Learning Change

Learning Change Project: +6600 Posts

Collaborative Leadership: Emergence of Interactional Sense-Making Process as a Complex System

The article aims at explicating the emergence of human interactional sense‐making process within educational leadership as a complex system. The kind of leadership is understood as a holistic entity called collaborative leadership. There, sense‐making emerges across interdependent domains, called attributes of collaborative leadership. The attributes give rise to the complex system. They are suggested to be the very agents, i.e. both the source and the outcome of the synergetic sense‐making process. Hence, the agents are not the single persons involved who, however, supply the collective attributes that are modified through human interaction in a holistic way. For studying the emergence process in reality, a long‐term development process within an educational executive team was exploited. The team aimed at co‐creating novel leadership thinking and working practices for its new unit after a merger of separated schools. The emergent sense‐making process was examined through such agent‐attributes that were identified as attractors within the complex system. Moreover, it is argued that illuminating the complex system of collaborative leadership, this can help other leadership teams to better understand their own sense‐making processes in the increasingly complex settings of today.

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Thoughts on a Pedagogy OF Complexity

There is now a developed and extensive literature on the implications of the complexity frame of reference’ for education in general and pedagogy in particular. This includes a wide range of interesting contributions which consider how complexity can inform, inter alia, research on educational systems and theories of learning, as well as work dealing with specific pedagogical domains including physical education, clinical education and in particular the learning of clinical teams, and learning in relation to systems engineering. This material has contributed considerably to my thinking about the subject matter of this essay which is not the implications of complexity for pedagogy but rather how we might develop a pedagogy OF complexity and, more specifically, a pedagogy of what Morin has called ‘general’ (as opposed to ‘restricted’) complexity. In other words how should we teach the complexity frame of reference to students at all appropriate educational levels? This article is intended to contribute to a debate about the pedagogy of complexity by chucking some ideas forward and stimulating a response. It draws on what is available in the literature and on my own teaching experiences. Others will have other ideas – good! However, if the complexity frame of reference changes the way we think, and for me it certainly does, then it should also change not only what we teach but also the way we teach. A change is as good as rest after all.

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Written by learningchange

September 2, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Beyond the Neoliberal Imaginary – Investigating the Role of Critical Pedagogy in Higher Education

This thesis uses the qualitative case study approach to investigate the lived experience of three faculty members in higher education who identify themselves as critical pedagogues during an era of neoliberal restructuring. This research explores what the possibilities are  for enacting critical pedagogies within a neoliberal climate of educational restructuring in higher education. Existing literature struggles to define neoliberalism as a result of globalization; further, present neoliberalization is penetrating all levels of social life and informing what many now accept as everyday thinking. Each of the faculty members selected for this research speaks to these struggles, while providing rich accounts of how neoliberalism challenges and concerns them; both, philosophically and pedagogically. This research highlights how at the start of the 21st Century a very compelling discourse on higher education is beginning to take place that seeks to inform how universities critically approach education and global education. This discourse reveals the concerns and potential for links in global higher education and future labour opportunities that are being created through the increasing mobility of people, markets, and knowledge. It also emphasizes the dire need for new ways in understanding how we envision higher education and global relations that are increasingly framed by neoliberal globalization. This discussion also brought to light how neoliberal trends have embedded themselves to such a degree in education it has created a mystique that might actually be a crisis of conscience; not politics, not economics.

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Written by learningchange

September 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm

The Past, Present and Future of Social Neuroscience

This review provides an overview of the field of social neuroscience from a European perspective and focuses mainly on outlining research topics which originated in European laboratories. After a brief historical synopsis of the emergence of this young field, the most relevant findings related to the investigation of the neural networks underlying our capacity to understand the minds of others are summarized. More specifically, three routes of social cognition are distinguished: (1) our capacity to mentalize, or to infer intentions and beliefs of others, (2) our capacity to mimic and understand other’s motor actions, and (3) our capacity to empathize, or to share and understand the feelings of others. More recent studies focusing on social emotions such as love, compassion, revenge or our sense of fairness will be discussed linking the field of social neuroscience to the even younger field of neuroeconomics, with the focus on the study of human social interactions using game theoretical paradigms. Finally, the use of a multi-method and multi-disciplinary research approach combining genetic, pharmacological, computational and developmental aspects is advocated and future directions for the study of interactive minds are discussed.

