Monday, 16 October 2017

we are now entering the 'imagination age' >>> schooling was for the industrial era, unschooling is for the future

Today's schools are modelled on yesterday's factory system:
Jay Doubleyou: education: dumbing us down
Jay Doubleyou: taylorism >>> and education
Jay Doubleyou: the purpose of education: from china to prussia to the united states

Tomorrow's schools might be modelled on something different:

Schooling Was for the Industrial Era, Unschooling Is for the Future

We've entered a new era, the Imagination Age, so why are we still schooling kids like we did in the 19th Century?
Kerry McDonald
Our current compulsory schooling model was created at the dawn of the Industrial Age. As factories replaced farm work and production moved swiftly outside of homes and into the larger marketplace, 19th century American schooling mirrored the factories that most students would ultimately join.
The bells and buzzers signaling when students could come and go, the tedium of the work, the straight lines and emphasis on conformity and compliance, the rows of young people sitting passively at desks while obeying their teachers, the teachers obeying the principal, and so on—all of this was designed for factory-style efficiency and order.
The Imagination Age
The trouble is that we have left the Industrial Era for the Imagination Age, but our mass education system remains fully entrenched in factory-style schooling. By many accounts, mass schooling has become even more restrictive than it was a century ago, consuming more of childhood and adolescence than at any time in our history. The first compulsory schooling statute, passed in Massachusetts in 1852, required eight to 14-year-olds to attend school a mere 12 weeks a year, six of which were to be consecutive. This seems almost laughable compared to the childhood behemoth that mass schooling has now become.
Enclosing children in increasingly restrictive schooling environments for most of their formative years, and drilling them with a standardized, test-driven curriculum is woefully inadequate for the Imagination Age. In her book, Now You See It, Cathy Davidson says that 65 percent of children now entering elementary school will work at jobs in the future that have not yet been invented. She writes: “In this time of massive change, we’re giving our kids the tests and lesson plans designed for their great-great-grandparents.”
While the past belonged to assembly line workers, the future belongs to creative thinkers, experimental doers, and inventive makers. The past relied on passivity; the future will be built on passion. In a recent article on the future of work, author and strategist John Hagel III writes about the need to nurture passion to be successful and fulfilled in the jobs to come. He says:
One of my key messages to individuals in this changing world is to find your passion and integrate your passion with your work. One of the challenges today is that most people are products of the schools and society we’ve had, which encourage you to go to work to get a paycheck, and if it pays well, that’s a good job, versus encouraging you to find your passion and find a way to make a living from it.
Passion-Driven Learning
Cultivating passion is nearly impossible within a coercive schooling structure that values conformity over creativity, compliance over-exuberance. This could help explain why the unschooling, or Self-Directed Education, movement is taking off, with more parents migrating from a schooling model of education for their children to a learning one. With Self-Directed Education, passion is at the center of all learning. Young people follow their interests and pursue their passions, while adults act as facilitators, connecting children and teens to the vast resources of both real and digital communities. In this model, learning is natural, non-coercive, and designed to be directed by the individual herself, rather than by someone else.
Self-Directed Education and unschooling often take place in homes and throughout communities, but increasingly individuals and organizations are launching self-directed learning centers geared toward homeschoolers with both full- and part-time options. These centers make Self-Directed Education more accessible to more families in more places, and each has a unique philosophy or focus. Some are geared toward teens and value real-world apprenticeships and immersion; others are makerspaces that emphasize tinkering and technology, and so on. In Boston, for instance, the JP Green School in the city’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood serves as a part-time self-directed learning space for homeschoolers and unschoolers with a focus on sustainability and nature connection.  Co-founder AndrĂ©e Zaleska says:
People educated in coercive models will be damaged for life (most of us are). The lack of respect shown to their autonomous selves as children translates into a lifelong tendency to "get what they need" by any means necessary…We are part of a growing counterculture which finds traditional schooling damaging in ways that are intertwined with the general brokenness of our culture.
Instead of complaining about the education status quo, entrepreneurial individuals are building alternatives to school that challenge it. Centered around passion and an overarching belief in individual self-determination, these entrepreneurs — who are often parents, former school teachers, and others who have become disillusioned by coercive schooling — are freeing young people from an outdated and harmful mass schooling system. Enlightened parents and innovative entrepreneurs may be the key players in constructing a new education model focused on freedom and designed for the Imagination Age.

