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Musings over teaching, e-Learning and universities' mission
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The Culture of Education, Jerome Bruner (1996)

The Culture of Education, Jerome Bruner (1996) | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"Our Western pedagogical tradition hardly does justice to the importance of intersubjectivity in transmitting culture. Indeed, it often clings to a preference for a degree of explicitness that seems to ignore it. So teaching is fitted into a mold in which a single, presumably omniscient teacher explicitly tells or shows presumably unknowing learners something they presumably know nothing about. Even when we tamper with this model, as with "question periods" and the like, we still remain loyal to its unspoken precepts. I believe that one of the most important gifts that a cultural psychology can give to education is a reformulation of this impoverished conception. For only a very small part of educating takes place on such a one-way street — and it is probably one of the least successful parts."

 

[pp. 20-21]

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What are Universities For?, Stefan Collini

What are Universities For?, Stefan Collini | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"One neat, but therefore only partly adequate, formulation says that while schoolchildren are taught, university students study. Undergraduates are being introduced to the modes of enquiry appropriate to various disciplines; what they develop, ideally, is not simply mastery of a body of information, but the capacity to challenge or extend the received understanding of a particular topic. For this reason, university teaching has more than its share of the paradox involved in telling someone to 'be autonomous!' Learning what is involved in conducting enquiry in a certain discipline partly grows out of being exposed to examples of such work and then being incited, not to reproduce them, but to produce a piece of work of one's own that is informed by having come to understand what the examples are examples of. This can only be done by becoming acquainted with work in a particular discipline: simply being exhorted in general to pursue truth, cultivate accuracy, express oneself clearly, and so on, will not achieve the desired goal, though being encouraged to subject those abstract expressions themselves to analytical scrutiny might conceivably be the beginnings of an education in philosophy."

 

[p. 9]

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How To Ruin Your Life In 14 Minutes « Thought Catalog

"In just the last few years, social media has created a new generation of super-empowered individuals. We are now able to broadcast our ideas, our images, our videos, and our opinions like never before. It has increased both the size of our potential audiences and the speed with which we can reach those audiences. It’s given us the tools to support charitable causes, to speak out against questionable business practices, to chastise our political leaders, and to launch social movements that can potentially change the world.

It has also given us the tools to ruin lives — both our own as well as others."

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The Educated Mind. How Cognitive Tools Shape Our Understanding, Kieran Egan

The Educated Mind. How Cognitive Tools Shape Our Understanding, Kieran Egan | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"I believe it is a serious mistake to view education as an inevitably progressive process, as an enterprise in which we succeed to the degree that children learn more, become more skilled in literacy and numeracy, give evidence of higher stages of psychological development, and so on, while ignoring or neglecting the losses associated with each gain. To beleaguered schools and teachers, I recognize that this may seem a somewhat exotic new complaint. And while so many students seem to acquire so marginal a degree of basic literacy and numeracy, the idea that even these meager successes might be snatched away can be very depressing. Depressing or not, it needs to be faced. I think the result of facing it can, in the context of the discussion of Romantic understanding, be liberating rather than the opposite because then we can see better how education might go forward during these years."

 

[op. cit., p. 97]

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LA DEMOCRACIA DEL CONOCIMIENTO - DANIEL INNERARITY

LA DEMOCRACIA DEL CONOCIMIENTO - DANIEL INNERARITY | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"¿Hasta qué punto las sociedades innovan, más allá de sus sistemas de inovación tecnológica, científica, productiva y económica? Vivimos, efetivamente, en una sociedad descompensada: entre la euforia tecnocientífica y el analfabetismo de los valores cívicos, entre la innovación tecnológica y la redundancia social, entre una cultura crítica en el espacio de la ciencia o en el mundo económico y un espacio político y social donde se innova poco, donde hay una escasa capacidad para articular el equilibrio entre el consenso y el disenso, para canalizar los conflictos y diseñar modelos de convivencia."

(p. 214)

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Umberto Eco: 'It's culture, not war, that cements European identity'

Umberto Eco: 'It's culture, not war, that cements European identity' | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"When it comes to the debt crisis," says Eco, "and I'm speaking as someone who doesn't understand anything about the economy, we must remember that it is culture, not war, that cements our [European] identity. The French, the Italians, the Germans, the Spanish and the English have spent centuries killing each other. Today, we've been at peace for 70 years and no one realises how amazing that is any more. Indeed, the very idea of a war between Spain and France, or Italy and Germany, provokes hilarity. The United States needed a civil war to unite properly. I hope that culture and the [European] market will do the same for us."

