Archive for category teaching + learning

“So you point to a tree and say, ‘See that car?’

Jon Rappoport writes some pretty interesting stuff.  Today he came up with something that wraps up in a nutshell a recurring concern I have, like a sore that won’t go away,  about “education”: “Education tends to define what is there before a person can experience it on his own.” Here’s the context, but click the link below and read the whole thing. It won’t take a minute and might throw you for an interesting loop.

“If you hand a person a fig and tell him it’s a plum, there is a chance he’ll see a plum.

“If you give a person a copy of Nabokov’s Lolita and explain its ‘themes,’ there is a chance that, as he reads it, he will find those themes and consider them the most important result of his reading. “Instead of relying on his own imagination and perception, a person imagines that what he is told is what he is looking at.

“So you point to a tree and say to a friend, ‘See that car?’

“Education tends to define what is there before a person can experience it on his own.

via IMAGINATION UNTITLED « Jon Rappoport’s Blog.

Salvador Dali's "The Temptation of St. Anthony"

Rene Magritte "This is not a pipe"

Rene Magritte "This is not a pipe"


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Classrooms of the heart

Recently looked for this in my bookmarks and discovered I hadn’t bookmarked it! So here it is. I watch this for clues as to what Gatto actually did in classrooms, his interaction with his students. He’s rather coy about the details in his books (probably to protect the innocent), and this is a good resource if you want to find out more about his teaching methods. (Other sources of specific information are in the 3-page chapter “A Year with John Taylor Gatto”, by a former student, Jamaal M. Watson, written when he was 13. It’s in “A Different Kind of Teacher”.)


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Disclosure of Material Connection: My recommendations above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. Your cost will be the same as if you order directly. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Austrian Economics and teaching

A teacher who obviously enjoys his work, talks about teaching and Austrian economics.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5x0R-xjn1Y’]


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Disclosure of Material Connection: My recommendations above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. Your cost will be the same as if you order directly. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Is Being an Entrepreneur in Your DNA? | LinkedIn

Would you believe it? A college finds that college courses are useful and necessary. Who’d a thunk? Is the Pope Catholic?

 

Is being an entrepreneur in your DNA, or can it be taught? A new study from Babson College finds the evidence is “overwhelming” that if business students take at least two core entrepreneurship classes, that can “positively influence” them to go on to start up a business.

Professors at the Wellesley, Massachusetts-based college analyzed a survey of some 3,755 alumni and found that two (“or better yet three”) entrepreneurship classes strongly affected students’ decisions to pursue start-ups, and that writing a student business plan also had some influence, though not as strong.

Is Being an Entrepreneur in Your DNA? | LinkedIn.

There is evidence that entrepreneurs don’t do well in school, but you won’t find that discussed in the article.

This is a false dichotomy. The writer thinks there are only two possibilities: either it’s in your blood, it’s innate, or it is taught in a college course. What about apprenticeships? Or mentors? No. None of that. It’s either DNA or college. No other possibilities.

And in the third paragraph, the article makes the predictable but unfounded leap from “entrepreneurship CAN be taught (in college)” to “it SHOULD be taught”. Surprise, surprise. Also notice the stress on reducing risk, a typical professorial attitude.

Why learn entrepreneurship from a professor who has never entrepreneured anything in his life?

“It’s time to cast off the prejudiced question, ‘Why teach entrepreneurship?,’ because we now have excellent empirical evidence that it makes a difference.  We think that entrepreneurship should be taught not only for the production and training of entrepreneurs but also to help students decide if they have the right stuff to be entrepreneurs before they embark on careers for which they may be ill-suited,” the professors wrote in the study, called “Does An Entrepreneurship Education Have Lasting Value? A Study of Careers of 3,775 Alumni.”

I don’t deny that entrepreneurship can be taught. Cameron Herold’s dad taught him (see the TED talk on the video below). I just don’t believe that college courses can teach entrepreneurship.

What’s next? Maybe college courses to teach selflessness and community spirit?


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Disclosure of Material Connection: My recommendations above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. Your cost will be the same as if you order directly. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Helen Blofield leaves her worldly possessions to road paver who cared for her… cutting her globe-trotting granddaughter out | Mail Online

Life imitates art:

A former airline executive has been cut out of her grandmother’s will because she left everything to a former neighbour who helped her during her final years, a court has heard.

via Helen Blofield leaves her worldly possessions to road paver who cared for her… cutting her globe-trotting granddaughter out | Mail Online.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0ELSUvEVcE’]


I recommend the following digital products: WP GDPR Fix, a WordPress plugin that quickly and easily helps you make your WP blog GDPR compliant. Brett Kelly's "Evernote Essentials", Dan Gold's $5 guides to Getting Everything Done with Evernote and Springpad, and DocumentSnap Solutions' Paperless Document Organization Guides. Be sure to try DocumentSnap's free email course on going paperless first before buying his products. Sign up for it on his homepage.
Disclosure of Material Connection: My recommendations above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. Your cost will be the same as if you order directly. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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“Hours of idleness”

Pop quiz: how old would you say the writer of the following lines was?

In submitting to the public eye the following collection, I have not only to combat the difficulties that writers of verse generally encounter, but may incur the charge of presumption for obtruding myself on the world, when, without doubt, I might be, at my age, more usefully employed.

40? 50? OK, people don’t write like that any more. Still, when they DID write like that, how old would the writer be? No? Read on:

These productions are the fruits of the lighter hours of a young man who has lately completed his nineteenth year.

