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The Nexus Where Science Meets Nature

About Us

Empowering our choices for the 21st Century with an evidence-based approach to learning.

Let’s not be dictated to by the “grades” we get but by the passion & determination we develop as natural learners.

Learning is for everyone’s brains, naturally.

 

About Active Axons Education

Active Axons Education is a private education company based in Sydney, Australia. Active Axons provides education courses, educational neuroscience online programs, professional consultation and runs events all throughout Australia using Neuroplasticty and Neuroscience as the basis of the delivery of education to Adults, Children, Parents, Students, Teachers, Educational Instutition and Education Bodies, Organisations, and the list goes on.

Our specialities are early childhood education, government education, teacher training, neuroeducation & facilitating educational neuroscience in the classroom.

Active Axons Education also have online education courses and programs for 21st Century Wellness, teaching everyone to understand their own biology and the use of essential oils as Nature’s First Pharmacy.  Active Axons Education promotes doTERRA essential oils & runs online courses regarding the use of essential oils for the maintenance and improvement of health & courses regarding the biology of the human body with the intent of raising awareness of our biological selves and empowering everyone to have ore control of their health and to facilitate advocacy towards western medicine and treatment regimes, helping everyone underestand what is happening to them, supporting the demystificaiton of scientific terms in to plain speak.

 

Using Neuroscience For Learning

Through research, adaptive learning, the delivery of online training courses, one on one and group delivery and professional constultation, Active Axons Education allows individuals and groups to explore the Learning Mind, helping people understanding brain plasticity, how does the brain work, mind plasticity, brain growth, brain development the neuroplasticity of the brain and the neuroplascitity and learning opportunities that alternative educational models bring to help people learn of all ages and from all backgrounds. 

Our courses and learning opportunities support people to understand how the human brain works and the most important message we want to impart; that everybody can learn.  You can teach to learn and you can learn to learn and you can also teach for learning.

Active Axons was born out of an intense desire to connect authentic education and informed choice with the joy of living and the importance of empowering  individual responsibility.

We challenge the concept of “smart” in education and aim to close the perceived space between science and nature.

Active Axons delivers education & resources, face to face & online, using ground-breaking research into learning that supports the way the brain works naturally; and tools that challenge the way we see our choices in life, our relationship to science & our health.

We believe that regardless of our heredity, socioeconomic status, culture or age each of us has a right to education & to live the best life we can embracing the choices we have.

We have a responsibility to do this in an informed and healthy way. Life is for Living.

 

Empowering Education and Wellness

Active Axons Education has been evolving over the last 10 years. At the heart of it, we really just want to promote a true love of learning for life. We connect authentic education and informed personal choice with the right to experience the amazing joy of living and the responsibility we each have.

Our programs incorporate the growing research into how the brain learns, education tools and health choices in the 21st century in interactive online courses and face to face experiences.

We are born to learn and to choose our paths. It is simply written in our DNA!! Life is for Living. Learning is Life! We can certainly all benefit from Education, Tools and the Confidence to make our own choices – but is that what our current systems give us?

The outside world can be a powerful dictator of what to think and how to act.

Active Axons Education aims to challenge the way we see learning, life, science & health as well as the process of education itself.  Learning is just so naturally Human Nature. Science and Nature are just so one in the same. We want the nature of learning and the science of the natural world to inform our approach to education and to our wellness.

Active Axons Education works with teachers, schools and students; individuals and families; healthcare practitioners and healthcare recipients; and anyone who would like to feel more empowered to understand how they learn, how their bodies work and how this can inform choices they make.

Regardless of our heredity, socioeconomic status, culture or age each of us has a right to education & to the best life we can have.

We get it!

Active Axons Education initially arose from an intense desire to make a difference to how teachers and students “did school”. This expanded to include a passion for examining how healthcare “did wellness”

Kery O’Neill is the owner and director. A vet, science educator and life long learner Kery was teaching at the time she started the company. Her deep passion has grown from her personal life experiences and her own experience in the education and healthcare systems.

