Brain and Behavior Institute 2006 Forum


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Getting started ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2006-07-08 11:30:06
Link to this Comment: 19653

Welcome to the on-line forum for Brain and Behavior 2006. Remember this is a place for "thoughts in progress", a place to see what other people are thinking that might be useful to you and to leave thoughts of your own that might be helpful to others. That's not only people in the institute but any one else interested in the kinds of problems about the brain and education that we're thinking about. So don't be shy, let's talk and see what we can make together.


Gayle Whittle-My Life So Far
Name: Gayle Whit
Date: 2006-07-10 10:21:29
Link to this Comment: 19658

Hi. My name is Gayle Whittle. I teach K-3 science at The Baldwin School, a pre-k through 12 independent school for girls. I grew up in Southeastern Massachusetts. I obtained an undergrad degree while I was living in the District of Columbia (U-Maryland), and my grad degree is from Arcadia University. I came somewhat late to teaching, but I love it. I feel that it is something I was born to do. I live across the Schuylkill River in Oreland with my husband, two turtles, two doves, a parakeet, and a cat. We're all quite happy together.

I think that one of the most profound changes in education has been the increased emphasis on academics at earlier and earlier ages. How do we meet these needs? Should we? Are children adapting to learn younger, or have they always had the capability that we are only now recognizing? What are the long-term ramifications? All answers are welcomed.


Introduction
Name: Wackomin
Date: 2006-07-10 10:21:37
Link to this Comment: 19659

I am a math teacher at Lincoln high school in philadelphia. I've only been teaching for 2 years, but as each year goes by I feel like I'm getting older and older and the students are getting younger and younger, which is actually true. From a teaching prospective, it's been a great experience learning as much as I am teaching. The fact that I can go to work each day and still enjoy my job is a wonderful experience.

I am still single and in my mid twenties. I feel that I'm not very distant from my students, but as the years go on I feel little distance growing. Out of college, I never really thought about teaching. Money was on my mind and so my first calling was to work for a brokerage firm. I ended up really disliking my job because life was just about money. Life really isn't about money. I wanted to do something fruitful with my life and I really didn't think that making money and hating each day was really me. As I grew to this understanding, the army decided that they would help me find my inner-self. The graciously sent me on a crusade to unravel the truth of my inner most desires. Needless to say after a long and arduous journey I came home with an appreciation for life, for family, and for the education system.

Life to me is about being happy with every single day. Enjoying your job and loving the things that you do are so essential. I have a tendency to forget that the best things are generally right in front of me. I'm going to enjoy life and try to learn as much as I can.

Science is a great thing. It has allowed us to explore so many things that have baffled human kind for so many centuries or perhaps for a few minutes. With science we have been able to logically explain and replicate things that have never made sense without the use of scientific knowledge. I think the key to science is curiosity and with that science has always and will always exsist....or prozac will take over.


Summer Institute 2006
Name: Angela M
Date: 2006-07-10 10:23:42
Link to this Comment: 19660

I am a special education teacher at ParkWay West High School.I have worked in the feild for four years and enjoy working with children who are not considered to be of normal intelligence.

The reason I considered this institute is to build on to my knowledge base of the brain and its effects on human behavior. This subject is near and dear to me becuase having a background in psychology and working currently in education I am always analyzing the linkage between the two.

This institute should be very rewarding with the group dynamics that are here. There are may different types of people who will bring different perspectives on any given issue. This group includes different ethnic/ cultural backgrounds,years and types of experiences, and just personalities and learning styles that will make this institute an unforgetable experience.
It is essential in any class to have people of different walks of life to add their valuable information to the discussion. This facilitates the learning process.

I feel that I would considered myself to be a scientist. The reason being that I am always analyzing all information I get and will do the necessary research to substatiate the information I recieve. I also believ that in orer to be a teacher you must be a scientist. Teacher is considered a science and in return you must master that science to truly be an effective teacher.

I know this will be a wonderful instutut full of learning based on the intoduction by the collgues of the class. There have been many people in this class that are repeaters and have positive thing to say about the professor. So I am truly excited.


introduction
Name: Cleat
Date: 2006-07-10 10:23:49
Link to this Comment: 19661

Hello everybody,

My name is Cleat. This is my third institute and Im trying to prepare myself for the next 2 weeks of Brain exploration. It aint easy. Its time to put my brain to work in a different way, but its a challenge.

I think of myself as a scientist and artist because as a teacher, you need a little bit of both to perform your everyday miracles. Or should I think of myself as a miracle worker?? Hmm? It's a miracle evryday that a teacher gets through the day without raising his or her voice, or coming close to murdering a student!

My grandmother always told me it takes a lot of different people to make up the world. So as a scientist/artist/miracle worker, I think the more differences we have, the more interesting and challenging our lives and work will be......and if thats not scientific I dont know what is.


introduction
Name: julie
Date: 2006-07-10 10:24:08
Link to this Comment: 19662

My name is Julie Williams and I am a 6th grade science teacher. I have been teaching a hands on science course that includes ecology, weather, and solar system. I enjoy being outdoors as much as possible, and hope that I can slowly introduce that into my new science curriculum. I am similar to everyone here because I also have a desire to learn and discuss education and what can improve teaching science and other areas. I am different, however, in many ways. For example, I may have a different philosophy about teaching, where I teach is different, the subject matter may be different, and what I emphasize in my curriculum will certainly be different due to the interests of my students and my own person interests. I enjoy pointing out the unusual things to my students, things that they may normally think are "gross", and show them how it is a natural part of the world. I do think of myself as a scientist because I enjoy exploring, especially in my teaching. I teach the same course 5 times, so I constantly experiment with my first few classes to find things that work best- I guess that is the neurobiologist in me...


My Story
Name: Claudette
Date: 2006-07-10 10:24:40
Link to this Comment: 19663

Claudette W.Stone- I am 51 years young and experiencing a condition described as cervical radiculophy ,(pinched nerve), involving the left forearm and hand. I have seen several physicians including, orthopedic, neurologist, and soon a chiropractor. I've had MRIs in the past five and I have been able to study the film with the physicians and create my own questions in order to communicate in a manner that I will not be frustrated and can begin to understand the technical terms. One of two goals set for this institute is to research, and develop an understanding of what is happening to my arm, why I feel needles constantly, numbness in my fingertips,accompanied with pain that keeps me uncomfortable twenty four hours. I am scheduled to have a second MRI, described as Brakial----that will study the chest/breast area to rule out any thing else that may be causing this condition. My second goal is create a partnership with the Science Institutes so that my Gifted Support Club in my school can continue to be focused and maintain and appreciation for Science outside of the Core Curriculum implemented in Philadelpia Schools. Elementary students are very impressionable and will truly enjoy and become excited to travel to a college campus/environment.


About me....
Name: Tiffany Ha
Date: 2006-07-10 10:24:49
Link to this Comment: 19664

... I teach middle school physical science/chemistry to 13 year-old girls. I hope they graduate from my classroom with the belief that THEY are each scientists and the confid ence to ask questions of the world that surrounds them.

... I teach Environmental Science to 18 year-old young women. I hope they graduate with the understanding of the interconnectedness of the physical, chemical, biological, political and social worlds and the knowledge to make educated decisions in the voting booth.

... The first day teaching a group of high school students was the first day I realized my purpose. (They will really pay me to talk about science to kids???!!!!)

... I work with an amazing group of highly intelligent, compassionate and entergetic men and women who inspire me on a daily basis.

... I am newly engaged to the most fabulous man EVER!

... Since the beginning of my teaching career (6 years ago) I have never once woken and dreaded going to work. This makes me feel fortunate.

... I am passionate about outdoor adventure, from hiking and mountain biking to kayaking and surfing.

... I can lose myself in the kitchen. It's a good thing.

... I hope that our society, from the global community to local neighborhoods, can join forces, recognize and celebrate differences and use our combined energy to find a sustainable methods of living.





Name: Laura
Date: 2006-07-10 10:25:56
Link to this Comment: 19665

I'm Laura, a junior biology major here at Bryn Mawr. I changed my major recently (from linguistics) and with that I'm becoming increasingly interested in science in general and education as well, so I'm very happy to be a part of the institute. How is everyone different? I was surprised and happy to see this morning that we have not just science teachers but also counselors, princples, etc. How am I different? I'm a student obviously, not a "teacher" in the sense that you all are, but I hope that in addition to learning from your explorations/discussions/etc. I can contribute my perspective as a student and experiences at Bryn Mawr thusfar.


About me...
Name:
Date: 2006-07-10 10:26:01
Link to this Comment: 19666

Glenn Heck- I am a founding teacher at Delaware Valley Friends School, a Quaker high school for students with learning disabilities. I teach a senior integrated science course focussing on aspects of change in the world. The course includes topics of cosmic and planetary evolution, the origins and evolution of life, hominid evolution, and the evolution of technology. I also teach two sections of robotics in which students are presented with design challenges and have to develop their own robotics solutions. I am entering my 35th year of teaching. I have taught all levels K-12, both public and private schools, and in addition to eastern PA, taught in Massachusettes, West Virginia, Virginia, and Bilbao, Spain.

Although our students at DVFS are "legally" diagnosed as having learning disabilities, I believe, through experience, that most often what the educational establishment calls disability is in actuality a learning difference turned into a disability by the way in which the traditional classroom is run. Although I won't dispute that there are true disabilities which make learning difficult under any setting, most disappear or even become strengths when approached from a different direction or when the learner is given a set of learning tools to address areas of difficulty...


Biography
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-10 10:26:37
Link to this Comment: 19667

Like other participants in the institute, I am an educator. i have enjoyed the teaching role all my life. I went to a K through 8 inner city public school in Phila and then to a large inner city high school, followed by matricultion at a large city college, Temple U. in Phila. i lived at home and spent my free time working to earn money at various jobs on and off campus. During all these years, from grade 4 on, I help other students in my classes. In college, I tutored and also volunteered as a reader for the blind. To put my husband through professional school, I worked as a technician in a research lab at UPENN. There, I developed a sence of myself as a capable scientist and teacher. When my hsband graduated, I began my graduate education. I wanted to pursue my own ideas and realized that I would need the credentials afforded by a Ph.D. I was facinated by the brain, maybe because of the limitations of my own. Much later as the parent of two children, I went through the process of seeking help with my son's developmental issues and discovered why school had always been both a joy and a struggle for me. I have auditory processing issues. All through elementary school, my teachers reproted hearing deficits. My parents were instructed to take me for testing at the Board of Education in Phila. No hearing deficit was ever found and no further testing was ever recommended. My issues were nor lack of ability to hear sound but to process sound. In addition, I reverse opposites. As a young person, i would stop on green and cross on red. Without an analysis of my frequent almost disaterous pedestrian encounters, I trained myself to verbalize the color of the light and the appropriate command. I also reverse latters and needed to train myself to verbalize while I read. Knowledge of my own learning and allpication issues have made me very sensitive to the potential needs of my students. I have always used multiple ways of communication just in case my students need them. Verbal, auditory, visual instruction (both in class board and handouts as well as my class website) are used in my classes each day. I worked as a research scientists for 11 years. During those years I taught, formally in the teaching of Gross Anatomy to Penn dental students, and informally to train the multitude of technicians, undergrad and grad students, neurology residents, and post doc students who came through our lab. I loved the teaching aspect of my life. When research money became tight and the demands of raising two young children not compatible with the demands of tissue culture based research, I choose to investigate the independent school system. In a private girls school, I have now taught for 16 years. I have taught science to kindergarteners, 5th, 6th, and 7th graders and also AP Biology to seniors. My experience in both public and private schools and in all three levels of pre-college education as well as post college teaching have contributed to both a wealth of personal experience and observation and a wealth of questions that need exploration. That is why I am enrolled in the Institute.


intro
Name: Shellie
Date: 2006-07-10 10:26:47
Link to this Comment: 19668

Who am I?????? I am a school counselor at Baldi Middle School in Phila, a teacher, a parent, a biker, a reader, a beach lover, an exerciser, a walker, a movie lover.

I am similar to many people here and yet very different. Although I am in the education system and involved with teaching I am a counselor most of the time. ( It is fun to be able to write and not worry about the writing skills.) As a counselor I am still very involved with students learning.

Science--I always loved science yet was not a true scientist. Why did I love science---I enjoyed learning from my teachers. It was all so new , it made sense. I could memorize. I did not like the real science part--experiments etc. I was always afraid of getting it wrong. Now I see that getting it wrong is right.

Now that I have taken this course I feel so much freer--I can explore and it is auk. I don't have to be right. Well I am somewhat FREER anyway.


introduction
Name: teresa
Date: 2006-07-10 10:26:52
Link to this Comment: 19669

I teach early childhood in a Montessori environment with children between the ages of three and six. I also have been a teacher of adult students and am an eternal student myself. Before working as a teacher, I worked in the business arena with a plethora of responsibilities including managerial roles and systems management responsibilities.
It seems that we are all students under the grandest of teachers, life. Life, then, deems us all to be scientists as we daily act and react based upon established beliefs and understandings, experience feedback, and adjust beliefs or actions accordingly. It appears that the path from the cradle to the grave is one of learning how to manuveur the nuances of the situations in which we find ourselves. Somewhere in that mix of learning, emotions seem to steer the course of learning. Observations in the course of my working career have led me to this conclusion.


Short Bio
Name: Annabella
Date: 2006-07-10 10:28:09
Link to this Comment: 19670

I am sitting in a room with many people with whom I have similarities and differences.
Some similarities:
1) Commitment to education
2) Recognized value of "our" children
3) Desire to contribute something valuable to our own and our earthly neighbors
4) Desire to improve on current education through learning and growth

Some differences:
1) Background; I started college as a freshman at 45 years old. I have spent most of my life as a truck driver and trucking business owner. I am from the CA desert. My passionate study of how the world works with respect to the mind and the relationship of the two brought me to Bryn Mawr with a reputation for a love of science! Apparantly quantum physics and sincere experimentation with the interface of etherial and material worlds are leading us to similar "stories" about life. So here I refer to myself as a mathematician as opposed to philosopher, a previous nickname.

2) Emphasis on direction of education; I may be mistaken, so pardon me if I am, but it is my impression that as teachers you are mostly imparting knowledge, whereas I, as a student, am mostly absorbing it.

3) There are also the more common differences such as heritage, orientation, religious beliefs and such.

Our similarities have brought us into this room at the same time, and are the glue that will hold us together throughout the institute. But it is our differences that will keep the conversation stimulating, exciting. As one person is speaking, many of us will be picking up what we call "news ideas".

Without the similarities, we would never have met.

But without the differences, we would have nothing to offer.


About me
Name: Sherry O.
Date: 2006-07-10 10:29:23
Link to this Comment: 19671

Hi! I'm Sherry Morris. I'm a returning participant who thorougly enjoyed my experience last year and wanted to continue the experience this year. When i was in school as a child I really did not enjoy science. I was one of those people who was "afraid" of the subject. I really don't remember when I started to enjoy science, I guess it began when I worked with my son's on their science projects. I think I got more out the the projects than they did! Several years ago I was assigned to teach science in the middle school to emotionally disturbed delinquent boys. To meet this challenge I knew I couldn't rely assigning chapters to read than answering the questions. We would have to do things. I would have to slip in the reading and vocabulary on the sly. I remember my principal and other staff members asking why he saw me and my class searching thru the bushes? Why I wanted to order a resource guide with the words"kaboom " in the title? I really got hooked on science that year. Although I've had other assignments throughout the years, I seem to gravitate back to science. I jump at the chance to share my resources with the new science teachers in my school. Even thinking about the brain, long before I joined the institute I did my own research on the brain and longing. Maybe part of it had to do with trying to figure out my twin boys. I don't know ! Either way
I'm still trying to learn.


Institute 2006
Name: Patricia
Date: 2006-07-10 10:34:04
Link to this Comment: 19672

My name is Patricia Mundy. I am an artist and enjoy hands on activities in and outside the classroom. I recieved my masters in special education 10 years ago and Ive been working with students labled learning disabled, emotionally disturbed and mentally retarded in other words outcasts. I found out that children are diamonds in the rough.
It is amazing to see how they problem solve and create when given praise and encouragement and the materials to experiment.
I love observing children especially children under five. Their are similiar behaviors as that of an adult.
I have a great dislike for computers, video games, and other electronic gadgets; also movies that have robots and futuristic characters.
My background is spiritual. I enjoy articipating in group discussions an observing people's emotions and body mannerisms.



Name: LINDA SLAT
Date: 2006-07-10 10:52:16
Link to this Comment: 19673

Thinking about myself as a scientist is something that I've come to feel more comfortable with as a result of my participation of these summer institutes. CURIOSITY is the driving force of a scientist, and the kind of thinking that I believe is dormant in the classroom. I spend a great deal of time and energy as a school counselor motivating students, and trying to understand their perspectives. I am frequently struck, and appalled by the distance they seem to put between themselves as learners and the material being "offered". I think this sense of open , interactive, curiosity is what needs to be developed and nurtured in our classrooms. The challenge is how to influence teachers and students. Perhaps, it can only be done by doing and modeling, not "instructing". So, I usually subscribe to the "Columbo" method of counseling, being very curious myself with students, trying very hard to be free of judgment. I'm not sure about how to influence teachers except to encourage them to attend this institute! My hope is this summer I will find some ideas to influence teachers to find ways to develop more curiosity with their students. For example, having students develop a list of questions, may be more productive than listing answers.



Name:
Date: 2006-07-10 12:22:56
Link to this Comment: 19674

Hello everybody,

My name is Cleat. This is my third institute and Im trying to prepare myself for the next 2 weeks of Brain exploration. It aint easy. Its time to put my brain to work in a different way, but its a challenge.

I think of myself as a scientist and artist because as a teacher, you need a little bit of both to perform your everyday miracles. Or should I think of myself as a miracle worker?? Hmm? It's a miracle evryday that a teacher gets through the day without raising his or her voice, or coming close to murdering a student!

My grandmother always told me it takes a lot of different people to make up the world. So as a scientist/artist/miracle worker, I think the more differences we have, the more interesting and challenging our lives and work will be......and if thats not scientific I dont know what is.


This morning
Name: Cleat
Date: 2006-07-10 12:27:09
Link to this Comment: 19675

I think that our discussion this morning was very informative and reminded me of our discussions last year about Science not being "true." This is always good to remember when applying thoughts about Science in this institute. No one can be wrong and no one can be right. We are all evolving and all of our thoughts and opinions are useful in one way or another.


First Session Thoughts
Name: Wackomin
Date: 2006-07-10 12:28:28
Link to this Comment: 19676

Stories are always so much easier to accept then a truth. It's always started out as a story to explain the things that happened in the world. I remember that greek mythology was always based on stories and how they explained things that occured on the earth. Zeus or Posidian were the gods the affected the sun and the sea. It's true that stories allow us to find a meaning to the things around us. I like that observation that everything is only a story or a summary of our observation because that is the reality of it.

No one really knows the truth, weather they are scientist or priest. We come up with beliefs and stories to validate our beliefs based on what we observe. As our scope of observations widens we may end up with new story and a new summary that may contridict our views at the moment or may further validate out thoughts.


my two cents
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2006-07-10 12:32:24
Link to this Comment: 19677

Wonderful conversation this morning. Thanks all. The take home message for me ...