(via @danicar)

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Making Minds Less Well Educated Than Our Own, Roger C Schank

Making Minds Less Well Educated Than Our Own, Roger C Schank | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"When we focus on intellectual and scholarly issues in high school as opposed to more human issues like communications, or basic psychology, or child raising, we are continuing to rely upon out dated notions of the educated mind that come from elitist notions of who is to be educated. In that ubiquitous view, education for the masses is the same as education for the intellectual elite and education for the intellectual elite is anything but practical. So while the goal seems to be to educate everyone equally, the reality is that those who survive the current system are educated in a particular way that is less and less relevant to operating in today’s world."

[p. viii]

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Learning with 'e's: 10Q: Shelly Sanchez Terrell

Learning with 'e's: 10Q: Shelly Sanchez Terrell | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"SW: What are the barriers to good learning?
ST: I see many people who have gone through the rigors of the education system and lose their love for learning. They begin to equate learning to what is forced upon them in schools and forget the excitement of always being curious and searching for answers, finding different solutions, and having many more questions. I think the greatest barrier to good learning is that society tries too hard to control and standardized a process that is very individualized."

(via @timbuckteeth)

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George Steiner, a certain idea of knowledge

George Steiner, a certain idea of knowledge | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"In a sense, I am happy that I don’t understand. Imagine a world where neuro-chemistry could explain Mozart... It is conceivable, and I find it frightening. Machines are already interacting with our brains: computers and humankind are already working together. There may come a day when historians realise that the most important event in the 20th century was not the war or the financial crash, but the evening when Kasparov lost a game against a little metal box."

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Internet Access Is Not a Human Right

Yet all these philosophical arguments overlook a more fundamental issue: the responsibility of technology creators themselves to support human and civil rights. The Internet has introduced an enormously accessible and egalitarian platform for creating, sharing and obtaining information on a global scale. As a result, we have new ways to allow people to exercise their human and civil rights.

Vinton Cerf

(via @danicar)

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A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network

A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

Metaphors We Live By was a game changer. Not only did it illustrate how prevalent metaphors are in everyday language, it also suggested that a lot of the major tenets of western thought, including the idea that reason is conscious and passionless and that language is separate from the body aside from the organs of speech and hearing, were incorrect. In brief, it demonstrated that “our ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature.”

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Save Scholarly Ideas, Not the Publishing Industry (a rant)

How did academia become so risk-adverse? The whole point of tenure was to protect radical thinking. But where is the radicalism in academia? I get that there are more important things to protest in the world than scholarly publishing, but why the hell aren’t academics working together to resist the corporatization and manipulation of the knowledge that they produce? Why aren’t they collectively teaming up to challenge the status quo? Journal articles aren’t nothing… they’re the very product of our knowledge production process.

 

(via @josemota)

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el ojo en la paja: ¿Por qué dejo mi cátedra en la universidad?

el ojo en la paja: ¿Por qué dejo mi cátedra en la universidad? | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

La inmensa mayoría de estudiantes de este último semestre que di clase, y los de dos o tres anteriores, nunca pudieron pasar del resumen. No siempre fue así. Desde que empecé mi cátedra, en 2002, los estudiantes tenían problemas para lograr una síntesis bien hecha, y en su elaboración nos tomábamos un buen tiempo. Pero se lograba avanzar. Asimismo, siempre hubo otro ambiente en mis clases. O motivé yo un ambiente distinto, no sé. Notaba un calibre más inquieto en los veinteañeros que estaban frente a mí. Más dubitativo. Más curioso. Había más preguntas en el ambiente. No encuentro otra forma de decirlo. Lo que siento de tres o cuatro semestres para acá es más apatía y menos curiosidad. Menos proyectos personales de los estudiantes. Menos autonomía. Menos desconfianza. Menos ironía. Menos espíritu crítico.

 

(via @piscitelli)

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What are Universities For? (Paperback), Stefan Collini (2012)

What are Universities For? (Paperback), Stefan Collini (2012) | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"In the face of this, one has to make, over and over again the obvious point that a society does not educate the next generation in order for them to contribute to its economy. It educates them in order that they should extend and deepen their understanding of themselves and the world, acquiring, in the course of this form of growing up, kinds of knowledge and skill which will be useful in their eventual employment, but which will no more be the sum of their education than that employment will be the sum of their lives. And this general point about education takes a particular form in universities, where, whatever level of professional or vocational 'training' is also undertaken, the governing purpose involves extending human understanding through open-ended enquiry. From wholly laudable motives, we constantly fall into the trap of justifying an activity — one initially (and perhaps for long thereafter) undertaken because of its intrinsic interest and worth — as something which we do because it yields incidental benefits which are popular with those not in a position to appreciate the activity's intrinsic interest and worth. If we find ourselves saying that what is valuable about learning to play the violin well is that it helps us develop the manual dexterity that will be useful for typing, then we are stuck in a traffic-jam of carts in front of horses."

