The ADDIE Instructional Design Model

Introduction: The ADDIE model is a systematic instructional design model consisting of 5 phases: In the order of application – consideration the 5 phases are as follows:

(1) Analysis;

(2) Design;

(3) Development;

(4) Implementation;

(5) Evaluation.

The above represents the “standard” or “typical ADDIE model with a multitude of valid variants presently in existence and use. The architect of the ADDIE model remains unknown, however, perhaps the greatest refiners and proponents of the model are Dick and Carey who have published extensively on the model.

The ADDIE Model

The commonly accepted terms for the 5-phase instructional design model are Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation with each step having an outcome that feeds into the next step in the sequence. It should be noted that the ADDIE model is authentically cyclic in nature with multiple feedback loop potentials presenting at each phase of the process.

The 5 phases of ADDIE model in expanded explanatory format are as follows: 


  • During analysis, the designer identifies the learning problem, the goals and objectives, the audience’s needs, existing knowledge, and any other relevant characteristics.  Analysis also considers the learning environment, any constraints, the learning vehicle delivery options, as well as project timeline(s).


  • A systematic process of specifying learning objectives. Detailed storyboards and prototypes are often made, and the end user-interface concert with content is determined in this phase.


  • The actual creation (production) of the content and learning materials based on the Design phase. Note: The author prefers to introduce Rapid Prototyping in the development phase in order to “leap forward in time” so to speak with regard to identifying potential problems and taking proper remedial action.


  • During the implementation phase the plan – program is put into action and a procedure for training the learner and teacher is developed. Materials are delivered or distributed to the learner group(s). After delivery and use by the learners the effectiveness of the training materials is evaluated.


  • This phase consists of formative and summative evaluation. Formative evaluation is present in each stage of the ADDIE process and exists as pre-determined metrics. Summative evaluation consists of tests designed for criterion-related referenced items and providing opportunities for feedback from the users by way of demonstrated skill – knowledge acquisition and or performance. Revisions are made as necessary and the flexibility to install revisions should be present in every phase of the ADDIE model.

Instructional Design – A Start Point

Instructional Design is a process:  Instructional Design is a systemic process derived primarily from instructional and learning theory focused on creating instructional materials in accordance with exacting specifications.  The process requires analysis of learner needs – end goals, subsequent design and development of instructional materials and modalities, and the employment of metrics – assessment – evaluation to determine the overall effectiveness of the process proper.

Note:  By one formal definition a “process” has a logical start point, however, it has no end point.  Therefore, an authentic process entails continual evaluation and modification that “shapes” the process to the best model possible at any given point in time.  Instructional Design is ever evolving and in a very real sense of the word, it is organic.

NLP Anchoring – A Few Final Considerations

NLP Anchoring – A Few Final Considerations

By Intellteacher



With regard to the NLP Anchor what has been posted and somewhat discussed thus far applies to creating, setting, activating, and using Anchors established in the Self. The next series of article will address the issue of Anchoring in others and this gives rise to some caveats. First, despite all the “Dark Side” hype surrounding the (mis)use of NLP compelling others to “do thy will” is neither possible nor desirable. There are some allegedly NLP based programs advertised on the Internet that make outlandish and completely bogus claims of teaching a person how to be in “control” of another person. Suffice it to say that even the most skilled of NLP practitioners is not a Svengali.   


Secondly, successfully employing Anchors in other people is based exclusively on the process of creating rapport which necessarily requires some semblance of a mutually cooperative environment.  Finally, Anchoring in others is a process of shaping another person’s perspective so that they “see” a matter from your point of view and in this way the process is one of working toward agreement and not something coercive in nature.


Returning to NLP Anchors installed in the Self the recent articles provided the reader with some specific steps to take and more importantly revealed the wide range of potential processes.  The articles work from a single hypothetical situation and if a reader will take the time to carefully consider what has been presented a whole host of cross-stimulus and cross-memory arrangements will emerge.  So long as the general process in terms of steps to be taken in sequence is followed the possible arrangements for creating useful Anchors is limited only by the reader’s imagination.