Two of the most important aspects of living our lives to the full are Education and Health. The United Nations recognises the rights of all individuals to have the best of both of these and we have “systems” in place to govern these in most countries  

Kery’s experiences raised many questions for her and for many she worked with.

  • Have systems lost sight of what the aims are for individuals?
  • Why isn’t school an enjoyable and safe place for all students?
  • Why does education seem to be more about the system than about the learning for individuals?
  • Why is our “success” as learners and teachers determined often by a comparative numerical scale?
  • Why are so many teachers so stressed and so many leave the profession?
  • Are we being disempowered to ask “why”?
  • Is health care  done “to you not with you”?
  • Why is there an emphasis on reactive rather than proactive wellness?
  • Is there a link between the questions of the education system and the healthcare system?
  • Why do people think science is “hard”?

 

Our Approach to Providing Education, Tools and the Confidence to Choose

We challenge the concept of “smart” in education and aim to close the perceived space between science and nature.

Active Axons delivers education & resources, face to face & online, using ground-breaking research into learning that supports the way the brain works naturally; and tools that challenge the way we see our choices in life, our relationship to science & our health.

We share our material through an interactive and dynamic process, a range of entry points and  programs presented with maximum enthusiasm.

Education... Tools... Your Confidence To Choose

We can help & support you in Education & in Health & Wellness.  Let’s change things together.

Active Axons Education Services

 

Teacher Professional Development

  • Short and longer courses incorporating the Neuroscience of Learning
  • Increase student engagement and decrease teacher stress (acredited)
  • Teaching that Science is Easy
  • Teaching the Biology Rocks

Learning How to Learn

  • Short and longer courses for students, parents and anyone who wants to be reintroduced to all that their brains can do!

 

Health & Wellness Education

  • Short and longer courses to help understand the way our bodies work and what is happening when there is a disease process

 

doTERRA Essential Oils

  • Access to Tools for incorporating Essential Oils into wellness choices
  • Members hub for customer education and training
  • Members hub for business training

 

About Kery O’Neill, Our Director (In A Nutshell)

Variously classified as a Baby Boomer, a Sagittarian, a Scientist, a past Hippy, a Teacher, a Vet, a DISC High I/ High D, a “7”, an Australian Founding Doterra Diamond, and some labels that are probably not appropriate to put on paper. All up, well I’m just loving life, really happy and just a bit driven! I think everyone should be this happy!! Born in 1961, I truly believe 50 is the new 30!

I have the pleasure to be the mother of three beautiful children who span two other “gen” categories, and the fortune to be the wife of another very passionate educator and an amazing father.

We have lived in many places in Australia and lived a short time overseas. Experiencing the world to shape our attitudes is a shared family goal and appreciating the power and choice we have to help others is a great result.

We now live on 4 acres of bushland in the wonderful Blue Mountains west of Sydney, Australia

With a background that incorporates research science, veterinary surgery, education, management and complementary health I have become an impassioned lifelong learner. I love to learn and my life purpose has shown itself through all my experiences. These have not all been good t the time but they have been lessons in themselves. They have taught me to be  an enthusiastic and inspiring communicator of our choices in education and wellness. Lets face it – talking is something that comes really very naturall

Our Mission

Life, and all it has allowed me to experience, has delivered me to where I should be. It has gifted me with an ever growing drive to communicate the absolute joy of authentic education and the power of informed choice on the way we live.

My personal story has given me a deep passion for  cultivating a society that understands

  • The worth of every individual
  • The power of education for everyone
  • The way to find true joy in learning
  • The need to ask questions always
  • The need for tools the make choices in life
  • The importance of understanding our own bodies
  • The importance of having basic science literacy

Sharing the best of education, the best of science and the best of nature has become a mission. They all go hand in hand.

How did Active Axons Education come to be?