Schooling Was for the Industrial Era, Unschooling Is for the Future - Foundation for Economic Education - Working for a free and prosperous world

Thursday, 12 October 2017

informal learning > learning from experience

We don't give enough consideration to 'experience' when learning:

Learning is experience. Everything else is just information. - Albert Einstein at Lifehack Quotes

Academics are taking it more seriously:
Global Perspectives on Recognising Non-formal and Informal Learning - Why Recognition Matters

As is business:
Experience curve effects - Wikipedia
The concept of common sense in workplace learning and experience | Education + Training | Vol 43, No 2

It seems that older people can benefit from their experience:
Cognitive Skills at 45: Middle-Aged Brain More Resilient |

On the one hand, we have the environmentalist viewpoint which contends that insofar as intelligence is a product of learning, it should increase throughout life, in other words, intelligence should improve with learning and experience. If tests do not show this, it is argued, then something is wrong with the tests. On the other hand, we have the biological approach which compares intelligence to growth in stature. It should grow up to the late teens, then remain stable for some years and eventually decline. These two positions are broad reflections of the well-known nature/nurture controversy which has tended to dominate the literature on intelligence over the years.

It is commonplace in the literature on adult education to read about older people compensating for the decline in quickness by substituting this experience and judgement. However, Schaie and Parr30 have recently put forward the view that different stages of life might actually call for different learning abilities. School learning, with its emphasis on acquisition rather than application, capitalises on the strengths of young people. The processing and acquisition of large amounts of new information in the traditional school manner is, however, disadvantageous to older learners. The Educational model that would be appropriate for adults would be one in which emphasis was placed upon integration, interpretation and application of knowledge.

Old dogs - new tricks: a look at learning and memory in the older adult

After all, our brains are 'plastic':
Lifelong learning and the plastic brain | University of Cambridge

connected business

This is the latest buzz-word - but it's difficult to find a good explanation.

This is full of jargon:
Connected Business: A New Style Of Doing Business

Perhaps we need some examples:
The Connected Business - Financial Times

Here's a very good reason why it's a good thing:
Connected Business as a Driver for Sustainable Innovation

Here's something called the 'connected company':

Dave Gray: The Connected Company - YouTube

And here's his website with another nice little video:
The Connected Company

Monday, 2 October 2017

why music?

We've had:
Jay Doubleyou: what is art?

And we've had:
Jay Doubleyou: what music, how music, why music

Now, here's a very interesting question:

What are the arts for? - Professor Ellen Dissanayake - YouTube
BBC Radio 3 - The Singing Ape

“Dissanayake argues that art was central to human evolutionary adaptation and that the aesthetic faculty is a basic psychological component of every human being. In her view, art is intimately linked to the origins of religious practices and to ceremonies of birth, death, transition, and transcendence.
University of Washington Press - Books - Homo Aestheticus
Ellen Dissanayake - Wikipedia

Is it all rather 'reductionist'?
Reductionism - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If not all a bit 'scientific'?
Pinker's defense of Scientism | Modern Psychologist
Criticism of evolutionary psychology - Wikipedia

Steven Pinker and Richard Dawkins on why we enjoy music - YouTube

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

the uk is now experimenting on itself for the benefit of humanity

Brexit is many things:
Jay Doubleyou: the psychology of lies and why we fall for them
Jay Doubleyou: brexit and school performance
Jay Doubleyou: information wars
Jay Doubleyou: brexit, trump and dumbing down

But would you think of it as an 'experiment'?

Brexit is Britain’s gift to the world

‘The UK is now experimenting on itself for the benefit of humanity’

