Education, Curiosity, and Happiness
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Education, Curiosity, and Happiness
What roles can curiosity and happiness play in learning?
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A series of paradoxes and bewilderment

A series of paradoxes and bewilderment | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Bird Droppings February 21, 2018 A series of paradoxes and bewilderment   I received the following in an email several months ago. A friend of mine sent it out and as I read the first time it was humorous. However as I pondered then as a teacher I read deeper into what was being said.…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
In my research and dissertation, teachers want to reflect, but spend little time reflecting. Reflecting on our teaching helps us with paradox that often bewilders and complicates our teaching.
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Politicizing pedagogy: Teaching for liberty and justice at urban schools

Politicizing pedagogy: Teaching for liberty and justice at urban schools | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Learning about and debating controversial topics is insufficient. Students must grapple with issues that truly matter to their local communities.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
"Democracy necessitates civil deliberation of thorny political issues. If schools, out of fear, neglect to develop this capacity, students will graduate unprepared to navigate political controversies and potentially reluctant to influence the political contexts that shape their lives."

Teachers in many ways are critical theorists. We may not record the outcomes per se, but we find ways to poke and perturb the tribal ways of thinking that prevail. That includes our own.

The method of currere and hermeneutic phenomenology both acknowledge we bring our own lived-experiences and prejudices to any dialogic forum. Eloquent questions open up the dialogic space and keep it open, bringing new questions forward and challenging the unacknowledged ways we grow to understand the world and people. Curriculum is a contested and not a settled space.
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Three Ideas for Implementing Learner Reflection

Three Ideas for Implementing Learner Reflection | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Reflection has been one of the most commonly used pedagogical tools across a wide variety of disciplines, but most students don't take to it naturally.

Via iPamba
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Reflection occurs where learners are in their learning. Scaffold through guiding questions and give students opportunities to experiment with different modalities.


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Educational Leadership:Unleashing Problem Solvers:Inviting Uncertainty into the Classroom

Educational Leadership:Unleashing Problem Solvers:Inviting Uncertainty into the Classroom | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
When we invite uncertainty into classrooms, we enter into conversations about what emerges. Wiliam Doll, Dennis Sumara, Brent Davis, etc. write about complexity and chaos in teaching and earning.
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The 6 Essential Things You Must Have for Transforming Education

The 6 Essential Things You Must Have for Transforming Education | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it

Transforming education for the benefit of all requires you to have4 6 essential elements, according to Terry Heick—and we couldn't agree more with his list.


Via Stephania Savva, Ph.D, juandoming
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
As much as we think we do, we do not disrupt (point 2) much. The status quo remains entrenched. Scalability (point 4) only works in part. We can only use those things helpful in our context.

I can go on, but transforming is quite often surprising. Hannah Arendt said action involves the unplannable. Overplanning, particularly from outside experts, leads to school deform.
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The World We’ll Leave Behind – Extra Newsfeed

The World We’ll Leave Behind – Extra Newsfeed | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
The Ancestral Pueblo of the American Southwest are among the longest lived cultures known to exist. Dating back more than 3,000 years, this is a people who built cities in cliffs, farmed the deserts…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
In the progressive moment of the method of currere, we imagine what we might leave behind. What brought us into teaching changes with time and it is worthwhile to explore. As the world changes, what does social justice mean in the world that comes into place?
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Is Curiosity A Positive Or Negative Feeling?

Is Curiosity A Positive Or Negative Feeling? | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Not all feelings of curiosity are the same. A study finds that one factor affecting the balance of negative and positive when it comes to curiosity is time, says psychologist Tania Lombrozo.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Using the writing of Hans-Georg Gadamer, David Jardine writes about the concept of worthwhile. When we while (take our time) over something, we learn its worth. William Pinar states the essential question in curricular conversations is "what is worth learning?" It is not just information gathering. Curiosity is exploring in ways that bring depth to subjects, both human and topical.
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The Abuses of History

The Abuses of History | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Historians, like journalists, are in the business of manipulating facts. Some use facts to tell truths, however unpleasant. But many more omit, highlight and at times distort them in ways that sustain national myths and buttress dominant narratives. The failure by most of the United States’ popular historians and the press to tell stories of oppression and the struggles against it, especially by women, people of color, the working class and the poor, has contributed to the sickening triumphalism and chauvinism that are poisoning our society. The historian James W. Loewen, in his book “Lies Across America: What Our Historic Markers and Monuments Get Wrong,” calls the monuments that celebrate our highly selective and distorted history a “landscape of denial.”

The historian Carl Becker wrote, “History is what the present chooses to remember about the past.” And as a nation founded on the pillars of genocide, slavery, patriarchy, violent repression of popular movements, savage war crimes committed to expand the empire, and capitalist exploitation, we choose to remember very little. This historical amnesia, as James Baldwin never tired of pointing out, is very dangerous. It feeds self-delusion. It severs us from recognition of our propensity for violence. It sees us project on others—almost always the vulnerable—the unacknowledged evil that lies in our past and our hearts. It shuts down the voices of the oppressed, those who can tell us who we are and enable us through self-reflection and self-criticism to become a better people. “History does not merely refer to the past … history is literally present in all we do,” Baldwin wrote.