The author returns once again to a dominant and vitally important factor regarding NLP and that is PRACTICE-PRACTICE-PRACTICE. It is suggested that any practice be “chunked down” and done in small time increments, e.g., 10 – 20 minutes per day. Short duration, high quality NLP work will produce superior outcomes – results – improvement to “marathon” NLP practice sessions. The idea is to keep the practice fresh, interesting, and enjoyable rather than the practice session become perceived as a burden to be endured.


All readers are invited to post up any questions, problems or concerns they may have with regard to the above. It would be good to read of the successes encountered as well.


The next series of articles deals with the subject of NLP Anchoring in others and will include some necessary prior considerations before delving into the subject proper.


@intellteacher 2009

NLP Anchoring_The Basics Part 3

NLP Anchoring_The Basics Part 3

By IntellTeacher


If you have been following along by way of actual practice sufficient time has passed since the presentation of Part 2 for you to move forward in achieving mastery of Anchoring. If you have been simply reading the Anchoring articles and not practicing then it is suggested that you engage in some practice of the method before continuing to read further. It cannot be stressed too often that NLP is an activity, a way of creating an expanded and ultimately more useful and productive World view. In order to get anywhere with NLP the key is to “do” NLP on a daily basis and the doing need not be some herculean effort; a few minutes each day will suffice.


Thus far, Anchoring has been presented in the form of a hypothetical … by way of a context specific example, namely, a pending deadline for presenting at a conference – meeting. Now, staying with the example, the sequence of considerations and creating the context form employing the Anchor is re-visited and the process back engineered in some measure.


As previously stated, the author finds fault with the method of learning NLP in a setting divorced from the environment of intended use. Using a sports analogy the main defect noted in most NLP instructional settings is the difference between practice and playing in the big game. The author asserts that unless a person routinely works with NLP in real time and in real World they will experience a significant amount of failure when attempting to go from formally learned skills to skill set in application. The attending sensory field in real World is much greater, more complex, and intrusive than that typically found in an artificial learning environment. Therefore, sensory overload ensues, the “noise to signal” ration becomes overwhelming and the NLP technique fails.


By “chunking down” the time spent in NLP up tempo mode a series of small successes can be obtained. The successes experienced gives rise to a corresponding increase in confidence pertaining to the NLP skill a person is working with at the time. In the beginning, it is advised to proceed slowly and switch out of NLP mode a few minutes before you think you should. It is far better to end the session early, when the success level is still high, than it is to push on and run the risk of ending a session in failure. The Human Mind (and Body) tends to remember the most recent experience and in the instant case that translates to what was last experienced. By way of example, if you have set the arbitrary time mark for operating in NLP mode at 15 minutes for a session and are getting good outcomes – results at the 10 minute mark, then cease that session and enjoy your success.


In order to become highly skilled in an activity it is suggested that a person frequently work with the fundamentals up through the mid stage of their development. Master the basics and the more complex will be easier to learn. The author often times asks a prospective student a question and the answer to which determines their suitability as a student. The question is this: “How many ways do you know how to use a hammer?” If they answer “To drive in nails and pull out nails.” they are dismissed and encouraged to think about it for awhile and then return if they still want to be considered for acceptance as a student. Much like NLP, a hammer is a tool, and the total range of potential uses far exceeds that revealed in response to superficial consideration. As NLP is on one level a highly refined skill set focused on perception, the superficial will not suffice and those who insist on remaining in low level observational fashion are ill suited for NLP.


With Anchoring, the author advocates for creating and becoming skilled in using no more than a handful of Anchors. The author’s rationale will be presented at the very end of this article. Hint: How many ways do you know how to use a hammer? Moving forward with context being the primary concern the locus of emphasis shifts and context becomes everything. In the instructional example a meeting was the context; the arena of choice so to speak. Rather than continue to focus on a “meeting” the concern now switches to identifying – extracting the salient features of an event we term and recognize as a meeting. You are going to “chunk” it down. Some specific considerations to prompt readers in this process are as follows and require careful consideration of the setting in the example. Your considerations take place in real time as created by your Mind, e.g., you are now “there” in the meeting:


Note – Please write down your first response to each question below leaving 3 – 5 lines blank under each response you provide.