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Written by learningchange

September 1, 2014 at 2:42 pm

IQs Changes Over Time

We’re getting more stupid. That’s one point made in a recent article in the New Scientist, reporting on a gradual decline in IQs in developed countries such as the UK, Australia and the Netherlands. Such research feeds into a long-held fascination with testing human intelligence. Yet such debates are too focused on IQ as a life-long trait that can’t be changed. Other research is beginning to show the opposite. One recent pilot study showed that we can considerably raise standard IQ scores by training children in relational language skills tasks over a period of months. Again, this finding challenges the idea that intelligence is fixed for life. So it’s about time we reconsidered our ideas about the nature of intelligence as a trait that cannot be changed. Undoubtedly, there may be some limits to the development of our intellectual skills. But in the short term, the socially responsible thing to do is not to feel bound by those limits, but to help every child work towards and even exceed them.

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Written by learningchange

September 1, 2014 at 11:27 am

Posted in Intelligence, IQ

Tagged with ,

Persistence, Privilege, and Parenting: The Comparative Study of Intergenerational Mobility

In what ways do parents pass advantage or disadvantage on to their children? Persistence, Privilege, and Parenting is an expansive exploration of the relationship between parental socioeconomic status and background and the outcomes of their grown children. Americans like to believe that theirs is the land of opportunity, but the hard facts are that children born into poor families in the United States tend to stay poor and children born into wealthy families generally stay rich. Other countries have shown more success at lessening the effects of inequality on mobility—possibly by making public investments in education, health, and family well-being that offset the private advantages of the wealthy. What can the United States learn from these other countries about how to provide children from disadvantaged backgrounds an equal chance in life? Making comparisons across ten countries, Persistence, Privilege, and Parenting brings together a team of eminent international scholars to examine why advantage and disadvantage persist across generations. The book sheds light on how the social and economic mobility of children differs within and across countries and the impact private family resources, public policies, and social institutions may have on mobility.

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Written by learningchange

August 31, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Cultural Divide: Parenting Style Ensures Inequality

The sociologist argued that middle-class kids are raised in a way that provides them with the skills necessary to remain in the middle class. Lareau writes that the working class and the middle class have very different methods of raising their children. Poor and working-class parents practice what Lareau calls accomplishment of natural growth parenting. Their children have long periods of unstructured time where they shoot the breeze with neighbors and cousins, roam around the neighborhood, and watch TV with their large, extended families. In contrast, middle-class kids are driven to soccer practice and band recitals, are involved in family debates at dinner time, and are told that to ask their teacher why they received a B on a French exam. They talk, talk, talk to their kids all the time. Even discipline becomes a matter of negotiation and bargaining between the child and the adult. Lareau calls this style of parenting concerted cultivation. Parenting styles have a huge impact on future outcomes, says Lareau. She speculates that concerted cultivation creates adults who know how to challenge authority, navigate bureaucracy, and manage their time — all the skills needed to remain in the middle class. The working-class kids lack that training.

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Read also: Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life

Cultural Divide – Inequality and Web Search Trends

Written by learningchange

August 31, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Cultural, Cognition and Human Action

To understand culture and cultural evolution we must abandon the atomized and anonymous social environment of neoclassical economics. Culture is a product and a cause of the socialized nature of human action. Examination of the phylogenetic and ontogenetic neural mechanisms that make socialization and culture possible reveals: the ways that culture conserves cognitive resources and makes human interaction possible; and the reason that human culture—but not that of are closest relatives the chimpanzees—is capable of rapid evolution. Understanding the deep cognitive nature of culture explains the sometimes pathological outcomes of cultural evolution and how pathologies may be avoided. An understanding of three aspects of the nature of culture and cultural evolution was found necessary to get at these issues: (1) important components of culture are social constructs; (2) the contents of intentional mental states are insufficient by themselves to determine the meaning of those states—the brain provides the missing data necessary to determine meaning, and a significant portion of the data is a product of cultural evolution and learning. Following the lead of Searle, we called the mechanisms that provide the missing data Background; (3) the process by which culture is learned provides insight into its socially constructed nature, the missing data problem mentioned in (2), and intersubjective nature of human interaction.

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Written by learningchange

August 29, 2014 at 3:16 pm

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