30 September 2013

Items to Share: 29 September

Education Focus
  • 'Strings Attached' Co-Author Offers Solutions for Education - WSJ.com 'What can we learn from a teacher whose methods fly in the face of everything we think we know about education today, but who was undeniably effective? As it turns out, quite a lot. Comparing [...] methods with the latest findings in fields from music to math to medicine leads to a single, startling conclusion: It's time to revive old-fashioned education. Not just traditional but old-fashioned in the sense that so many of us knew as kids, with strict discipline and unyielding demands. Because here's the thing: It works.'
  • ... and leading on from that; Another Problem with Assessment for Learning: Scenes From The Battleground “why would somebody continue to spend time learning something they can already do?” The trouble with this is that this question has a very simple answer, and that answer is “practice”.' You don't stop when you get something right (or even when you can't get it wrong).
  • James Flynn: Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents' | Video on TED.com 'It's called the "Flynn effect" -- the fact that each generation scores higher on an IQ test than the generation before it. Are we actually getting smarter, or just thinking differently? In this fast-paced spin through the cognitive history of the 20th century, moral philosopher James Flynn suggests that changes in the way we think have had surprising (and not always positive) consequences.
  • Students Don’t Go to College to Learn | Teaching & Learning in Higher Ed. 'During a year-long research sabbatical, Cathy Small, a professor of anthropology at Northern Arizona University, enrolled as an undergraduate student in her own university. As a teacher and an anthropologist, she wanted to better understand student culture. What do students do with their lives while in school and why?'

Other Business

  • The Work of Conversation - Lingua Franca - The Chronicle of Higher Education 'I am teaching an undergraduate course called “How Conversations Work.” Taking this course is a great way to become so self-conscious about how you talk that it becomes hard to have a normal conversation at all. “It wears off,” I promise the students, knowing that this statement is half-true.'
  • Without conversation, philosophy is dogma – Nigel Warburton – Aeon 'The point of philosophy is not to have a range of facts at your disposal, though that might be useful, nor to become a walking Wikipedia or ambulant data bank: rather, it is to develop the skills and sensitivity to be able to argue about some of the most significant questions we can ask ourselves, questions about reality and appearance, life and death, god and society.'
  • Onora O'Neill: What we don't understand about trust | Video on TED.com 'Trust is on the decline, and we need to rebuild it. That’s a commonly heard suggestion for making a better world … but, says philosopher Onora O’Neill, we don’t really understand what we're suggesting. She flips the question, showing us that our three most common ideas about trust are actually misdirected.' 

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