Rethinking Education through Contemporary Art

This article is part of a broader investigation exploring how contemporary art allows us to think about the process that underpins our teaching and learning in order to change it. We are tutors in initial teacher education and we teach, learn and communicate through contemporary art for a pedagogical module. In the following article, we will show how teaching, learning and communicating through contemporary art helps future teachers to be aware of their educational models. Art encounters generate new learning and teaching experiences by allowing students and teachers to make various rhizomatic wanderings. The rhizomatic wanderings are diverse with the content and the form depending on the personal experience. The article concludes that the more rhizomatic wanderings future teachers make, the more they will be able to rethink the process of teaching and learning in order to attend to the diverse situations of classrooms of the twenty-first century.

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Posted in Art, Education | Tagged ,

The evolution of animal ‘cultures’ and social intelligence

Decades-long field research has flowered into integrative studies that, together with experimental evidence for the requisite social learning capacities, have indicated a reliance on multiple traditions (‘cultures’) in a small number of species. It is increasingly evident that there is great variation in manifestations of social learning, tradition, and culture among species, offering much scope for evolutionary analysis. Social learning has been identified in a range of vertebrate and invertebrate species, yet sustained traditions appear rarer, and the multiple traditions we call cultures are rarer still. Here, we examine relationships between this variation and both social intelligence—sophisticated information processing adapted to the social domain—and encephalization. First, we consider whether culture offers one particular confirmation of the social (‘Machiavellian’) intelligence hypothesis that certain kinds of social life (here, culture) select for intelligence: ‘you need to be smart to sustain culture’. Phylogenetic comparisons, particularly focusing on our own study animals, the great apes, support this, but we also highlight some paradoxes in a broader taxonomic survey. Second, we use intraspecific variation to address the converse hypothesis that ‘culture makes you smart’, concluding that recent evidence for both chimpanzees and orang-utans support this proposition.

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Posted in Animals, Culture, Evolution, Social intelligence | Tagged , , ,

Motivation, Emotion, and Cognition: Integrative Perspectives on Intellectual Functioning and Development

The central argument of this book is that cognition is not the whole story in understanding intellectual functioning and development. To account for inter-individual, intra-individual, and developmental variability in actual intellectual performance, it is necessary to treat cognition, emotion, and motivation as inextricably related.

*represents a new direction in theory and research on intellectual functioning and development;
*portrays human intelligence as fundamentally constrained by biology and adaptive needs but modulated by social and cultural forces; and
*encompasses and integrates a broad range of scientific findings and advances, from cognitive and affective neurosciences to cultural psychology, addressing fundamental issues of individual differences, developmental variability, and cross-cultural differences with respect to intellectual functioning and development.

By presenting current knowledge regarding integrated understanding of intellectual functioning and development, this volume promotes exchanges among researchers concerned with provoking new ideas for research and provides educators and other practitioners with a framework that will enrich understanding and guide practice.

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Posted in Cognition, Emotions, Motivation | Tagged , ,

Handbook of Young Children’s Thinking and Understanding

This ground-breaking handbook provides a much-needed, contemporary and authoritative reference text on young children’s thinking. The different perspectives represented in the thirty-nine chapters contribute to a vibrant picture of young children, their ways of thinking and their efforts at understanding, constructing and navigating the world. The Routledge International Handbook of Young Children’s Thinking and Understanding brings together commissioned pieces by a range of hand-picked influential, international authors from a variety of disciplines who share a high public profile for their specific developments in the theories of children’s thinking, learning, and understanding. The handbook is organized into four complementary parts:

* How can we think about young children’s thinking?: Concepts and contexts

* Knowing about the brain and knowing about the mind

* Making sense of the world

* Documenting and developing children’s thinking

Supported throughout by relevant research and case studies, this handbook is an international insight into the many ways there are to understand children and childhood paired with the knowledge that young children have a strong, vital, and creative ability to think and to understand, and to create and contend with the world around them.

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Posted in Children, Children's learning, Children's thinking | Tagged , ,

The Socratic Classroom: Reflective Thinking Through Collaborative Inquiry

This book provides a framework for a collaborative inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning suitable not only for formal educational settings such as the school classroom but for all educational settings. For teachers, educationalists, philosophers and philosophers of education, The Socratic Classroom presents a theoretical as well as practical exploration of how philosophy may be adopted in education. The Socratic Classroom captures a variety of philosophical approaches to classroom practice that could be broadly described as Socratic in form. There is an exploration of three distinct approaches that make significant contributions to classroom practice: Matthew Lipman’s Community of Inquiry, Leonard Nelson’s Socratic Dialogue, and David Bohm’s Dialogue. All three models influence what is termed in this book as ‘Socratic pedagogy’. Socratic pedagogy is multi-dimensional and is underpinned by ‘generative, evaluative, and connective thinking’. These terms describe the dispositions inherent in thinking through philosophical inquiry. This book highlights how philosophy as inquiry can contribute to educational theory and practice, while also demonstrating how it can be an effective way to approach teaching and learning. Audience This publication is suited to educators, teacher educators, philosophers of education and philosophers in general. It has a theoretical and practical focus, making it truly interdisciplinary.