Via iPamba
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Teaching is about conversations that are complicated by what we privilege and do not privilege in our society. William Pinar, in What is Curriculum Theory? (2nd Edition), provides currere is a way to have those conversations, cautioning teachers that currere is not a technique.
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Return to basic skills first step to fixing Ontario's math problem, teachers say

Return to basic skills first step to fixing Ontario's math problem, teachers say | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
As the province prepares to embark on a complete “curriculum refresh” to address years of slumping math scores, several Ontario educators say the key is going back to basics.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
We dither with curriculum and think we can solve the problem. What if we asked classroom teachers rather than doing this outside the classroom?

John Dewey proposed that long-term outcomes were the work of adults not children. Children and many adults learn in the concrete moment of "ongoing nows" (Husserl). Pinar and Grumet wrote about this in Towards a Poor Curriculum in 1975.
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Who Owns Knowledge? A Look At Curriculum.

Who Owns Knowledge? A Look At Curriculum. | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
The central focus of every curriculum is imparting knowledge in the best way possible. But who decides what “the best way possible” really is? The K–12 curriculum is often referenced in abstract ways, with many schools and districts claiming to want to teach the “whole child.” But what does that actually mean in the context of contemporary classrooms? Not every student exposed to the same information will achieve the same success and life outcomes. Just what is actually considered knowledge is interpretive, at best. Educators must narrow information to the learning materials that will make the biggest positive impact on …

Via Arturo B
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Curriculum-as-plan is a starting point. I immersed myself in curriculum; however that is not enough. The next step is sharing it with students throug curriculum-as-lived. This fits with the method of currere, which is a complicated conversation based on each person's curriculum and autobiography.

Do we really own knowledge? Or is it always being reconstructed?
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Make Your Words Remarkable: How To Write Provocative, Poetic Prose.

Make Your Words Remarkable: How To Write Provocative, Poetic Prose. | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Eight months into my experience with Medium the bulk of my reading here has been non fiction. Same with the majority of my writing. Yet, I have always enjoyed writing poetry. It’s a challenge to…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
I am currently writing and the ideas in the article are valuable. Be poetic, use alliteration, and use metaphors, while being concise. It means finding ways to not use phrases such as "lots of people."
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Provocation in the Company of Others: Learning Through Provisional and Improvisational Spaces

Provocation in the Company of Others: Learning Through Provisional and Improvisational Spaces | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Content and resources for the education researcher
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Bill Pinar and Madeline Grumet wrote about the theatrical roots of the method of currere in their book Towards a Poor Curriculum. Teaching is improvisational and provisional, which points towards a performative way of learning to teach.
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The 2 Hour Rule: The Genius of Einstein, Darwin, and Nietzsche Applied

The 2 Hour Rule: The Genius of Einstein, Darwin, and Nietzsche Applied | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
He was a daydreamer. The pioneering theory that lead him to establish the foundation of modern physics was actually envisioned in one of his many famous thought experiments. He wondered, specifically…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
One of the themes that emerged in my dissertation research was that teachers are reflective. What I also noticed was they do not spend time writing their reflections and day dreams in a journal.

The method of currere is one means to help teachers grow in their reflective practices.
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The Future of Education Includes Learning Outside of the Classroom

The Future of Education Includes Learning Outside of the Classroom | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
If students work tirelessly on academics in high school and college, they may experience shock when they try to find their way in the working world. We can make this transition easier by fostering these work skills outside of the classroom as early as possible.
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Education has always happened outside school and classrooms. Schools are the formal part of education. Much of education is informal. Reading John Dewey might help us. Children and teachers bring their interests to school. That is not difficult to grasp.
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What a Horse With Heartburn Taught Me About Developing Student Passion and Autonomy - EdSurge News

What a Horse With Heartburn Taught Me About Developing Student Passion and Autonomy - EdSurge News | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Most educators would agree that for learning to be meaningful, students need to find personal connections that help them make the content they’r
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
Students, not teachers, are responsible for their learning. Teachers are responsible to what that might mean with each student and the context within which they teach. The current structure is aligning teaching into an instrumental process based on pre-determined outcomes, which is impossible. This means teacher and student automony exist and have to exist. Teaching is then understood as relational.
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Gratitude Journaling Doesn’t Really Work… But This REALLY Does, Though.

Gratitude Journaling Doesn’t Really Work… But This REALLY Does, Though. | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Gratitude coupled with generosity is the hallmark of abundance. Psychologically, there are endless benefits to gratitude. For most people, it’s actually often awkward to simply write down the things…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
I am using the method of currere to write about my lived-experiences in a journal form. What is suggested here is not much different. It is writing one's history, what one experienced in life.
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5 thoughts on Dan Koretz’s The Testing Charade – Frederick M. Hess – Medium

5 thoughts on Dan Koretz’s The Testing Charade – Frederick M. Hess – Medium | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Harvard’s Dan Koretz is just out with a thoughtful, immensely readable book that takes dead aim at test-based accountability. The volume is titled The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
The critique of the neo-liberal necessity of testing and accountablity has been around for years. Gert Biesta, Bill Pinar, Maxine Greene, and others have challenged its purpose and why we conflate teaching and learning.

