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Gazette » Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Education – Simple, Powerful Tool to Transform Education?

July 16, 2010

Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Education – Simple, Powerful Tool to Transform Education?

Stephen McClard

Excerpt from Article:

“What is NLP?

It is hard to really lock down a good definition for NLP. Originally co-developed by John Grinder and Dr. Richard Bandler, this area of psychology has grown to become immense and complicated. If I were to give it a short definition, I would define it like this: NLP is the art of using response and stimuli for the express purpose of constructing desired outcomes. This can be done in a conscious manner or an unconscious manner. NLP attempts to find reproducible methods that anyone can use for success.

Let me give you a real world example. Teacher ‘A’ has a class that is out-of-control. When the same go to teacher ‘B’, they behave well. It stands to reason that a method exists to control the students. If teacher ‘A’ can discover the method that teacher ‘B’ uses, then teacher ‘A’ can control her class. NLP attempts to study the method and find commonalities and best practices for controlling behavior.

Over the last few decades, many common methods for success have been found in every area of endeavor. Name the behavior and NLP has the answer. It will be impossible for me to cover the entire territory of NLP in one article, so I will merely give you a good start. My best advice for you would be to purchase Neuro-linguistic Programming for Dummies by Romila Ready and Kate Burton. It is a fantastic read and can give you a great start into the subject.


The world of NLP revolves around a few presuppositions. A presupposition is an implicit assumption. In other words, it is assumed that there is implied truth in what is stated and can be viewed as correct in every way. As we jump into this topic as it applies to education, prepare to dive deep and stretch your mind wide.

1. The map is not the territory. Have respect for the individual’s map.

Each of us has a map of the territory (world around us) that will be different depending on our perspective and frame of reference. Our map of the world represents our unique view of the world, while the territory represents actual objects and events. Your perception as an educator belongs to you and does not accurately represent the territory or the map of the student. If you realize this difference and respect the map of your students, you are prepared to make NLP work for you.

2. People respond according to their map of the territory.

All students operate in the world according to their perception of the territory. Since each map is different, each response will be unique. Your responsibility as an educator is to discover the student’s map and act accordingly. Change the map and you change the student.

3. Meaning depends on context.://

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