The British chemist Sir Humphry Davy (born 1778) liked dangerous experiments. He was fired from his job as an apothecary for causing constant explosions. Later, as a chemist, he enjoyed inhaling the gases he worked with. This helped him discover that nitrous oxide (laughing gas) was a potent anaesthetic. “Unfortunately,” notes a short guide to his career from Oxford University Press, “the same habit led him to nearly kill himself on many occasions and the frequent poisonings left him an invalid for the last two decades of his life.” It was probably worth it: Davy isolated substances including calcium and strontium, identified the element iodine and made the first electric light.
Much like Davy, the UK is now experimenting on itself for the benefit of humanity. Advanced societies rarely do anything so reckless, which is why the Brexit experiment is so valuable. In between self-poisonings, Brexit keeps producing discoveries that surprise both Leavers and Remainers. Here are some early lessons for other countries:
When you focus on a wedge issue, you divide society. The Brexit vote has introduced unprecedented rancour into a traditionally apolitical country. Insults such as “enemies of the people”, “saboteurs”, “racists” and “go home to where you came from” are now daily British fare. Brexit rows split generations at family weddings and Christmas. All this was avoidable: until the referendum, few Britons had strong views on the EU, just as few Americans thought about transgender bathroom habits until their politicians discovered the issue. If you have to address wedge issues, best to aim for compromise rather than a winner-take-all solution such as a referendum.
All countries need real-time election regulators. There have always been people who lied to win votes. But now they have social media. Every slow, understaffed, 20th-century election regulator must therefore retool itself into a kind of courtroom judge who can call out falsehoods instantly. The model is the UK Statistics Authority’s reprimand of Boris Johnson last Sunday, after he repeated the nonsense that leaving the EU would free up £350m a week for the National Health Service.
Revolutionaries invariably underestimate transition costs. Maybe if you have a blank slate, being out of the EU is better than being in it. But the calculation changes once you’ve been in the EU for 43 years. All your arrangements are then predicated on being in, and suddenly they become redundant. The cost of change is a classic conservative insight, though it’s been forgotten by the Conservative party.
Almost every system is more complex than it looks. Most people can’t describe the workings of a toilet, writes Steven Sloman, cognitive scientist at Brown University. The EU is even more complicated, and so leaving it has countless unforeseen ramifications. Most Britons had no idea last year that voting Leave could mean closing the Irish border, or giving ministers dictatorial powers to rewrite law. Because of complexity, so-called common sense is a bad guide to policy making. Complexity is also an argument against direct democracy.
Immigrants fulfil a role. Any society in which they live comes to depend on them. Britain’s NHS and the City of London would buckle without them. You may calculate that your distaste for immigrants is worth some lost functioning, but you have to acknowledge the trade-off.
You have to choose who to surrender your sovereignty to. Brexiters are right to say that the EU has usurped some of British sovereignty. But as John Major, former British prime minister, remarks, in a connected world the only fully sovereign state is North Korea. All other countries are forever trading away bits of sovereignty. For instance, the trade deal that the UK hopes to sign one day with the EU will entail adopting the EU’s standards on everything from cars to toys. You can decide to give away your sovereignty in new ways but, in practice, you can’t decide to keep it.
A government can only handle one massive project at a time. This is at best, and only if the whole government agrees on it. There simply isn’t the staff or head space to do much more. Carrying out Brexit means not fixing what Johnson in February 2016 called “the real problems of this country — low skills, low social mobility, low investment etc — that have nothing to do with Europe”. (See my colleague Martin Sandbu’s recent demolition of Johnson’s inconsistencies.)
Negotiations get harder when you lose your counter-party’s trust. That’s what Greece discovered during its negotiations with the EU, says Greek economic analyst Paris Mantzavras of Pantelakis Securities. Mocking the other side in public — as Greece’s Yanis Varoufakis did, and as British politicians now do regularly — is therefore a losing tactic.
There is no reset button in human affairs. The UK cannot return to its imagined pre-EU idyll, because the world has changed since 1973. Nor can Britons simply discard the Brexit experiment if it goes wrong, and revert to June 22 2016. The past is over, so it’s a poor guide to policymaking.
These lessons come too late for the UK itself, so please consider them our selfless gift to the world, like football.
Illustration by Harry Haysom

Brexit is Britain’s gift to the world

Friday, 22 September 2017

authentic video lessons from onestopenglish

Onestopenglish provide a lot of materials for the teacher - many of them for free:
Onestopenglish: Number one for English language teachers

Here's an example:

August 2017
Onestopenglish Newsletter - Number One for English language teachers
Authentic videos covering 15 conversation topics
We humans like to watch and listen to each other, don’t we? That’s part of the reason we chose to make a series of videos which show a selection of real people answering interesting or fun questions in English. The other reasons were of course related to learning languages. As you know, videos are a great way to get students engaged. We made these videos to help learners develop their listening skills and to get them to talk about their opinions.
You will find 15 videos in this series which can be streamed online or downloaded for use offline. Lots of the videos come with a selection of ideas on how to use them or they point to this article we put together using 10 of the best ideas. As well as this, all of the videos come with an editable mini-worksheet and a transcript.

Finally, half of the topics we used for these videos are linked to a teen series called Impressions and the other half are linked to the topics in our adult series Everyday life. So you can use them on their own or combine them to make a longer lesson plan. We hope you enjoy using these authentic language videosand get to know and love the quirky people we found to interview!
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