coaching with Academic Coaching
For these reasons, Academic Coaching from ECRIT also includes many aspects of Life Coaching and includes the Positive Psychology perspectives of professors Martin Seligman, James Pawelski, and Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi. We emphasize the importance of their true individual development as well as the development of constructive friendships and effective teamwork, ideas that all go back to Confucius, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero. We also include an understanding of both the brain and the mind to optimize a student's development and performance.
Furthermore, we guide students and families about the best and worst uses of technology. The link below provides a link to a recent article from the Guardian about certain detrimental psychological impacts of technology.
"I want a revolution in world education. All young people need to learn workplace skills, which has been the subject matter of the education system in place for 200 years. In addition, we can now teach the skills of well-being – of how to have more positive emotion, more meaning, better relationships." Psychology Professor Martin Seligman of The University of Pennsylvania, Flourish