1.         How does the general environment appear to you?

2.         Who is present in the meeting?

3.         What is the significance of the meeting in terms of your career?

4.         How do you envision the information presented by you in the meeting will be used – evaluated by those present?

5.         What is the total amount of time you have to make your presentation?

6.         Do you think – feel – believe that time allotted is sufficient for you to make a thorough and well received presentation?


Set aside your written responses to the questions for a time and go about your day. Later that same day revisit your responses and immediately before doing so take a few minutes to calm – quiet your Mind setting aside all concerns for the moment. Now, read each of the questions and your response in turn. You will make notes of how you “feel” about the question proper and your response … focus on “feelings” and not thoughts, e.g., nervous, worried, apprehensive, etc. Please notice that the example responses are restricted to negative feelings and there is a reason for this being the case. At this stage of NLP development readers are advised to work with things that present as problems or entail an element of difficulty. Make your focus overcoming hurdles in the early going as improving in areas that are is some way deficient or lacking will give you the most dramatic and positive outcomes. Later, you can change the focus to refining and improving those things that you all ready do well. For the time being, work to resolve the difficulties. Write down the feelings that naturally come into being in response to each question and your response.


At the conclusion of the drill above you have successfully identified and extracted the “heavy” elements of the experience and are prepared to fully address same through the use of your previously created NLP Anchor. You want to immediately proceed to shaping your internal perceptions toward a more positive posture. This is accomplished by going through your list once more only this time close your eyes after reviewing the final entry for each question, the list of feelings, and “fire off” your Anchor, pause for a few moments and then open your eyes. You will do this exercise for each question in turn.


Once finished set the list aside and return to your normal routine. You want to repeat this drill once a day for the next 2 days giving you a total of 3 sessions. At the end of the 3rd session you will have generalized the usefulness of your single Anchor to real World settings in which similar circumstances present, e.g., experiences characterized by stress, pressure, anxiety, etc. This means you now know how to use a hammer in far more ways than simply driving and pulling nails.


@intellteacher 2009

NLP Anchoring_The Basics Part 2

NLP Anchoring – The Basics


By IntellTeacher

Part 2


In Part 1 a hypothetical situation was considered as a way of examining and learning about the NLP Anchor. The Anchor was created by linking a specific olfactory experience with a more generalized state of being. It is important to keep in mind is that although the memory of the desired state experience was highly specific in terms of detail the more generalized “feeling” is what was being utilized in order to create the Anchor.


As previously mentioned, the author contends that NLP is in “doing” rather than a predominantly academic exercise. The article moves forward with the understanding that readers are in fact “doing” NLP as set forth in Part 1 in order to properly follow along and more importantly, develop skill.


The author has encountered many instances of NLP practitioners presenting NLP Anchoring in an instructional setting and that is as far as they go … literally. The technique is taught, perhaps a variety of possible sensory input modalities for creating Anchors are provided by way of example, and that concludes the whole presentation. At a minimum, there two additional considerations which are the subject of this article, namely, setting and testing (verifying, validating) the Anchor.


In context, “setting” an Anchor means to repeatedly activate the Anchor sequence in order to access the desired state and this is not something to be done without structure in the early stages of developing authentic NLP skill. As Dr. Win Wenger of Accelerated Learning and Creative Problem Solving fame is fond of noting “You get more of what you reinforce.” Therefore, in order to facilitate acquiring real skill in creating and using Anchors it is important to frequently experience success in working with same. The author terms this approach “Setting up people for success.”


If you carefully read the paragraph above you will have noticed that I wrote “… repeatedly activate the Anchor sequence …” rather than “… repeatedly activate the Anchor.” Another point of divergence in the instant approach and that typically encountered in NLP is the concept of “gradual shaping” toward a desire goal. Gradual shaping is a step wise process in which a person moves toward a goal in small increments … a series of “min-successes” if you prefer. In the instant case this plays as repeating the Anchor sequence in series of 3s with a new memory being called upon that contains the same or similar feelings being brought into conscious awareness at specific intervals. This is one way of causing the Anchor to generalize with a corresponding level of usefulness to you. The reason for the author emphasizing generalization is yet another point of departure from most NLP learning instruction.


