In a majority of classrooms in educational institutions, it is quite rare to find a teacher or professor who practices NLP training methods and principles. But if used inside the classroom, NLP will doubtless many aspects of the learning environment and will lead to better teacher-student interactions. For this reason, more teachers need to be aware of NLP techniques and integrate them into their own teaching style.
The question is, how can neuro-linguistic programming be used in the classroom? There are myriad ways by which an educator can apply its principles. NLP is all about improving the way people perceive themselves, the world, and other people. Thus, by learning how to perceive things better and understand people deeper, an educator can improve in facilitating a more conducive atmosphere suitable for learning.
One of the core NLP concepts that an educator should be aware of is the principle of “mind mapping”. A mind “map” in NLP is the way an individual perceives the world in general. Each person has a unique map, and it is influenced heavily by one’s own beliefs, values and attitudes. To successfully lead an entire classroom to a positive learning experience, the educator should first influence the beliefs, values and attitudes of students towards learning. For example, a student in a math class may be getting low grades as a result of negative attitudes towards the subject. These negative attitudes are originating from his ruling beliefs. Sometimes he is constantly saying to himself that he is not smart enough to forgive mathematical concepts. The solution to this problem is not to give him more math lessons immediately. Rather, the teacher should first identify limiting beliefs and help transform them into empowering beliefs (the “I can” attitude). Once the beliefs are influenced in a positive way, the student’s “map” changes for the better and he is able to perceive the world in a different light. Understanding internal states and knowing how to elicit them is a surefire way for a teacher to have high-impact classroom discussions.
An “internal state” is an attitude, impulse or feeling that a person can readily associate with his five senses. For example, being happy is an internal state that anyone can associate with feelings of fulfillment, and is often seen in outward manifestations such as laughing, smiling, or crying for joy. Some people associate being happy with feelings of physical pleasure. There are literally hundreds or thousands of internal states that a person is capable of having at different times. One can be happy, enthusiastic, excited, or energetic at different parts of the day. On the other hand, negative internal states include being depressed, confused, hesitant, fearful and many others.
An educator should be able to put the entire classroom into a particular internal state before proceeding with any lesson or discussion. For example, before starting with a math lesson, an educator can do a sequence of NLP processes that will help elicit internal states of excitation or curiosity among students. The idea is to get the students into a positive internal state before giving them the lesson.