I have experienced a number of health, financial and family challenges over the years however I am truly grateful for these as they have shaped me, my passion for education and have helped me learn over time. Really, that’s what our lives are – continuing education programs!

Life challenged my concepts of how I fitted in and what was available to me and what I have learned is so empowering! We can be whatever we want to be if we understand how!

Advocate for Informed Choice

Life is precious.

Members of my family have had a great deal of experience with addiction and the impact this has on others. Like many others we have been exposed to the decisions that must be made when health crises arise

We have choices in life every day and need to be empowered to make them with the best information available to us. Some of my life choices were ill-informed and I was not taking responsibility and had a sense of “blame”. A focus on education wasn’t part of our family history and there were big issues with substance abuse for my father who suffered from PTSD. I learnt to find excuses. This was not an empowered way to live.

But lets start with the big thing – the whole learning question.

Learning About Learning

At school I enjoyed learning. I was one of those kids who could remember stuff. I could remember lots of stuff! I could recall that stuff and get marks for recalling it. My label became “smart”  but my strength was really a good memory and I knew there was more to it that I didnt get!

Starting Veterinary Science at Sydney University in 1980 it was quickly apparent that memory was not nearly enough – I realised I had no idea how to learn…at all…and that meant that “doing well” was not really how I did! I remembered some “stuff”, was able to apply some and forgot a whole lot.  Even then I didn’t realise it was a lack of understanding what learning was.

It wasn’t until studying a Post Graduate Diploma in Education at UWS in 1996 that I actually learnt what learning was. Some people dismiss the process of Dip Eds but this truly changed my life, the way I saw learning and the possibility for making the future better for others! I appreciated it so much more as a mature age student.

One of the most important areas was learning about the impact of prior learnings, the way we form concepts and misconceptions. Initially this made sense in the context of Science Education but it quickly helped inform me of the way we make life choices. Challenging our perceptions and teaching others to challenge theirs is a big part of the process of education.

The mechanism of this became even more apparent when I had the opportunity to gain Certification in Neuro-education in 2010. The neuroscience and practice of natural learning and the field of Mind Brain Education can inform much better education practice.

My experience as a learner has taught me that if educators and learners know how to learn, know why they are learning and can relate to that learning then everyone is so much happier, can be more responsible, more effective and reach their greatest potential.

 

Veterinarian Turns Passionate Educator

Teaching is the best! Being a practitioner is awesome but being part of the way people learn to be practitioners of life can have a much wider impact. What I really enjoyed most in veterinary practice was working with clients to improve their understanding about the body and the choices they had in treatment. My consults always went too long and I never sold enough shampoo!

Educating Tertiary

When I came back to Sydney from the NSW South Coast in 1990 to teach Veterinary Anatomy there was an “aha” moment not only about the joy of learning but the great role that it was to be in education. We introduced a course to first year students on “applied clinical anatomy” to establish the reason the learning was important for their futures. Teaching Veterinary Nursing and Laboratory Techniques at Bankstown TAFE allowed experience in another education system and gave me the opportunity to write teaching programs.

Educating Secondary

I gave secondary teaching “a go” in 1995. I was back at my old school teaching science. In the first two weeks I was willing to pack it in. How did people do this!! So different from working with adults. Then the enjoyment set in and the engagement with students was like fuel to a fire. I wanted to know more and be more for these kids. The Dip Ed was the obvious next step and I feel fortunate that I chose UWS to do this through.

Full time Science and Senior Biology teaching began for me in 1997. I was teaching with my now husband! A story for another day! We had numbers of students following through with science to their senior years increase and all our Biology students achieved 100% value adding. Our academic results were strong but our approach was not to worry too much about numbers and concentrate on why the kids needed the skills and tools we could help provide. We spent a lot of time on knowing our students and working on relationships.

Working in education I witnessed the time constraints on teachers, the stress this causes and the disengagement of many students. Student Wellbeing and Academic performance were generally put into separate categories. I took on a role as a Pastoral Care Co-ordinator and was active in trying to break down this divide.

