In an era of technology and easily accessible information, our schools still expect from us to know everything from the books, without considering whether this is going to be what we will actually need in our professional development.
How many times have you wondered if you were going to need a subjects you were made to learn because the curriculum said so? Finland has decided to change this in their educational system and introduce something which is suitable for the 21st century.
By 2020, instead of classes in physics, math, literature, history or geography, Finland is going to introduce a different approach to life through education. Welcome to the phenomenon based learning!
As Phenomenal Education states on their website, “In Phenomenon Based Learning (PhenoBL) and teaching, holistic real-world phenomena provide the starting point for learning. The phenomena are studied as complete entities, in their real context, and the information and skills related to them are studied by crossing the boundaries between subjects.”
This means that instead of learning physics (or any other subject) for the sake of learning it, the students will be given the opportunity to choose from phenomena from their real surroundings and the world, such as Media and Technology, or the European Union.
These phenomena will be studied through an interdisciplinary approach, which means subjects will be included, but only those (and only parts of them) that contribute to excelling in the topic.
For example, a student who wants to study a vocational course can take “cafeteria services” and the phenomenon will be studied through elements of maths, languages, writing and communication skills. Another example is the European Union, which would include economics, languages, geography and the history of the countries involved.
Now take your profession as an example and think of all the information you need to know connected to it – you are now thinking the PhenoBL way!
This kind of learning will include both face-to-face and online sessions, with a strong emphasis on the beneficial use of technology and the Internet through the process of eLearning. You can read more about it here.
In the learning process, the students will be able to collaborate with their peers and teachers through sharing information and collectively exploring and implementing new information as a building tool.
The teaching style is going to change too!
Instead of the traditional style of teacher-centered learning, with students sitting behind their desks and recording every instruction given by the teacher, the approach is going to change to a holistic level. This means that every phenomenon will be approached in the most suitable and natural way possible.
However, as Phenomenal Learning states, “The starting point of phenomenal-based teaching is constructivism, in which learners are seen as active knowledge builders and information is seen as being constructed as a result of problem-solving, constructed out of ‘little pieces’ into a whole that suits the situation in which it is used at the time.”
This educational system tends to include leaning in a collaborative setting (e.g. teamwork), where they would like to see information being formed in a social context, instead of it being seen only as an internal element of an individual.
This approach is going to support inquiry-based learning, problem-solution and project and portfolio learning. The last step is going to be practical implementation, being seen as the outcome of the whole process.
This reform is going to require a lot of cooperation between teachers of different subjects and this is why the teachers are already undergoing an intense training.
In fact, 70% of the teachers in Helsinki are already involved in the preparatory work in line with the new system.
Co-teaching is at the base of the curriculum creation, with input from more than one subject specialist and teachers who embrace this new teaching style will receive a small increase in their salary as a sign of recognition.
From a teaching perspective, this style is very rewarding and worthwhile for the teachers too. Some teachers, who have already implemented this style in their work, say that they cannot go back to the old style.
This is indeed not surprising at all, as the interaction in this teaching style is something every teacher has always dreamed of.
Currently, schools are obliged to introduce a period of phenomenal-based learning at least once a year. The plan is to completely implement the PhenoBL approach by 2020.
A similar approach called the Playful Learning Centre is being used in the pre-school sector and it is going to serve as a starting point for the phenomenal-based learning.
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**This was originally featured on  http://curiousmindmagazine.com

Soulmate. A person with whom you have an immediate connection the moment you meet—a connection so strong that you are drawn to them in a way you have never experienced before. Your soulmate understands and connects with you in every way and on every level, which brings a sense of peace, calmness and happiness when you are around them.” ~ Unknown

No matter how hard we try, there is just no breaking up with a soulmate.