If you wants kids to be active/curious engaged ...

Model/share with them ongoing productive exploration/inquiry ....


Story telling and story revising in the elementary
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-10 12:41:21
Link to this Comment: 19678

I think that using summaries of observations, or story telling, makes a great deal of sense, particularly in the elementary science classroom. I am very drawn to the phrase "getting it less wrong." As we discussed this morning, we humans are driven to be "right" as often as possible. Our educational system supports this, as do many elements of our society.

The flaw here is in assuming that right and wrong are always absolute. They are not. We have all had students who kind of get something, but are not quite there. Are they mostly right, a little bit right, or way wrong? Depends on the student and where they started from. Will they become "right?" Maybe, but that is not what is important to me. That they can observe something clearly and describe it is key. So story telling, with its inherent collective nature, is perfect for my classroom. We can use individual observations to develop a collective idea.

The harder part, for me, is not to ensure that they are "right," but that they are describing what they truly observe, not what they want to see.


Science as Storytelling
Name: GlennHeck
Date: 2006-07-10 13:09:16
Link to this Comment: 19682

It seems to me that the activity of scientific storytelling as described by Paul's loopy diagram is a fundamental feature of human consciousness, in fact, to some extent to all "higher" organisms. (My squirrels and their uncanny ability to observe, eat my bird seed, observe changed conditions, and make changes in their worldview that lets them continue to fatten themselves on my dime)
The observation, prediction, assessment loop and our ability to share our stories even beyond our generation, is precisely the predominant feature of human behavior that has led to our "success" as a species. That success being a more developed understanding of our universe, both external and internal.
A recognition of the observer's place in the story is a powerful addition to scientific storytelling. I am intrigued by the idea that, as an observer, I am creating something new through my observations. I have been reading Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, thinking about the way Western technology has dominated the world's cultures. I wonder what a different worldview we might have if the Mayans' developing technology had become dominant. Does the development of a scientific story change our brains in a way that leads us down certain paths at the exclusion of other ways of being? That would seem to indicate that we are creating our existence as we live it...and through that creation, destroying some alternative creation... not only personally but culturally as well.OUCH! my head hurts.


science as storytelling
Name: julie
Date: 2006-07-10 13:18:14
Link to this Comment: 19683

This is an interesting topic for me- after last year's Making Sense of Change Institute, where this particular topic came up, I often found myself in my own science clasroom encouraging students to come up with there own ideas, challenging what was previously thought to be the "truth". We talked many times about how some of the greatest discoveries were made by accident or because someone didn't really think the "fact" was correct and wanted to test a couple more things. My biggest concern with science as story telling is the "story telling" part...I'm afraid that there is an attitude that goes with the words "story telling" that right away, makes people think it's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy this (probably fictitious) story that we are going to hear. Though I think there is nothing wrong with the relax and enjoy part- I wish more people, especially students and teachers, would feel that way about science- I think it is the perceived meaning of the words story telling to our culture. Will people begin to take science less seriously if we as a culture start to see it as a story? Will science start to lose its credibility? or is that the point? Maybe it should be...maybe more people would begin to explore...


science as stories
Name: teresa
Date: 2006-07-10 13:24:27
Link to this Comment: 19684

Science as stories seems appropro to describe the process by which humans try to make sense and understand their world. I find that this description invites more curiosity and possibilities for us to explore our lives and our world.


reactions to morning session and story telling
Name: Patricia M
Date: 2006-07-10 13:25:13
Link to this Comment: 19685

I believe story telling is a wonderful strategy to use to summarize observations. Everyone views the world differently from life experiences. Each eperience gives the views mind to an endless journey.
Children of all ages hopefully will look at science as a group activity that resembles a puzzle without boundaries


Monday 7/10 am session
Name: Tiffany Ha
Date: 2006-07-10 13:25:26
Link to this Comment: 19686

I like the concept of addressing science as a medium for change, as a venue for exploring the difference between wrong and not as wrong, as a place for ingenuity and creativity.

I am wary to allow science to be a place that isn't definitive for a moment, that isn't a community to which others turn for processed data and interpretation of nature. So much of public policy is created by people who don't understand the balances created by continual exploration and reevaluation of observations. Yet, these are the same people who shape the future health of our communities.

This conversation always returns to education... that if we accept a shift in our thinking patterns then we can experience a paradigm shift later when everyone has been "educated." But what about now?


pro/con re science & revising
Name:
Date: 2006-07-10 13:26:37
Link to this Comment: 19687


science story
Name: Claudette
Date: 2006-07-10 13:27:01
Link to this Comment: 19688

It's interesting to reflect upon Science as storytelling of observations summarized as we go through experiences daily, and those experiences can be described as experiements of day to day living.


reactions to morning session and story telling
Name: Angela M
Date: 2006-07-10 13:29:52
Link to this Comment: 19689

I feel that story telling is an effective way of teaching science. It allows students to understand complex ideas in a simplified manner. Children can learn to be great problem solvers if they are allowed and taught to develop critical thinking strateies s learned through story telling.

This would be a technique I would use in the classroom of story telling.

This morning session was very informative and gave me some food for thought as to how to think in different views from the norm. The group also disseminated the differences between a valid summary of obsrvations and a true hypothesis. There is no true hypothesis only valid summary of observations at the private time.


Science & revising
Name: shellie
Date: 2006-07-10 13:30:41
Link to this Comment: 19690

I am really in favor of revising science information. It is important to keep eyes and ears open when it comes to science. Scientists and everyone else should be looking at observationsw andseeing if the summaries stick. Don't be fearful of questions. They are what makes science andf other areas honest.


Story Telling
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-10 13:31:43
Link to this Comment: 19691

Story telling is an essential part of the Middle School biology course that I teach for 7th graders. This age group loves stories and it occured to me that the approach might work particularly for students who may have a "fear of science courses." Also, it is keeping with the way students learn history and literature. This approach takes the mystery out of science courses for them. We use concept mapping and a study of the language of science to give us the tools with which to communicate our stories. An example would be our class discussion of what constitutes a living thing. We discuss the characteristics of living things and the needs of living things. We discuss the ideas of Aristotle and the revisions made to the 2,ooo year old story by Redi and the addtions made by Pasteur. This approach helps the students to see the changes in thought (summary of observations) about from where living things come. Later in the year, we discuss the status of a virus which requires new observations and possibly a change to the story. The story telling helps students to feel connected to the line of thought. No longer is science a series of names and facts. They can view the scientists, even the "famous" ones as people who were curious and made observations about the world in which they lived. They see that they can question the stories of these scientists just as others have done.


Science as a story
Name: sherry O.
Date: 2006-07-10 13:32:13
Link to this Comment: 19692

I believe it is very important that we as teachers give serious thought to how we can teach students to understand that they don't always have to be right or perfect. The difficulty is that we must learn to believe it. Moving away from the idea that facts and truth must be reevaluated will take some time. With practice we will be able to view science differently.


questions,no answers
Name: Linda SLAT
Date: 2006-07-10 13:33:40
Link to this Comment: 19693

It's interesting to think about the virtues of science as storytelling and revising, and scientists then, not being experts. So what type of science is medicine, and why are dr's looked at G-ds?
The relationship and tension between science and religion is also interesting in this light. It seems we long for someone or something to be all knowing, which is not what this perspective of science offers. Could dr's ever get our trust by trying out new stories and summaries... of observations, and yet that's exactly what they do. Do we even think of dr's as scientists, or as experts...or G-dlike in the trust we give them for our well being.


Science as a story
Name: sherry O.
Date: 2006-07-10 13:39:51
Link to this Comment: 19694

I believe it is very important that we as teachers give serious thought to how we can teach students to understand that they don't always have to be right or perfect. The difficulty is that we must learn to believe it. Moving away from the idea that facts and truth must be reevaluated will take some time. With practice we will be able to view science differently.


Ant Farm
Name: Wackomin
Date: 2006-07-10 14:14:19
Link to this Comment: 19695


The idea of simplicity to complexity is very intriguing. You can never image that a simple set of instructions that may be so random and arbitrary could end up creating a pattern that is complex and non-random. Looking at the pattern initially you would have thought that the directions for the ant was much more complex then it was.

In presenting this to a classroom to explore, you really need to let the kids know that there is no right or wrong. Providing them a with the idea that any answer could be possible, would allow them the luxury of just exploring.

I would like to present the idea to the class and just let them play with it. However, I would like to take the idea behind it and let their imaginations go wild and explore the world to see if complex things may have derived from simple instructions. I would like them to explore the universe and anything that interest them and have them explore the things that may affect them each day.


ant
Name: shellie
Date: 2006-07-10 14:18:18
Link to this Comment: 19696

Ants-- I was experimenting with the psychie of the confused or unmotivated student. It was easy to get into the mode. When things get a little difficult always pushed myself to the limit. This time I gave in to the inertia and justm played---not how we3 were supposed to play.

Yet I really got to experience the feelings of kids that can't do so they don't do. At first it is fun and then it gets boring. I can see how those kidsm get into trouble.


Langton's Ant
Name: julie
Date: 2006-07-10 14:21:48
Link to this Comment: 19697

Langston's ant- a simple pattern that when repeated looks very complex- helps me to think about some of the more complex issues in science and how when broken down, they will seem simpler and perhaps give more oportunity for questioning of concepts. I don't think I would use the demonstration as a whole, but perhaps the concept of a difficult concept actually coming from a simpler one repeated may be useful.


langston"s ant
Name: teresa
Date: 2006-07-10 14:23:05
Link to this Comment: 19698

Langston's ant seems to be simple, but he creates complex patterns. Though he is programmed he appears to be autonomous. Langston's ant brings up a number of paradoxes; one's perception defines his purpose and function.


ants
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2006-07-10 14:23:32
Link to this Comment: 19699

one fundamental aspect of chaos theory includes the simple tweaking of predictable systems in such a way to incite apparent randomness. chaos, thus, is order masquerading as randomness. as we observe the deterministic system of langton's ant, we know the parameters governing the system, and yet we see the ant behave in ways that are unpredictable (or predictable with enough insight, possibly).

small roadblocks can result in large changes in behavior. when do these large changes happen, what is the limit for change?

climate systems are not unaffected by even small additions to the atmosphere. what are the limits here?


Langton's Ant
Name: Annabella
Date: 2006-07-10 14:24:38
Link to this Comment: 19701

Langton's Ant is interesting in a number of ways. First off, he (I'm assuming the ant is male) find his way into a repeating, repeatable pattern our of apparant chaos. I can view the straight path as either order, i.e. an ordered life, or as a rut; going back and forth moving forward but not trying anything new.
Anyway, either way, the straight path continues until the ant runs across the mess he left behind!!! How much is that like life itself?! Once he comes upon his own mess, he gets re-embroiled in it, and it takes him longer to get back on a straight path.
Eventually he breaks away again, but only stays on the straight path until he runs back across his past, until eventually he can no longer break awya, his past is now his present and covers the whole screen.
I think that was the pessimist's way of describing it. We could say that while he is on the straight path he is simply doing as he is told, not exploring options, locked into the same ol, same ol. Then he comes across his old friends and gets lost in exploration of life, of turning every direction and checking out all possibiliities.
Once in a while he gets stuck back in the rut and moves in a straght line, but he always comes back to his creative self, until eventually he abandons the rut and creative life becomes all he does.
All of this seems to me to be a lot like life. From very simple directions we move in all kinds of different ways, some of us do the same thing every day, others do something different every day, and some are in between these extremes. But all of us are looking for a happy life, love, joy and productivity. And it all comes out looking so different.


Langston's Ant
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-10 14:27:00
Link to this Comment: 19705

This was fun. I don't want to stop! For me, one of the most significant comment the author makes is that a very few simple instructions can lead to very sophisticated behavior. This has implications for understanding genetics. What is the result if one of the coded behaviors is to modify the code itself...?


doing something different
Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2006-07-10 14:27:18
Link to this Comment: 19706

So, today was different in that I played around more, and got more involved with Langston's Ant .

But, I didn't really get a chance to make a lot a meaning of all of it. But the discussion I listened to was very interesting. So, the experience was useful, in freeing my mind up to try new things,
and learn from other people.


L's Ant
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-10 14:28:41
Link to this Comment: 19708

I set up a series of roadblocks to discover initially what would happen. I discovered that:
Observation #1: where I placed the roadblocks seemed to affect which direction the road would begin to form.
Upon learning that light and dark squares affects the ant's progress (more than the roadblocks!)I experimented with the "go once" button, using light and dark square patterns to see whether that would change when and where the road gets built.
Observation #2: Light and dark squares in different patterns cause the ant to move in different ways.
I then tried to figure out the set-up pattern that would cause the ant to begin building without wandering first. I used numbers, up to 11. I didn't discover it.
My thoughts: this was great fun. Could I use it in my classroom? Yes, absolutely, purely as a discovery or enrichment exercise. I don't think my kids would be able to record the steps needed to reach the website's stated goal(find the immediate road building pattern.. that's as far as I got) but they would enjoy it and could work with it intuitively.


Langton's Ant OF MADNESS
Name: Jennifer H
Date: 2006-07-10 14:37:11
Link to this Comment: 19711

Langton's Ant Experiment dealt with a series of systematical moves which were built upon patterns using different turns depending upon what it had encountered. I relate this experiment to situations we encounter in our daily lives. We make systematic moves based upon learned behaviors and patterns that can create confusion or stability.


Galaxies collide
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-10 14:40:04
Link to this Comment: 19713

I use this url in class. It reminds me of Langston's ant. The set of rules are relatively simple (Newtonian Gravitation) But the agents are very complex. The activities allow students to observe and discover some very interesting behavior. Enjoy...


http://burro.astr.cwru.edu/JavaLab/GalCrashWeb/main.html


Inside and Outside Experiment
Name: Jennifer H
Date: 2006-07-10 14:44:02
Link to this Comment: 19714

Inside and Outside experiment concluded that an agent's behavior is determined by what takes place inside and around the environment . This concept proves to teachers that students learning styles are based upon inside and outside stimuli .


Do I have Time?
Name: Wackomin
Date: 2006-07-10 15:32:21
Link to this Comment: 19715

I played with Time to Think. WOW am I slow. I really took me some time to get my speed up to the level I wanted it to be. My reaction time was relatively slow as the program started but as I got use to the instruction and learned what I was looking for I was able to increase my reaction time.

I learned that you can really develop your reaction ability and that you are able to train yourself in a short period of time to do what is expected of you. I also noticed as more and more instructions are given to you it takes a lot more time to process the information even if it may be simple.

Science is about exploring and observing. It not about the right answer it's about seeing how things can change or how things are affected by the environment you are in or the conditions that you are given. The slightest variation in your instructions can affect the way that you react to the stimulus.

Students are the same way. We can build their ability to do things through repetition; however, how they learn and actually retain information may take more time then we grant them. I enjoyed learning that I can develop some basic skills very quickly; however, I also notice a plateau which is the same in learning and teaching. Kids will learn and obsorb information, but they will also level off.

Science allows us to observe our abilities and the abilities of our students and set the limits off our learning.


Ants with out a director
Name: Angela M
Date: 2006-07-10 15:40:07
Link to this Comment: 19716

This activity was very informtive. This would be good in a classroom as a technique of showing students that everyone job is important and we must all pitch in to gt the job done. If you watch the ants in the activity carefully you will see that some of the ants who were asigned othr jobs were also doin the jobs of their colleques. This activity like the other ant activity would be good in the classroom depending upon the age of the child(ren)you are taching.










( the reason this is posted here the other site was being archived)


Ants2
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-10 15:40:40
Link to this Comment: 19717

Whoa! There is so much going on here that I don't quite know where to begin. I guess I'll start with what I perceived as a consistent event: No matter how much you tweak the ant populations or how, they consistently return to the stated 50/25/25 ratio. This will occur at different times, but it will happen.

I was intrigued by the idea of ants having collective memories. (Shades of the Borg episodes in Star Trek: Next Generation). It was encouraging to learn that their communication and resolve to change jobs is biologically based (pheromones). So simple, yet so complex.

What would happen if something cataclysmic occurred to the colony, like all of the ants' abilities to sense pheromones was removed due to disease infestation. Would they find a job and stick to it? Would they go through a loop of changing jobs every two seconds? What would that mean for the colony?

I'd like to have that become a scenario in the simulation because we have so many real world experiences from which to draw (DDT blocking calcium absorption in birds, resulting in thinner eggshells, resulting in few birds of prey, and so on...)


exhibits
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2006-07-10 15:43:29
Link to this Comment: 19718

i attempted to look at all four exhibits - of course, this came without reading many of the words. i started with the ants (kudos!) and found that it was the most accessible and most entertaining. the others were enlightening (i have a slow response time and can't seem to follow directions well), but alas, wordy. when my brain isn't so tired, i want to take a deep look at the population dynamic-exhibit, as it has potential as a tool in my senior-level environmental science course.


Time to Think
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-10 15:50:38
Link to this Comment: 19719

This was so much fun. I did okay, but that wasn't the point. It was just a fun thing to do. My kids would love this.


transformation
Name: teresa
Date: 2006-07-10 15:54:05
Link to this Comment: 19720

Transformation-- is an interesting topic on its own. The website, accessible from Serendip, is also interesting. It is a well-created entry into one woman's personal journey through midlife, or so it seems to me. Her many watercolors and the doors behind which they are located, explore many esoteric concepts that ultimately come back to transformation and change. Each painting has its own story to tell.


Laura's Theme (Ants)
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-10 15:55:09
Link to this Comment: 19721

This one's worth struggling through. Although (again) a lot of text, it's worth playing with each screen for a while. You will begin to notice patterns. Then, at the end of the exhibit, you can go to a page that has all of the buttons WOW! It's interacting with this page where I began to really get an appreciation for the changing variables and the ants' responses.


More Ants.....UGH!
Name: Cleat
Date: 2006-07-10 15:59:00
Link to this Comment: 19722

My mind is boggled! I've always thought that ants were an intersting species. They can lift 10 times their weight, and other interesting things which have slipped my mind at the moment. The one thing I did notice about this experiment is that when you got rid of one type of ant (forger, midden,patrolers), the forger ant seems to take up the slack of all the others percentage-wise. If you got rid of the forger ant, the midden ant took up the slack more than the patroler. It is true that all of the ants can do many tasks. I saw a documentary about ants on the Discovery channel once and didnt realize that they were an extremely organized and intelligent species that were capable of just about anything. How can we assimilate and bring this type of structure into our classrooms?


integration
Name: julie
Date: 2006-07-10 16:04:22
Link to this Comment: 19725

It was interesting to see the results of the integration models- it took longer for the model to be integrated and happy than segregated and happy. I think this would be useful in my classroom to talk about integration and segregation. The whole day was very thought provoking- science as a less wrong answer is a great way to think about it...I still don't know if I'm comfortable with the word story yet, but it is growing on me...


