Friday, September 9, 2016

'What About Tutoring Instead of Pills?'

Harvard psychologist Jerome Kagan is one of the world's leading experts in child development. In a SPIEGEL interview, he offers a scathing critique of the mental-health establishment and pharmaceutical companies, accusing them of incorrectly classifying millions as mentally ill out of self-interest and greed.

SPIEGELWhat does it mean if millions of American children are wrongly being declared mentally ill?

KaganWell, most of all, it means more money for the pharmaceutical industry and more money for psychiatrists and people doing research.

SPIEGELAnd what does it mean for the children concerned?

KaganFor them, it is a sign that something is wrong with them -- and that can be debilitating. I'm not the only psychologist to say this. But we're up against an enormously powerful alliance: pharmaceutical companies that are making billions, and a profession that is self-interested

Friday, August 5, 2016

A Heartfelt Tribute to Seymour Papert by Gary Stager | Children's Technology Review

A Heartfelt Tribute to Seymour Papert | Children's Technology Review: "Papert’s ideas are not so much controversial as they are ignored by the education technology “community.” Papert was bad for business, If you’re a school system hell-bent on compliance or standardization, a message of student agency, creativity, and intellectual freedom threatens the status quo. When kids build, maintain, and program the software for their own personal computer, fewer gadgets and apps will be purchased. Such views are a menace to a profit-centric edtech industry and an education system Papert described as idea averse."

'via Blog this'

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Papert - in his own words - Learning with 'e's

Learning with 'e's
Seymour Papert passed away this week aged 88. His efforts to reform education through advancing social-constructivist theory will be perhaps one of his most important legacies. Papert has been widely acknowledged for developing the theory of constructionism. He saw learning as an active process that involved not only social interaction, but also constructing artefacts. Learning by making became an important component of learning in the digital age, and has been used as an explanation of the rise in user generated content.

He also encouraged meta-cognition as an important pedagogical method. In his own words: "You cannot think about thinking, without thinking about thinking about something." That 'something' was clearly the object that could be created through thinking about thinking, about problems, about knowledge.

His work around the early computer programming language LOGO was also ground breaking - introducing an entire generation of learners to the idea that coding could cause direct action with objects and space. The ability to command a floor robot to do one's bidding added a new level of engagement to maths and science lessons. Seymour Papert understood that fundamentally, people learn because they are interested - and that engagement with a problem, construction of an object or exploration of a space was essential for deeper forms of learning.

He was a stern critic of instructional and didactic forms of education, and was a champion of student centred learning, active engagement and creativity. These ideas will continue to inspire generations of educators to come, and his influence will not be dimmed by his passing. In memory of Seymour, here are some of the most significant (and inspirational) quotes from his illustrious career as a thought leader, developmental theorist and influential pedagogue:

On video games: "Every maker of video games knows something that the makers of curriculum don't seem to understand. You'll never see a video game being advertised as being easy. Kids who do not like school will tell you it's not because it's too hard. It's because it's boring."

On student centred learning: "I am convinced that the best learning takes place when the learner takes charge."

On the role of teachers: "The role of the teacher is to create the conditions for invention rather than provide ready made knowledge."

On transferable skills: "We need to produce people who know how to act when they are faced with situations for which they were not specifically prepared."

On the purpose of education: "The principal goal of education in schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done."

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Creative Commons License
Papert - in his own words by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Posted by Steve Wheeler from Learning with e's


Friday, June 17, 2016

Peak Facebook? New Study Finds Social Media App Usage Tumbles Across The Globe

Facebook's Instagram saw the biggest year-over-year drop: usage was down 23.7% this year, closely followed by Twitter (down 23.4%), Snapchat (down 15.7%), and Facebook, while down the least, still saw a notable 8% decline in usage. In the U.S., where social media continue to rake in the highest CPMs and where revenue remains highest, Instagram use was also down the most, or 36.2%, Twitter was down 27.9%, Snapchat was down 19.2% and Facebook fell 6.7%.

Friday, June 10, 2016

TEACHING APATHY How Public Schools Demand Failure And Perpetuate Poverty

...research shows that submission to authority is the best predictor of grades. By regimenting myriad aspects of student life, schools undermine individual agency, depriving students of autonomy, promote compliance, and keep the population unaware of their civil rights, which are curiously not taught in schools. The net effects areapathy, preservation of the status quo, and economic stratification.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Gates Foundation failures show philanthropists shouldn’t be setting America's public school agenda - Stephen's Web ~ by Stephen Downes ~ OLDaily RSS 2.0

Stephen's Web ~ by Stephen Downes ~ OLDaily RSS 2.0

Editorial, L.A. Times, Jun 09, 2016

So this is interesting. Contained in a recent report we read "This has been a challenging lesson for us to absorb, but we take it to heart. The mission of improving education in America is both vast and complicated, and the Gates Foundation doesn’ t have all the answers." The L.A. Times draws the appropriate conclusion: "Philanthropists are not generally education experts, and even if they hire scholars and experts, public officials shouldn’ t be allowing them to set  the policy agenda for the nation’ s public schools." This is all the more true because philanthropists typically reward the best fundraisers, and not the best projects.

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