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Parent Resource Center (PRC)

The STUDENT SUPPORT programme operates a Parent Resource Centre (PRC). The aim of the PRC is to support parents who may have questions or concerns about their child’s learning or social/emotional/behavioural development at home. Interested parents may contact any member of the Student Support team to make an appointment, to ask questions, or share their concerns.

In the past, the PRC also offered whole-school parent workshops but now workshops are presented through the Parents As Learners (PALs) workshop series.  Interested parents can view and/or download previous workshops by selecting from the list below.

Downloadable PRC Workshop Presentations

The theme of the workshop was inspired by the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, in which the writer argues that to understand the rise and fall of trends, ideas and social behavior, we must think of them like epidemics. According to Gladwell, an epidemic has a pattern - contagiousness, little changes producing big effects, and big changes occurring at the moment known as the 'tipping point.' BCIS opened in 2005 and has been growing steadily, but has yet to reach its tipping point. In this PAL workshop, Dr. Rhodes explained the background of the tipping point phenomenon, and discussed ways in which parents in the BCIS community can create a positive word of mouth epidemic that will help BCIS reach its own tipping point. BCIS has so much to offer that is unique among Beijing's international schools, and a positive word of mouth epidemic will help BCIS reach its full potential in the community.

Empathy and Compassion: What the World Needs Now Empathy is an essential emotional intelligence skill. It means being able to recognize and feel the emotions that are experienced by someone else. Empathy is a prerequisite for compassion, which is taking action to alleviate someone’s suffering. According to Bill and Ochan Powell (2010), empathy is a key component of social awareness which is “how we gather information about the intentions, feelings, and thoughts of others and how we make sense out of them so that we can function competently in a social setting”. Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ states “the root of altruism lies in empathy, the ability to read emotions in others; lacking a sense of another’s need or despair, there is no caring.” He concludes by suggesting that compassion is a key moral stance that is called for by the times in which we live. Since empathy is such an important emotional intelligence skill, how can we support its development in our children? First, we need to teach them explicitly in everyday conversations how to read the nonverbal signals, including facial expressions, in others so that they can learn to recognize the feelings of others. But explicit instruction is only part of the picture. What is more important, our children learn about empathy and compassion incidentally by listening to us and watching us. If they hear or see us showing empathy and being compassionate, they will learn to show empathy and be compassionate. As parents, we would do well to remember that we teach through our actions as well as through our words. Exciting cutting edge brain research has pinpointed a special kind of brain cell called a mirror neuron that helps explain how humans develop a type of empathy called mindsight, the ability to read what is going on in someone’s mind and create a map of that person’s internal state.

Being Dyslexic: A 2-Sided Neurological Coin In the past, having a learning disability, such as dyslexia, has carried the stigma of being unable to read, spell, and memorize by rote. Current brain research has shed a new light on dyslexia. In 2003 Drs. Sally and Bennett Shaywitz used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to show that persons with dyslexia use a different part of their brains to read which results in slow, laborious reading. In 2011 Drs. Brock and Fernette Eide, neurolearning specialists, presented research to show that differences in both brain structure and function of persons with dyslexia create not only challenges but also a unique set of strengths. These strengths allow persons with dyslexia to succeed in professions where typical persons do not. This workshop will examine dyslexia using the multiple perspectives of the Six Thinking Hats. Learn more about this fascinating condition that affects 1 out of every 5 persons.

Dr. Richard Nisbett is a well-known social psychologist whose new book Intelligence and Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count(2009) takes a close look at intelligence and the influences of schools and cultures on how smart we are.  His basic assumption is that intelligence is not fixed at birth, but instead is highly modifiable by the environment, including both cultures and schools.

Participants in this workshop will learn how to define and measure intelligence, the two types of intelligence, and varieties of intelligence.  They will also learn some interesting information about what IQ scores predict and why IQ scores have been increasing worldwide over the past half century.  The workshop will conclude with specific ways that parents can increase the intelligence of their children.  Don’t miss this final PRC workshop of the year.

PRC workshop - Paradigms R PARADIGMS: Paradigms are the way we see life: they are our governing belief systems. They are the mental construct of what the world is supposedly like. Paradigms are an effort to make things explainable and understandable. A paradigm is a certain way of looking at things; it is a point of view. It is how we have come to view the world.

In this workshop parents will experience the impact paradigms can have on our perceptions and thinking. We will explore what paradigms are, how they can be generated, and the influence they can have on our thinking. We will also examine the concept of paradigm shifts and how they take place. Having examined paradigms, we will turn our attention to the prevailing paradigms common in education today, and explore the paradigm shifts necessary as our world turns from the knowledge economy to the emerging conceptual age.

working memory Export Working memory is our ability to hold and manipulate information in our brains for a short period of time. Dr. Tracy Alloway, a cutting-edge researcher in this area, calls working memory a “Post-it Note for your brain”. When we place demands on our working memory, it is like a juggling act in which we try to keep information in our brain at the same time that we do something with that information. When the juggling act is not successful, it is usually because our working memory gets ‘overloaded’ or because we get distracted and our ability to pay attention wanes.

According to Gathercole & Alloway (2008), working memory is an excellent predictor of academic success because it affects all areas of learning. In extensive research studies with thousands of students, those students with excellent working memory showed excellent literacy and numeracy skills, while those with low working memory struggled to learn basic academic skills. Fortunately there are strategies to support children with working memory difficulties.