Integration & Segregation Model
Name: Annabella
Date: 2006-07-10 16:05:49
Link to this Comment: 19726

Playing with the integration/segregation model had some interesting results. When I populated the environment as much as I could and then set it on "prefers similarity" with a 50% strength of preference, after a long time the model stopped, showing that 5% of the population was unhappy.
After sliding the "strength of preference" up to 75% and making no other change, the model went into overdrive. It appeared that everyone had to move, and the more they moved, the more they were unhappy. Nothing had changed other than that the individuals had become more convicted that they would live seperately. The more iterations on the model, the more integrated the population became as they wildly attempted to surround themselves with others like themselves. I became involved in conversation as the model proceeded, and much time elapsed. I looked back at the model, and it was moving wildly with 93% of the population unhappy, and the board looked highly integrated!!!
I found that fascinating. Our lack of flexibility on an issue actually creates the situation we unflexibly want to avoid in our life. I have heard this put in different words through various "New Thought" religions. One slogan that comes to mind is, "What you think about, you bring about." That was certainly true for the individuals in this model. As they worked harder and harder to segregate because it was important to them, they actually became more integrated. The break even point seemed to be at around 59% "strength of preference" where they could live happily, though it took a long time to get settled in appropriately.
That slogan has made sense to me on an energetic level. In other words, as I think of something I add energy to it, and make it more real. But I never considered that it could also work numerically.
What does all this mean? I haven't a clue! But it is fun to ponder.


Missing postings
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-10 17:09:06
Link to this Comment: 19727

Paul, I thought I posted comments on Langton's Ant and on the model, Segregation and Integration. I don't see them in the forum. Is there somewhere else they are listed? Thanks.


Langton's Ant
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-10 17:16:03
Link to this Comment: 19728

I could not help but think of a mass of cells secreting a matrix. The mass grew as a central mass until it reached a certain size. The mass added on to its periphery, alternately growing centrally as well. The mass seemed to get to a certain size, critical?, and then grew parallel linear supports (roads). The mass grew as described previously and then reached another critical size requiring more parallel linear supports. When a small roadblock was placed right above the "ant", it grew as described but put the parallel linear supports were closer together. When small roadblocks were placed on two sides of the "ant," it grew linear supports perpendicular to each other. The nature of the supporting matrix changed depending upon changes in the environment, although the degree of change may have been limited, i.e., linear supports were always produced but the parallel supports could be closer together in space and/or oriented perpendicularly. Simple directions for movement of the "ant," and simple responses programed into the "ant." However, from this simplicity, infinite possibilities.


Langton's Ant
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-10 17:28:19
Link to this Comment: 19729

I could not help but think of a mass of cells secreting a matrix. The mass grew as a central mass until it reached a certain size. The mass added on to its periphery, alternately growing centrally as well. The mass seemed to get to a certain size, critical?, and then grew parallel linear supports (roads). The mass grew as described previously and then reached another critical size requiring more parallel linear supports. When a small roadblock was placed right above the "ant", it grew as described but put the parallel linear supports were closer together. When small roadblocks were placed on two sides of the "ant," it grew linear supports perpendicular to each other. The nature of the supporting matrix changed depending upon changes in the environment, although the degree of change may have been limited, i.e., linear supports were always produced but the parallel supports could be closer together in space and/or oriented perpendicularly. Simple directions for movement of the "ant," and simple responses programed into the "ant." However, from this simplicity, infinite possibilities.


Members of Society
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-10 17:36:56
Link to this Comment: 19730

I have to respond to what Tiffany said (about her hopes about teaching.) Beyond the academics, I really believe that we as teachers have the awesome task of giving our kids tools to be responsible, thinking members of society. Tiffany, I just love the wording of your last point in that posting. Elegant!


from day 1
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2006-07-10 17:47:37
Link to this Comment: 19731

Rich conversation, promising start for two weeks of ? Thanks all. A few things that stuck in my mind from our conversations ....

Is sometimes hard for us to "think in the moment", "free up writing", "get out of box", "be free, not goal oriented", be confident that one is "going to end up somewhere, going to have fun along the way/finding out where". But that's in fact what we want our students to do/be? "Closed down brains" is a problem. Why are kids not "curious"? Trauma? Separation between what's in classroom and who they are? Parents who aren't curious, don't nurture/model curiousity? Probably all to some degree but also something about at least some classrooms? We don't grant kids "autonomy", the "ability to act on their environment"? Maybe need to give up the idea of rewarding students for "correct answers"? Encourage instead (in science fairs?) kids' saying what they've discovered that disproves an earlier summary, causes creation of a new one? Need to participate ourselves in a "huge attitude change" (perhaps along the lines of my two cents)?

On exploring and models ... very interesting bimodal reactions. Intriguing/exciting for some, "too determined", "wordy", "really hard" for others. To talk more about but reminds me of my first experiences as a father of twins. Whatever I did, one would like it and the other wouldn't. People ARE different. Implications for creating classrooms environments? How DOES one produce environments give this kind of diversity? If one thing doesn't fit all, then one needs to try and create things that have lots of nooks/crannies/pegs so each person can find their own fit? No one said education (or design of classes/classrooms) was easy. Looking forward to learning from you all "getting it less wrong" in this regard.


Members of Society
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-10 17:48:00
Link to this Comment: 19732

I'm reposting the link I sent in This posting. so you can actually get there directly. I'm also posting a site which simulates solar systems where you can decide which planet is the center and then watch the other bodies orbit as they would have to to meet our astronomical observations. Cosmic Collisions Solar System Frame of Reference


addendum to day 1 reflections
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2006-07-10 21:18:17
Link to this Comment: 19733

How do we deal with the matter of things people "ought" to know, because they seem to be necessary for safety or for more advanced exploration, or because we believe them to be important for other reasons (ie environmental concerns)? And what about the problem that pursuing story telling in and of itself is necessarily killing off other possible lines of story development?

Is it true that kinds are born "curious" and that is somehow "turned off" as they get older? What happens to produce "addiction" to one way of seeing things? How could it be avoided?


Emily
Name:
Date: 2006-07-11 10:17:56
Link to this Comment: 19735


Am I awake???
Name: Wackomin
Date: 2006-07-11 10:20:21
Link to this Comment: 19736

So everything is in the brain. That's a concievable and even believable story. I believe that it nothing exist in the world unless we make it exist. If I never believed that I had a father it would be true in my world and in my reality, and that is all that matters. My brain decides what is real and true to me and to me alone. Weather society excepts my reality or not is the choose of the people in that society.

So should I take the red pill or the blue one?....... YES


Yes, Brain
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2006-07-11 10:20:22
Link to this Comment: 19737

I am taken with Dickenson's poem, and I usually don't find pleasure in poetry. In fact, I may use this in the beginning of the year with both 8's and 12's when I introduce inference and observations. It's a good place to start when thinking about thinking...

There is no surprise here, that the brain would contain all that there is. It is not often that I allow myself to delve into the area that we have constructed all that there is, as the circles of thought often lose me in time and space. However, here we are and I am prepared to move forward.

Bring it on.


My Brain...your Brain...
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-11 10:22:27
Link to this Comment: 19738

If my brain creates my reality, and your's creates your universe... but we agree on so many aspects of reality, doesn't that mean that there is a reality that exists external to ME and YOU?
Or perhaps, even the separation of You and Me is an artifact of the story we have created.


brain thoughts
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-11 10:24:43
Link to this Comment: 19739

I'm still trying on the idea that the brain creates everything. I prefer a more literal interpretation at this point, though I'm open to change. I think of human brains as small, incredibly sophisticated computers. We actively process any number of interations/transactions/decisions/whatever during waking hours, then download, continuing to process in a quieter way, when we are sleeping. We are constantly adjusting our frames of reference as new information comes in ("Hmm. I didn't know that John was in the Peace Corps.That explains a couple of things.") in both positive and negative ways. Sometimes we go into overload, and sometimes we crash.

(Okay, enough with the computer analogies. I think we got it.) Anyway, if that's where emily Dickinson was going with this, she was waaayyyy ahead of her time. (I don't think she was. I still think she was referring to the awesome power of human brains, which was in itself a pretty intense statement for a mid 19th century woman to make.)


the brain and Emily
Name: Julie
Date: 2006-07-11 10:25:19
Link to this Comment: 19740

I think the story that Emily is telling is that the brain is capable of limitless information- always with room left over for more. I think in life and in education the biggest limit is when our brain is ready to take it in.


Emily Dickinson
Name: Angela Bry
Date: 2006-07-11 10:26:20
Link to this Comment: 19741

The poem by Emily Dickinson, In my opinion is that the brain can hold alot of information than most people could imagine. Also that most people can control there own brain.


tues
Name: shellie
Date: 2006-07-11 10:32:42
Link to this Comment: 19742

So much informtion. It is amazing how our brain works. I have been impressed with all the ideas that have been flowing in this class.

I also feel it is wonderful that so many science teachers are taking this class. They seem like pretty good teachers to begin with ---imagine after this class.

As an aside- I was interested in the comment that night terrors have something to do with epilepsy.My son had terrible night terrors when he was young. Several years ago he had a sleep study that showed he had epileptic type of activity in the brain.

Another aside--did you see in the paper about the nuns that are giving their braqins to the study of alzheimers disease.

We have to keep our brains active--glad i am here.


All About Me
Name: Angela Bry
Date: 2006-07-11 10:35:07
Link to this Comment: 19743

My name is Angela Bryant, I am a teacher at Martin Luther King High School. I teach Computer Science and I am Certified in Math. I love my job because, I love teaching my students how to perform different task on the computer. I also work at CCP part time, I have my CCNA. I teach Cisco Networking at CCP.


Brain Talk
Name: Cleat
Date: 2006-07-11 10:35:11
Link to this Comment: 19744

The notion of the brain being wider than the sky...according to Emily Dickinson....causes much
discussion as to what and how the brain functions for us and what it is responsible for. Is it as Theresa stated the master or the servant of our being?


Brain and Nervous system
Name: Angel
Date: 2006-07-11 10:35:53
Link to this Comment: 19745

I believe that Emily Dickinon's poem was used to explain all the possibilities of the brain and the human potential to do above and beyond the limitations of the sky. Her poem to me felt more abstract because you really had to analyze what was being discussed. You couldnt take her words literally but rather use critical/ higher order thinking skills in order to fully understand her take on the brain. The human brain is just the min database to control all aspect of human life.

People should always question everything that is said and taught. They should do there own research to substatiate the information that was given. If we are ever going to know what is less wrong we must always question it. The reason being is it true that we were born from our mothers. Thats jut a summary of observations that we were told and now we believe that it is truth.



Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2006-07-11 10:37:08
Link to this Comment: 19746

The idea that everything is in the brain makes a lot of sense, but the problem of a higher power, or spiritual world/universe enters this picture. It's hard to give up the story of something more powerful and infinite than the brain "outside" ourselves exists independently. So, what if there were no human brains, only animal or plants? I guess this idea is the same as if a tree falls and there is no one there to hear it does it make a noise? Is there a creative force outside our brain?




brain is everything
Name: teresa
Date: 2006-07-11 10:37:53
Link to this Comment: 19747

It is thought provoking to consider that the brain equals behavior. Perhaps biochemically that is possible for the physical aspects of being,which includes body, mind, and intellect (and the processes which those terms encompass.) What does that imply for the essence of being human?


Emily's story
Name: Claudette
Date: 2006-07-11 10:38:06
Link to this Comment: 19748

Emily's story suggests that the brain, (nervous system) is an infinite entity that appears finite in the physical but controls the foundation for observations, the ability to summarize the observations and their application to understanding Science stories.


Emily Dickinson
Name: jennifer H
Date: 2006-07-11 10:38:59
Link to this Comment: 19749

Emily Ddicinson was truly an unique woman before her time. She could see things beyond the permise . Her writings reflected the possibility that the brain capacity extened fall beyond what our eyes could see . Her writings called those things that be not as though they were.


patricia
Name:
Date: 2006-07-11 10:40:28
Link to this Comment: 19750

The brain has infinite possibilities,I wonder sometimes if I can always believe what I observe.Many times there has been situations I can't explain if it was reality or a hallucination.


Emily Dickinson
Name: sherry O.
Date: 2006-07-11 10:40:28
Link to this Comment: 19751

The idea that Emily Dickinson had so much insight about the brain is fascinating.
Getting back to the idea of story telling. I believe that everything we hear is a story, therfore you should think about everything you're told. Who is telling you this story? How does it benefit them? How does it benifit you?


All in the brain
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-11 10:41:14
Link to this Comment: 19752

One of my favorite movies is "The Matrix." I guess I am enamoured of the representation in this movie that perceived reality can be changed in a limited way. Students at the school where I teach learn in Grade 6 that there are three primary colors of light. that all other perceived colors come from different combinations of these three colors. They learn these ideas from experimentation with light boxes, the combinations of light and the resulting colors and the effects of reflected light on different surfaces. In grade 7 science, we discuss that color of light we see is the color that is reflected into our eyes. The cone cells in our eyes are of three types, each capable of "seeing" only one color of light; therefore, we can only see three colors of light. The combinations of these three colors coming into our eyes determine the color we "see." Two things come to mind. 1) Reception: We are limited by our anatomy. Our cone cells (in the retina of the eye)can only receive three types of light information. 2) interpretation: This information is then transmitted to the occipital lobe of the brain where it is interpreted or "seen." The occipital lobe must then transmit the info to parts of the frontal lobe responsible to put the information into words. My students are amazed at this revelation that "beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder." i love my brain. Most of time it serves me quite well as long as I never accept its first thought.


the brain and nervous system
Name: julie
Date: 2006-07-11 12:09:11
Link to this Comment: 19753

Learning how the brain creates responses...an amazing story...I think this will be most relevant when I am teaching students- a reminder that they are all hearing and seeing and processing something different is what I need every so often to change up the way I am presenting information to them and expecting them to run with it...I'm not sure where I want to go with all of this on the internet- I think I need time for my brain to process...


My Brain Their Brain Our Brain....
Name: Wackomin
Date: 2006-07-11 12:10:17
Link to this Comment: 19754

Boxes within boxes and inputs with outputs... Out minds have the ability to do so much and we tend to forget that it is not just out minds but it is the mind of our kids. They have the ability to generate thought and outputs that would result in the desired response that they need or expect. It's strange to think that our kids are actually doing things intentionally to agitate or to generate a response.

It's amazing to see that our brain contains more 99% of the neurons in our body. It starts to give you the understand of how vast and capable our brains are.

I like to think about the fact that we learn from our experiences and that we are who we are because of what we've been through or what we've done. Our brains have internalized all these things and interpreted these things to create the reality that we live in, that I live in.

Weird...


Inputs, outputs, etc.
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-11 12:10:45
Link to this Comment: 19755

As I stated when we were introducing ourselves yesterday, so much of how children learn is a mystery to me. This morning's discussion has helped to add a few pieces to that puzzle. If children are indeed generating outputs to get inputs, they are constructing their learning as we go. It's somewhat similar to the analogy that we discussed yesterday. The earth doesn't exactly revolve around the sun, or vice versa. Rather, it's a bit of both.

I have a friend, a former teacher, who, when I would agonize about how some of my students struggle, and how worried I was that they were going to have increasingly difficult times in classes as they progressed through grades, would say, "They learn a lot more than you think they do, and they do a lot better than you think they will."
In a way, I think her statement validates what we have been discussing this morning.


Brain in classroom
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-11 12:16:57
Link to this Comment: 19756

I can see using this mornings lecture with my seniors, even though they have seen the structure/function of the nervous system in their Bio. class, I like the idea of re-approaching it beginning with the model. Function/structure rather than structure/function. I think this process orientation will give the kids more ownership of the material...it makes a more interesting story.


The World Inside the Brain?
Name: Annabella
Date: 2006-07-11 12:18:46
Link to this Comment: 19757

The brain creates the world? Even as you explore that idea, even after finding evidence that would support it, it is still a far out there idea.
But then we looked at the numbers.
Total # of neurons (cells) in the brain: approx 10X12. That's a 10 with 12 zeros behind it.
% of neurons in touch with the outside world...(sensory and motor neurons put together):
10X(-5)%. That's 0.000001 %.

What does that mean to me? Since 99.999% of our brain is fully dedicated to only dealing with other parts of the brain, and doesn't have the capacity to either take in or put out signals to the outside world, the outside world is terribly insignificant to us. It's significance is infinitessimally small.
What is important to us, as indicated by the numbers, is our thought. By thought I am talking about ideas and conclusions that have neither come from nor had influence on the outside world. I am defining thought here as impulses between "inter" neurons.
To me this paints a picture of the brain as being a set-up that we dream everything up and then have as a little afterthought enough sensory and motor neurons to give us the "idea" that there is a world out there. The idea that there is an outside world to impress our thoughts upon gives all the inner activity of the brain i.e. thinking, a sense of purpose. Without the outside world, none of our ideas would amount to anything. We would not be able to acomplish anything, nor stuggle to make something right. We couldn't feel joy, for there would be nothing to compare it with that would give the emotionl contrast necessary to register a feeling.
Do I know any of this to be true? No, it is just my emotional reaction to seeing the numbers.


Brains and boxes
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2006-07-11 12:38:18
Link to this Comment: 19759

Now we get to the meat - the muscle - the brain - and how different we are in the context of the whole being the sum of the parts. Large numbers never cease to boggle my mind, and the possibility of 10^12 neurons and the resulting infinite (almost) combinations is fantastic! A call to embracing diversity for certain! Maybe this topic isn't for those in education, but the part of society that insists on separating us by our differences instead of embracing them.


apropros of thinking and ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2006-07-11 12:39:31
Link to this Comment: 19760

Interesting relevant? article in the NY Times this morning about thinking and and "closed down brains"? ...


He Wasn't Thinking Straight. So How Do You Get Through?


reflections
Name: shellie
Date: 2006-07-11 13:12:13
Link to this Comment: 19763

It is amazing to me that most of the brain neurons are inner neurons. So much is going on all the time. How are we going to understand it all. We need more neurobiologists to study and observe the brain and interactions.


reflection
Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2006-07-11 13:12:44
Link to this Comment: 19764

As a repeater of this course, I found that I understood the material with more comfort and ease.

I especially enjoyed hearing and thinking about the comments of others.

I wonder what this course would look like five or ten years from now. What new summary of observations will be available?

Another thought I had during the discussion of Emily Dickinson, was what other writers in history shared the same idea. Certainly, using literature and /or history to introduce a topic or idea could easily be adapted in the high school, in a similiar manner.

Finally, in the public schools in Philadelphia I see less and less room for exploration. In fact by the time these students get to high school, I'm not sure they would enjoy the freedom of exploration. But one thing that would help is if students could have more discussion time, to learn listening skills, and to generate ideas, and make new observations.


Nervous System
Name: Angela Bry
Date: 2006-07-11 13:17:43
Link to this Comment: 19765

I learned alot about humans nervous system and also animals nervous system. The brain has a boundary. It also consist of a lot of boxes, dent marks are embedded from the nervous system. Within the nervous system there are a group of nerouns.What I learned about crikets was very interesting, how there nervous system is just like humans nervous system. I did not know that when male crikets churps that they call for the female crikets to mate.



Name: teresa
Date: 2006-07-11 13:18:11
Link to this Comment: 19766

Emily Dickinson's poem seems to have an ethereal feel to it, which transcends the idea that the brain equals behavior. Perhaps when and if the brain can transcend its own boundaries it can experience the vastness of the sky.


Brain
Name: Angel
Date: 2006-07-11 13:18:14
Link to this Comment: 19767

This morning discussion was cumbersome there were alot of information that was presented. The brain was discussed n detail about th input and output process. The nueron and its properties were discussed. We also discussed the process of how the brain creates images that formulate dreams and hallucintions.