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Posted in Classroom, Socrates, Teaching, Teaching method, Thinking | Tagged , , , ,

Why Do Little Kids Ask to Hear the Same Story Over and Over?

One way people learn new words is through reading books and stories. Little kids love hearing their favorite stories over and over and are also very good at learning new words. We wondered if reading the same stories could be helping preschool kids learn new words. Our research tested if it was better to read the same stories over and over or to read a few different stories. Here, we tell you about three studies that show preschool kids learn more words from reading the same stories over and over. Our research suggests that it is easier to learn new words from stories when you have heard the story before and know what is going to happen.

We know little kids like hearing stories and will ask to hear the same story over and over again. You may have noticed this if you have ever read a story to a younger sibling. Kids learn a lot of things from stories. They can learn about colors, shapes, numbers, relationships, and places—and they can learn new words. You probably learn a lot of new words from reading, too. Kids who hear more stories learn more words than kids who hear fewer stories. Kids who hear lots of stories are also more likely to do better at school. So, we know that hearing stories helps kids learn new words, but could we help kids learn even more?

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Posted in Kids, Learning | Tagged ,

Grassroots Innovation Movements

Innovation is increasingly invoked by policy elites and business leaders as vital for tackling global challenges like sustainable development. Often overlooked, however, is the fact that networks of community groups, activists, and researchers have been innovating grassroots solutions for social justice and environmental sustainability for decades. Unencumbered by disciplinary boundaries, policy silos, or institutional logics, these ‘grassroots innovation movements’ identify issues and questions neglected by formal science, technology, and innovation organizations. Grassroots solutions arise in unconventional settings through unusual combinations of people, ideas, and tools.

This book examines six diverse grassroots innovation movements in India, South America, and Europe, situating them in their particular dynamic historical contexts. The analysis explains why each movement frames innovation and development differently, resulting in a variety of strategies. The book explores the spaces where each of these movements has grown or attempted to do so. It critically examines the pathways they have developed for grassroots innovation and the challenges and limitations confronting their approaches.

With mounting pressure for social justice in an increasingly unequal world, policy makers are exploring how to foster more inclusive innovation. In this context grassroots, experiences take on added significance. This book provides timely and relevant ideas, analysis and recommendations for activists, policy-makers, students and scholars interested in encounters between innovation, development and social movements.

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Posted in Grassroot, Innovation, Social movements | Tagged , ,

What is social justice?

“Some argue that social justice reflects a concept of fairness in the assignment of fundamental rights and duties, economic opportunities, and social conditions.”

Using a social justice lens helps organizations to reframe issues generally viewed as individual in origin to include broader social, political, economic, and cultural understandings. In the following excerpt from the Encyclopedia of Social Work, Janet L. Finn and Maxine Jacobson explore the meanings and principles of social justice—a term which at times can be rather elusive and unclear in its applications. How do those individuals, whose work is centrally guided by the values of social justice, think about the concept? How does Western philosophy and political theory influence our understandings of social justice?

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Resisting change: understanding obstacles to social progress

In this shortened excerpt from How Change Happens, Duncan Green, Oxfam Great Britain’s Senior Strategic Adviser, discusses the complexities behind social activism and breaks down the underlying factors that fuel the resistance to change.

Systems, whether in thought, politics, or the economy, can be remarkably resistant to change. I like to get at the root of the “i-word” (inertia) through three other “i-words”: institutions, ideas, and interests. A combination of these often underlies the resistance to change, even when evidence makes a compelling case.

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Posted in Change, Resistance, Social change, Social progress | Tagged , , ,

Latino fathers and parenting: lessons learned

Puerto Rican fathers and Latino fathers in general gave us many lessons for fatherhood research that we can learn from.

In conclusion, fathers were excited to be asked about their opinions about parenting. The men expressed that often they feel ignored by services and that providers often speak directly towards the mother, however, they felt just as knowledgeable and involved with their child as the mother. We need to continue to update our practices to involve Latino fathers with a culturally grounded approach that emphasizes the importance of close family relationships, interpersonal responsiveness, interdependence, personal dignity, and respect.

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Posted in Families, Fathers, latinos, Parenting | Tagged , , ,