The vast majority of NLP instruction is delivered in a vacuum as the actual learning environment is contextually different from that found in real World. What tends to happen, and the main reason why so many fail to experience success with NLP techniques, is that a disconnect is created. The learning environment and real World do not mesh or do not mesh well enough to facilitate success. Let’s take our present hypothetical meeting as an example. You attend a NLP work shop and learn the Anchoring technique. While in the work shop you experience some measure of success in creating and activating Anchors. You then go back to real World with your new assortment of techniques and despite following a protocol exactly as taught and learned, it fails to deliver the full value you hoped to derive from the technique. What happened? Most NLP adepts will tell you that you simply are not yet skilled enough to “hit the mark” the majority of times and that more practice will increase the incidence of success. Although this is “true” enough, it is also an indirect way to resolve the issue.


For those who have attended a seminar or two the question is asked: How do you generally find the environment? Think about this carefully for a moment. Typically, the environment is low level to non-existent threat based, people are warm and welcoming, and the seminar presenter exerts a great deal of control over the elements of the environment, e.g., lighting, seating configuration, breaks in presentation, pace of material presentation, etc. Juxtapose this with real World and the many disconnects become glaringly obvious. Generalizing the Anchor is a way of bridging from a learning environment to the World at large. By varying the memory being used to summon up the desired state a person avoids the trap of becoming literally anchored to a highly specific context (one memory).


The author suggests taking 3 memories and going through the Anchor sequence 3 times with each memory in succession. The “Rule of 3s” might be a topic for a future article, but for now, simply follow the prescribed routine. After having done the 3 bouts of 3 you are now ready to proceed to the validation – verification part of Anchoring and we will stay with our hypothetical presentation example. For the sake of discussion let us say that the Anchor was created the night before the scheduled presentation and the presentation is to take place at 10:00 a.m. that following morning. On your way to your office you will most likely encounter several people and perhaps exchange the greeting of the day or some other social pleasantries. Before beginning your trip to the office take your satchel out of the baggie and rub one of your fingers against the satchel. You want to get some of the scent on a finger. While speaking with another person, and at random, fire off the Anchor by casually raising the hand with the satchel scent bearing finger and passing your hand under your nose. Think of how a person looks rubbing their chin for a moment as they contemplate … a snap shot of “The Thinker” so to speak. Then, briefly turn inward to focus on the physical sensations you experience. The feelings that you wanted do in fact manifest … do this 2 – 3 times if the situations arise and time permits although once is enough. You have now provided your mind with a form of proof that the Anchor works which will exert a quieting and calming influence on the negative inner-talk we all tend to experience when under stress … and this is really just a form of confidence.


@intellteacher 2009

NLP Anchoring_The Basics

NLP Anchoring – The Basics


By IntellTeacher

Part 1


As indicated in the title, what follows is a multi part article focused on “Anchoring” as held within the discipline of NLP.  A quick caveat:  NLP is a “living system” and this means that it is made manifest, and of real use, in “doing” or in real application if you prefer.  All the academic knowledge of NLP will amount to nothing unless a person applies the processes, systems, and techniques on a regular basis.  By “regular” I mean daily practice – use.  


A simple, clean, and direct way to meet the requirement for routine use of NLP is to dedicate 1 hour per day to operating in NLP mode.  The setting or time of day really does not matter; it is purely a matter of engaging in the activity thereby creating and capturing an increasingly large number of experiences in terms of NLP directed action(s) and feedback from the person with whom you are interacting.  The responses you get are what forms the foundation and working with the responses, of whatever nature, is the vehicle through which a person develops real skill and ultimately, mastery, of NLP.


In this article an “Anchor” is defined as anything that serves as “trigger” accessing some desired mental state. At least in the initial phases this article is going to move forward through the use of simple, direct, and easy to use examples. It is suggested that readers “do the drill” and convert the words on paper example into a real life experience.


