Education

The decline of Christianity

February 12, 2014

I had heard in many discussions on television, that there is a decline throughout the world in the number of people who refer to themselves as Christians, and who actually practice the Christian faith. Now, whenever I hear any information like this these days, I always check the information which I obtained out, to make absolutely sure that it is in fact authentic. Well, lo and behold, it is indeed true that there is a major decline in the number of practicing Christians presently occupying planet earth. Incidentally, in today's world with the Internet being available to one and all, every single thing which I or anyone else states, can be checked out by simply googling it. How great it is to be able to use the Internet in such a productive way to check out information which is fed to us, to ascertain if it's accurate or not. So, the decline of Christianity is very real.Now I believe at this point, having established that it is indeed a fact, the burning question on everyone's mind must surely be ... "Why? Why is this happening right now?" I believe there are several reasons -- number one is the fact, that in this technological age, most people are exposed to much more information than they used to be in years gone by. Now this is indeed a good thing for it gets people thinking about what they were originally taught to believe from a religious perspective, by those who surrounded them when they were young. When one finally starts to freely think for oneself, and not as you've been programmed to think in your youth, then you become open to the truth. At that point, many opt not to continue believing in what their parents or guardians taught them.Of course, another factor which is contributing in large measure to the decline of Christianity worldwide, in my humble opinion, is the way in which a whole lot of so-called Christian people behave. That's right, there are a whole lot of so-called Christians, who when you dare to disagree with any of their teachings, become so extremely hostile and indeed very insulting telling you that you'll be dammed forever, and end up in that mythical place they believe in called hell. So, when people start to openly insult you, and also use fear mongering tactics, I honestly think that they too tend to push people further away from Christianity. Yes they do. Yes indeed, many people who are, in my opinion masquerading as Christians, are actually pushing millions away from believing any longer in Christianity as a viable spiritual belief system for them. So, you could quite rightly say, that Christians appear to be their own worst enemy.

o THINK ABOUT IT!

Email: dpr@corporatemotivation.org.

Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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February 11, 2014

Despite being under a winter storm watch in Atlanta, Georgia, Bahamian media personality and publicist Arthia Nixon was able to read to the students of Eleuthera’s P.A. Gibson Primary School from her children’s book The Magic Grouper and Other Tales...

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COB students want extra security
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Bahamas Union of Teachers says “NO” to VAT

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Lyford Cay International School hosts KPMG Football Fest 2014
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Tuned in to reading

