Welcome to the World of Stories For Growth, the New Oceans Way!


Stories About Learning


Everyone is special, and everyone has needs. And if education is learning about life, isn’t that what everyone is all about?

Labels help us to tell things apart, to know the differences between….but labels don’t only SHOW differences, they make them too. And pigeon-holes aren’t even good for pigeons! They allow no room to grow.

What if we used all the resources we were born with, developed our sensory acuity, honed our rapport skills? Remembered and accepted that every map is unique and none of them is the territory?

Then we could dispense with labels, and let that uniqueness that we sense in others BE the difference.

Maybe the first step is to educate ourselves to be curious, to NEED everything that is special about everyone else: not to label and package it in convenience, but to recognise it, try it on for size….and honour it for the gift it really is.

Dee Shipman 2012.


Who taught your baby to walk? Who taught your baby to talk? No-one, no not even you. Your naturally brilliant child wasn’t taught – they LEARNED. And they learned by modelling you, by having you encourage them, as a game, playing at being you.

They learned because it was fun, because they were unafraid of failing – it wasn’t even in their ‘options bank’………they took action, saw or heard or felt if something worked. If it didn’t they tried something else, adjusted course all the way to their outcome.

They learned because they were naturally in the best emotional state for learning, for expanding their maps of the world. Without that no amount of information would be retained. And whatever little might have been would always, every time they recalled it for the rest of their lives, have brought back the negative and limiting emotional feelings of the state they’d been in.

As Miss Jean Brodie, that fictional but perfect exemplar of an educator knew, education should be about drawing out, not forcing in, knowledge.

And that is the New Oceans approach as well. It’s not about teaching so much as about learning. About “no failure only feedback”. About calibrating each child’s learning style and strategies, and using tthem as a means to helping the child draw out the best of themselves. It’s about not confusing behaviour with identity.

Education the New Oceans way is about showing children how to model excellence in others and map it across to themselves. It’s about helping teachers to be the best models of excellence for the children in their care.

And most of all it’s about making the learning experience fun, making it, literally and metaphorically, the time of their lives!

Dee Shipman



The easiest way for someone to learn something is to put it into a reference frame of something they’re passionate about.

So Chiara, aged 8, whose passions are acting and horses, easily learned a poem by heart when I framed it as

“Here’s a trick that actors use to learn their lines”, and added

“To remember the rhythm of the poem, imagine you’re cantering on your horse”.

This works because ‘Passion’ is not a noun, it’s a Nominalisation, a process; in other words, a strategy.

When someone has a passion it’s a strategy that they run with easy excellence. So changing the submodalities of the strategy of something they can’t yet do into the submodalities of the strategy of their passion - their strategy of excellence - results in them then being able to do the once challenging thing easily and well.

Dee Shipman


This month's featured stories

From ‘CAN DO’ to ‘CAN DID’……..!

In today’s economic climate, we all have to do more with less, and so we’re told that there’s a real and imperative need for a ‘can do’ attitude. Yet one of the most powerful secrets of business success is not just a ‘can do’ attitude, but an ability to ‘live’ your goals backwards. – in other words, to have a ‘can did!’ attitude instead…… and the ability to action it!

So here’s the secret of how to do this:-

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When I was a child, there were two constants in my life….I loved learning; and I hated school. The two were apparently incompatible – with a couple of notable exceptions.

In my Primary school it was George Breeze, the music teacher. The first time I had a lesson with him I sat reluctantly at the piano, waiting for instructions, Instruction! But he simply asked me what I wanted from music, and what it would be like when I got it. Sharing that with Mr Breeze crystallised it in my own head, and also made me feel comfortable… rapport with myself as well as with him.

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