Brain Input/output
Name: Patricia
Date: 2006-07-11 13:26:57
Link to this Comment: 19768

The presentation this morning was very interesting and overwhelming.


Extensions to our sensory neurons
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-11 13:28:51
Link to this Comment: 19769

Annabella said "... we dream everything up and then have as a little afterthought enough sensory and motor neurons to give us the "idea" that there is a world out there. The idea that there is an outside world to impress our thoughts upon gives all the inner activity of the brain i.e. thinking, a sense of purpose."
That reminds me how little of the "outside" world we actually sense. In terms of light, our eyes only sample a very small piece of the spectrum. All of that invisible radio, microwave, IR, UV, x-rays, gamma radiation zooms through and around us and we are oblivious to it. All of the itty-bitty stuff from germs to atoms to quarks make up most of our world and we onlys see the big stuff. All of the stuff that's far-far-far away is at most a dot (star) or a blur (galaxy)...
It's one of the amazing things about our brains that we have inferred the existence of this stuff and then developed tools to bring them into the range of our sensory neurons.


How I perceive the brain
Name: Claudette
Date: 2006-07-11 13:29:09
Link to this Comment: 19770

The brain as a whole is comprised of large box of stories, and within this large box there are numerous small boxes, within the small boxes are minute boxes that may begin with input that supposedly generates output, and the other idea that outputs is generated without inputs.


Response to YOU
Name: Bertie Woo
Date: 2006-07-11 14:36:53
Link to this Comment: 19771

Wow! What fun to meet you all! Do you realize that you have become individuals, in my own brain of course, just from the introductions and snippets of thought that you have published on the web? Thank you for sharing yourselves with me.
Bertie Wood, BMC '52


Nervous System/The Brain
Name: Jennifer H
Date: 2006-07-11 14:45:19
Link to this Comment: 19772

It is clear to me that I have not been using my brain to the degree it is able to output. Thus, there are several models indicating that the brain makes more observations than stimulus and response are registrar.


Love, Color, and the Brain
Name: To the Moo
Date: 2006-07-11 17:18:18
Link to this Comment: 19773

Hey Annabella, I love YOUR brain.
Wonder what Paul Grobstein would make of synesthesia...


from day 2 ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2006-07-11 17:35:48
Link to this Comment: 19774

What stuck in my mind was two things: And a related problem to come back to ... what is thinking? Is thought an "output"? Why does it feel like one (a thought came into my head .... from where? to where?)


To Bertie
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2006-07-12 09:42:29
Link to this Comment: 19776

Many many thanks for stopping by and leaving a note. My colleagues and I are working on, among other things, getting clear the relation between observations and interpretations/stories. And your note is very helpful, as you'll see. We've set ourselves the task of creating stories of Bertie based on your note (and any other observations we can make) to see how many there are and what new questions arise from them that might lead on to "less wrong" stories. Hope you'll enjoy seeing what we create (and would be delighted, of course, if you wanted to make available some new observations that would help us test the stories we've created).


Bertie Wood
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2006-07-12 09:49:51
Link to this Comment: 19777

Now that we know there exists a real Bertie Wood, it is difficult to write a story without worrying of being more wrong.

From the bit we garnered in the initial posting, and the bit we learned from Annabella (once we realized y'all are related), I can say that I would LOVE to meet Bertie. Already the story is about a woman with many years of experience and high levels of energy. The story is about a woman who has supported her children and maintained a strong sense of self. The longer I create the story in my brain, the more I hope to grow to be like Bertie.

In my story she has a fantastic smile.


Berie Woods
Name: Angela
Date: 2006-07-12 09:50:10
Link to this Comment: 19778

She is probly a religous woman who took education very seriously and instilled values with in her children. Sh must be an educator or scientist in order to be truly interested in the forum of the brain and behavior institute
Her email address maybe her husbands or child;s name.She probly is a really nice person.


Bertie Wood
Name: julie
Date: 2006-07-12 09:51:30
Link to this Comment: 19779

Having heard Annabella say it was her mom before class, it was really amusing and interesting to hear and see everyone's expressions and curiosity to find out who this person was- Bertie, thanks for the mystery! You really put a lot of people's brain to work!


bertiewoods
Name: tellerofst
Date: 2006-07-12 09:52:21
Link to this Comment: 19780

Bertie Wood is a lifelong learner who studied at Bryn Mawr College and has continued to challenge herself to explore new frontiers. Her latest endeavor is an exploration of her brain as story teller and creator of meaning in her life. Prior to this study, in her golden years, she braved new frontiers that included relocating across continents, travelling, child rearing, and tending to the garden of her lifelong love with her husband, Wistar. Bertie is currently, along with her exploration into the frontiers of the brain, considering another forage into the field of educational espionage, which she intends to coordinate covertly from that lofty vantage of the 'eye in the sky'.


Bertie Wood
Name: Annabella
Date: 2006-07-12 09:53:06
Link to this Comment: 19781

Bertie is a warm and loving person, a nurturing mother, and a vivacious lover of life. She loves to participate and is not afraid of meeting new people. When she finds a group working on materials she finds interesting, she is inclined to jump right in. Her influence has helped pave the way for many foreign adullts to find their way to becoming contributing members of American society.
But her greatest contribution has been her indominable spirit and unending optimism. She will always find a way to think the best of anyone in any situation.
She will be a great asset to our conversation.


bertie
Name: cleat
Date: 2006-07-12 09:53:10
Link to this Comment: 19782

Bertie Dawes Wood, an educator, an alumnus of Bryn Mawr college, has a daughter named Annabella who is presently a student at Bryn Mawr college. Annabella alerted her mother to the Brain and Behavior Institute and her mother wrote into the forum her delight at what we where doing.


The story of Bertie Wood
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-12 09:54:31
Link to this Comment: 19783

Bertie Wood attended Bryn Mawr College beginning in the late 1940's, not an everyday occurrance for women then. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1952. Her experiences there would shape not just her life, but her daughter's many years later.

Ms. Wood married, had a family, including a daughter, Annabella. Annabella strove and succeeded through a career or two, then decided at age 45 to attend college. Her mother, Bertie, suggested Bryn Mawr, and so....

Today, Annabelle is a sophomore at Bryn Mawr College. The Woods, mother and daughter, have come full circle.


The Bertie We Found...
Name: Wackomin
Date: 2006-07-12 09:54:36
Link to this Comment: 19784

We'll after a 5 minute search we were able to find a pethora of information on you Bertie. As our class is designed to observe and make summaries of our observations. I have come up with some random facts about you. It's really amazing what the web is able to find with a little bit of information. But what I really find amazing about this search is that you can reveal so much about yourself in such few words.

We can see that you are extemely well educated and that you are also a life long learner. We know that you went to Bryn Mawt and graduated in '52. We were also able to discover that you have moved out of Pennsylvania and are now living in california. We have discovered that your daughter is in our class and loves to play folk songs. The web has provided the ability to make our worlds so small and in many ways it has helped us to grow and learn quickly. However, we still need to be weary of our information because you never know it's true authenticity..... so do you really cliff dive?....j/k


bernie
Name: shellie
Date: 2006-07-12 09:55:24
Link to this Comment: 19785

Wow, so impressed with your e-mail. When we made observations and found out that you are Annabella's mother(with no help from your daughter) we were so surprized.

I was so impressed with the fact that you are so computer literate. Just using the computer is a chore for me. You have given me some hope. Keep writing to us. We enjoy it.


Bertie Woods
Name: Patricia
Date: 2006-07-12 09:58:48
Link to this Comment: 19787

What a wonderful way to start the morning with output from Bertie Woods. It motivated a flurry of input from the brains of the participants in the summer institute. The life experiences of Bertie is awesome,so the story continues.


Bertie Wood
Name: Angela Bry
Date: 2006-07-12 09:59:12
Link to this Comment: 19788

I was excited to find out that your daughter is helping out in the Brain and Bahavior class at Bryn Mawr College. We had did a search on the web about you and that is how we found out about you. I think it is really nice that you supported your daughter Annabella. I was excited to your response on the web about our class. Keep up the good work in taking care of yourself and it is a pleasure that you are a part of our class.


Bertie
Name: Angela
Date: 2006-07-12 09:59:24
Link to this Comment: 19789

Now that I know who Bertie is from research on the wb an speaking with Annabella I see that my presumptions are riht. She i very into her family's ducation. Also found out though conversation that her email address is her husbands name and that Wood is her marriage name. She seems through words a very spiritual and sweet woman. She would be a nice person for people to meet and get to know.

Thanks Bertie for sharing yourself with us as we continue to hare ideas with you.


Hi, Bertie Wood
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-12 09:59:30
Link to this Comment: 19790

Challenged to make up a story about you, we frantically searched the web for anything we could find.... The reality of the web can lead to some "wrong stories" (I found a bertie wood headstone) (We found "wistarwood" as a Bucks County, PA housing development) Perhaps she lives there? Their's a Bertie Wood hybrid horse... The reality we build, based on our observations, can lead us in interesting directions...

Finally, a story emerges... Annabella's Mom. In fact, Annabella yourself while attending Bryn Mawr.

It's nice to see your devotion to your daughter. Your close, even 1000s of miles away. Your posting leads me to believe that you are energetic and young in mind and spirit. Annabella tells us you're in California. I picture you on a high bluff, overlooking the ocean. We read "The hymn is alive and well." I think you are a poet.



Name: Laura
Date: 2006-07-12 09:59:30
Link to this Comment: 19791

Bertie Dawes Wood, BMC Class of '52... Annabella's mother, a very proud/loving mother & wife, assistant to the admissions office, interviewing students in California, still very enthusiastic about life/learning, a free spirit, a true "Mawrtyr", curious about religion, interested in education, has many interests including nature/botanical gardens (owns/owned an aboretum in Ohio) and animals (horse enthusiast) as well as music/singing, still very active and engaged with the world, seems to have lived in a lot of places... possibly sells "ethnic sandals and suede shoes" on eBay...


Bertie
Name: Angela M
Date: 2006-07-12 09:59:40
Link to this Comment: 19792

Now that I know who Bertie is from research on the wb an speaking with Annabella I see that my presumptions are riht. She i very into her family's ducation. Also found out though conversation that her email address is her husbands name and that Wood is her marriage name. She seems through words a very spiritual and sweet woman. She would be a nice person for people to meet and get to know.

Thanks Bertie for sharing yourself with us as we continue to hare ideas with you.


wow-it's a small world after all..
Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2006-07-12 10:01:19
Link to this Comment: 19793

So, what surprises we find when we are curious. And look how fast we got to know Bertie and her daughter! They both sound like such spunky,strong,woman. My initial response to the article was, wow, I'd like to know more about Annabella, and her relationship with her mother.
How wonderful to have a mom who was so open and accepting! It makes me wonder how much of that is because of education, and how much is just because....L


Bertie Wood
Name: Claudette
Date: 2006-07-12 10:02:34
Link to this Comment: 19794

Bertie Dawes Wood preferred her daughter Annabella attend Bryn Mawr College, but supported Annabella's circuitous path prior to attendance at Bryn Mawr. What a great testimony for supporting Annabella's curiosity. Annabella loves the order of stuff and stuff that makes sense in Science and Mathematics. Knowledge is great and wonderful as stated by Annabella and in this Brain and Behavior Institute-2006 her brain will entertain new observations enabling Annabella to tell new stories.


Bertie Wood
Name: Jennifer H
Date: 2006-07-12 10:02:36
Link to this Comment: 19795

Dear Mrs. Bertie Dawes Wood,
Thank you for corresponding with the students at the Bryn Mawr Brain and Behavior Institute 2006.
I appreciated you taking the time to communicate with our class to share your thoughts using the Forum Area on the Web.
You are appreciated and wanted.
Jennifer Harris-Brain and Behavior Institute 2006


Bertie Wood
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-12 10:03:34
Link to this Comment: 19796

Today, Paul Grobstein showed us the email you sent. At first, we were involved in the idea that someone from outside the Institute had read our comments. We got over that and began to discuss who you might be, in other words, we began to construct a story about you. Several people focused on your use of words and punctuation marks. You seemed energetic and, extroverted, and interested in new ideas. Then, we focused on how you might have discovered this website. We thought you might be an alum of this Institute or an alum of Bryn Mawr College. Paul showed us that you were a BMC alum, class of 1952. We realized your age and the admired the level of energy and interest reflected in your writing style. We noticed your web address and thought it might reveal more about you. "Wood" from obviously from your last name, but we did not know if it was a family name or a married name. Perhaps, the "Wistar" was a maiden name. Some of the participants did not know the implications of the Wistar name. That was surprising, as The Wistar Institue has contributed so much to the developing body of science. We all hit the computers to begin searching for more information to collect more observations to write a story about you. Paul gave us 15 minutes to develop our stories. Google, google, google. A participant found you by searching on the Bryn Mawr College site. We all ran over to his computer. A photo of a beautiful woman appeared. We read on. Then the shouting began. "Is Annabella here today. Annabella, is this your mother?" Ananbella hesitated, smiled, and admitted the connection. "Did you write the e-mail?" Then Annabella told us that she made you aware of our forum, and you wrote the e-mail. Now, we stopped our creative process and learned more about your story. I was not surprised to learn that you were an educator based on our discussion of your e-mail. I loved your story. How wonderful to share this beautiful, stimulating, college experience with your daughter. From the shared experience, you both grow.


Bertie Woods
Name: sherry O.
Date: 2006-07-12 10:04:49
Link to this Comment: 19797

I found your article about your trip to see your daughter perform on Lantern night. I was drawn to your account because you touched the mother in me. I am glad to see you still supporting her and encouraging her at this stage in her life. It's funny because in our brain class Annabella and I have
a connection in class. Whenever I make a comment in class I just look up at her I see her smile and we seem to be on the same track. Reading your article made me feel the same way. You are a loving and affectionate person and I can feel that through your writing and of course your daughter.


Bertie Woods
Name: sherry O.
Date: 2006-07-12 10:04:49
Link to this Comment: 19798

I found your article about your trip to see your daughter perform on Lantern night. I was drawn to your account because you touched the mother in me. I am glad to see you still supporting her and encouraging her at this stage in her life. It's funny because in our brain class Annabella and I have
a connection in class. Whenever I make a comment in class I just look up at her I see her smile and we seem to be on the same track. Reading your article made me feel the same way. You are a loving and affectionate person and I can feel that through your writing and of course your daughter.


Diabetic Neuropathy -Nervous system topology
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-12 11:03:56
Link to this Comment: 19799

Is the interuption/disruption (numbness/pain) of peripheral nerves (feet-toes) in Neuropathy occurring within the lower spinal chord or within the brain?


Christopher Reeves
Name: Annabella
Date: 2006-07-12 11:04:51
Link to this Comment: 19800

If when his toe was pinched the foot would ;move away from the pincher, then did he experience pain? or is it that because he didn't consciously register the sensation we say that he didn't experience pain even though sensation clearly moved through his body.


question
Name: julie
Date: 2006-07-12 11:08:18
Link to this Comment: 19801

so is moving muscles because they are experiencing pain the same as a reflex?


chris
Name: shellie
Date: 2006-07-12 11:08:38
Link to this Comment: 19802

what is my question???? Why can't we reconnect the severed cordf so Chris would work?


I-function
Name: sherry O.
Date: 2006-07-12 11:09:53
Link to this Comment: 19803

How do you explain ghost pain?


The Nervous System
Name: Jennifer H
Date: 2006-07-12 11:10:15
Link to this Comment: 19804

Does the I-Function operate any differently for those who may have a learning disability, or who are mentally challenged ?
What organs are affected within the lower part of the body when the spinal cord has been injured ?


the nerves
Name: Cleat
Date: 2006-07-12 11:10:15
Link to this Comment: 19805

In what other ways can sensory nerves be damaged beside a disconnection of the upper an lower end of the spinal cord so that one doesnt feel?


The nervous system
Name: Angela Bry
Date: 2006-07-12 11:10:28
Link to this Comment: 19806

How did Chistopher Reeves Die?
Why is it when the doctor hit your knee with a tool you have no control from that?
Why can't you move your legs and arms simutaniously in the opposite direction?


Is it possible?
Name: Wackomin
Date: 2006-07-12 11:12:18
Link to this Comment: 19807

Is it possible to train our brain to control "ALL" the involuntary actions in our body?



Name: Claudette
Date: 2006-07-12 11:12:37
Link to this Comment: 19808

When the "I" box is disrupted or incapacitated how do the other boxes compensate/communicate to get input and output to the affected area?



Name: Laura
Date: 2006-07-12 11:13:35
Link to this Comment: 19809

Possible to override chronic/"psychological" pain in the same way as "real" pain? Why does it seem easier to override inputs coming from outside the NS than those that might arise from the inside?


brain question
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2006-07-12 11:15:19
Link to this Comment: 19810

So, all that we are is in our brain? If I took my brain and put it in Susan's body, I would still be me but in a different casing? What about a coma? Is there a way to repair the Christopher Reeve-problem?


Where to begin?
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-12 11:15:50
Link to this Comment: 19811

This discussion leads me to what I call "the life of the mind." Our nervous system, which I am for the moment going to call our mind, is housed in a shell, our body. Whether that shell functions fully or not, the mind remains active.


inerneurons???
Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2006-07-12 11:17:02
Link to this Comment: 19812

I wonder if or how the structure of Christopher Reeves' brain changed, due to receiving little or no input from the outside. So, did he make or grow more interneurons than other people who are not paralyzed?


requestion
Name:
Date: 2006-07-12 11:19:44
Link to this Comment: 19813


Morning discussion on the Brain
Name: Angela M
Date: 2006-07-12 11:21:03
Link to this Comment: 19814

This morning discussion was very interesting in the way the information about Christopher Reeves sparked my curiosity. With whether on not he felt/ and or experienced pain. This was a good question that sparked conversation.

My question is: How does the I-Function affect students with special needs and exceptionalities? What happens to the body when there is a total disconnect?


Morning discussion on the Brain
Name: Angela M
Date: 2006-07-12 11:21:27
Link to this Comment: 19815

This morning discussion was very interesting in the way the information about Christopher Reeves sparked my curiosity. With whether on not he felt/ and or experienced pain. This was a good question that sparked conversation.

My question is: How does the I-Function affect students with special needs and exceptionalities? What happens to the body when there is a total disconnect?


day 3
Name: teresa
Date: 2006-07-12 11:21:35
Link to this Comment: 19816

In cases of severance of the spinal column, how is pain experienced from internal stimulus?


Brachial Neuritis
Name: Claudette
Date: 2006-07-12 11:22:36
Link to this Comment: 19817

The brachial plexus -a group of nerves located in the armpits, forearm and chest area . What treatment can be administered to alleviate the horrific pain, numbness, poor circulation in the forearm, chest/breast area,and beneath the fingertips?

How can the sensory and motor neurons be reactivate the proper ativity?


Reeves Discussion
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-12 11:22:54
Link to this Comment: 19818

This was an intriging session. I wanted to rely on the anatomy of the nervous system, but I understand that you wanted us to restrict the dicussion to observations and how they contributed to the story. A question that came from this discussion was how to describe the observation that Reeves could respond to the pinch of his toe without a communication with the brain. Gayle used the term "experience feeling." I had to agree that the pinch was experienced by the spinal cord but not by any part of the brain above the severed spinal cord. So, can we say experienced but not felt?