Preface to the first edition of “Hours of Idleness” by Lord Byron, first published in 1807.

What kind of education did he receive, to write like this at 19? With such confidence over multiple subordinate clauses? With such easy grace and self-deprecation which does not jar but rather charms? An education that included not only a great deal of reading (his preface is headed by three quotations from Horace (in the original Latin), from Homer (in the original Greek) and from Dryden), but also learning graceful good manners.

I admit I know nothing about Byron, other than that he was a poet, a ladies’ man,  an adventurer who spent some time gallivanting around southern Europe and the Near (possibly also Middle) East, who died young and swam the Bosphorus. Possibly not in that order. Read the rest of this entry »


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Why English Is Tough in Japan | A New Japan

An interesting article on English education in Japan over at The Diplomat. Referring to the Japanese government’s making English classes compulsory in 5th and 6th grade (that’s the last two years of primary school for you non-U.S. readers) onwards, law-school graduate Hiroki Ogawa writes,

The reality is that raw English ability alone is unlikely to produce any significant change, even assuming that Japanese students go on to have basic conversational skills in English which is often not the case anyway. The problem for many Japanese doesnt necessarily stem from the English lessons themselves, nor the lack of opportunities to use English in Japan though this does exacerbate the situation. The big problem is often the significant cultural barriers.

I’m going to comment on a few points of this article, as it’s well worth reading and makes an important point, but needs amplifying. Ogawa’s point is that Japanese don’t learn to discuss or argue in English class, and that this severely cramps their English communicative ability, and that (inevitably these days) the government should do something about it!

I think he’s right. Partly. But the situation is more difficult than he implies, and I don’t think the solutioncan be implemented by governmental regulation or initiatives. Read the rest of this entry »


I recommend the following digital products: WP GDPR Fix, a WordPress plugin that quickly and easily helps you make your WP blog GDPR compliant. Brett Kelly's "Evernote Essentials", Dan Gold's $5 guides to Getting Everything Done with Evernote and Springpad, and DocumentSnap Solutions' Paperless Document Organization Guides. Be sure to try DocumentSnap's free email course on going paperless first before buying his products. Sign up for it on his homepage.
Disclosure of Material Connection: My recommendations above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. Your cost will be the same as if you order directly. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Key ideas – a list in progress


Camouflaged !

Originally uploaded by Kamala L

See the picture? Can you help her pick out the handful of items that she really needs to keep?

What are the key ideas in the field you are teaching? If you are teaching American history or culture or literature, what are the key ideas that you think the students need to get over the next 15 weeks?

If you have to choose, which will it be: the Declaration of Independence or the latest Lady Gaga/Beyonce music video?

I’ve been listing certain key concepts that seem important for people learning English in Japan to know. Overarching these is the notion of the importance of ideas. Read the rest of this entry »


I recommend the following digital products: WP GDPR Fix, a WordPress plugin that quickly and easily helps you make your WP blog GDPR compliant. Brett Kelly's "Evernote Essentials", Dan Gold's $5 guides to Getting Everything Done with Evernote and Springpad, and DocumentSnap Solutions' Paperless Document Organization Guides. Be sure to try DocumentSnap's free email course on going paperless first before buying his products. Sign up for it on his homepage.
Disclosure of Material Connection: My recommendations above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. Your cost will be the same as if you order directly. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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How to raise entrepreneurs (TED talk)

Cameron Herold didn’t do well in school. Fortunately, his dad knew what to do about that.


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Disclosure of Material Connection: My recommendations above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. Your cost will be the same as if you order directly. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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A good speaker tells stories


Lawrence W. Reed, founder of the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), here gives a talk on his seven principles of public policy. Sounds (yawn) fascinating. It’s actually a good example of how to give an interesting talk. Reed tells stories, and these stories elucidate, educate, enlighten.

First off, there’s his funny story about the property developer in Louisiana who was asked by HUD to provide the history of the plot of land he wanted to develop, prior to 1803. Well, prior to 1803, Louisiana belonged to France, as the property developer had to point out to the government officials at HUD, but he did not stop there.

Secondly, Reed illustrates his first principle with the story of the Kellogg brothers. The older brother was ambitious and successful; the younger one worked for his older one at 25$/week for many years. But it is the younger one who created the world-famous breakfast cereal. Hear how it happened.

This video illustrates something that entrepreneur and historian Gary North wrote about recently – The Rabbi and the Professor. He begins by quote Bob Buford:

Peter Drucker told me once, “There are two ways of teaching: the Greek way and the rabbinic way.” The Greek way, he explained, is based on analysis and breaking down a subject into its logical outline sequence (I A, B, C; II A, B, C). The rabbinic way always begins, “Let me tell you a story.” — Bob Buford

I took a graduate seminar in 1965 from a master historian, Douglas Adair…. He warned us about how hard it is to teach the American Revolution. …Here was his advice: teach biographies. Teach about the lives of people: why did they do what they did…. People remember a good story.

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I recommend the following digital products: WP GDPR Fix, a WordPress plugin that quickly and easily helps you make your WP blog GDPR compliant. Brett Kelly's "Evernote Essentials", Dan Gold's $5 guides to Getting Everything Done with Evernote and Springpad, and DocumentSnap Solutions' Paperless Document Organization Guides. Be sure to try DocumentSnap's free email course on going paperless first before buying his products. Sign up for it on his homepage.
Disclosure of Material Connection: My recommendations above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission. Your cost will be the same as if you order directly. I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”