I think it's important to point to this post because these think tanks - not only AIMS, but also the Frontier Institute, the Fraser Institute, C.D.Howe, etc. - get a lot of media coverage, far more than anyone else. They have a specific agenda, which is made clear here. "They are determined to create a model of schools competing against each other for students, where a teachers’ worth is measured by test scores, and where public money is used to fund private schools." This is not an evidence-based or research-based advocacy; it is purely political. What evidence exists suggests that such an approach would be a dismal failure. I would be happy - overjoyed, even - to publish a counterpoint for every bit of coverage these institutes receive, but our corporate-owned media doesn't roll that way. Never has. Never will.
I have a lifelong history of pushing back against overbearing management and some good reasons for doing so. In addition to these endless conflicts being stressful and distracting, the end result (whether I resist or not) is usually poorer performance. And this article bears me out. "Could it be … could it possibly be … that the best way to get good research and publications out of scholars is to hire good people, pay them the going rate and tell them to do the job to the best of their ability?" I've always thought so, and I've always been at my most productive when managers just let me get on with my work.
This post from late February was referenced today in an email dfrom Rob Abel to IMS members updating them on the status of open badges patents. He references "a public listing of potential prior art generated by the Open Badges community" and also that "Pearson Acclaim pledged a royalty-free RAND license to any essential claims under a pending patent." More recently, "the patent office subsequently rejected some of the patent claims that are listed on the prior art spreadsheet." He also references "the strong support for the newly released OBv2 standard" that is the subject of this link.
This is quite a good response from danah boyd to some of the criticisms raised after her talk at SXSW last week. She has been offering the argument that some of our efforts to teach critical thinking may be doing more harm than good. See here. This isn't an argument against critical thinking per se but an insight into how it is taught. As she says here, "if we’re not careful, media literacy and critical thinking will be deployed as an assertion of authority over epistemology." I agree with this. But I wish this post had addressed the commentary from Tony Wan. See here. It's not just a questioin about epistemology, but also power dynamics. I think this argument would mesh well with boyd's current remarks, but I'd have to see.
When I went to school in the 1970s the school was experimenting with small classes, open concept classes, electives, and a bunch of other things. Yes, I am a benmeficiary of progressive education. So it has always been clear to me at some level that we've moved beyond 'industrial age' education. And in other, equally important ways, we haven't. I wouldn't consider Betsy DeVos eloquent or informed on education, but she's not totally wrong when talking about traditional schooling, and where she's wrong, she is by no means first, or alonme, in being wrong. That said, it remains true that "to the extent that rote memorization or call-and-response teaching persist, that persistence is related to the institutional and cultural dynamics of schooling" and we would do well to remember that these dynamics (such as the perception of 'school as socialization') are still at play today.
"New technologies mean new perceptions." So says Katinka Matson in her artist's statement introdducing an exhibit where she scans ordinary objects to see them in new ways. It scans the object evenly; there's no focal point. So it looks different from a photo in a way that's difficult to explain. The context is this video of a panel discussion on how technology changes perception at the opening of one of Matson's exhibits.
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