Nervous System
Name: Patricia
Date: 2006-07-12 11:23:00
Link to this Comment: 19819

How does the I-Function effect indiviuals with mental illness?
Howdoes the I-function effect amputee patients?


Nervous System
Name: Patricia
Date: 2006-07-12 11:23:32
Link to this Comment: 19820

How does the I-Function effect indiviuals with mental illness?
Howdoes the I-function effect amputee patients?



Name: julie
Date: 2006-07-12 12:06:05
Link to this Comment: 19821

It is beginning to make sense, that the rest of the nervous system is what the neocortex depends on for learning. I see it most clearly when I think of lessons that are hands on and how much more and more clearly students remember the information and more importantly, the experiences they are having.


learning in the "rest"
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2006-07-12 12:07:43
Link to this Comment: 19822

I am excited to see where the practical application is for the classroom - accessing the involuntary part of the nervous system in order to facilitate greater and lasting learning. Teaching middle school is so much about teaching learning skills. Our school program is very lab-oriented, and I suppose this is the part that attempts to tap into the "rest" of the nervouse system.


Where learning occurs
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-12 12:08:00
Link to this Comment: 19823

If indeed most learning occurs in the nervous system, then we should incorporate kinethetics into everything we in the classroom. "Hands-on as well as "Minds-on.


Boxes
Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2006-07-12 12:08:00
Link to this Comment: 19824

So, the question that immediately followed the conclusion of our morning lecture is Where does behavioral change take place in the brain?

In other words, what role does the I function have in changing habitual, or unconscious behaviors?



Name: teresa
Date: 2006-07-12 12:08:03
Link to this Comment: 19825

In early childhood education, it is commonly known that action upon the environment is critical to true learning. Movement and multi-modal input are critical to education. It seems that action, repeated over time, leads to learning that is later synthesized with previous learning to bring a stronger level of understanding. Experience of the environment is prerequisite.


Bipartitie Brain
Name: Annabella
Date: 2006-07-12 12:08:39
Link to this Comment: 19826

The challenge in a classroom seems to be to engage the neocortex of the students in order for the learning to "take hold". Without such involvement, the information will not be accessible at a later date. How interesting that in order to engage the neocortex, activity in the frogbrain, i.e. physical activity is very helpful. Other things are also helpful, but in general, it seems to me that the more acitivity in the frogbrain, the more something is remembered.


Neocortex
Name: Cleat
Date: 2006-07-12 12:11:14
Link to this Comment: 19827

I agree that a great deal of learning goes on not in the neocortex but in the other part of the brain that is not as familiar to us. I have a student that illustrates that point and now I have a better idea of how he may be learning and takin in the materials he's being taught. Is there any answer or explanation for that part of the brain? Is this where phobias begin and end? Or, is this just another part of the great unknown to mankind?


NeoCortex
Name: Claudette
Date: 2006-07-12 12:11:41
Link to this Comment: 19828

When teaching students, educators probe and set up a forum to use some prior knowledge which occurs in the unconscious CNS. Therefore when the new concepts are introduced and students begin to integrate new information with what occurred unconsciously, perhaps the new information will be retained and used to productively to enhance learning.


I learn better when i sleep
Name: Wackomin
Date: 2006-07-12 12:15:28
Link to this Comment: 19829

We learn through the way we interact with the world and the amazing thing about it is that all the interactions are processed through the subconscious mind before it even goes to the conscious mind. It's odd to know that our brain actually works "better" without thought because it has the ability to do things on it's own better then when it is told to. That reminds me that your first intuitions is usually the right one.... hmmm well at least most of the time.

As a child then, what can we do to help them learn through their unconscious mind? How is it possible to teach them to learn things through their unconscious thought? This leads me to believe a few different things. My first is that repetition would help them gain the unconscious ability to do the things better then through thought. If they are able to retain and attain the information they need through their subconscious mind, then their ability to process the ingrained information would be more meaningful. My second thought though is that should they have to digest information before they can be creative with it? How is it that they can learn and be creative?

I think I just lost myself... I'll come back to it.


I - Funtion
Name: Jennifer H
Date: 2006-07-12 12:25:09
Link to this Comment: 19830

If the body generates a series of input and output responses for processing learning from the I -Function and nervous system , I wonder would it be conceivably wrong to think that students need a variety of learning styles and interactive conversation forums in order to acquire knowledge ?


Thoughts about the unconcious
Name: sherry O.
Date: 2006-07-12 12:25:39
Link to this Comment: 19831

The implications that an enormous amount of learning takes place in the unconscious is significant for the classroom. Elementary students are generally in environments where they can experience learning ultilizing both the concious and unconcius. When students reach high school there seems to be an unwritten rule that is not necessary to tap the unconcious. Scientist have been aware of this for years, why isn't this information translating into classroom practices, particularily in the hgh schools.?


Neocortex or not
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-12 12:42:19
Link to this Comment: 19832

Teaching to the whole nervous system seems so much a successful approach than just to the neocortex. This discussion gives me the terminology to describe why lab experience is such an important part of a science program. While teaching Kindergarten science, I observed that my students loved to measure things. OK We were into a unit about trees. We identified the trees as best we could, most were hybrids along our path of exploration. We made bark rubbings and leaf rubbings. Then I noticed the kids hugging the trees. Thereafter, I called this unit the Hug-a-tree unit. For the next class, we took balls of string. Teh children worked in pairs to wrap the sting aroung the trees. I walked around with scissors to cut their string at the place that ended the measure of the circumference of the tree. Then we took our labeled strings (you need tape and small squares of paper for this) and went back into the classroom. We hung the lengths of string from the top of a bulletin board and compared their lengths. We did not use number values at first. The kids had experienced circumference by hugging the tree nd by comparing the appearance of the lengths of the strings. later we assigned number values and units of measurement. This approach was so popular that I added it to our units on whales and on sharks. We did the usual reading of stories, writing of stories, drawings, and discussion of our own thoughts about whales/sharks. I reserved the gym and we all wemt to the gym with about 25 rulers. We used the straight lines on the floor of the gym and laid our 25 rulers end to end. Students were assigned tasks to be markers(stand at beginning and end of line of rulers), placers of rulers, and runners. Ech time we ran out of rulers, a student stood in place to mark the spot, other students gathered up the rulers, and others started laying the rulers again until we reached the length stated in our book about whales/sharks. When we were done, students who were markers reamined in place and the rest of the students ran the distance from beginning to end. Then the students switched places until all had the opprtunity to experience the distance. We also walked, skipped and jumped the distance. After this morning's discussion, I realized that these experiences "teach" to the unconscious nervous system. Repeated kinesthetic experiences of length followed by discussion can then contribute information to the neocortex. So, lab experiences have to be part of science course at all levels. Not just here are the dirction, follow them, but pre-lab discussion, open ended experiments (input from students to design the approach, and post lab discussion. Teachers assigned to teach science should be those with science education and experience. In the elementary grades where the classsroom teacher is the science teacher, these teachers must have support and training from others who have the knowledge to share about how to introduce kinesthetic science experiences, age appropriate experiments and follow through discussions and experiments. Time for lunch.


unconscious
Name: shellie
Date: 2006-07-12 13:08:50
Link to this Comment: 19833

This whole area is enlightening. I took a salsa dance class at my gym,then missed about one month. When I returned I was not paying attention and miraculousoly my feet did it. I understand thisw now. This will give me courage to continue different dancing classes without the serious side trying so hard to get it. And then NOT.


Nervous System
Name: Patricia
Date: 2006-07-12 13:21:14
Link to this Comment: 19834

The subconsious/consious area of the brain effects how we communicate with the world. How much does the subconsious govern our daily life decisions? When someone commits a crime ,does the subconsious area dominate the consious area?


nervous system
Name: Angela M
Date: 2006-07-12 13:21:40
Link to this Comment: 19835

I am interested in more of the conscious "mind" as it relates to people who experience amnesia. Do they really have a disconnect with the I factor


Thanks for your responses
Name: Bertie Woo
Date: 2006-07-12 23:37:57
Link to this Comment: 19836

Thank you, Sherry, Patricia, Julie, Jennifer, Claudette, Linda, Angela B. and Angela M. What a lovely circus you are running, Paul, exactly the intellectual calibre that Annabella was looking for at Bryn Mawr. Susan, you are right; we are both growing. Hey, tellerofstoriesII, what's that 'eye in the sky'? Right, Laura, except that I am not into buying and selling anything at all. Yes, Tiffany; it's like Annabella's, but in these later years I have to continually floss to keep it. Right, Cleat. Yes, Gayle, it's a grand circle, still expanding. No, Wackomin, I have cliff-climbed, but never cliff-dived; now I'd like to kayak. Hang in there, Shellie; it will be the only way to keep up with your grandchildren. Glenn, I've especially enjoyed your Quakerly comments all the way through. Annabella, I read your comment before reading your name and was fascinated; still am, of course.
THANK YOU ALL,
Bertie


Disinhibiting
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-13 12:16:42
Link to this Comment: 19837

Rather than causing students to do something: learn, stop talking, focus, whatever, we should try to identify and remove the element(s) that are preventing them from doing what we have asked.
Okay. I like that idea. If I'm understanding this appropriately, an important part of teaching is knowing as much as possible about each child. I have a unique perspective, I think, because I have my students for 4 years. I get to know them over time in ways that others may not. I find this beneficial, and it's one reason why I enjoy what I do and where I work.


Who Am I !
Name: Jennifer H
Date: 2006-07-13 12:47:20
Link to this Comment: 19839

Hello, My name is Jennifer Harris. I currently reside in the city of Norristown, Pennsylvania. I am employed by the school District Of Philadelphia as a special education teacher. I presently teach at Samuel Huey Elementary school as a resource teacher for Math and English . I have enrolled in the Brain and Behavior Institute 2006 class, because I am a lover of knowledge and I seek to discover new and innovate ways to implementing science techniques in the classroom and across the curriculum .


Who Am I !
Name: Jennifer H
Date: 2006-07-13 12:54:49
Link to this Comment: 19840

Hello, My name is Jennifer Harris. I currently reside in the city of Norristown, Pennsylvania. I am employed by the school District Of Philadelphia as a special education teacher. I presently teach at Samuel Huey Elementary school as a resource teacher for Math and English . I have enrolled in the Brain and Behavior Institute 2006 class, because I am a lover of knowledge and I seek to discover new and innovate ways to implementing science techniques in the classroom and across the curriculum .


Science and Being Unique
Name: Jennifer H
Date: 2006-07-13 13:45:36
Link to this Comment: 19841

Presenting science as a" story " as opposed of absolute "truth" is liberating . Growing up as a child, I always felt that I was wrong.


Senses & Synapses
Name: Annabella
Date: 2006-07-13 14:54:15
Link to this Comment: 19843

Fascinating material this morning. Don't know which aspect to speak on right now. But let's take on the notion that all messages moving in the axons are identical, whether they are a sensory message heading to the brain or spinal cord, a motor message to a muscle or communication between interneurons (brain cells). The fact that every message is the same as every other message is amazing to me. The only thing that determines what kind of message it is, is its origin and/or its destination. The actual impulse is not distinguishable between pain in the skin, or color in the eye, or sound or even thought itself independent of the "outside world."
Talk about emergent patterns! Isn't this a huge one? Highly complicated systems emerge from very simple origins. The impulse itself is nothing but an electrical disturbance which is the same amount and everything as every other one! And yet we think we experience so many different experiences.
Truth be told, there is only ONE experience. The experience of an electical impulse of approx. 60 mv (or something liike that.) lt is our interpretation of the impulse that we call our experience. We think we taste a taste. But all we're really doing is interpreting an electical impulse of about 60 mv (or something like that).
We think we're thinking! I can only imagine what that will turn out be!!!!!


I can't stop typing.... where's that Inhibitor?
Name: Wackomin
Date: 2006-07-13 14:56:56
Link to this Comment: 19844

Complexity seems to always derive from simplicity. If we think about how the axon works and it's relation to the entire nervious system we can see that a lot of things in our body actually occurs in a simplistic fashion yet so many complex things can derive from it. It's is almost the same as a the binary language of computers. If the axons trasmit in the same exact fashion every single time it is triggered how is it possible to create a complex instruction as bouncing a basketball.

The next idea of inhibition was very unique. I liked the idea that we are actually inhibiting a lot of the actions that we don't want to occur.... it really explains my random twitch. But how does that work with education. How do we take away the things that may be inhibiting a child from learning. How do help them to create inhibitors for their instinctual desires.

I had a discussion about how adults think and how children think right after our instruction and I was just think about what really differentiates adults from children? Why are we so different from them? What is this comment that we always make about "we know better," how so? Why do we know better? Is there something in us that is so different that makes us know that it is time to shut up or it's time to have a conversation? When I was a child and someone told me to be quiet I understood them. I knew what they were saying to me; but why did I not listen then and I would listen now? Inhibition? The ability to inhibit my desires or "natural actions"... just a thought that I'm really not sure of yet.


day 4 morning session
Name: Angela M
Date: 2006-07-13 14:59:11
Link to this Comment: 19845

This morning was a good presentation and discussion on the reasons why teacher lecture instead of facilitate. The discussion nd the interactive presentation on how the nuerons work and the axons and the article about the paralyzed man who moved the cursor with his brain. This was a real infrmative session.


Little boxes, little motors
Name: LindaSlatt
Date: 2006-07-13 14:59:18
Link to this Comment: 19846

Todays lesson was an interesting example of how to teach really complex ideas
by building on simple ideas one step at a time.

I was amazed at how much variability is involved in understanding the workings of the neverous system, and the implication for variability in behavior Even though we all have the same basic structure, we are so different from each other, and different ourselves at a cellular level,
each day! This raw understanding gives more meaning to how our diet/nutrition affects our behavior. I also question, at a neural level what is happening to keep us feeling "the same" or "normal" with all this variability going on all the time. How much of a role does the I function play in our observations or interpretations of what we are feeling.


Neurons
Name: Claudette
Date: 2006-07-13 14:59:53
Link to this Comment: 19847

Neurons have signals described as outputs and inputs. These patterns of activity collectively the same in our neurons bring forth the question, how does an educator enhance, engage and support differentiated teaching and learning styles in educators and children?


The Nervous Center
Name: Patricia
Date: 2006-07-13 15:06:27
Link to this Comment: 19850

If it's true the nervous system is always being altered, are we aware of the changes when they occur? Is it possible some of our negative behaviors are related to some of those alterations?


Little boxes, little motors
Name: LindaSlatt
Date: 2006-07-13 15:06:36
Link to this Comment: 19851

Todays lesson was an interesting example of how to teach really complex ideas
by building on simple ideas one step at a time.

I was amazed at how much variability is involved in understanding the workings of the neverous system, and the implication for variability in behavior Even though we all have the same basic structure, we are so different from each other, and different ourselves at a cellular level,
each day! This raw understanding gives more meaning to how our diet/nutrition affects our behavior. I also question, at a neural level what is happening to keep us feeling "the same" or "normal" with all this variability going on all the time. How much of a role does the I function play in our observations or interpretations of what we are feeling.


Importance of Inhibition
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-13 15:19:09
Link to this Comment: 19852

At first, I did not know what Paul meant by looking at the brain backwards as a method of understanding its integration of signals. He suggested that the individual neuron is not a tranmitter but a synthesizer. With that in mind, I can think of the nervous system's activities as being the sum of its synthesizers. OK Cut off the head of a chicken and its body will run around without its head and therefore its brain. Paul observed that the spinal cord, without input from the brain, will cause running movements. So why is the chicken not always involved in running? There is inhibitory input from the neurons of the brain! Hyperpolarization resulting from this input negates the depolarization occuring in the motor neurons of the spinal cord. Inhibitory input regulates the constancy of the excitory depolarization that may be intrinsic to neurons. Ok My grade 7 students begin our biology course with preconceived ideas such as, plants need food. We plant seeds, germinate the seeds, grow the seedlings, pollinate the flowers, and wait for the appearance of the fruit. At no time do we apply plant food. Most students observe that the seed needed water, oxygen, and moderate temperature to germinate, that as a seedling, its needs changed to include carbon dioxide and light and no longer included oxygen from the outside environment. We do many different experiments to observe each of these needs as well as growing the seeds full cycle from seed to seed. At no time do we apply any plant food. Still, at the end of all this, some students will still write or say that plants need food. If there is an excitatory pathway in their brains as a result of their life experiences that causes them to verbalize this need of plants for food, how can I help these students to inhibit this pathway and depend on the newer one that results from the months of observational experience infering that plant make their own food? We discuss that the so called "plant food" sold in stores is nitrogen. We grow venus fly traps in class and discuss how they evolved in locations low or devoid of nitrogen in the soil. Still the notion of plant food is difficult for them to give up. This is just one example. How can I help them to change their story based on the new experience? Again, it is a small number of the students who do not change their story. What is the difference between the students who revise and the students who don't.


Thurs. Pm
Name: Shellie
Date: 2006-07-13 16:04:34
Link to this Comment: 19853

I got so involved in my web page that I lost all my thoughts on the brain. I hope it comes back tomorrow.


Thinking backwards
Name: Sherry O.
Date: 2006-07-13 16:53:38
Link to this Comment: 19854

"Less to do with causing things, more to do with removing things that inhibit what they do?"
If the problem in my class is that students are not engaged in my lesson, then I should explore
why they are not engaged. Eliminate the reason before I can get the participation that I seek.
That requires knowing a lot about your students! How many teachers are willing to take that time??


arbitrary -> useful?
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: 2006-07-13 17:44:29
Link to this Comment: 19855

Hi, guys. As one of the directors for the second Institute this summer, I've been dropping by for a bit each day to get a taste of how the first one's going. Today, savoring your conversation about neurons, I stayed for longer than usual. I found myself particularly intrigued by the idea that the imputs and outputs of our nervous system are "arbitrary."

I still don't quite get that; aren't they all adaptations that serve some use? Naturally selected because our bodies found them "useful" in some way?

I'm used to the idea that I (and others of whom I'm fond!) engage in all sorts of behavior that isn't particularly rational/useful/productive; am trying now to get my head around the possibility that my (unpredictable) neurons do ditto--


from days 3 and 4 ....
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2006-07-13 17:53:00
Link to this Comment: 19856

Don't worry. Earlier forum discussion hasn't disappeared. I've just organized things a bit so we have more space. To find earlier postings, go to the forum archive.

Among the things you'll find there is yesterdays' exchange with Bertie Woods. VERY interesting exploration of observing/story telling, worth keeping in mind. And thoughts about the brain as boxes ... ie is "thought" itself an "output"?

Wonderful discussion today about why people "lecture" rather than work in more open-ended, transactional "inquiry-based" mode. See blackboard notes. Is worth thinking about not only other people but ourselves as we work on our own teaching (including web projects in progress). Is science "science" just because of what its about or is there a deeper commitment to science as process/practice relevant not only in science classes but as a model for other aspects of education?

And rich conversation about action potentials, receptor potentials, synapses, and inhibition. Yes, our view of reality IS "limited and arbitrary". And yes we probably should think more about what others (and we?) do to "inhibit" students. We'll be building on all this as we work out way back up through the assemblies of neurons that make up the bipartite brain.