 

(p. 91)

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Desenredar una ilusión, D. Innerarity, El País

Desenredar una ilusión, D. Innerarity, El País | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"Para el caso concreto de las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación vale también la constatación de que el entusiasmo ante la tecnología ha simplificado la visión de sus efectos políticos, ha exagerado sus posibilidades y ha minimizado sus limitaciones. Buena parte de nuestra perplejidad ante los límites o las ambigüedades de los procesos sociales tecnológicamente posibilitados se debe a no haber entendido que cualquier innovación técnica se lleva a cabo en un contexto social y tiene unos efectos sociales que varían en función del contexto en que se despliegan."

[…]

"El hecho de que la Red esté destruyendo barreras, debilitando el poder de las instituciones y los intermediarios, no debería llevarnos a olvidar que el buen funcionamiento de las instituciones es fundamental para la preservación de las libertades. Esta es la razón de que Internet pueda facilitar la destrucción de regímenes autoritarios pero no sea tan eficaz a la hora de consolidar la democracia. El acceso a los instrumentos de democratización no equivale a la democratización de una sociedad."

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Books: The threat to our universities

Books: The threat to our universities | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"Such audiences do not want to be told that we judge the success of a university education by how much more graduates can earn than non-graduates, any more than they want to hear how much scholarship and science may indirectly contribute to GDP. They are, rather, susceptible to the romance of ideas and the power of beauty; they want to learn about far-off times and faraway worlds; they expect to hear language used more inventively, more exactly, more evocatively than it normally is in their workaday world; they want to know that, somewhere, human understanding is being pressed to its limits, unconstrained by immediate practical outcomes."

 

Book reference:

 

SCollini (2012). What are Universities For? Peguin Books, (240 pp.)

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The Mother of all Curriculum “Myths”

The Mother of all Curriculum “Myths” | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"The Greeks and Romans had nowhere near the technology that the average family home or teachers’ room has access to today – but they had a far superior conceptualisation of what curriculum is mean to be all about:

 

... the original meaning of the term "curriculum" was "racecourse" — and the understanding that a curriculum represents a meaningful and purposeful progression to some predetermined goal.

 

Far from being about “delivering the content on the course outline“ or “covering the textbook”, this understanding of curriculum got it “right” with its emphasis on purposeful progression and a predetermined goal. Yes, the Ancient Greeks and Romans knew that curriculum needs to begin where it ends – with the LEARNing of individual students and with the thinking of teachers and educators about how this can best be realised."

 

(via @AnaCristinaPrts)

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We’re ripe for a great disruption in higher education

We’re ripe for a great disruption in higher education | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"But the real disruption comes when you stop measuring academic accomplishment in terms of seat time and hours logged, and start measuring it by competency. As all employers know, the average BA doesn’t certify that the degree-holder actually knows anything. It merely certifies that she had the perseverance to pass the required number of courses. The most subversive element of Western Governors University is that it certifies students by competency, not seat time. In fact, students don’t sit in a “class” at all.

There’s no prescribed curriculum. Students are assessed before each course to see which concepts they already grasp and which ones they need to master. Then they’re offered a variety of “learning resources” – textbooks, videos, online simulations, conversations with a tutor – to close the gap. They can complete a course in eight weeks or 80. Routine assessments along the way – and a tough exam at the end – ensure they’ve mastered the material. As one graduate told Washington Monthly, which recently profiled WGU, “If you can prove your competence, why pay all of that money to sit through something you already know?”"

(via @AnaCristinaPrts)

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Psychology Professor sent this email to all of his students after a class spent discussing religion. - Imgur

[...]

"The purpose of a university, and my course in particular, is to struggle intellectually with some of life's most difficult topics that may not have one right answer, and try to come to some conclusion about what may be ''the better answer" (It typically is not the case that all views are equally valid; some views are more defensible than others). Another purpose of a university, and my course in particular, is to engage in open discussion in order to critically examine beliefs, behaviors, and customs. Finally, another purpose of a university education is to help students who typically are not accustomed to thinking independently or applying a critical analysis to views or beliefs, to start learning how to do so. We are not in class to learn ''facts" and simply regurgitate the facts in a mindless way to items on a test. Critical thinking is a skill that develops over time. Independent thinking does not occur overnight. Critical thinkers are open to having their cherished beliefs challenged, and must learn how to "defend" their views based on evidence or logic, rather than simply "pounding their chest" and merely proclaiming that their views are ''valid." One characteristic of the critical, independent thinker is being able to recognize fantasy versus reality; to recognize the difference between personal beliefs which are nothing more than personal beliefs, versus views that are grounded in evidence, or which have no evidence."