Internet Safety and Cyberbullying Technology is a very large and important part of our lives today. Along with all the advantages that computers and the internet bring to us, they also come with a great deal of danger. This Parent Resource Center (PRC) workshop discusses ‘internet safety’ as well as ‘cyber bullying’. Workshop presenters Jessica Greene, ES Counselor, and Pushpa Dasari, MS Counselor and Learning Support teacher, share information and strategies to help parents teach their children ways to use the computer and the internet responsibly and safely.

PRC 2 6 Hats Export PP Being a parent is a difficult job!!  We recognize the importance of teaching our children “how to think”, but many of us are unsure of how to go about it.  In order to prepare our children for a future that we can not yet envision, we need to explicitly teach our children “how to think”.  Perhaps the world’s leading authority on thinking is Dr. Edward de Bono.  He is the creator of the Six Thinking Hats, a simple and powerful tool that shows us “how to think” in six different ways.  As you will see, it is easy to learn the kind of thinking associated with each hat through the use of pictures, gestures, and cheers.

Becoming An Emotionally Intelligent Parent If someone asks you what is the most important wish you have for your children, what would be your answer?  Some of us might reply that we want our children to be happy, while others might answer that we want them to be successful in life.  In order to be happy and successful, our children need to develop their emotional intelligence (EQ) skills.  As parents, we need to be aware of our own EQ and develop it so that we can act as “emotion coaches” for our children. 

In 1995 Dr. Daniel Goleman wrote a best-selling book Emotional Intelligence:  Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.  In this book Goleman cites research to support the idea that people with high EQ are able to use their emotions to increase their success.  Every day we experience a wide range of emotions that consciously or unconsciously controls our behavior.  The big question is: Do your emotions control you or are you able to manage your emotions?

WHO AM I? A NEW LOOK AT MOTIVATION Have you ever wondered what motivates people’s actions?  What makes them  do the things that they do?  Psychologist Dr. Steven Reiss has taken a fresh approach to examine motivation in his new 16 Desires theory.  According to Dr. Reiss, human motivation is complex.  Throughout each day, what we do can be explained by knowing which of the 16 desires we are trying to satisfy.  We embrace all of the desires, but to different degrees.  The intensity with which we experience the desires reveals our personality traits.  When we satisfy the desires that are most important to us, we experience positive emotions; when our attempts to satisfy our desires are unsuccessful, we experience negative emotions.

The Fiction of Failure For most people, particularly children, the predominant perception of failure and mistakes is that they are negative experiences to be avoided as far as possible.  The reality is that without failure and mistakes, we never learn anything.  This workshop examines the part which failure plays as a natural part of the learning cycle and encourages a more positive perspective on the value and benefit of making mistakes as a means to learning and developing as well-rounded people.

Behaviour Modification : Strategies for Everyday Use Every day parents face challenges in dealing with their children’s behaviour. Sometimes our children do not show appropriate behaviour, and we wonder what is the best way to teach these new behaviours.  Behaviour modification offers parents and teachers a systematic approach to manage behaviour using strategies that have been shown to be effective in many research studies over the past decades.

Bullying: A Zero Tolerance Policy Bullying is based on an imbalance of power with the intent to harm and continues in the face of objection or hurt feelings. This workshop focuses on bullying at schools. It delineates the kinds of bullying (including cyberbullying) and provides strategies to deal with bullying. At BCIS we strive to provide students with ongoing education to develop skills and strategies to identify, cope with, and prevent bullying.

Mostly Mind Maps, Mozart, and Movement A Mind Map is a versatile graphic organizer that allows us to get ideas on paper. It uses a central image, key words, pictures and symbols, and colours to capture the essence of an idea.

Lost in Cyberspace The Internet offers us untold advantages, yet poses significant dangers. Strategies are given to support parents in teaching their children to use the Internet safely.

Think Outside the Box It is difficult to break out of traditional thinking patterns to come up with new ideas. Lateral thinking tools, such as Provocation and Random Input, allow us the means to think outside the box.

Anger Management Anger is a natural human emotion that is necessary for our survival because it can elicit powerful and aggressive feelings and actions that allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. However, in today’s world we cannot freely express anger. The goal of anger management is to gain control over your reactions to anger. Strategies are provided to support parents in teaching their children effective ways to manage anger.

This workshop is entitled “Inspired Mind Maps”. Earlier in the school year, the PRC presented a workshop on how to make a mind map by hand. However, making a mind map using software, such as Inspiration 8IE, is much easier than making one by hand. Workshop participants will review Tony Buzan’s laws and recommendations for creating mind maps and then use Inspiration 8IE to make their own mind maps.

"Put a Little Flow in Your Life" In 1990 psychologist Mihali Csikszentmihalyi published a book called “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” in which he studied people who reported feeling happy when they were engaged in challenging tasks; he called this phenomenon “flow”. The components of flow include a high level of attention, a clear goal, immediate feedback, an altered sense of time, total immersion in the task, and feelings of intense happiness. In order to get into flow, you need to develop the skills needed to accomplish a challenging task. As parents, we want to ensure that we provide ample opportunities for our children to develop skills in a variety of areas in which they may get into flow.

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BCIS is accredited by the CIS (Council of International Schools) and WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges), which demonstrates that the school meets demanding international standards in all the areas of philosophy and objectives, curriculum, governance and management, staff, student support services, resources, and student and community life.Visit www.cois.org and www.acswasc.org for more information.

The International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation, motivated by its mission, focused on the student. The three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 help develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Founded in 1968, IBO currently works with 2,771 schools in 138 countries to develop and offer three challenging programmes to over 763,000 students aged 3 to 19 years.Visit www.ibo.org for more information.

We live by a spirit of inspiring others, achieving ones goals and creating a better world.

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