In the near future a series of articles will be posted based on NLP Anchoring tied into the Creative Problem Solving and Accelerated Learning techniques of Dr. Win Wenger.  Additionally, how the afore-mentioned Accelerated Learning and Creative Problem Solving techniques as well as NLP can be successfully used by classroom teachers will be examined on this Blog.


Scenario 1:


You are facing a situation in which the next day you need to be “on” which is defined as operating at maximum or near maximal efficiency. Specifically, you are to present a project – program update at tomorrow’s scheduled meeting. You have done your homework and know your piece of the presentation … for our purposes we will refer to your preparation up to this point as meeting the needs of the mental side of house.


It has been repeatedly noted that performing for our peers is one of the most things to do well. The many reasons for the “truth” in this assertion is beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that when we are before our peers or colleagues, we have a mutual history … they “know” us and we know them. What is relevant in this instance is that emotional state is a major player in how we perform and this emotional state is going to be our entry into NLP Anchoring.


As previously stated, it is the day before you are scheduled to present. Go to the local “Dollar Store” and check out the various fragrance satchels you will find in the candle and incense section. You want to select a fragrance that appeals to you and it is suggested you try out lavender, vanilla, ocean mist, fresh spring, and rain. The reason for the suggested list will become obvious a bit later in the article.


About 45 – 60 minutes before you retire for the night take out your presentation notes and scan through them. You do not want to read the notes word for word as you would in study mode … simply scan through them and then set them aside. Have your fragrance satchel of choice in a zip lock bag next to you. Turn the room lights down or off, and focus on deep, relaxed breathing for a few minutes. Then, gently bring to mind a time when you were really “on” … this situation or setting do not matter and it certainly doesn’t have to be anything like a previous presentation you gave. Allow the full memory to form completely of its own accord, do not force it; simply allow it to happen. Now, shift your awareness to how you felt during your time “starring down”. Allow your mind to explore all the different feelings that arise in response to this good memory. Once you are deeply into the memory secure your satchel, remove it from the baggy and take a good whiff … really get the smell. It is important that you stay in the memory not so much in terms of “facts” associated with it as the “feelings” that occur in response to bringing the memory to mind.


Allow your mind to drift as it will for a few moments and then repeat the steps noted in the preceding paragraph.  Once again allow your mind to drift a bit at the end of the second bout. Repeat the steps for a third and final time and then end the session. You have just created a powerful Anchor.


Next: Setting and testing the Anchor.


@intellteacher 2009


Anchoring – Introduction

Anchoring: The NLP Way

By IntellTeacher

Although not unique to NLP, anchoring is among the most powerful of techniques employed in NLP. Anchoring operates on an other than conscious level and can be used to solicit the responses desired by the astute and skilled NLP practitioner.

In general terms, the “short answer” to the question of what is anchoring is as follows:  Anchoring is a process in which stimulus input of whatever nature is associated with some pre-existing thought, feeling, or belief. The easiest and perhaps best known example of anchoring, albeit in very crude form, is to found in Pavlov’s experiment wherein a bell sounded and a dog salivated. The sound of the bell had been effectively “anchored” to the event of food being made available.

With regard to NLP, anchoring is a process that occurs outside of normal conscious awareness and is regarded as very much naturally occurring. The process of anchoring is natural in that we do it all the time. A snippet of a song from our past, the smell of fresh cut grass, a cool breeze that gently wafts across our skin, any and all of these things that trigger a memory are examples of everyday anchoring.

As with much of NLP, the key to anchoring is to found in developing a heightened, and more refined, sense of awareness. Win Wenger, Ph.D., makes frequent reference to “awarenesses” which might be defined as acuity of perception in multiple awareness modalities. “Awarenesses” is a set piece in developing skills in accelerated learning protocols as well as creative problem solving methodology. With regard to NLP, a highly developed sense of awareness is part of the foundation that allows the adept to move more effectively and efficiently through this World.