Behavior Modification -Input/Output loop
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-14 10:29:46
Link to this Comment: 19857

In response to Minh's comment about behavior modification...

...in other words... when you change an environment to modify student behavior, the original student behavior has modified your behavior. So...who's using behavioral modification on whom?


Listening????
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-14 10:34:29
Link to this Comment: 19858

I'm still working with this idea of listening. I've always believed that listening is a skill that gets better with practice. I often use an example from my own life: that I learned to listen while sitting through church services. But I realize now that I didn't learn to listen there, I simply learned to be still and look as if I was listening. What about the child who just talks and talks and talks to her friends during class? (We call it, "being social". "So and So is way too social." How does this behavior relate in terms of inputs and outputs? Is she finding greater satisfaction in the outputs she gets back from classmates than from whatever we are doing that day? And if so, is it me and my teaching, or is it her? Or something else entirely? This is a REAL important thing for me to know.


me
Name: shellie
Date: 2006-07-14 10:36:32
Link to this Comment: 19859

I needed to excplore what is happening to my brain this session. I am looking at output and inputs to see if I could understand this. I was not having fun. I was back in that old getting it right mode. Do the web site, do the web site. What is it to be? Oh, no too much. I guess part of this is --by now I shoud have it all right. I must remeber that it is getting it less wrong---which takes some of the pressure off. I need to appriciate the facts--my growth--. Here I am using a lap and doing and finding. I have really come a long way and I must start to apreciate this.


Brain and Behavior
Name: julie
Date: 2006-07-14 10:37:29
Link to this Comment: 19860

well, it seems to come back to whether we, as educators, are really teaching behavior, or are we modeling for the brain...talk about getting it less wrong...


teaching/therapy
Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2006-07-14 10:38:53
Link to this Comment: 19861

I thought the range of ideas expressed this morning were amazing, and helped me clarify some of my own ideas.

As a counselor I see my role as listening, observing, and modeling new behaviors. That role seems to mirror the teaching behaviors we were discussing this morning. I think of therapy as setting up an environment
that offers people the experience of increasing choices, by putting out
questions,(output)to recieve input.


so much
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2006-07-14 12:23:18
Link to this Comment: 19862

I don't know where to begin, and can honestly say that my BRAIN is full and a bit overwhelmed. Some of my thoughts...
... if there is no way to control the system by controlling the input, then WHAT is the function of a teacher?
... if the system works as a scientist without the I-function, then what is the point?
... evolution.


Central Pattern Generators
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-14 12:32:12
Link to this Comment: 19863

After this morning's discussion, I will now think of my classroom as a collection of central pattern generators. I, as the teacher, am the stimulus. Each student as a central pattern generator needs to have the opportunity to contribute to the class discusion because they are sharing information - input/output. The classroom is like a distributed system. My job as the teacher is not to lead but to change the stimulus when necessary to maintain or shift the discussion. There are rules in the classroom just as their is anantomy in the nervous system. Each student must but into these rules such as one person speaking at a time. In this way, the discussion will be sequential.
In my experience, I have observed that students learn best from one another. The teacher maintains the stimulus approprite to the course of study. The teacher can control the external stimulus or input but can't control the output of each student because of their internal corollary discharge. Add to all this that each student has an expectation of what they will hear or observe in a discussion or an experiment, and the teacher's job expands to discover that expectation and work within the limits of that expectation, ever widening the parameters of that expectation. Small steps at a time and spiralling.


Affirmations and new questions
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-14 13:13:50
Link to this Comment: 19864

This morning's discussion affirmed some of the things that I believe about how to teach effectively, while raising new questions (see comment posted earlier in the day). I feel as though at this moment I am seeing through a glass darkly. I look forward to discussions and lectures next week in hope that some of the mists will clear. Stay tuned.


Learning
Name: Shellie
Date: 2006-07-14 13:15:17
Link to this Comment: 19865

Now that I have your attention--whose learning. I was able to pay attention and enjoy all the activities this morning once I got off that web site.

Listening to teachers I was able to gather many great ideas. Now I see why I am taking this course(again). Also it is fun to open your mind and let it think (getting it less wrong).


output side of the nervous system
Name: Patricia
Date: 2006-07-14 13:23:39
Link to this Comment: 19866

Teachers must learn how to plug in to their students diverse learning styles and behavior . If we want to promote positive output within a class room,a creative and interesting environment should exist. Observe within and outside the box.


morning of day 5
Name:
Date: 2006-07-14 13:31:40
Link to this Comment: 19867

This session was very informative. My collegues collaborative discussion was about how students lern and why they behave the way they do. It was amazing how we basically worked together and had similar ideas on th issue. Minh brought an interesting though whether we are giving the student control or are we behavior modifying. I felt that we were modifying the behavior inorder for the student to get the necessary information from the instruction that was being delivered. In doing that the student may feel in their own mind that they are in control We cannot control what is in a child's mind but whatever is needed to reach the child I am all for that.


morning of day 5
Name: Angela M
Date: 2006-07-14 13:31:53
Link to this Comment: 19868

This session was very informative. My collegues collaborative discussion was about how students lern and why they behave the way they do. It was amazing how we basically worked together and had similar ideas on th issue. Minh brought an interesting though whether we are giving the student control or are we behavior modifying. I felt that we were modifying the behavior inorder for the student to get the necessary information from the instruction that was being delivered. In doing that the student may feel in their own mind that they are in control We cannot control what is in a child's mind but whatever is needed to reach the child I am all for that.


With your eyes closed..
Name: Wackomin
Date: 2006-07-14 14:26:28
Link to this Comment: 19869

How much power do we have over our own actions? It comes to a point where to really have to wonder if you have any control at all. We go into these states where the subconscious mind seems to take over and we seem to be able to do things better than we would do in our conscious mind. Do our greatest thought or ideas that we have derive from our innate ability to process our environment our observations in our subconscious mind? The ability to process information seems to be the key to human development and our dominance in the world. Yet are these processes truely from our conscious thought or are they from just our body's natural ability?

As I listen to the music on my headphones and zone out I think about where do these beats come from. Why do I like or dislike certain songs. Would have a the same distaste or likes if I was asleep and I was listening to the same thing?

I really wonder about how much I'm actually processing when i am sitting in class. As a good student am I not suppose to be able to process aa I listen to the lecutre? Thinking about the greatest minds on earth and thinka botu how they process their information. What makes them different from me. I necer liked accepting the fact the people are different or that someone is capable to do something that I was not able to replicate. Why must I accept the someone can be better at something than I am? Maybe it was a social thought that people are equal. Is it better to accept that people are just different and that they have different abilites to process infomation in a unique way?


There are muscians and athletes that are able to do things that I can never imagine doing, but is it because they were given the opportunity to do those things? Could I have built up that motor symphany if I was giben the opportunity. But even then would I have been able to creatte a symphany that is conducive to the process? The ability to process is in us right? Can't I make it a conscious thought. Can't I be in control? Or is the better question that I should I even try to be in control?

I just closed my eyes and typed this so please excuse some of the errors. I wanted just to use a little bit more of my subconscious mind to do this posting....


Moe insights
Name: shellie
Date: 2006-07-14 14:28:41
Link to this Comment: 19870

I can't believe when I relaxed and stopped worrying about getting it right I was able to start my web site. This really brings home to me the importance of this insight in education. We must find a way to take pressure off our students and encourage them to get things less wrong. I am amazed how his course taught me through my own experience what you have been saying all along.


Another comment
Name: shellie
Date: 2006-07-14 15:13:38
Link to this Comment: 19871

Ijam so full of comments today. T%his is the first day that my thoughts are just flowing. I have been reading the section in BBI aboout Science Education. The articles are really thought provoking. There are a lot of good ideas in them.


Outputs
Name: teresa
Date: 2006-07-14 15:41:37
Link to this Comment: 19872

"Output always creates an input in the organism itself or another organism...There is no way to control the system by controlling the input...The Nervous System has a whole set of expectations and compares inputs to expectations and then responds..." These statements point to the notion that we are just observers in the phenomenon of life, where all actions and reactions are random and unpredictable, and, perhaps even uncontrollable by the individual and the group. If this is the case, everything tends toward "chaos," what then explains the ebb and flow of harmony and disharmony? What are the modifiers of these states?


outputs
Name: Claudette
Date: 2006-07-14 16:09:23
Link to this Comment: 19873

Student output is one aspect for educators to evaluate what inputs are presented for differentiated teaching and learning styles. Student inputs are one aspect for educators to reflect upon meaning teaching and learning has occurred.


day 5 ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2006-07-16 09:27:47
Link to this Comment: 19878

Wonderfully rich conversation this morning, about how to engage students (growing out of the earlier one on why not lecture??). Things that stuck out for me ... And all of that BEFORE picking up the problems of the nervous system and its output side. Which added the notions of stored motor symphonies, distributed control, expectation, and exploration, all without the I-function.


Corollary Discharge
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-16 14:46:54
Link to this Comment: 19879

I have one question relating to Friday morning's discussion of corollary discharge and expectation as it relates to motion sickness. Recently, I learned that people who react to general anesthesia with nausea and vomiting are given anti-nausea medication in the anesthetic cocktail prior to surgery. If motion sickness is due to a disconnect between the nervous system's expectation based on input from the outside that is not supported by input from within, perhaps this is also the case with people who react adversely to general anethetics. What story would explain this?
I have another question relating to Friday's discussion of central pattern generators. We talked about these "motor scores" and learning. What story would explain the panda bear that allows itself to starve when its food of preference, bamboo, is not available?


Our unconscious minds
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-17 12:25:53
Link to this Comment: 19882

So...is our unconscious compensatory? And if it is, why is it? That is, what is the value of humans all seeing the same image, more or less? I'm reminded of "The Lathe of Heaven," by Ursula Le Guin, who explored the idea of people experiencing outcomes other than the ones they thought they could bring about. This is intense stuff.


Ambiguity
Name: cleat
Date: 2006-07-17 12:30:31
Link to this Comment: 19883

Funny how after all these years...one realizes that what we see is not really reality. In order to make sense of light...the brain makes up a story in order to make things clear fo us to understand. How is this ambiguity related to how we see things in Science? And since everything is a story, are only stories of the eye ambiguous or is everything?



Name: L inda Sla
Date: 2006-07-17 12:37:17
Link to this Comment: 19884

So, most of all the morning lecture and demonstrated activities, explains how different each of us interprets "reality". And, that accounts for the hundreds of books written about communication skills, in our attempt to understand each others stories. How can we as educators expect each student to get our story the first time, and yet we measure intelligence on percieving the same thing the same way.


Beauty is in the yes of the beholder??
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-17 12:41:31
Link to this Comment: 19885

I had no idea that the unconscious brain contributed so much to an individual's sence of reality. I think back to an article that appeared in National Geographic a number of years ago. The article was about beauty. There were magnificant photos of women who were considered beautiful by people in different parts of the world. The article made the point that there were certain characteristics that were shared by the beautiful women all over the world. Of course, this article was about the perceived physical beauty of the female face. One characteristic that comes to mind was the distance between the eyes. Apparently, when this distance was measured, the values were close in all the faces selected as beautiful. I think that the cheekbone structure was another chaacteristic. I am now rethinking this article in light of our discussion that visual input is ambiguous and the unconscious brain then makes sense of the input. I can only guess that the similarities in the anatomy, including connections (corollary discharge) of the unconscious brains of humans is similar enough that certain patterns of visual input are processed the same and interpreted as pleasing to our unconscious brains.
OK, now back to the classroom.This discussion presents another layer of complexity in a teacher's role as the stimulus. Are our words and actions being perceived in similar ways by all students. Grade VII girls are ery sensitive to the facial expression of their teacher. Some students at this age will automatically assume that the teacher's negative facial expression is focussed on them. "The teacher is angry at me" or "the teacher doesn"t like me." Other students will analyze the same facial expression as reflective of the teacher's own state and will ask, "are you all right?" Part of these different stories probably results from processing in the unconscious brain. I know that I have to be careful of my facial expressions when dealing with middle school aged students. Teachers are actors!!


vision
Name: teresa
Date: 2006-07-17 12:45:03
Link to this Comment: 19886

"Input into the nervous system is fundamentally ambiguous...the unconscious makes up a story about the input and will change the story to make sense of the input as it tries to create reality." This statements brings up all kinds of questions about what we are doing in teaching in terms of group think, herding, modelling, and so on. Where is the point at which consensus outlasts its value and becomes simply an imprisoner of human potential? Are we educating people to be liberated thinkers, creative doers, and conscious choice makers with a joy of living? Or are we using conformity as the yardstick of success but at the price of inhibited, suppressed, and automated lives?


Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder??
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-17 13:59:27
Link to this Comment: 19887

I had no idea that the unconscious brain contributed so much to an individual's sence of reality. I think back to an article that appeared in National Geographic a number of years ago. The article was about beauty. There were magnificant photos of women who were considered beautiful by people in different parts of the world. The article made the point that there were certain characteristics that were shared by the beautiful women all over the world. Of course, this article was about the perceived physical beauty of the female face. One characteristic that comes to mind was the distance between the eyes. Apparently, when this distance was measured, the values were close in all the faces selected as beautiful. I think that the cheekbone structure was another chaacteristic. I am now rethinking this article in light of our discussion that visual input is ambiguous and the unconscious brain then makes sense of the input. I can only guess that the similarities in the anatomy, including connections (corollary discharge) of the unconscious brains of humans is similar enough that certain patterns of visual input are processed the same and interpreted as pleasing to our unconscious brains.
OK, now back to the classroom.This discussion presents another layer of complexity in a teacher's role as the stimulus. Are our words and actions being perceived in similar ways by all students. Grade VII girls are ery sensitive to the facial expression of their teacher. Some students at this age will automatically assume that the teacher's negative facial expression is focussed on them. "The teacher is angry at me" or "the teacher doesn"t like me." Other students will analyze the same facial expression as reflective of the teacher's own state and will ask, "are you all right?" Part of these different stories probably results from processing in the unconscious brain. I know that I have to be careful of my facial expressions when dealing with middle school aged students. Teachers are actors!!


vision/depth perception
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-18 10:48:05
Link to this Comment: 19891

Although there are multiple ways in which the brain determines depth, it seems to me that there is some hierarchy in these methods. The internal processing involved in perception (perceptual cues) are (I think) less "important" to our mind's creation of 3-D than the physical binocular vision. Why? In terms of biological energy cost, if binocular vision was not important to survival, it would probably be an expensive adaptation that would disappear through natural selection.

It's interesting that preditory birds' (hawks, owls) eyes face forward where they can use them to very accurately determine distance to their prey whereas non-preditors, (like robins) do not have the ability to use parallax to determine distance. Their eyes are facing sideways on their heads, giving them a much wider field of view (nearly 360 degrees). The story is that they use their vision to warn them of danger from the preditors. They see more of their surroundings at a time. It's interesting too that they nod their heads from side to side as they sit on their perch, first looking with one eye and then the other. are they somehow "measuring" the change in the angle of their heads to determine distance to the worm on the ground?

...and what kind of reality do animals like the chameleon have. They move both of their eyes independently... that's just weird...


Scientific Method revisited
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-18 10:52:29
Link to this Comment: 19892

SUMMARY OF OBSERVATIONS <------<-------l
(Shared Perceptions) l
l l
l l
l l
V THE CRACK
(Curiosity) l
(Exploration) l
(Debate) l
NEW OBSERVATIONS l
l l
l l
l l
V l
IMPLICATIONS l
(Perceptions seem to work) l
(Perceptions don't seem to work l
and need replacement)--->------->-----l

Adapted from Paul Grobstein by Susan Dorfman and Gayle Whittle


What Works?
Name: Annabella
Date: 2006-07-18 10:56:08
Link to this Comment: 19893

I loved the discussion about how we have at least 6 ways to determine depth with our sight. Which one do we use? Whichever works.

I equated that to my story about "reality" and "what is life". I have noticed that my story about life was static for years as my life situation remained happily the same. Then, when my life situation became uncomfortable for me, and started changing, my story about "reality" and "what is life" started changing with increasing rapidity.

I now think that happened because the old stories were no longer useful. They no longer provided me with satisfactory eplanations of my observations.


3D
Name: sherry O.
Date: 2006-07-18 10:59:10
Link to this Comment: 19894

We discovered that one of my sons had a vision problem when he was in the third grade. We also said that his good eye compensated for the bad one. Now I know that the brain just makes up stories. His reality is just very different than the rest of the family.


photons and creativity
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2006-07-18 12:16:53
Link to this Comment: 19895

... color vision is even more perplexing when you really think about the fundamental nature of photons - energy, massless, wave and particle

... so the i-fxn exists for creativity?


Monkey See Monkey.....
Name: Wackomin
Date: 2006-07-18 12:19:20
Link to this Comment: 19896

What we create in our minds may not always be a creation of what is actually in the tangible world. What we may see is only a reflection of what "i" see. It's amazing to think that we have the ability to do so many thing or sense so many things without having conscious knowledge of it. The more we explore it seems that it is more apparent that our subconscious mind is capable of operating on it's own, but the conscious mind makes it's possible for us to have our own reality. What I create is what I want to see. What my mind creates is what it wants to see... The world also has what it wants me to believe to be real.... But all that matters is how I precieve that reality.


What you see is not what you get!
Name: cleat
Date: 2006-07-18 12:22:19
Link to this Comment: 19897

All of this talk about color reminds me of a couple of sayings that are apropos to our conversation. "You see, but you dont see.", and "What you see is not always what you get"!


I keep coming back to...
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-18 13:22:59
Link to this Comment: 19898

Paul's lectures and our discussions are really interesting, sometimes frustrating (when I don't understand) often enlightening. I keep coming back to the idea that reality is subjective. What are the ramifications for the classroom? Everyone is seeing things differently, making up their own stories? Do I try to interpret that regarding individual students, or simply find a broadband reality that works within our comfort levels?At this point, I kind of feel that I ought to Leave teaching and find a job as a fire spotter somewhere far away. Not really.


Follow-up to yesterday's comment
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-19 08:29:48
Link to this Comment: 19902

I've been thinking about all of this information, and I'm beginning to think that part of my struggle with applying what we are learning to the classroom is that I already DO a lot of storytelling with my students. We observe things, then we describe what we observed. Every observation is given equal weight, no matter how different it is. From here, we try to develop a "story" that works for everyone, including me. I see this as an important component of my science curriculum. Maybe I'm just looking at what I do using a different lens.


Revised Scientific Method
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-19 08:48:28
Link to this Comment: 19903

Click here to see a revised version of Paul's Scientific Method. This was a collaborative project of Susan Dorfman, Gayle Whittle and Glenn Heck. Glen is the tech savy member of our group who managed to get our drawing into tech form. Let us know what you think.


wed
Name: shellie
Date: 2006-07-19 09:15:54
Link to this Comment: 19904

Paul, you set such a great example of teaching for learning. You had so much energy and excitement. It encourages us the get it. thanks


usefulness
Name:
Date: 2006-07-19 11:05:06
Link to this Comment: 19905

One of the struggles my seniors often have, since many of them have a career plan in there heads, is expressed in the comment "What will I ever need to know this for? I'm not going to be an astronomer."