My teaching experience taught me many things

the importance of relationships in learning environments and the importance of the future in motivating student engagement. We can’t teach if we don’t care

the heavy toll the education system can take on both students and teachers

the hand in hand relationship between wellbeing and learning

Neuroeducation And School Systems

Teaching in the secondary system can be so incredibly rewarding! Working with teenagers keeps you real and students of all ages challenge your own understanding.

There was, however, a drive by school systems and the “impression” by sections of society, that school was about the number at the end. The system seems to be driven from the top down and there was an emphasis on examinations and comparisons.

There is a growing body of research into how the brain learns and yet this was being applied more to gaming industries than to education. The evidence that was out there did not seem to be filtering to most teachers in the classroom.

In 2010 I complete certification in Neuroeducation Training. This evidence based approach to teaching and learning explained so clearly why certain approaches had worked in my own learning and why some things worked so well in the classroom. The knowledge of the power to choose what you did with your brain was exhilarating!

I began running student workshops to engage them more fully in the learning process. The “WENZIT Working” series was born.

The neuroscience of learning informs education practice to emphasise an understanding of how our brains work, the importance of relevance and the future, and to demonstrate that we all “make our own smarts”.

Back to Advocate for Informed Choice

Veterinary Life

In 1985 I graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science and worked in small animal and mixed practices over the next 10 years on and off.

Wonderful learning and great experiences. I loved so many aspects of the challenge of being a clinician. There was also frustration however, with the general lack of knowledge about health and basic biology in the community. Some decisions were purely financial and others did not consider the best for the pet. My love of veterinary practice was challenged most vividly in a week in which one client wanted their dog put down because the very effective treatment would have cost them $100 (“I can get a new dog for that”) and another client rang to abuse me for not offering her the chance to get a very expensive and taxing kidney transplant for her 15 year old cat.

Veterinary practice taught me that a good number of people are disempowered by a lack of understanding of how living systems work to be well

Living Interactions

My daughter was born in Bega in 1987. What a joy! This event heightened my awareness of the need for maintaining balance in nature for our futures.

We found ourselves learning about the South East Forest debates of the time. We became involved and this challenged my idea that science is done by scientists and delivers “an answer”.

I experienced the danger of simply accepting a statement of “scientific evidence” to support a claim or decision.

I also discovered – what others already knew – I was sometimes way too passionate about things! I had to learn a different, more scientific way to express myself in papers being submitted to the government and to research bodies.

I realised that I didn’t truly understand the language and process of science – in spite of, or maybe as a result of, my degree.

My time in negotiating environmental challenges taught me that a lot of people are disempowered by a lack of understanding living processes and relationships in nature and science.

It showed that formed concepts can be incredibly limiting and cause great illease between people.

It showed me the need to ask questions and check evidence.

Science is a Language for Informed Choice

As a teacher of Science, specialising in Senior Biology, I learnt that both students & non science teachers often have a “science is hard” concept yet it is the most natural of processes to help make choices. blah blah

I began to learn to communicate science in a way to make it accessible.

Life experience with addiction, cancer & the health care system have emphasised for me the need for basic knowledge of biology & scientific technique in order to evaluate information & make informed choices.

 

Integrative Medicine

Experience with essential oils has allowed me to incorporate both western and integrative approaches to health for myself, my family and thousands of others.

 

Teacher Education

The desire to share with other teachers these tools of neuroeducation for general learning, and as applied to science education, was born out of frustration with the system. Teachers dont get enough time to think about the Big Picture of why they are teaching what they are teaching and programming is seen as an intolerable chore rather than an amazing opportunity to put together a program of learning that will inform lives.

Anything that can improve student engagement and reduce teacher burnout has to improve wellbeing all round and make for a better future.

Over the years this teacher education has occurred in schools locally and abroad as well as though Teacher Training Australia.

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