In spite of anchoring being a natural and common occurrence what in one sense defines NLP is that the practitioner consciously engages in anchoring for one of two purposes. The first is to form an association with some response in another person that can be repeatedly accessed at will. The second is to remove or install anchors in the Self in order to move with lessened internal resistance toward a goal or desire.

With regard to interacting with another person the “best practice” of NLP dictates that we maintain an awareness of what anchors are being created – activated (for pre-existing anchors) and the response(s) we are getting. This awareness and internal tracking of anchors and responses allows us to move forward in pursuit of productive outcomes. It needs to be stated that the process of anchoring carries the implicit understanding that the outcomes sought are devoid of “bad” intent and mutually beneficial.

What follows is a simple and straight forward example of proper anchoring in a hypothetical classroom setting from the perspective of a teacher. A student has just experienced a break through moment in which a chunk of newly presented material has integrated … an “Aha” experience ensues. The teacher goes to the student, congratulates the student … and as the words of praise registers with the student the teacher reaches out and gently, yet firmly, touches the student on the left shoulder with their hand. The teacher has just anchored a sense of accomplishment in the student and can obtain this same response by repeating the shoulder touch.

It is noteworthy that NLP frequently anchors a desired response by way of sensory input different from the experience itself. In the example above, the student was experiencing personal satisfaction at grasping newly presented material, a mental activity, and the teacher anchored this sensation by way of touch.

The main value in becoming effective at anchoring is to elicit favourable and productive responses as part of being an effective communicator. One of the primary and unseen barriers to effective communication is the mental – emotional – psychological state of the person being addressed. Anchoring is a way of “clearing the way” when speaking with another person so that your idea(s) or presentation is received rather than resisted or outright ignored. Dr. Wenger has created several accelerated learning techniques, which can be found in his seminal work “Dynamic Teaching” which has an element he refers to as “clearing the channels”. Clearing the channels is analogous to what we do in NLP when we anchor a desired positive outcome … we clear away negativity and  install something useful.

In the near future an article dealing with some drills which will assist readers in becoming skilled in anchoring will be posted up.

©2009 IntellTeacher




NLP in ACTION – How to …

By IntellTeacher

Find a time when you have 15 – 20 minutes “free” and are in a place that is comfortable to you … make sure you won’t be disturbed, e.g., the phone is turned off, those you are responsible for are accounted for or otherwise properly engaged – entertained and assume a comfortable body position. Gently think, this time is yours and yours alone; don’t force it, just say to yourself “This time is all mine.” and calmly repeat it until you are convinced. Now, bring to mind a specific goal for yourself and in the early goings select a small goal, e.g., one that you all ready have a good chance of meeting, and write it down.


Then exactly follow the script below:


Step 1. Close your eyes, breathe deeply in a relaxed manner, and verbally, out loud, say the goal you have chosen for this moment.


Step 2. Allow the feelings associated with you now completely stated goal arise on their own accord; don’t force anything and don’t repress anything that comes to mind. You want your “inner talk” to operate freely and speak to you as it will. Stay in this mode until the “voices in your head” have had their say.


Step 3. Now, slowly open your eyes, don’t rush it, and write down the words that describe all the thoughts that came to you in Step 2 above.  Your Mind spoke to you using specific words and these are the words you want to capture on paper. Set this sheet of paper to the side, where you can easily see it, but it is not in your way and put a clean sheet of paper in front of you.


Step 4. Bring to Mind a past goal that you were successful in achieving; one that gave you a good feeling once obtained. Don’t concern yourself is the past met goal is in no fashion related to the goal you have selected for this exercise. What is important are the feelings – impressions – sensations – memories of the achieved goal, specifically, the feeling associated with meeting the goal.


Step 5. On the clean sheet of paper before you write down the goal met in the past and then write down all the feelings that accompanied meeting that goal. Quick Point: Focus on bringing feelings to conscious awareness and record them. Your sentences should contain feel words, e.g., kinesthetic based words and not contain words such as “think”.


Step 6. Now, put your two (2) sheets of paper side by side and read aloud each in turn. It really doesn’t matter which you read first; the key is to read each in turn and read them out loud with your full attention in play.




