Category Archives: personal

What do you need to succeed in life?

From experience to meaning...

The answer is of course sheer luck, besides talent and intelligence. This new systematically review doesn’t say intelligence and talent aren’t needed, but suggests that non-cognitive skills can also be important, although there are also some serious warning lights surrounding the existing body of evidence.

From the press release:

The study, published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour is the first to systematically review the entire literature on effects of non-cognitive skills in children aged 12 or under, on later outcomes in their lives such as academic achievement, and cognitive and language ability.

“Traits such as attention, self-regulation, and perseverance in childhood have been investigated by psychologists, economists, and epidemiologists, and some have been shown to influence later life outcomes,” says Professor John Lynch, School of Public Health, University of Adelaide and senior author of the study.

“There is a wide range of existing evidence under-pinning the role of…

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The three best arguments against a knowledge rich curriculum, (and why I think they’re wrong).

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I’ve been listening to a lot of Sam Harris, the neuroscientist, philosopher and public intellectual behind books such as The Moral Landscape, The End of Faith, Lying and Waking Up. Harris invites other intellectuals onto his podcast to discuss topical and contentious topics. A recent episode featured the Vox editor Ezra Klein on the explosive subject of race and IQ. Despite both men maintaining that they were trying to see the other’s side, it was a disaster in terms of reaching any kind of consensus or establishing common ground. They talked past each other for two hours, growing increasable frustrated as they did so.

Both men are aware of Rapoport’s Rules to encourage civil discourse, though they didn’t seem to do them much good. They are summarised by philosopher Daniel Dennett as thus:

  1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target…

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Are You a Visual or an Auditory Learner? It Doesn’t Matter (Daniel Willingham)

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

“Daniel T. Willingham (@DTWillingham) is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and the author, most recently, of The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads.”

This appeared October 4, 2018 in the New York Times.

You must read this article to understand it, but many people feel reading is not how they learn best. They would rather listen to an explanation or view a diagram. Researchers have formalized those intuitions into theories of learning styles. These theories are influential enough that many states (including New York) require future teachers to know them and to know how they might be used in the classroom.

But there’s no good scientific evidence that learning styles actually exist.

Over the last several decades, researchers have proposed dozens of theories, each suggesting a scheme to categorize learners. The best known proposes that some…

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Going viral… in academia? Prestige rules most of the time

From experience to meaning...

This study actually answers a question that I’ve had for quite a while: how come some ideas move through academia even if they’re not that good, while great insights sometimes seem to take ages to get around. This new study from Allison Morgan and her colleagues suggests something that is both close related to epidemiology and memes, but it has most to do with… prestige – and once and a while with the quality of the idea.

From the press release:

How ideas move through academia may depend on where those ideas come from–whether from big-name universities or less prestigious institutions–as much as their quality, a recent study from the University of Colorado Boulder suggests.

The new research borrows a page from epidemiology, exploring how ideas might flow from university to university, almost like a disease. The findings from CU Boulder’s Allison Morgan and her colleagues suggest that the…

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A dissection of Howard Gardner’s Frames

From experience to meaning...

This Twitter-rant is too good not to share here (H/T Tim van der Zee):

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How Much Do Educators Care About Edtech Efficacy? Less Than You Might Think (Jenny Abamu)

Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Jenny Abamu is a reporter at WAMU. She was previously an education technology reporter at EdSurge where she covered technology’s role in K-12 education.

She previously worked at Columbia University’s EdLab’s Development and Research Group, producing and publishing content for their digital education publication, New Learning Times. Before that, she worked as a researcher, planner, and overnight assignment editor for NY1 News Channel in New York City. She holds a Master’s degree in International and Comparative Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College.”

 

This article appeared in EdSurge, July 17, 2017

Dr. Michael Kennedy, an associate professor at the University of Virginia, was relatively sure he knew the answer to this research question: “When making, purchasing and/or adoption decisions regarding a new technology-based product for your district or school, how important is the existence of peer-reviewed research to back the product?” Nevertheless, as part of the Edtech Research Efficacy…

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Dynamic Representations in Mathematics Learning Part 1: It’s About Time

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Guest blog by Dr. Jeremy Roschelle, Digital Promise, @roschelle63

Summary:  When integrated with curriculum and pedagogy, visual representations that change in time can improve students’ conceptual understanding of mathematics.

To understand mathematics, students need to connect ideas.

For example, the slope of a line is often given as a number — the m in y = mx + b. We can measure the slope with triangles of “rise over run” drawn anywhere and at any size along a straight line in a graph. Why does the measure of rise over run always come out the same?

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A student can measure rise over run at any pair of points along a line.
The ratio—the slope—will always come out the same. Why?

Fundamentally, slope is connected to concepts of geometric similarity and ratio — m always comes out the same because it is a measure of the ratio of the sides of

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