Complexity in Education

alesnick's picture

Cross-Cultural Connections in the ESL Classroom: Forging Respect and Shattering Societal Barriers

Riley Diffenderfer

Empowering Learners

 

 The author responds to an earlier paper in this handbook, focused on transcending cross-cultural barriers in mentorship and teaching.

alesnick's picture

Exploring the Idea of Unlearning: A quatrilogue, with invitation to participate

The threaded discussion below took place in October, 2010 (over email) at the initiative of one colleague seeking ideas from others. The focus began with the idea of challenging students' mental models and grew into a consideration of the question whether there is such a thing as unlearning (from the point of view of the brain, of human experience, and growth) and how the idea of unlearning signifies in various fields and endeavors.  In hopes of continuing and broadening participation in the conversation, we have moved it to Serendip and invite all interested to join.

From Alison, October 30:

Kwarlizzle's picture

A Defense of the Formal Education System (of sorts)

    This paper chronicles some epiphanies I have had concerning the formal education system. We have spoken in class several times of the need of formal education reform. We have detailed how insufficient the current system is in creating creative thinkers or even educated thinkers. We have spoken of how the system sets many people up for failure and disregards many other children whose minds work in ways different from the ones prized by our system. I wholeheartedly agree with all these sentiments, but as I think on them, my mind harkens back to two incidents: a conversation I had with my friend who attended school in Ghana and a book I read for pleasure.

Kwarlizzle's picture

Legitimacy: the role and power of language in education

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main
 – John Donne
All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others
 – George Orwell, Animal Farm.
       In this class and some of my other classes across many disciplines, we have had several discussions whose aims were to impress upon us the truth of John Donne’s assertion that “no man is an island,” that we do not exist in a vacuum.  Especially in this class, we are discovering that even within ourselves, we are not an Island, so to speak. Inside the brain, where the seat of our persons and our cognitive functions reside, we find that the way we perceive the world is an ongoing interaction between compartments of the brain that we have termed the “storyteller” and the “cognitive unconscious” (Grobstein). In addition, we are discovering that more than one ‘person’ exists within ourselves – we are a conglomerate of multiple personalities, each with their own distinct character.

bennett's picture

Teaching/Modeling

Bennett Smith

Brain, Education, and Inquiry -- Grobstein

Web Paper #1

 

alesnick's picture

Would You Like to Swing on a Star? Reflections on the Evolving Systems Project Year One

 

Would You Like to Swing on a Star?

Reflections on the Evolving Systems Project Year One

Alice Lesnick, May 24, 2010

 

Q: When the cosmos talks to us in its own terms, what does it say?

A: Notice that I am bigger and stranger than anything you have yet imagined based on your experiences to date.  And the more you experience and imagine, the bigger and stranger I will get.

-- Evolving Systems Web Forum, 7/31/09

 

Brie Stark's picture

Brain and Inquiry: Praxis III

Brain and Inquiry: Praxis III Independent Study

Researcher: Brielle Stark, Bryn Mawr College '12

Research Questions:

  • Are open-ended activities engaging to students?
  • Do open-ended activities transfer knowledge to students?
  • Is there a difference between teacher and student perceptions of open-ended activities?

Goals:

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