Final Step: Sit quietly and calmly while breathing relaxed and easy. Bring to Mind the differences in the recorded two (2) goal events. What do you find? For many, if not most, of us, our inner and ongoing dialogue slants toward the negative or what some would refer to as a “defeatist” attitude. Do you find a richness of positive affirmations in the past goal all ready achieved document, yet your future goal contains dark hints of doubt, potential problems, and possibly even failure as the ultimate outcome?


It seems the majority of the Human Condition goes through life unaware, or only occasionally – peripherally aware of the steady stream of chatter that goes on inside our head. In Buddhist Doctrine this is referred to as “Monkey Mind” and calming, then quieting, and finally rehabilitating the Monkey to speak in positive terms is a key to progress as a fully actualized Human Being.


This particular exercise can assist you in replacing the Negative Speakers with voices that are positive, affirming, and success orientated. First, really get a good understanding of the speakers that generally follow you around on a daily basis … identify and know them all, e.g., the “You aren’t good enough” Speaker. Then, one by one, swap out the voices of doubt with a voice derived from a past success, e.g., “You did it!”. The ultimate goal is to go through the day with “people on your side” speaking to you and jettison all the “harsh critics”. Routinely using this technique will aid you in engaging in creative problem solving as well as accelerated learning applications. It’s far more easy and effective to operate near your full potential when not dragging around a lot of negative baggage so get rid of the “speed bumps on the road to progress” and travel with good company at all times!


Future articles will include NLP techniques in concert with the Accelerated Learning and Creative Problem  Solving systems of Dr. Win Wenger.  Journey well.

©2009 IntellTeacher


NLP and the Classroom

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) first burst upon the psychological therapy scene in 1975 with the release of Richard Bandler and John Grinder’s written work, The Structure of Magic. At the time, Grinder was mostly involved in transformational grammar which was created by Noam Chomsky during the 1960s, and Richard Bandler was heavily involved in the study of mathematics with special attention to statistics. Transformational grammar is a systemic approach to uncovering the “deeper” meanings of communication by way of creating models of how grammatical knowledge is both represented and eventually processed by the brain prior to being articulated.


What Bandler and Grinder did was to apply their separate disciplines to the psychological counseling techniques of Fitz Perls, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson.  For those not in the know, Fitz, Virginia and Erickson are absolute Titans in the field of talk therapy. The ultimate outcome of Bandler and Grinder’s efforts is that they were able to identify and quantify the specific patterns present in the practices of Perls, Satir and Erickson. Arguably for the first time, the mastery of psychological counseling was revealed in a very exacting and distinct series of concrete processes … the “how do they do that” puzzle was solved.


Okay, now that your eyes are glazed over from having read the above I suppose you are saying to yourself “Gee, Frank, that’s just swell, but what does any of this have to do with my being a successful classroom teacher?” I’m absolutely delighted you asked that question, gentle readers, and the answer begins below.


In the present form, NLP provides a highly refined matrix by which a person can capture the sensory input preference(s) of any individual. Huh? Okay, try this, we have all heard and probably read a great deal about “learning styles” and the importance of employing classroom instructional techniques that take into account a student’s preferred way of learning. When we say “learning style” we are actually addressing the preferred process, and not the content proper. We can know how a person is processing information but we cannot know the actual content, e.g., we cannot read their mind. One of the major criticisms, and justifiably so, that is leveled at proponents of learning styles is that the data substantiating claims of learning style are derived from self report forms. With NLP, we avoid the whole controversy by way of directly observing a person (student) process information … we ask them nothing and they tell us everything.


There are several ways, or active systems, for identifying how a person is processing information with regard to sensory input channel selection, e.g., up inside their head making pictures (Visual Learner), listening to their inner voice run a monologue (Auditory Learning), and so on. Please keep the context of NLP’s birth and development in mind as it is crucial to understanding what you can and what you cannot use in the NLP tool box. For example, while conversing with a person I can observe their breathing and have a decent understanding of what sensory channels they are engaging at that moment. That’s all well and fine in certain settings, however, a classroom filled with students and a busy schedule to maintain is not the right time or place for such a thing.  Ideally, we would all have the opportunity to create our capture – identify matrix out of several observation systems. The truth of the matter is we as teachers do not have that luxury. So what is our best course of action given that we want to add NLP to our teaching repertoire? We go with auditory cues and by this I mean we engage in active listening with a very specific purpose.