It all happens in the blink of an eye on an ordinary day—a day we weren’t even fully aware would actually come—and changes the entire course of our lives.
One minute we were living life fine as we were, and the next it was turned upside down by the rush of energy, the change in vibration, from meeting a soulmate.
Perhaps we stumbled across them at the corner coffee shop on a rainy day, or maybe our car broke down and they were the one to come to our rescue. Or maybe it’s just that suddenly we opened our eyes and saw someone who had been in front of us in a whole new light.
Whatever way it happened is inconsequential, what does matter, however, is that they came into our lives. They moved with the clouds and suddenly, although everything was the same, it had also changed.
We were drawn to them like a moth to a flame, and it didn’t matter about the whys or what stood in the way, all that we knew is that we had to be close to this person—this soul that somehow called to ours in a different way than anyone else.
So we fell, or collided, like a thousand falling stars, and we felt that connection, that wholeness that comes from uniting with a soul whom we’ve shared many lifetimes with.
We felt the connection of our thoughts aligning, the depth of our emotions, the heights of spirituality—then we kissed and sparks flew, tilting us off of our axis that we had grown so comfortable on.
There was never a question of if we would come together, but rather how could we not.
Yet, as we often learn with age, love is never that simple and we don’t always end up with a soulmate.
So we struggled against the connection, we fought it and buried it. We cried as we held it in our arms, and our breath was taken away as we made love to it—but no matter what we did, we could just never make sense of it.
We didn’t know what it was, or more importantly, what we should do with it.
Somewhere between all the times we got it wrong and the nights we couldn’t stay away, we realized that maybe no matter what we felt, we had to break up. We had to say goodbye because we just couldn’t see any way that this would ever work.
So we left, or perhaps they were the one to leave us standing under the midnight moon as snowflakes softly coated the ground around us. But who did the leaving doesn’t even matter, because both felt the cut of an incision across their souls—souls that at one time were perfectly aligned.
And we got busy getting on with our lives.
We found happiness in the everyday moments that brought love to our hearts, yet no matter how busy we were or how distracted we were, all it would take was a moment to quiet our minds and realize that we could still feel them—our soulmate.
They were still there lingering haphazardly on the smoky edges of our consciousness, tempting us with a connection that no matter how difficult, never actually felt wrong. It was the flame to a fire that we had never expected to keep igniting.
It was always just there.
It didn’t matter where we traveled, who else we loved, or who we let make love to us—that soulmate was still there, their touch burning our skin and their lips staining our soul.
Our souls imprinted upon each other, and with that there was never an option to go back, never a moment to revert to life as we had known it or, even worse, pretend all together that they never existed.
And so we fell together and separated more frequently than the phases of the moon, although just as luminously. We made love and ran away; we shared our secrets and then pretended there was nothing special in the way we spoke. We laughed, then made the choice to forget they had become our greatest reason to smile.
We danced the waltz of love’s impossibility.
Because even after all this time, and all of the wounds that had yet to heal, we still weren’t done—we hadn’t discovered the purpose that our souls came into this life with. So even though we have listed all of the reasons why we shouldn’t love, we still do.
Time and time again.
Hoping, perhaps, that we will wear out our connection, or that we will finally receive a sign why this isn’t where we are meant to be—yet neither of those endings actually occur.
Despite the illusion of time and the downfall of our own humanness, we are still drawn to our soulmate—the one who came into our lives and changed everything by doing nothing more than being themselves.
So, maybe we finally gave up trying to separate. Perhaps we have submitted or, at the very least, surrendered to this connection that we were never able to define or label, and simply just accepted this love for what it was—a gift to us and part of our divine purpose.
Because the reality is, no matter how we might try, we just can’t break up with a soulmate.
“Don’t say a word. We have never needed them to communicate with one another. Whether it’s an energy or an ancient kinship between our souls. I don’t know. But whatever we have goes beyond language. Between us, even the silence is extraordinary. Even the stillness speaks.” ~ Beau Taplin

Those Top 37 Things You’ll Regret When You’re Old.

1. Not traveling when you had the chance.

Traveling becomes infinitely harder the older you get, especially if you have a family and need to pay the way for three-plus people instead of just yourself.

2. Not learning another language.

You’ll kick yourself when you realize you took three years of language in high school and remember none of it.

3. Staying in a bad relationship.

No one who ever gets out of a bad relationship looks back without wishing they made the move sooner.

4. Forgoing sunscreen.

Wrinkles, moles, and skin cancer can largely be avoided if you protect yourself.

5. Missing the chance to see your favorite musicians.

“Nah, dude, I’ll catch Nirvana next time they come through town.” Facepalm.

6. Being scared to do things.

Looking back you’ll think, What was I so afraid of?

7. Failing to make physical fitness a priority.

Too many of us spend the physical peak of our lives on the couch. When you hit 40, 50, 60, and beyond, you’ll dream of what you could have done.

8. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles.

Few things are as sad as an old person saying, “Well, it just wasn’t done back then.”

9. Not quitting a terrible job.

Look, you gotta pay the bills. But if you don’t make a plan to improve your situation, you might wake up one day having spent 40 years in hell.

10. Not trying harder in school.

It’s not just that your grades play a role in determining where you end up in life. Eventually you’ll realize how neat it was to get to spend all day learning, and wish you’d paid more attention.

