At Fireside, you can share what's on your mind about education.
John Boswell, of the "Symphony of Science," came to TED2012 and made this remix of the speakers onstage (and on TED.com). To read more about every speaker in this video, visit the TED Blog at http://blog.ted.com
This is quite clever. I was a TED fellow three years ago and it was a thrilling experience. More recently,I kind of hit a TED wall and don't visit the site very often anymore. Part of that is there are rarely, if ever, people from the education world at TED. The TED conference itself is very much a members only kind of thing, which doesn't mean that the videos shared aren't fabulous. They are, many of them. But after a while, one butts up against the political and economic realities which are crushing us right now. Not to mention that we have one of the major political parties in this country gone completely off the cliff. No such thing as climate change? No evidence to support evolution? Educators have their work cut out for them and I'm not sure any longer that TED is any kind of a real partner. I would love to be reconvinced.
Jane, it is disheartening to hear your discouragement with TED in terms of its growing (self-)insulation from more direct engagement with the challenges we face widely as populators of this Planet. Although it may not closely relate to the predicament in which we find ourselves, let me share a post I made elsewhere this morning about a dream I had last night. I seem to be faced personally with the challenge of "getting real" as some would call it.
I woke up a few hours ago from a dream of being a storyteller of happy-ending life struggles in a world resigned to merely fixing its escapes from despondency. My mind has been working subliminally for some time (years maybe?) in resourcing and restructuring who I've been and in heading me toward what to do diligently with the rest of my life, and last night's dream was clearer than ever a calling to act now without further delay to be much more clever in a disciplined way to create what I can and to join with those who are working at telling stories that heal broken hopes of personality and community. I've never been really good at heeding calls to reform myself -- I've seldom disliked being me -- so responding to the call to a more virtuous life in the dream is in jeapardy of self(ish) inertia as a time of amazed enthusiasm for it recedes into the past and out of memory. But it is worth letting others know that I may be quitting an obsessive procrastination cold-turkey.
When I read this review of Katherine Boo's new (and first) book, I thought of your disillusionment with TED, Jane. http://www.neontommy.com/news/2012/03/book-review-behind-beautiful-...
Read the review and thought it sounds to be a book to read.
Re: TED. Interestingly there is a new TED, called TED-Ed, and one can nominate a cool educator to do a presentation that might be useful to students and teachers. I think the audience is school kids and their classroom teachers, so that's good. And obviously the talks are meant to be part of projects, units or lessons on topics that relate to the TED-Ed talk. I am not sure if this is going to persuade me, but I am ready to give it a try.
I have a book title for you and if you can't read the book read this npr article or any other article you can find on line about the book and its authors. Some interesting stuff here. It was mentioned in a NYT article a while back and that's how I came to hear of it and to read some of it. The book that is. http://www.npr.org/2011/10/27/141508854/fast-and-slow-pondering-the... In some ways it explains the phenomenon of procrastination and inertia, we're actually hard wired that a way a bit. The thesis intrigues me. Will enjoy hearing your thoughts.
And I will get over to the other discussion you just posted about self transcendence.
Jane, I agree that TED-Ed looks promising in more practical ways for teachers.
I've reloaded Daniel Kahneman's Fast and Slow into my ebook reader and will review previous highlights and notes I made a while ago. I'll share what struck me as important about Kahneman's findings and theses in a day or two, when I've had a chance to recall and rethink what I most appreciate about them.
In advance, it seems to be the case that we humans (like to) believe that we're a lot more conscious and deliberative about how and when we experience the world and ourselves than our embodied minds actually do.
That will be a gratefully received review. Some of what I read in the book(Fast and Slow) resonated and I liked how it challenged some deeply cherished so called truths about the mind.
Also, just finished Mark Epstein's "Going on Being", which is a Buddhist inspired look at psychotherapy and has some nice tid bits in it. I always seem to go towards the Buddhists for my "answers" which of course tend to become more questions. But there are some useful "tips" in terms of how the mind works there, as well.
You might, if you have the time Jane, view these videos of a Daniel Kahneman-led "conversation" that Edge.org sponsored several years ago: http://edge.org/event/master-classes/the-edge-master-class-2007-a-s....
Is slactivism a phenomenon which allows us to excuse ourselves from actually making a difference?
No, slactivism is a phenomenon which explains why we can't be bothered to excuse ourselves, and just fail to turn up.
Great term, though. There's something about "good men doing..." But is this the symptom of the disease, which is lack of passion/commitment? Somehow, I think, there is missing positive passion in public life. Oh, there's plenty of anger, vitriol and character assassination. But determination, dogged persistence, insistence seems to be missing. Extended argument and the pursuit (and implementation) of ideas are a lack.
Now, is this a gap to be laid at the feet of education? I don't know. But I think it does connect with the lack of room in modern western society for creativity, play, self-direction, and choosing pathways that personally matter. In Seligman's terms, engagement, meaning and achievement are three of the five keys to flourishing. And they are antidotes to slactivism.
Oh yes, we celebrate creativity when the right person has escaped with it, but we make no room for it. We like the committed - we'll read their books, watch their videos, and perhaps give money to the cause, but as for either sharing their commitment, or being fired to seek our own : we make no room for it.
Independence from the group mind is perhaps made nearly impossible by the way we've evolved quite naturally as "self-transcending" beings. See a post in the TED group about Jonathan Haidt's presentation: Religion, evolution, and the ecstasy of self-transcendence.
I'll check out Haidt in awhile. Whether or no our evolutionary track has socialised us into tribal conformity, we now have enough cultural momentum which can (I venture to speculate) motivate our minds to flexibility, creativity and play - and independence.
It would appear to me that the results of much modern neuroscience is hinting at great biological plasticity - so that, far from being deterministic beings, or prisoners of our genes, our environment is able to switch and amend our DNA fairly rapidly. And I'm wild enough to think that our cultural environment adds to that switching. Yes, I am aware that that has Lamarckian overtones. (I do not speak as an expert, just a mug with an interest.)