To get a feel for how NLP might benefit you as a teacher try the following experiment for an hour or so every day for the next 3 days. Listen carefully to the person you are conversing with and keep a mental tally of the times they used words like “feel” “hear” and “see”. You are listening for patterns to emerge and here is a hypothetical conversation taking place in which you are the listener as an example: “You know, I feel real bad about the state of the economy today. I mean, it hurts me to think of all the people who lost their jobs right before the holidays. I can’t begin to imagine how painful it must have been for them to tell their Children that the holidays were going to be slim this year. Whenever I think of this mess we are in I just feel so bad inside …” Okay, now I know you are all quick studies, have all ready analyzed the hypothetical above, and properly concluded … “Aha, Kinesthetic Learner!”  Congratulations, without any fuss or muss you have just correctly identified the imaginary person’s sensory input preference and you immediately converted this knowledge into a learning style label. What is more important is that you did it without them even knowing and you did it without subjecting them to some “fill in the bubble” questionnaire. You actively listened, and they told you everything you need to know in order to quickly and deeply connect with them, namely, you frame your part of the continuing conversation by using words that are kinesthetic in nature.


There are some interesting visual and auditory cues that tend to present in all sensory input preference systems.  A such consideration is that of mental processing intervals. One of the really “nice” things about KLs is they will tell you when they are actively processing and when they have completed processing.


Let’s take the example of the ever present pen or pencil. KLs don’t just hold the writing instrument; they are near constantly manipulating it in some fashion. If we key in on their prop during instruction we find that the speed – tempo and magnitude of twirling (example) changes frequently. What we are seeing is a metronome of sorts and it defines (can) where the KL is with regard to mental processing.


What we want to do is watch for the lulls in manipulation and the times where the rhythm and speed of movement slips into a leisurely, even cadence. That tells us the student has absorbed what was presented and processed the newly acquired information to some degree. This is a key time to ask a follow on question or do something that leads them to use what they have processed in order to create deeper – further understanding.


I hope you not only enjoyed the post, but come away with at least a glimpse of what could be a useful tool to you in teaching.


Greetings All Teachers

Greetings to all Teachers and welcome to my IntellTeacher Blog. The Blog title is shorthand for intelligent teacher as we are among the most learned and intelligent of people. I’m running under the nom de plume of Frankly Frank in order to stay off the radar of the school system, keep my school’s administration happy, and not bring any undo and or unwanted attention to my Students.

This Blog draws upon a multitude of sources for the material contained herein with much of it being derived from my years of studying – practicing Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), with practical refinements I credit to my time learning from Richard McHugh, Ph.D. Dr. McHugh is perhaps the first “pure” NLP based Psychologist and a truly authentic Human Being.

The Blog’s main corpus in terms of articles and useful information comes from the large body of work on NLP as filtered through the teachings of Dr. McHugh. At least a bit of the material referenced above is, of course, run through the filter of my cumulative life experience which ranges from carpenter, to soldier, to teacher and several professions in between. As you might have all ready guessed, I’m “old“ which in this context means I’m over 50 and therefore relieved of any obligation to state my exact age. Hey, with age comes privilege; at least that’s my take on it and I’m sticking to it!

What You Will Find Here:

The primary focus of this Blog is effective communication and rapport building for Teachers. Specifically, here you will find a working and practical definition of NLP in the form of a series of techniques – methods with the emphasis being on going from protocol on paper, or on screen, to application in the classroom via the lesson plan. We are going to proceed in a step wise, logical fashion with the result being you will not only develop a solid foundation in NLP techniques, you will also be capable of seamlessly meshing said techniques with your existing lesson plans.

It’s going to be a great ride, all comments – feedback are appreciated and will be acknowledged. ENJOY! Frankly Frank