11. Not realizing how beautiful you were.

Too many of us spend our youth unhappy with the way we look, but the reality is, that’s when we’re our most beautiful.

12. Being afraid to say “I love you.”

When you’re old, you won’t care if your love wasn’t returned — only that you made it known how you felt.

13. Not listening to your parents’ advice.

You don’t want to hear it when you’re young, but the infuriating truth is that most of what your parents say about life is true.

14. Spending your youth self-absorbed.

You’ll be embarrassed about it, frankly.

15. Caring too much about what other people think.

In 20 years you won’t give a darn about any of those people you once worried so much about.

16. Supporting others’ dreams over your own.

Supporting others is a beautiful thing, but not when it means you never get to shine.

17. Not moving on fast enough.

Old people look back at the long periods spent picking themselves off the ground as nothing but wasted time.

18. Holding grudges, especially with those you love.

What’s the point of re-living the anger over and over?

19. Not standing up for yourself.

Old people don’t take sh*t from anyone. Neither should you.

20. Not volunteering enough.

OK, so you probably won’t regret not volunteering Hunger Games style, but nearing the end of one’s life without having helped to make the world a better place is a great source of sadness for many.

21. Neglecting your teeth.

Neglecting your teeth.

Brush. Floss. Get regular checkups. It will all seem so maddeningly easy when you have dentures.

22. Missing the chance to ask your grandparents questions before they die.

Most of us realize too late what an awesome resource grandparents are. They can explain everything you’ll ever wonder about where you came from, but only if you ask them in time.

23. Working too much.

No one looks back from their deathbed and wishes they spent more time at the office, but they do wish they spent more time with family, friends, and hobbies.

24. Not learning how to cook one awesome meal.

Knowing one drool-worthy meal will make all those dinner parties and celebrations that much more special.

25. Not stopping enough to appreciate the moment.

Young people are constantly on the go, but stopping to take it all in now and again is a good thing.

26. Failing to finish what you start.

Failing to finish what you start.

“I had big dreams of becoming a nurse. I even signed up for the classes, but then…”

27. Never mastering one awesome party trick.

You will go to hundreds, if not thousands, of parties in your life. Wouldn’t it be cool to be the life of them all?

28. Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations.

Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations.

Don’t let them tell you, “We don’t do that.”

29. Refusing to let friendships run their course.

People grow apart. Clinging to what was, instead of acknowledging that things have changed, can be a source of ongoing agitation and sadness.

30. Not playing with your kids enough.

When you’re old, you’ll realize your kid went from wanting to play with you to wanting you out of their room in the blink of an eye.

31. Never taking a big risk (especially in love).

Knowing that you took a leap of faith at least once — even if you fell flat on your face — will be a great comfort when you’re old.

32. Not taking the time to develop contacts and network.

Networking may seem like a bunch of crap when you’re young, but later on it becomes clear that it’s how so many jobs are won.

33. Worrying too much.

As Tom Petty sang, “Most things I worry about never happen anyway.”

34. Getting caught up in needless drama.

Who needs it?

35. Not spending enough time with loved ones.

Not spending enough time with loved ones.

Our time with our loved ones is finite. Make it count.

36. Never performing in front of others.

This isn’t a regret for everyone, but many elderly people wish they knew — just once — what it was like to stand in front of a crowd and show off their talents.

37. Not being grateful sooner.

It can be hard to see in the beginning, but eventually it becomes clear that every moment on this earth — from the mundane to the amazing — is a gift that we’re all so incredibly lucky to share.

In an effort to combat the £230m of edible food waste across the country, British activists have formed the Real Junk Food Project, aiming to provide, otherwise, wasted food to people that need it, grocy store style.
The first store to open is called "the warehouse" and is located on the Grangefield Industrial Estate.  People pay on a "pay as you feel" basis, meaning they are only required to pay what they are able to.  They are also able to trade work hours for food.
"The warehouse has absolutely been our lifeline over the past month or so," local resident Kirsty Rhodes told The Independent.  Rhodes had suffered a diagnosis of chronic pain and her husband was forced to leave his job to take care of their children.  This is when the warehouse fell into place with them.
“With three young children and two adults to feed we started to struggle straight away. Luckily we took the plunge to go to the warehouse and it was amazing!" Kirsty said.
Adam Smith, founder of the Real Junk Food Project, says that the goal is to put one of these stores in every city in the UK.
“We’re about to start in Sheffield and Bradford,” he said. “Every city will now obtain central storage and run a ‘people’s supermarket.’"
The movement is spreading, as there are now hundreds of cafes around the country feeding people on food waste.
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