[...]

(via @courosa)

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Learning with 'e's: 10Q: Cathy N. Davidson

Learning with 'e's: 10Q: Cathy N. Davidson | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"SW: What does brain science contribute to our understanding of how we learn?

CND: [...]

On the positive side, we know is that the brain learns by unlearning: when we are disrupted, when we make a mistake, we build on that. Habits are efficient, but they also get us into a lot of trouble since we can no longer see what is habitual. I believe in calculated, creative disruption as the single most important ingredient in learning. That’s how you write code, of course. You don’t memorize. You work on it until it works and, when it doesn’t, you figure out what does work."

 

(via @timbuckteeth)

 

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El futuro y sus enemigos: una defensa de la esperanza política: Daniel Innerarity

"Si no hay anticipación, la acción política se reduce a gestionar las urgencias, cuando ya no hay márgenes de maniobra. Como decía Talleyrand, «cuando es urgente, ya es demasiado tarde». La política se abandona al "muddling through", en el que mandan los plazos cortos y las soluciones provisionales sustituyen a los grandes proyectos de configuración, de manera que los mismos problemas reaparecen una y otra vez en la agenda política. La política pierde así su función de actor configurador y adopta el estatuto de jugador reactivo o reparador de daños.
No es extraño entonces el fenómeno de la desafección, que refleja, no tanto una decadencia de las obligaciones cívicas, cuanto una cierta racionalidad de los electores, que expresan así con su desinterés la pérdida de significación real de la política en relación con el curso de la historia. La actual crisis de la política no es una crisis asociada a momentos de ruptura y decisión, sino al hecho de que no hay nada que decidir, que las dinámicas sociales se hayan emancipado frente a las posibilidades de configuración intencional haciendo de la política algo irrelevante."

(p. 84)

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El futuro y sus enemigos : una defensa de la esperanza política : Daniel Innerarity

"Éste es el contexto en el que se inscribe la falta de ambición colectiva de nuestras sociedades, la extenuación del deseo, nuestro miedo difuso, el repliegue sobre los intereses individuales y la carencia de perspectiva. Se podría decir que ha triunfado el proceso sobre el proyecto, el post sobre el pro, y las conductas de anticipación tienen un tono más bien de prevención y precaución que de prospectiva y proyecto. Esa miopía temporal está afectando a nuestra capacidad de representación del porvenir. No es la urgencia la que impide elaborar proyectos a largo plazo, sino la ausencia de proyecto la que nos somete a la tiranía del presente. El movimiento contemporáneo, la adaptación incesante al cambio que se nos exige, es vivido conforme a una lógica de la supervivencia, no de la esperanza. A fuerza de explicar que los «grandes relatos» han muerto, su lugar ha sido ocupado por la defensa de los «derechos adquiridos»; el hueco dejado por la imaginación del futuro lo ha llenado la preocupación del instante; donde no se prepara el futuro, la política se limita a gestionar el presente."

(p. 15)

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Digital Divide and Social Media: Connectivity Doesn’t End the Digital Divide, Skills Do | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network

Digital Divide and Social Media: Connectivity Doesn’t End the Digital Divide, Skills Do | Guest Blog, Scientific American Blog Network | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"I started to explore the possibilities for social media as a tool for collaboration in order to bridge digital inequalities and foster participation, as a subtopic for my doctoral dissertation. The paradigm of the digital divide is a very complex one. It implies many factors and perspectives, highlighting especially issues and data that I didn’t find in the official international European reports and the body of knowledge in Europe in regard to inequalities in higher education and science. Those issues have been present, and still are, during the last decade or so, and it doesn’t have to do so much with hardware and internet access as much as with the way those are used."

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Hurukuta: Estructura del aprendizaje: la regla 70:20:10 de Charles Jennings

Hurukuta: Estructura del aprendizaje: la regla 70:20:10 de Charles Jennings | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

"Su modelo/regla la llama 70:20:10, él explica que alrededor del 70 por ciento del aprendizaje organizacional tiene lugar en el trabajo, a través de la resolución de problemas ya través de asignaciones especiales y otras actividades del día a día."

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The end of social - O'Reilly Radar

The end of social - O'Reilly Radar | More ... or less! | Scoop.it

So, what we're seeing isn't the expansion of our social network; it's the shrinking of what and who we care about. My Facebook feed is full of what friends are listening to, what friends are reading, etc. And frankly, I don't give a damn. I would care if they told me personally; I'd even care if they used a medium as semi-personal as Twitter. The effort required to tweet tells me that someone thought it was important. And I do care about that. I will care much less if Spotify and Rdio integrate with Twitter. I already don't care about the blizzard of automated tweets from FourSquare.

 

(via @josemota)

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