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Home/ Diigo In Education/ Contents contributed and discussions participated by Maughn Gregory

Contents contributed and discussions participated by Maughn Gregory

Maughn Gregory

Belief and Lazy Consensus: Focusing on Governance - ProfHacker - The Chronicle of Highe... - 31 views

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    the desire not to seem like a crank; misconceiving of the work of the university as "service" rather than governance; deciding to focus on your disciplinary colleagues elsewhere (or online) instead of your institution; a healthy human hatred of meetings-all of these add up to a sort of despair that the faculty can make a difference.
Maughn Gregory

Boston Review - Carlos Fraenkel: Citizen Philosophers - 0 views

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    In 1971 the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985 eliminated philosophy from high schools. Teachers, professors in departments of education, and political activists championed its return, while most academic philosophers were either indifferent or suspicious. The dictatorship seems to have understood philosophy's potential to create engaged citizens; it replaced philosophy with a course on Moral and Civic Education and one on Brazil's Social and Political Organization ("to inculcate good manners and patriotic values and to justify the political order of the generals," one UFBA colleague recalls from his high school days).
Maughn Gregory

For Children of Same-Sex Couples, a Student Aid Maze - NYTimes.com - 28 views

  • Because these students cannot fully portray their family’s finances, the amount of aid they receive may not fairly reflect their needs.
  • officials from the Department of Education, which issues it, said that applicants with two married mothers or fathers must fill out the Fafsa as if the couple were divorced.
  • For Children of Same-Sex Couples, a Student Aid Maze
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    " Because these students cannot fully portray their family's finances, the amount of aid they receive may not fairly reflect their needs."
Maughn Gregory

How to Fix Our Math Education - NYTimes.com - 61 views

  • the assumption that there is a single established body of mathematical skills that everyone needs to know to be prepared for 21st-century careers. This assumption is wrong. The truth is that different sets of math skills are useful for different careers, and our math education should be changed to reflect this fact.
  • Today, American high schools offer a sequence of algebra, geometry, more algebra, pre-calculus and calculus (or a “reform” version in which these topics are interwoven). This has been codified by the Common Core State Standards, recently adopted by more than 40 states. This highly abstract curriculum is simply not the best way to prepare a vast majority of high school students for life.
  • A math curriculum that focused on real-life problems would still expose students to the abstract tools of mathematics, especially the manipulation of unknown quantities. But there is a world of difference between teaching “pure” math, with no context, and teaching relevant problems that will lead students to appreciate how a mathematical formula models and clarifies real-world situations.
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  • For instance, how often do most adults encounter a situation in which they need to solve a quadratic equation? Do they need to know what constitutes a “group of transformations” or a “complex number”? Of course professional mathematicians, physicists and engineers need to know all this, but most citizens would be better served by studying how mortgages are priced, how computers are programmed and how the statistical results of a medical trial are to be understood.
  • Imagine replacing the sequence of algebra, geometry and calculus with a sequence of finance, data and basic engineering.
  • Traditionalists will object that the standard curriculum teaches valuable abstract reasoning, even if the specific skills acquired are not immediately useful in later life. A generation ago, traditionalists were also arguing that studying Latin, though it had no practical application, helped students develop unique linguistic skills. We believe that studying applied math, like learning living languages, provides both useable knowledge and abstract skills.
  • In math, what we need is “quantitative literacy,” the ability to make quantitative connections whenever life requires (as when we are confronted with conflicting medical test results but need to decide whether to undergo a further procedure) and “mathematical modeling,” the ability to move practically between everyday problems and mathematical formulations (as when we decide whether it is better to buy or lease a new car).
Maughn Gregory

Helping Children Become More Mindful | Tufts Now - 75 views

  • kids are distracted and a little on edge these days, says the Tufts psychologist Christopher Willard
  • Child’s Mind: Mindfulness Practices to Help Our Children Be More Focused, Calm and Relaxed (Parallax Press)
  • The central idea of mindfulness, he says, is to bring a very focused awareness of the present moment into our everyday lives through things such as breathing exercises and actively listening to and observing the world around us.
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  • Studies have shown that children can learn to regulate their emotions and concentrate better with the aid of mindfulness practices. Even children with attention deficit disorders have learned to concentrate better using these kinds of exercises.
  • Children as young as four, he says, can be taught to breathe in and out in a conscious way, with a little visual help. To do this, he suggests having the child lie on her back with a stuffed animal or pillow on her belly, which helps her become aware of her breathing as she watches the object go up and down.
  • Another mindfulness exercise is to ask a child to listen carefully for about a minute and then name five sounds he heard while being quiet.
Maughn Gregory

The Elusive Big Idea - NYTimes.com - 51 views

  • If our ideas seem smaller nowadays, it’s not because we are dumber than our forebears but because we just don’t care as much about ideas as they did. In effect, we are living in an increasingly post-idea world — a world in which big, thought-provoking ideas that can’t instantly be monetized are of so little intrinsic value that fewer people are generating them and fewer outlets are disseminating them, the Internet notwithstanding. Bold ideas are almost passé.
  • we live in a post-Enlightenment age in which rationality, science, evidence, logical argument and debate have lost the battle in many sectors, and perhaps even in society generally, to superstition, faith, opinion and orthodoxy. While we continue to make giant technological advances, we may be the first generation to have turned back the epochal clock — to have gone backward intellectually from advanced modes of thinking into old modes of belief.
  • Post-Enlightenment refers to a style of thinking that no longer deploys the techniques of rational thought. Post-idea refers to thinking that is no longer done, regardless of the style.
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  • In the past, we collected information not simply to know things. That was only the beginning. We also collected information to convert it into something larger than facts and ultimately more useful — into ideas that made sense of the information. We sought not just to apprehend the world but to truly comprehend it, which is the primary function of ideas. Great ideas explain the world and one another to us.
  • These ideas enabled us to get our minds around our existence and attempt to answer the big, daunting questions of our lives.
  • But if information was once grist for ideas, over the last decade it has become competition for them.
  • In effect, we are living within the nimbus of an informational Gresham’s law in which trivial information pushes out significant information, but it is also an ideational Gresham’s law in which information, trivial or not, pushes out ideas.
  • We prefer knowing to thinking because knowing has more immediate value. It keeps us in the loop
  • For one thing, social networking sites are the primary form of communication among young people, and they are supplanting print, which is where ideas have typically gestated. For another, social networking sites engender habits of mind that are inimical to the kind of deliberate discourse that gives rise to ideas.
  • Indeed, the gab of social networking tends to shrink one’s universe to oneself and one’s friends, while thoughts organized in words, whether online or on the page, enlarge one’s focus.
  • But because they are scientists and empiricists rather than generalists in the humanities, the place from which ideas were customarily popularized, they suffer a double whammy: not only the whammy against ideas generally but the whammy against science, which is typically regarded in the media as mystifying at best, incomprehensible at worst. A generation ago, these men would have made their way into popular magazines and onto television screens.
  • there is a vast difference between profit-making inventions and intellectually challenging thoughts.
  • There won’t be anything we won’t know. But there will be no one thinking about it.
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