February 05, 2014

Research in the field of neuroscience, focusing on the relationship between music and the learning process has provided scientific insight into the melodic learning program which utilizes music as a captivating tool to enhance the learning process in the area of language arts, which includes linguistics, literacy, early learning and language skills. It is this program that has proven to be a positive one for the students at Columbus Primary School who continue to show remarkable improvements as a result of the "Tunein to Reading [TiR] Program" melodic learning program classes.
In October 2011, a workshop was held at Wendy's Fast Food Restaurants Ltd. headquarters, to introduce the melodic learning program to educators and to initiate a pilot program at selected schools, one of which was Columbus Primary. The workshop was conducted by representatives from the "Tunein to Reading Program" located in Tampa, Florida.
Columbus Primary School specialist teachers Brenda Plakaris and Delene Wilmott set out to identify strategies and methods of reaching the struggling readers in their school. They identified 90 students from third to fifth grades who were having major challenges and selected them to be a part of the pilot program that began October 31, 2011.
According to a report prepared by Plakaris and Wilmott in March 2012, to the targeted students, some of the immediate problems revealed was with comprehension for the students and that phonemic awareness was a major factor as well as effective listening for many of the students.
The teachers reported that many of the students had difficulty repeating correctly what they had heard. And that in comparison, for exceptionally high achievers selected from a fifth grade class of 38 students that the use of the program proved effective in further enhancing their reading, comprehension and listening skills. They also reported that they discovered that many students became more interested in music appreciation and developing their skills in the area. The educators reported that it was obvious that the program had inspired the students at all levels to be more creative.
The working definition of melodic learning is a multi-modal method of learning (both oral and aural); using the key elements of singing -- pitch, rhythm and rhyme and to facilitate the capture, storage and retrieval of information while learning.
Plakaris and Wilmott said the excitement and willingness of the students in the program had ignited a desire among other students to become a part of the sessions. As a result, in December 2011, another 86 students were added to the program, taking the total to 176 enthusiastic students who they said continue to show remarkable improvements as a result of the classes. The educators said the transformation that took place over the weeks and months with the program spoke volumes as to its effectiveness.
In reviewing the program the teachers noted the accelerated level of progress of the students who recently started the program in January 2012. And that many of the second grade students shocked themselves as they were able to read a fluency sheet at the fifth grade level.
Plakaris and Wilmott reported that the students are excited to log on to the site and put in extra minutes of singing as they see melodic learning as fun, but not realizing the impact it has upon their oral and written communication. The appealing jingles used in the program that are also known as "Earworms" appear to have positively impacted the students as they find themselves singing the songs constantly as if it is stuck in their minds and heads.
TiR has since spread into other schools around the island, and Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald has said that it is the way to teach children in kindergarten as it is the way they learn their alphabet and nursery rhymes.
"Tunein to Reading builds on something that we know works, but it takes it to another level with the incorporation of technology," said Fitzgerald at a recent "Tunein to Reading" teacher training session hosted by the Ministry of Education's northwestern and southwestern district superintendents, principals and administrators at the Melia Cable Beach Resort.
In attendance at the session was TiR founder Carlo Franzblau and Dr. Susan Homan, professor emerita at The University of South Florida.
"I am always amazed at how students can sing the latest Beyonce songs without missing a beat, but still have challenges in actually reading the words," Fitzgerald said.
"This shows us that singing can be a practical and effective method at the lower and upper primary school level."
The scientific teaching/learning tool uses music and technology to teach students and improve their reading ability. The award-winning reading intervention program was introduced in the government school system by Wendy's Fast Food Restaurants Ltd. proprietors, Chris and Terry Tsavoussis.
To date, Wendy's has invested $250,000 to provide laptops, headsets, software licensing and ongoing teacher training and IT support.
The company is seeking local partners to expand the reach of TiR throughout New Providence and into the Family Islands.
"Wendy's has displayed the power of true public private partnership [as] the government cannot do it by itself," said Fitzgerald.
"Wendy's has comes to the table with ideas, funding, TiR experts, manpower, technology, security, training and the hands-on involvement of their top brass."
TiR is the first literacy tool employed in the Wendy's and Marco's Pizza youth empowerment through education initiative, 'Mission: Educate Bahamas'.
TiR is specifically designed to assist struggling readers improve their word sight recognition, comprehension, reading fluency and literacy through a proven music-based methodology. Government primary school test groups in the northeastern and southeastern have demonstrated results of one to two years reading gains, after just nine weeks exposure to the program.
TiR was founded by Carlo Franzblau and was a software program which he developed to teach himself to sing called SingingCoach and introduced to the market in 2003. When early users of SingingCoach who happened to be struggling readers reported that their reading was improving significantly, Franzblau sought out a literacy researcher at the University of South Florida to do a study on the innovative, musical approach to helping students who struggle to read. After two years of research studies demonstrated the effectiveness of the singing approach to reading remediation, Franzblau and his team at Electronic Learning Products (ELP) set about modifying the SingingCoach product into a full-fledged reading intervention program. In the fall of 2006, ELP installed a TiR version 1.0 in a Tampa middle school and then participated in a 10-school pilot program that proved the effectiveness of the software as a reading intervention.
In 2007 TiR won the Wall Street Journal's Technology Innovation Award. And in 2014, TiR is in over 500 schools across the United States.

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Women attacked on COB campus
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COLLEGE of the Bahamas students are calling for improved security at their Oakes Field campus after two of their women students were assaulted in the past week on or around the campus...

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Carey pledges to raise 500m in 10 years for COB
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Bahamas Union of Teachers
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Claim of replacement coach pinching female students
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Ministry assessing donated text books for curriculum needs

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Destiny earns speech prize
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Bahamian and Chinese culture collide
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School holds mock election

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COB shortlist lists former head despite plagiarism row
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COB given advice on university plan
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'Stop breaking law by fingerprinting foreign teachers'
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Kingsway Academy student selected to honor society
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Bahamas Union of Teachers Share Offering
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