Education and cognitive domination

A brief excerpt in Today’s Professor newsletter from a book edited by Chad Hanson. In the past 20 years, scholars and practitioners have committed to measuring the cognitive outcomes of education. In this chapter, the author assesses the movement that focuses on cognition, to the exclusion of other outcomes. An identity-based framework is offered as an alternative. Howard Bowen (1977) once wrote, “The impact of higher education is likely to be determined more by the kind of people college graduates become than by what they know when they leave college” (p.

Candles, Faraday, and Teaching

I’m giving a guest lecture to a STEM class in about two weeks. I plan to talk about my research into citizen science. One of the questions I want to get the students thinking about is what makes someone into a scientist. Is it education, knowledge, skill, social influence, professional certification, or something else? But starting with one question always leads to another. So my mind began to wander back to when I was a volunteer at the Science Museum of Minnestoa in the 1990s.

Comps - the experience of grad school

I participated in a panel with some fellow third-year grad students in CCI this afternoon. We talked about our experiences with comprehensive exams, mostly to students who haven’t finished them or are preparing for them right now. I was struck by how different the experience is for each person. There are differences based on fields (CCI has students in journalism, communication, advertising, and information science), based on the personalities of the committee members, the pedagogical styles of the committee chairs, and the subject field of the dissertation, and more.

Nina Simon on the Participatory Museum at Walker Art Center

Nina Simon the author of The Participatory Museum and the Museum 2.0 weblog was in the Twin Cities this week to promote her book at an event hosted by the Walker Art Center. I was already at the Walker to give a public tour and decided to stick around and listen to what Nina had to say which was a good decision. Simon spoke for half an hour about her work on encouraging participation by museum goers.

The New Networking

From an article on networking by John Seely Brown and John Hagel III at HBR. In the classical networking approach, the game is about presenting yourself in the most favorable light possible while flattering the other person into giving you their contact information. This approach quickly degenerates into a manipulative exchange where the real identities of both parties rapidly recede into the background, replaced by carefully staged presentations of an artificial self.

The Decline of America Reconsidered

James Fallows published an interesting essay in the January/February 2010 Atlantic on “How America Can Rise Again.” I think it’s one of the best pieces I’ve read on the American penchant for declension narratives. He points out that Americans have been engaging in jeremiads about the decline of the nation since before there was a nation. The Puritans were complaining about the lost golden age of the colonies just six years after landing in the New World.

Dane Smith on Smart Investments for Minnesota Students

Dane Smith, the president of Growth and Justice a local Minnesota think-tank, spoke to the Twin Cities Chapter of the IEEE Education Society on Friday. The event was held at the Bakken Museum on Lake Calhoun. Mr. Smith began by laying out the assumptions made by Growth and Justice when considering education policy in Minnesota. Like many think-tank presidents he describe the mission of Growth and Justice as being bipartisan, neither conservative nor liberal.

Alex Cirillo Jr. at the Citizen League

I shuffled off to an early morning Citizens League meeting on Thursday to hear Alex Cirillo Jr., vice president of community relations at 3M, talk about the Principles of Innovation. I went because I’ve been interested in this topic for at least ten years. I was also interested in seeing what the Citizens League would be like. Cirillo began the session with a short 15 minute presentation, a time limit he admirably fulfilled.

Educational Responses to Stress - Emotion and Arts

I mentioned a recent study about stress and poverty earlier today. In summary, there appears to be a link between allostatic load (a psychological and physiological measure of stress) and average performance with working memory tests. So how could we respond to this? Drake Bennett has a story at the Boston Globe about teaching emotional intelligence. Since Daniel Goleman published Emotional Intelligence in 1995 there has been a growing chorus of educational researchers and reformers calling for emotional education.

Saving Education, the Bill Gates Way

Bill Gates clearly has a bee in his bonnet about education. A few weeks ago he was at the TED conference to give a speech on two topics: preventing malaria and reforming education in America. About malaria I have no comment, except to praise it for inspiring such luminous headlines as Rocket Scientists Shoot Down Mosquitoes With Lasers. Last weekend he was on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS program to talk about education again.