This provides me an avenue in which to begin an exploration of learning...
my story that "content" is the medium around which we exercise or brains and that the more variety of activities and of ideas that one can expose oneself to, the stronger and more flexible our brains become.
My "job" as a teacher is to give them as much variety of experience, within structure and with direction, as I possibly can. I do not, and they don't have any idea how those new connections will become manifest in their future.


usefulness
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-19 11:05:24
Link to this Comment: 19906

One of the struggles my seniors often have, since many of them have a career plan in there heads, is expressed in the comment "What will I ever need to know this for? I'm not going to be an astronomer."

This provides me an avenue in which to begin an exploration of learning...
my story that "content" is the medium around which we exercise or brains and that the more variety of activities and of ideas that one can expose oneself to, the stronger and more flexible our brains become.
My "job" as a teacher is to give them as much variety of experience, within structure and with direction, as I possibly can. I do not, and they don't have any idea how those new connections will become manifest in their future.


To give the story or not to give the story
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-19 11:06:13
Link to this Comment: 19907

In Grade VII Science, we discuss Aristotle's idea that living things can come from non-living things based on observations that mice came from straw and frogs came from mud. His story was accepted for 2000 years. Redi, an Italian physician and scientist in the 1600's, observed that flies landed on meat in the open markets and later maggots emerged from the same piece of meat. He did experiments where he purchased fresh meat and immediately placed it in containers with solid lids or with coverings of mesh or uncovered. Maggots emered only from the meat left uncovered. Maggots did appear on top of the mesh coverings but not on the meat. His observations were not accepted. He repeated the experiments using different cuts of meat from different animals and at different seasons of the year. Aristotle's story was not easy to change in the minds of other scientists. In the 1800's, Pasteur observations using bacterial growth in broth contained in flasks with different openings supported the observations of Redi. The story we teach is that living things can come only from other livibg things and the corollary is that living cells give rise to other living cells. Usually, I teach these events in sequence to build on the changing of the story. I am now wondering if I should present the experiments done by these three scientists and ask the students to write a story to explain how the observations of each scientist supports, adds to, or changes the story of from where living things come.


Night terrors are not nightmares
Name: susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-19 12:47:35
Link to this Comment: 19909

I think I understand more about the night terrors that one of my children experienced from infancy until about the age of six. If you have never experienced night terrors in someone, it is very traumatic , both for the unconscious brain of the person experiencing it and for the unconscious and "I" function of the viewer. As an infant, my child would start screaming in a level of distress much much higher than at any other time. Her eyes would be open but she responded to nothing I did. Her body would be tense. The blood curdling screams would last about 5 minutes, she would sigh and collapse into a restful sleep. As she got older, she would get out of bed and run screaming through the halls and down the stairs. Again, nothing I did would cause a change in her behavior. After about 5 minutes, she would cease screaming and running and I could pick her up and carry her back to bed. her pediatrician explained that she was experiencing night terrors, a mild form of epilepsy that affect more girls than boys and that most children grew out of. Children who experience frequent weekly episodes were treated pharmacologically. My child's episodes were 1 to 2 per month and did not require treatment. As her language skills grew, I began to recognize words in her screaming. She screamed, "get me out of here." I knew that the story in her uncinscious was terrifying to her at some level. Now I understand that these episodes occured during a stage of sleep other than Rem, so they were not nightmares. Motor movement was possible. The story that she was acting upon was a story from the unconscious and the unconscious was orchestrating her movements and speech. She had no recollection of any of her activities or speech the next day in all the years these episodes were occuring. Luckily, my child was one of those children who "grew out of this." Perhaps, this involved some development in the nervous sysstem. One night during her episode, I intersected her in the hall, put my arms around her and kept saying slowly, "I will get you away, just come with me." She suddenly stopped screaming, became less glassy eyed and looked at me. She took my hand and we walked back to her bedroom. I tucked her in and kissed her. She never had another episode.


Discrepant Events
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-19 13:09:46
Link to this Comment: 19910

I try to incorporate discrepant events--setting up observations where the result is counter to the one the students expect--as much as I can becasue that is the springboard for learning. An example: prepare two cups of water, one that has been almost saturated with sea or kosher salt (iodized salt makes the water cloudy)The cups should look alike--same water level, etc.--Have your students, in teams of two drop a baby carrot in each cup. Result: The carrot sinks in the unsalted water, floats in the salted water. This blows kids away, and it's a useful way to begin a discussion of why this happened.


Teaching styles
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2006-07-20 09:11:57
Link to this Comment: 19913

Before commenting on teaching styles, it is important for me to reflect up on my own teaching style and professional development as a teacher in the classroom. I am not certified, nor have I attended traditional classes for education. Thus, my teaching style is based upon my observations in class as a student myself (and, like all teachers, my observations as a student). I don't respond well to the traditional style (teacher A), unless I have a clear outline of the path of material presented. That being said, I vacated the building after our afternoon break because I didn't have the patience any longer to wait to know where we were headed. The other style of teaching (teacher B) that we have been experiencing daily is more akin to my learning style and the style that I use in the classroom (though with the 8s there is a little more structure and less free-conversation). It is a style no better nor worse than the other, but more appropriately suited to different students.


Teaching styles
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2006-07-20 09:12:46
Link to this Comment: 19914

Before commenting on teaching styles, it is important for me to reflect up on my own teaching style and professional development as a teacher in the classroom. I am not certified, nor have I attended traditional classes for education. Thus, my teaching style is based upon my observations in class as a student myself (and, like all teachers, my observations as a student). I don't respond well to the traditional style (teacher A), unless I have a clear outline of the path of material presented. That being said, I vacated the building after our afternoon break because I didn't have the patience any longer to wait to know where we were headed. The other style of teaching (teacher B) that we have been experiencing daily is more akin to my learning style and the style that I use in the classroom (though with the 8s there is a little more structure and less free-conversation). It is a style no better nor worse than the other, but more appropriately suited to different students.



Name:
Date: 2006-07-20 09:13:45
Link to this Comment: 19915

Each teacher has there own style of teaching. It seems that many of the methods were quite similar. The use of the projector as a guide, the real life examples that explained abstract concepts, and the calm and informative tone were all very similar within the instructing style.

I did feel that confort level of the class was not as well established with the class, so class interaction was not as prevalant. The dynamics of the classroom really affects both the teaching styles of the instructors. It felt as though intructor A wanted more interaction and had a higher expectation of the knowledge of the class. This seemed to influence the material he cover or at least depth of the material.

Teacher B has a simlar tone of instruction to teacher A, however, it seems that he has a confidence that material will be covered and that he is more willing to let the class flow.



Name: LINDA Slat
Date: 2006-07-20 09:18:34
Link to this Comment: 19916


teaching styles
Name: teresa
Date: 2006-07-20 09:23:27
Link to this Comment: 19917

Teacher A uses lecture style to instruct whereas Teacher B uses interactive, questioning style. The latter is more engaging and by its inherent nature stimulates deeper learning because it engages the student's current understanding, challenges it, and then allows for integration at a higher level.


Teaching Style
Name:
Date: 2006-07-20 09:31:29
Link to this Comment: 19918

I like teacher B's style more. I felt talked "to" rather than "with" by teacher B. I appreciate being given "information" in the format of "this is a possibility" or "This is the best story we have to date" rather than "These are the facts".
That said, I enjoyed both teachers. Both have good and bad points, and I see my preferences as nothing more than that...preferences.


style
Name: julie
Date: 2006-07-20 09:36:16
Link to this Comment: 19919

The different styles of the 2 teachers was interesting. Teacher A was lecture style and power point- I think he would have liked more interaction with the students, but I think that we were not quite there yet as far as the knowledge was concerned, yet he was adaptive to that and was able to quickly modify his lesson to include the important information. Teacher B has given, from the beginning, all of the information we needed so the conversation can flow more. There were several similarities as well, like the use of the screen, but the way it was used was different-teacher A was a visual aid and teacher B's use of the screen is more interactive with the internet.


teaching styles
Name: shellie
Date: 2006-07-20 09:39:50
Link to this Comment: 19920


This is a good question. I had to think. The first thing that has come up for me is teacher b encourages us to think and answer some of the questions. He knows the answers and yet tries to get us involved with the answers. He is excited when we catch on.

Teacher a worked in the front of the room. He lectured more and gave us the information.

Teacher b(paul) gave us exercises to involve us---observations to be made--stories to be written.

I remember more from teacher b. A lot from teacher a was forgotten. Also I was more invoolved with teacher a.


pedagogical style
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-20 09:40:04
Link to this Comment: 19921

hmmmm....

I am a very visual person. I found the change in my ability to interact with the lessons as teacher style changed enlightenning.
During the first part of instructor "A"s talk, which was a more traditional lecture, I found myself unable to attend without mindlessly doodling on my notes. As the talk went on and became more visual, I had no trouble becoming actively engaged.


COMPARE???
Name: LINDA SLAT
Date: 2006-07-20 09:40:50
Link to this Comment: 19922

In reflecting on the different teaching styles of the two teachers the main difference that strikes me is "sense of humor". Earl Thomas seems to insert humor in order to get our attention. He also uses self deprecation in his humor. Paul seems to listen in order to understand the speaker's question, and learn from the speaker. He seems to be operating on different levels at once, taking in the specific and the general at once.


Teaching styles
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-20 09:46:52
Link to this Comment: 19923

I was struck immediately by the difference in teaching styles between Prof A and Prof B. After days of interacting with Prof B, the sudden change to Prof A was dramatic for me. of course, this experience now causes me to think about the effect on my students, both in how I orchestrate our class discussion and in the transitions from teacher to teacher that they must make each day. From the first day, Prof B used a style that introduced a concept with diagrams, supported the concept with experimental evidence presented in photos and visuals, and then stimulated discussion with intriging questions. Prof B allowed the discussion to go off track often resulting in some very interesting discussion relevant to this group of educators. Rarely, was the material presented in great detail, but rather in detail just enough to form a base for the concept. Greater detail was introduced as participant questions suggested the need. In contrast, Prof A's style was lecture format with great detail. Experimental evidence was given, but there was little encouragement of discussion. In response to a participant who raised a hand, Prof A recognized the person but suggested that although it was not a good time for a question, it would be heard later and questions were welcomed. Prof B never had to state that questions were welcomed. The presentation style "demanded" participant questions and respected the contribution. Once Prof A answered the first question, others followed from this audience that was used to questioning. The level of interaction never reached that of even the first day of classes with Prof B. The lecture became much more interesting when Prof A showed us a video. Prof A seemed to relax more fter the video and permitted more questions and the participants seemed more engaged.
I realize that in dealing with my own students, both in middle and high school, I should make no verbal excuse for my style of teaching or tools, i.e. powerpoint. This alerts the students to a potential problem and sets a negative stage. Prof A began the lecture this way.
I should introduce the concept with just enough detail to provide background and stimulate interest. My comments should include simple visuals to which I refer physically.
I can present experimental evidence but must use viuals that I explain simply. Avoid too much detail.
Ask questions that are open ended and stimulate discussion and recognize contributors as quickly as possible withour distracting the other students from the thought process.
Allow a diversion, particularly if it seems to be relevant to the audience.
Use a variety of visuals to stimulate discussions and change the pace of the lecture. All talking, visuals, and participatory discussions should be short in length and interspersed.
Include the contribution of students as you resume your discussion of the concepts.


Styles
Name:
Date: 2006-07-20 09:49:03
Link to this Comment: 19924

Instructor A has a much more serious, doctoral style of teaching as opposed to instructor B whose style is much more laid back and structured.


Insight (finally!)
Name: Gayle
Date: 2006-07-20 11:16:01
Link to this Comment: 19925

I had the most interesting conversation with myself last night (because it is, after all, all about me.)Throughout this seminar, I have been focusing on the how everything I've been learning translate to the classroom. After watching the video about the young OCD mother who was trying so hard to change behavior and make a new story, I realized that things don't always immediately, irrefutably translate. Sometimes you learn something that can be incorporated and used days or months later. I realized that, like the mom in the video, that I was in a bit of a loop as well. I had been focusing way too much on application and not enough on process. So I gave myself permission to just "be" and enjoy the learning journey I have been on since July 10. I wish this had occurred a little sooner, but what can you do? Enlightenment comes when enlightenment comes. I see it with my kids, and now I'm seeing it in me.


The 18 Inch Trip
Name: Annabella
Date: 2006-07-20 11:23:19
Link to this Comment: 19926

The talk this morning about differing stories between the I-function and the subconscious and getting the stories to more closely match reminds me of what I call the 18-inch trip. Sometimes I know intellectually that someone did something to me to help me, but it makes me mad that they did it. They can explain their motives, and they can make perfect sense, yet I still get upset when I think about what they did. This seems to me to be a classic example of a mismatch between the parts of the bipartite mind. At some point, that thought makes the 18 inch trip from my head to my heart, and I say, "Oh. Now I understand." Once I understand, I am no longer upset when I think about the event...until I am again if that happens.
Paul's example of getting upset by red-haired people when you know there is nothing wrong with red haired people is a perfect example. Hopefully, at some point, I have the "realization" that red haired people are just like all other people, and I no longer get upset by them.
Quitting smoking comes into this category for me. Intellectually I know that I am fine without cigarettes. But emotionally I become afraid when I think about not having them. When I quit for over 10 years, that quitting was spontaneous when I "realized" that I was fine without them, and it was my preference to not have them. When certain changes in my environment took place, that need was retriggered. So now I will work on getting a better story, changing a behavior and bringing about changes in the unconscious story.


Drs. Grobstein and Thomas
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-20 12:22:58
Link to this Comment: 19927

I found both pedagogical styles to be at once similar and different. Similar in that both are professor/lecturer based, but open to interaction from audience/students, and willing to address questions and points in real time. Different in terms of content and presentation. I found both styles valuable in terms of conveying information, and I really became engaged in the video that Dr. Thomas presented (see earlier posting.)


Brain Fart.
Name: Wackomin
Date: 2006-07-20 12:27:51
Link to this Comment: 19928

I've really hit a mental block. I really don't feel like I'm absorbing any more information. I understand that the brain possibly is a bipartite brain and that the subconscious has a lot of control of the body that we as an I-function are unaware of. The world affects our minds and our minds also affect the world through culture or through straight interaction.

Our subconscious mind is capable of so much, yet it is not completely mindless which helps me to accept this story. I feel that as we open our minds and start to accept different stories and agree to disagree we as a society can advance beyond the scope of our present world. It's hard for people to not hold on to what we know and are confortable with, yet if we can allow ourselves to move beyond that and understand that the world is only the observations of our mind we may be able to go beyond our basic sense, our basic observations, and see beyond the world at hand.


Learning Differently
Name: Gayle
Date: 2006-07-20 12:34:50
Link to this Comment: 19929

Okay, I said I wouldn't keep pulling back to the classroom whenever an interesting point comes up, but I have to say this. I have a second grader who has been rather extensively observed and assessed. Last I knew, the observers/assessers had been leaning toward a diagnosis of some degree of Asperger's, a form, I believe, of autism. I say "I believe" because beyond reading "The Curiuos Case of the Dog in the Night", I know little about this condition. How does this affect the classroom? Well, she doesn't make eye contact or greet me on her way in to the room. All of our lower school teachers stress eye contact and friendly greetings. So my student's inability to make eye contact is running counter to a shared expectation about a behavior. Another thing: she can sometimes react loudly and "inappropriately" (quotes mine)with other students, again a counterpoint to a set of behavioral expectations shared by our community. How do I reconcile this set of situations? First, I think I need to learn more about the condtion, then let the rest go on from there.


Story of Society
Name: Annabella
Date: 2006-07-20 12:39:07
Link to this Comment: 19930

Your picture of society made sense, and it was easy to see it was another story. But when you put that picture into the storyteller, it gave a different perspective on reality. Perhaps reality is real, but a whole lot of it depends on my interpretation of it. But in your picture, all of reality would be my story. Is that possible?
Could there be no other reality other than my story about it? I have heard some rather compelling arguments that this is so. But I still think there is a reality that has nothing to do with my story, such as a tree falling on my house. If I had told the story differently, does that mean the tree wouldn't have fallen on my house? If all of reality is my story, then this must be so.
So where does reality end and the story begin? Does reality end where the story begins? Or is the story reality? Or is reality nothing but a story? Is there reality without a story?


To fear or not to fear
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-20 12:45:39
Link to this Comment: 19931

Classroom management in light of the discussion of giving students an opportunity to make observation while investigating a question infers great confidence on the part of the teacher. The teacher must have confidence in her/his knowledge of the content, confidence in her/his ability to use the varied student outcomes in a class discussion of stories, and confidence in her/his ability to construct the question, provide the equipment, and organize a pre-lab discussion that does not suggest possible approaches. It is only after this exploratory process occurs that the teacher can present the approach and observations of others that has resulted in a story currently presented in the textbook. The next step is for the teacher to guide students in a discussion of how to explain their results in light of the accepted textbook story. Is there another story now to be told?
I will have to spend much time in thought and preparation to change my teaching methods to accommodate more the approach of unconscious problem solving followed by "I" Function story telling. I do some of this but not enough in the hands-on portion of my Garde VII biology course. I have more of this approach in the discussion part of the classes. I so enjoyed Paul's approach to teaching that I will now work hard to create the same enjoyable opportunity for my students.


Pedagogical styles
Name: Sherry O.
Date: 2006-07-20 13:29:37
Link to this Comment: 19932

The difference in the pedagogical styles between Teacher A and Teacher B was very apparent to me
from the very beginning of Teacher A's presentation. Teacher A's style was to lecture while Teacher B uses a style that incorporates teaching to various modalities. I account for these differences because the teachers have different purposes for their presentations. Teacher B's purpose is in my
opinion to model behaviors we can use to be successful teachers. His approach is very interactive. Teacher A 's purpose was to rely information about his subject. His style was more in the mode of a speech maker.


Pedagogical styles
Name: Sherry O.
Date: 2006-07-20 13:29:37
Link to this Comment: 19933

The difference in the pedagogical styles between Teacher A and Teacher B was very apparent to me
from the very beginning of Teacher A's presentation. Teacher A's style was to lecture while Teacher B uses a style that incorporates teaching to various modalities. I account for these differences because the teachers have different purposes for their presentations. Teacher B's purpose is in my
opinion to model behaviors we can use to be successful teachers. His approach is very interactive. Teacher A 's purpose was to rely information about his subject. His style was more in the mode of a speech maker.



Name:
Date: 2006-07-20 13:31:48
Link to this Comment: 19934


The Differences Between Teaching Styles
Name: Jennifer H
Date: 2006-07-20 15:16:00
Link to this Comment: 19935

I found the pedagogical style between A and B were extremely different. Yet, however, I found both styles to be unique and interesting. Both A and B expressed a passion for what information they were presenting . However, participate A failed to immediately engaged his students right away . Although, he had great information to share with his student , he offered very little opportunity for his students to make comments or share their personal experiences . Where as Participate B not only engaged his students right away , but he also provided an atmosphere where students felt "safe " at offering his or her comments . Subsequently students were placed in the role of being "active" learners as opposed of being "passive" learners . Moreover, I think Participate A and Participate B had different goals and objectives for presenting their " stories" to the class. They both had interesting " stories" to tell , however, they just used different teaching strategies to described their "stories".





