The introduction to this guide (45 page PDF) predisposes me to like it, though as I went through the ten pedagogical models presented (ranging from 'playful learning' to 'learning with robots' to 'making thinking visible') I found myself imagining about how these would be introduced and presented and instantiated (and a whole MOOC curriculum opened up in my mind, yet another project I'd love to undertake but just can't). ' Place-based learning', for example, speaks to me: I can easily imagine taking some students into a place, whatever it is, and asking them what they can infer from their surroundings. It's just these sorts of activities that create the perspective and breadth of vision needed to do things like develop the sort of ethical sense I allude to in the next post. Good guide, with useful resources listed at the end of each section.
The differences between my own views on education and society and those of Chester E. Finn are profound, but we find ourselves in agreement about the moral failures of our leadership in society and the need for education to mitigate the crisis. But I cannot think of a person's moral character as being in need of 'forming' or 'shaping'. Rather, I see morality as a type of perception that can be developed through experience and practice. This results in a concept of morality not based on a set of principles or rules., such that we eventually develop what David Hume would call a moral sense, or what I would call a 'recognition' of right and wrong.
This is a fundamental misunderstanding of diversity: "in an era of higher ed where identity is king... a white middle class Evangelical man ought to be unmoored from his identity, a working class black Muslim female ought to be more deeply anchored in hers." No. Diversity means that we see people as more than just race, class and religion. For any person, these may be important parts of their identity. But if we define people by these three things, and stereotype according to them, no matter who they are, then we are depriving them of the rest of their identity, and indeed, of authentic personhood.
I would use the word 'reflect' rather than 'represent' throughout, but this article nonetheless paints a fascinating picture of how a neural network organizes itself into concepts. "Asking the GAN to paint what it thought, the researchers found distinct neuron clusters that had learned to (paint) a tree, for example... In other words, it had managed to group tree pixels with tree pixels and door pixels with door pixels regardless of how these objects changed color from photo to photo in the training set." This is important because conceptualization is the basis for abstraction, which is the doorway to higher-level cognitive capacity.
This is a fairly detailed report (20 page PDF) based on a survey conducted using Amazon's Mechanical Turk. The study notes that while "strong reasoning skills have become increasingly key to navigating everyday life," it remains true that "in too many schools, critical thinking is not taught to young people" and "at workplaces, employers don’t do enough to prioritize richer forms of reasoning." In particular, the report says the teaching of critical thinking should not be left to parents because they don't have the skills and they don't teach them to their children. That, I would say, is the legacy of the television generation.
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