21 April 2014

Items to Share: 20 April 2014

Education Focus
  • Issues with Cognitive Load Theory | Webs of Substance 'This theory implies certain teaching practices. For instance, when learning new material, we should be careful to structure teaching programmes so that the concepts are broken down into small numbers of interacting elements in order to ensure that students can apprehend all of the required concepts in their working memories. As learning develops and relevant knowledge is built in students’ long term memories, we can start to make use of chunking and expose our students to more complex concepts. This is why the prior knowledge of our students is important and why teaching a group of students with a wide disparity of prior knowledge is problematic.' 

Other Business
  • The Poetry of the Trading Floor, Going Beyond Bears and Bulls - NYTimes.com 'Meanwhile, stags buy new issues in the hope of a quick return. Black swans swim in unexpectedly, as dishonest brokers perform goose jobs (promoting a stock to increase demand so that they can unload their inventory). And when all such people have been fired, the remaining dealers, left huddled together for warmth, are called penguins. The dogs of the Dow bark, but the caravan moves on. Bulls make money. Bears make money. And PIGS get slaughtered.'
  • The Surprising Science Behind Why and When We Yawn : The New Yorker 'At its most fundamental, a yawn is a form of communication—one of the most basic mechanisms we have for making ourselves understood to others without words. “It’s often said that behavior doesn’t leave fossils,” Provine says. “But, with yawning, you are looking at a behavioral fossil. You’re getting an insight into how all of behavior once was.”
  • Ants Build Complex Structures With a Few Simple Rules | Simons Foundation 'Ants might even shed light on the complex organization of the organ we use to study them — the brain. The behavior of an ant community resembles the organization of neurons into a functioning brain, [...] “Each neuron is relatively dumb, but if you take billions of neurons, they interact in a way that we have only scratched the surface of understanding.”'
  • The Stoic Reading List [farnamstreetblog.com]  'something I wish I had found a few years ago when I first started reading philosophy, a stoic reading list.'

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