Name:
Date: 2006-07-20 15:16:30
Link to this Comment: 19936


Teacher A and Teacher B
Name: Angela M
Date: 2006-07-21 10:27:35
Link to this Comment: 19941

I felt that teacher a pedagogical style was basically lecture. he taught and was feeding the information he was passionate about to us without really inviting questions It was like putting alot of inputs in without recieving any outputs. Where as on the other hand teacher b was a facillitator who invited questions and was excited to see his students grasp the knowledge he was puting out their He enjoyed recieving the outputs to his inputs.


Implications of the things we have learned for the
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-21 10:32:27
Link to this Comment: 19942

A few things come to mind: Use my students' creativity to engage them and enhance their learnings of concepts. Provide opportunities for them to tell their stories. Pre and post lesson opportunities would suit this integration very well. Also, I've always felt that my students should leave the classroom with a specific idea about what we have done that day, a particular concept, a "goal," if you will. I think that needs to change somewhat. Maybe it should be that they leave with many ideas or thoughts, not one specific one. Above all, relax about the whole magilla a little bit. I find myself returning again and again to a friend and fellow teacher's observation about students: "They learn more than you think they do, and they do better than you think they will." I need to take that statement to heart.


observations
Name: julie
Date: 2006-07-21 10:32:36
Link to this Comment: 19943

These last two weeks here have really made me reflect about my teaching style and what works and what doesn't work...I completely agree with the statement that teachers are actors, because it is important that our students see a level of interest in what we are taking time to teach them. I think the major theme that I will be emphasizing this year is getting it less wrong- I love it- it makes everyone happy to be right- no one likes to be "wrong", so this seems to be the solution that can make everyone happy, and as a bonus, encourage students and myself to keep questioning, and looking for better answers. Getting it less wrong will also give me the strength to try new tactics or lesson strategies, realizing that it is all a big experiment, and each "mistake" or "failure" I have is really a suceess on the road to getting it less wrong. I'm excited...


thoughts on education
Name: Tiffany
Date: 2006-07-21 10:32:43
Link to this Comment: 19944

I have been convinced that the science classroom doesn't have to be a scary experience for anyone and NOW I feel that I have an additional set of tools to help my kids realize this THEMSELVES. Teaching through the experience of generating stories is a daunting task - how much easier is it to just TELL them what you want them to know - but one that will be worth the effort.

I intend to take our lessons this week and begin the year with an abbreviated version in kid-speak - to approach my students with the ideas we have learned here. The hope is to empower them to feel that they each have what it takes to be and think whatever and however they want!

My concern, however, is assessing the "less wrongness" of my students' stories.


Teacher A and Teacher B
Name: Angela M
Date: 2006-07-21 10:33:41
Link to this Comment: 19945

I felt that teacher a pedagogical style was basically lecture. he taught and was feeding the information he was passionate about to us without really inviting questions It was like putting alot of inputs in without recieving any outputs. Where as on the other hand teacher b was a facillitator who invited questions and was excited to see his students grasp the knowledge he was puting out their He enjoyed recieving the outputs to his inputs.


Implications for education
Name: Claudette
Date: 2006-07-21 10:42:54
Link to this Comment: 19946

Why Lecture? We tell a stories through lecture. We model ideas of the story taking into account outputs generated by children as they receive inputs from our storytelling. When educators 'buy in' or accept the idea that lecturing is a form of storytelling that provides children with a framework to integrate with their own their outputs not necessarily triggered by an educator's input then the building blocks for learning have been enhanced.
This is a good story. I have bought into the idea that educators are brain surgeons and therapists continuously. Information children possess innately and acquire may have to be rearranged and massaged to reach their proposed maximum potential.


No Truth.. No Lies
Name: Wackomin
Date: 2006-07-21 10:43:36
Link to this Comment: 19949

Two main things that come to mind in my teaching is that you can teach to those who may not be listening and that simplisity is the essence of complexity. The first point comes to mind because whenever I'm teaching, I feel that I am sometimes talking to only a small portion of my class. Yet, a few days later when I review the subject I'm actually really surprised by what most of my class had retained. I've learned that I am able to teach to the subconscious mind and that my kids are able to extrapolate the signals that are coming from their subconscious and apply it to their I-function. I understand now that learning is not just a part of the conscious mind, but rather a part of the subconscious. It never really made sense before, but now I understand that weather they get it as they or doing it or not doesn't matter. In some fashion or form it was been attained in their minds.

My second point about simlicity and complexity comes with the examples of the sun and the earth. I and the idea that stories are good for what their purpose is. I find that ideas are not about being right or wrong. The world being flat isn't a bad idea. It's an idea that we use still today for building homes or roads. Yet we as humans seem to dismiss what is "wrong" and only retain what is right. The thought of simplicity is a great thought because we have to sometimes look at things as a simple concept to latter be able to understand it's complexity. Can we image a brick being a building, no. But yet it is the basic building block that we start from. This leads to the idea that we have to accept certain things at certain times, and with our children we have to accept their basic building blocks. We have to not let them thing that they are wrong, but that their ideas may not make sense for what we are doing.

This second idea really leads me to my future teaching style. I really want to refrain from having my kids think that they are just wrong, but rather, I would like them to understand that they may need in processes to get the subject that they are learning. Truth is such a strong word now... I need to be weariy about using that term, because what may be true is only true at this moment. I want them to understand that as well... I need them to find new processes and new behavior patterns that may aid with their individual learning. It is not about right or wrong... it's about what works for you at this moment in time.

Thiere is no truth.... I like that the most because truth is stagnant. The world is neither stagnant or truthful because the world is always the perception that we as individuals have it.


Fri-comments
Name: shellie
Date: 2006-07-21 10:45:45
Link to this Comment: 19950

"why lecture"- I have always felt this wasn't a successfull means of educating students. Seeing and observing during this institute has supported this story. When one lectures to students there is only inputs. Students need to be engaged, to react, to involve their conscious and unconscious. They need to buy into the information. They need tober a part of the information.


Getting it less wrong in future teaching--one important thing that really hit home to me was this less wrong notion. I feel it really frees up your mind--cuts out some of those inhibitory impulses that keep us static. I think for the teacher who is able to really relay this to their students it will be a terrific change for them. Also the teacher that can allow herself to get it less wrong will alllow many different experiences to occur.


reflections of these 2 weeks
Name: Angela M
Date: 2006-07-21 10:49:58
Link to this Comment: 19951

As I reflect on these last two weeks of the Brain and Behavior institute, there have been many stories I could tell. I feel that using the term getting it "less wrong" in my classroom would be beneficial to my students.

Our discussion on "Why Lecture" was very interesting. Even though we have all come from diferent backgrounds and have varied experiences we came together on this topic. An important comment on this topic was using lecturing as a mchanism for control. This open discussion allowed for all the participants to share ideas.

When we began to develop our webite it was very intimidating. But once I relaxed I could see how I could implement this in my classroom a something to do with my students as part of a lesson I also ould teach my lesson utilizing the website.

During the last two weeks we made connections with someone across country. Her name was Berite Woods. She shared som wonderful thoughts that led to a class discussion which we found out was a classmates mother.

These last two weeks were well worth attending. I recieved alot of information on the function of the brain and how it works in the functining of our behavior.

Paul is great instructor and I thank him because now I can be a more effective teacher because of the information you shared with me these two weeks.


Observations about my classroom
Name: Glenn Heck
Date: 2006-07-21 10:53:43
Link to this Comment: 19952

the possibility of getting it less wrong:

"who's using behavioral modification on whom?"

I know I have tended to be manipulated by the input from students in ways that reflect rigidity rather than flexibility. Rather than reflecting on the immediate input from a student, I often am more effected by my own unconscious/conscious loops, at least partially blocking the new input while changing my affect on an unconscious level.
I think I have to alter my perception to include conscious consideration of the student's affect. The subtle personal output beyond the "intellectual."
In interacting with the class, I need to ask myself "What else might be going on here?" ...give myself alternate stories from which to chose.

confirmed understandings:

"Disability" is always a culture dependent concept

Working in a school for students with learning differences (diagnosed with learning disabilities) I have always observed that these kids are victims of cultural/institutional rigitity. Looking at the biological function of the brain has reinforced that story for me, given me more than just a "gut" feeling that the DVFS story about disabilities is valid.

"content" is the medium around which we exercise or brains

I have always felt that the more variety of activities and of ideas that one can expose oneself to, the stronger and more flexible our brains become. the loopy story of brain as storyteller has reinforced that belief, again validation of a "gut" feeling.


Last day
Name: Cleat
Date: 2006-07-21 10:53:56
Link to this Comment: 19953

I have always thought of myself as an actor in the classroom and from all of the observations we have made in these two weeks, I see that I was right. In order to teach any subject one has to tell a story. There are various ways of telling the story, depending on the subject and teacher, but in order to get your story or point across one must be ready to perform. The interesting part is that we are being directed by our students. How our students react to our performance is our barometer for getting it "less wrong."
We as educators,"actors," must remember that getting it "right" is not and shouldnt be our focus in the classroom. What should be the focus is making the performance believable enough to our students so that they can then tell their story and make valid, clear observations about what they have seen or heard. If in fact this does not happen at first, we continue to progress as we get it wrong. This would be called a second, third, or fourth take to our performances.


Changing a story
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-21 10:55:20
Link to this Comment: 19954

The institute experience confirmed for me that my style of interactive story telling is useful in both middle and upper school classroom discussions. I will now be more conscious to weight the classroom discussion experience more with student observation and less with my renditions of the stories of biology. Of concern now to me, is the lab experience I offer to my students. Before this institute, I believed it was a good experience for the students. Now I believe (my revised story) that I need to emphasize less a detailed procedure that reads like recipe instructions. The experiments are interesting and thought provoking, but I think the approach needs to be more open ended. In the way I have been approaching lab, I see much behavior that gives me insight into my students, but there must be so many more unconscious processes in each student that I do not see reflected. Of course, this approach will mean that we will have time for less experiments. I have always felt successful in that my students had opportunities for a lot of lab experience, but I now need to think in terms of less experiments but the same amount of lab time built into my class. With this revised story, I can approach my students as a classroom of central pattern generators both in discussion and in lab. This will be easier in my Grade VII biology course than in the AP Biology course with its 12 required labs. In the advanced course, I will continue to include the dissection of the human brain and the trips to Hawk Mountain, The Mutter Museum, and the Franklin Institute for the Franklin Laureates presentations. These additional experiences allow more open ended observation. I know well from my own life experience that "progress depends on being wrong." I had little help from my parents, and so was required at an early age to learn by getting it wrong and less wrong. Experiments that do not meet expectations are comfrotable for me; the work leading to my doctoral dissertation was based on the discrepant results I found upon repeating the work of another scientist. I have always allowed my students time and comfort to discuss unexpected results and plan what they would do. Sometimes we have the time to pursue their ideas and sometimes we go on. I will now consider adding more opportunities for pursuit of ideas in our lab work. I will stop now in consideration of all who try to read my comments. Thanks for your patience!!


Your classroom and mine
Name: Patricia
Date: 2006-07-21 10:59:54
Link to this Comment: 19955

The observations/stories from our two weeks together that most confirm the understanding I've used in my teaching are. Why lecture? I enjoy giving bits and pieces of information to my student about a topic. It is intriguing for me to observe how creative they are at solving problems. My students overload and lose interest very quickly. It is important to keep the energy flowing.

The observations/stories from our two weeks together that most offer the possibility of getting it less wrong in my future teaching is that each students observation/reality is a story.Also the brain is phenomenal.



Name: sherry O.
Date: 2006-07-21 11:00:53
Link to this Comment: 19956

The idea that "teachers need to not only be brain surgeons but also therapist" confirmed understandings that I used in my classrooms in the best. As the therapist, it was very important for me to take the time to continuosly observe the behaviors(outputs ) of my students. Because I could not see what was going on inside of them I had use various methods to get them get them to tell
me if they could what was going on inside them. Many times that took on the form of just sitting and talking with them. I encouraged them to do most of the talking while I just listened.When I did make a statement I attempted to do so it related back to them,I always tried not to be judgemental. From what we've learned in class we seem to be doing the dance of the input and outputs. People generate output in order to get input. If that input does not meet their expectations they generate more output until they can get what they want. As I listened to them I tried generate my output to help them get the input to allow them to make up a story tht met their expectations. I found myself spending a lot of time listening to students.


My Final Observation
Name:
Date: 2006-07-21 11:04:38
Link to this Comment: 19957

I think children are precious jewels. They are a gift from God. Children are born with their own individualities, talents and spirits. It is amazing to think that from uniting of one sperm and egg , you can get such powerful and unique individuals . I have come to believe, we as adults are only placed in their lives for a short time to cultivate , model, and esteem them to be who they are destine to becoming.



Name:
Date: 2006-07-21 11:23:53
Link to this Comment: 19958



Name: Angela Bry
Date: 2006-07-21 11:44:31
Link to this Comment: 19959

In the past two week at Bryn Mawr College in the Brain and Bahavior class was very interesting. I learned so much about the the different functions about the brain. I also learned alot about the nervous system. One observation I have learned and understand is that the nervons play a big part in our systems. It makes me understand that my students act the way they do because of there body structure and that they are all different in alot of ways. Knowing more about how the nervons fuction make me be more aware on my teaching styles. THANK YOU, PAUL


The end...or the beginning???
Name: julie
Date: 2006-07-22 09:17:58
Link to this Comment: 19964

The last two weeks have been very stimulating. I have been refresed, and am now looking forward to going back to school with some new, improved strategies. Thank you, Paul, for the amazing information on the brain, a topic I was not particularly knowledgable about...though I still have volumes to learn, and thank you collegues for your perspectives and ideas!


weekend post
Name: teresa
Date: 2006-07-22 17:42:18
Link to this Comment: 19965

In discussing story telling with a colleague, who studies the role of story telling in early childhood development, she told me of some of her findings. The one that most struck me was that story telling along with role playing of the story, in the early childhood classroom, resulted in increased self-regulation, inhibition of behaviors, and inclusion of all members in the classroom community. Some of her research is available under A. Nicolopoulou in a Google search.


The end or ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2006-07-23 11:03:47
Link to this Comment: 19969

the beginning???. I like Julie's thought at lot. Many thanks to all of you for a rich two weeks together, and do add to the thoughts above of what sticks in your mind in the immediate aftermath of those two weeks. But let's also think of the two weeks as a take-off point for seeing what more we can do together to get it less wrong, and of this forum as a place where we can go on sharing stories along those lines.


Another Story
Name: Shellie
Date: 2006-07-23 16:15:12
Link to this Comment: 19972

What story will I tell---there are so many.

One story has to do with all the amazingn people that I met during these two weeks--Of course Paul,and all the BrynMawr people. I have been encouraged to think and keep on thinking. What a powerful expercise this is. (I don't have to make a whole lot of sense--my unconscious is helping with my thoughts--get it less wrong.))) I have been ecouraged to practice some of the powerful teaching that I have witnessed and heard about--and I am not a teacher. Of course we are all teachers in everything we do.

Another story---the brain. Will I ever get it less wrong--this course helps understand and helps make life easier.

The computer--the institute has helped me get the computer less wrong. I am so thankful for this. I am not there yet but have come a long way.


Reflection
Name: Susan Dorf
Date: 2006-07-23 20:22:06
Link to this Comment: 19973

On Saturday, my husband and I took my brother and our newphew to New York City. Our Daughter, who lives in NYC, had planned an exciting day of sightseeing to mark our nephew's first visit to NYC. One of our stops included an elevator ride to the 67th floor of Rockfeller Center to view the city. The glass walls provided a spectacular view. My husband stayed inside while the rest of us went out to the balcony and then climbed the stairway to the balcony on the 68th floor. My husband stayed a short while and then took the ride back to the 1st floor where he was more comfortable. His "fear of height" has always baffled me. He loves to ski. He is fine on the chair lift and loves the black diamond slopes. He can climb the ladder to the roof of our house but is very uncomfortable standing on the roof to clean the gutters. He likes air travel whether it is on a large passenger jet or a small commuter jet. After two weeks of dialogue in the Institute, I think I understand what seems to be discrepant observations. My husband is comfortable at high elevations as long as he is moving. The view at high elevation while stationary is a discrepant observation in my husband's brain. He can not make sense of it and so goes into a fight or flight mode. I shared my analysis with him, and he seemed relieved to have an understanding of what is clearly not a fear.
So much of what I now understand as a result of the Institute discussions will help me to not only make sense of my personal life but also to improve my interactions with my students. Thank you to Paul and all the participants who shared their stories.


Parting Thoughts
Name: Annabella
Date: 2006-07-24 15:26:27
Link to this Comment: 19990

What a time we have all had. Uncovering the idea that we can not know anything, and even as we think we do, our knowledge may not be as useful as the inaccurate story it replaces. Case in point, the earth is round.
I loved it that I asked what is so useful about the idea that all atoms are always moving, because in my own search for the answer I found a parallel between the idea that all atoms are always moving, and that all things that are made up of atoms are moving, as are all things that are not made up of atoms, such as thoughts.
I've heard through reliable sources that we have something like 60,000 thoughts a day. What occurred to me in the face of "everything is moving at all times", is that perhaps the reason we have so many thoughts may be so that we could update our story after each new observation. That way we can change our minds 60,000 times a day! So is it the one who is always changing their mind that is most often "least wrong"? or is it the one who learns the "facts" and sticks to them?
After this class, my guess would be the former. The one who can change their mind, remaining flexible is actually getting it "less wrong" than the one who insists it is one way, and that way only, even if that has been the accepted story for ages...or maybe especially if it has been the accepted story for ages.
And something else I learned from the moving molecules in the table, they can always be moving, and changing, and yet they remain part of the table. So I can move fearlessly in the knowledge that if I should take in new observations and aknowledge them by updating my stories to more accurately explain my observations, I will still be "myself". The table is not preserved by making sure its molecules remain in one place and don't go anywhere. It is preserved by allowing all of its molecules to do what they need to do. No wonder I feel so stifled when I try to get my thoughts to stand still. The preservation of what is "me" is ensured by my willingness to let my thoughts go where they will and wind up where they do. The only place they ever seem to wind up is as the springboard for the next one. Other than that, they vanish. They don't wind up anywhere...
Oh my, I think I could use the next chapter of the BBI Institute to sort this all out!

Thanks for exploring with me, and for making the class so fun and invigorating.


Thoughts and reflections
Name: gayle
Date: 2006-07-27 09:39:48
Link to this Comment: 20039

I didn't forget to post. I have been overtaken quickly and consumingly by events, namely two of my three grandchildren are visiting this week. We have had an awesome time! (and I've lost 3 pounds. I recommend the grandchild visit diet.) Like all who have posted so far, I had an amazing two weeks. Like Julie, I learned a lot about the nervous system, not a subject in which I am particularly conversant. I particularly liked Annabella's posting. Things are always in motion, including our thoughts. I showed my web page, such as it is, to some of my family, who were suitably impressed. My initial success has inspired me to go further with that learning, maybe a workshop on Dreamweaver. Paul, thank you for your wonderful ability to take incredibly complex concepts and break them down in such a way that I could understand them. It's a gift, I assure you. Thanks to all for your insightful comments and understandings. I learned a lot. Have a great rest of the summer, and keep those brains going.


Forum Archived
Name: Webmaster
Date: 2006-10-05 13:04:59
Link to this Comment: 20623

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