It does not mean assessing, more generally, and testing, more specifically, do not play a vital role to inform teaching at the most local level.
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Educators’ time loss and the invisible cost of reform

Educators’ time loss and the invisible cost of reform | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Last week, Brendan Bell and I wrote about the oft-overlooked cost of “reform” — the burden sometimes imposed on educators. We discussed the findings of a private survey of Nevada school leaders that…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
"It’s remarkable, though, that in an era infatuated with data and evidence that no one — and I mean, literally, no one — has made it a priority to figure out how much time this stuff takes or how big a distraction it is."

That is a remarkable and accurate statement. What happens is what we call school reform becomes school deform without thoughtful consideration.
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Umberto Eco on the Merits of Studying History (and the Terrors of Losing It)

Umberto Eco on the Merits of Studying History (and the Terrors of Losing It) | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Unit 731 was a Japanese military unit responsible for chemical warfare and biological research during WWII. Here’s a small sample of what they were capable of, from Wikipedia: Other “experiments…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
I just finisheed reading What is Curriculum Theory, Volume 2 by Bill Pinar. In the book, he outlined the four moments of the method of currere. In the first known as the regressive moment, he wrote at length about a need to learn from history.
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Why do we keep insisting that education can solve poverty?

Why do we keep insisting that education can solve poverty? | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Unions are weak. Wage growth is non-existent. Plutocrats have all the power. And yet the myth that education is all we need to finally "fix" poverty persists. AlterNet education editor Jennifer Berkshire talks with historian Harvey Kantor about how the US gave up on the idea of responding to poverty directly, instead making public schools the answer to poverty. Hint: it all starts in the 1960’s with the advent of the Great Society programs. Fast forward to the present and our belief that education can reduce poverty and narrow the nation’s yawning inequality chasm is stronger than ever. And yet our education arms race, argues Kantor, is actually making income inequality worse.

 

Jim Lerman's insight:

Quite an interesting analysis; offers deep food for thought.


Via Jim Lerman, Monica S Mcfeeters
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
I just finished William Pinar's What is Curriculum Theory, Volume 2. He argues that teachers are responsible for creating an inviting environmenit within which students can learn. Gert Biesta argued the same point. John Dewey is a great place to begin reading about the role of teachers and students.
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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, September 26, 2017 2:03 PM
This is really worth your time and thought!
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How I Use My Journal To Create My Future and Achieve My Goals

How I Use My Journal To Create My Future and Achieve My Goals | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Of all the things that have been helpful to me in personal growth and goal achievement, using my journal daily is at the foundation. It’s where the mental creation happens. And because my mental…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
When I focus on my teaching and what I control, my journaling is more effective and makes a difference. Currentlyi, I am using the method of currere which focuses on my lived-experiences.
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Alasdair MacIntyre on Education

Alasdair MacIntyre on Education | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
One of the summer’s great discoveries for me was the work of Alasdair MacIntyre. It’s a late discovery, but in a strange way, also just in time. A moral philosopher, i.e. a philosopher …
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
"Contemporary teachers have the task of educating their students, so that those students will bring to the activities of their adult life questioning attitudes that will put them at odds with the moral temper of the age and with its dominant institutions."

There two underlying themes: teaching is ethical and relational. This means teachers have to be responsible and have freedom for their teaching rather than student learning.
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Can Creativity Be Taught? – Getting Smart – Medium

Can Creativity Be Taught? – Getting Smart – Medium | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Are you creative? Left-brained? Right-brained? Most people are quick to answer these questions without truly understanding the nature of creativity. In the classroom, this lack of concrete knowledge…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
As teachers, we can cultivate creativity with our students. How we use language, teach students, and engage them is essential.

Picasso shared words along these lines: every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when we grow up. Ken Robinson says we educate creativity out of children through standardized schools and tests. He is not alone i.e. Bill Pinar and Gert Biesta.
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The Real Reason Students Today Are So Listless

The Real Reason Students Today Are So Listless | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Lost and listless students are jumping on the protest bandwagon without clear or rational understanding of the cause they are promoting. Why?
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
John Dewey's quote about education not being preparation for life, but life itself fits here. The reference in the article is to John Taylor Gatto who is a rebel in contemporary schooling. Instead of school being changed, we end up with what Bill Pinar calls "school deform."
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The Whole Damn Point of Learning – Words of Tomorrow – Medium

The Whole Damn Point of Learning – Words of Tomorrow – Medium | Education, Curiosity, and Happiness | Scoop.it
Dismal sentiments like these always make me think about where that silly education thing got so wrong. If an alien landed on our planet today and conducted a study of our educational institutions in…
Ivon Prefontaine, PhD's insight:
This is a critique of the neo-liberal agenda that is prevasive in schools today. Good teaching and learning focus on the question: "what is most worth learning?" David Jardine used Hans-Georg Gadamer's concept of worthwhile: whiling over something of worth.
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