Learning Change

Learning Change Project: 8 Blogs, +7500 Readings

Posts Tagged ‘thinking

Teaching Thinking – the Practice of Philosophy with Children

One important goal of education is helping young people to develop their ability to think for themselves inresponsible way. That means to learn how to think more reflectively and therefore to acquaint children with the tools that are required to think well.

Philosophy provides children with methodology of linguistic and logical analysis, but it brings more than conceptual clarity, it involves the development of each person’s skills to compare, to examine, to inquire and to think. Philosophy is the discipline that considers alternative ways of acting, creating, speaking and thinking. Philosophy as we know it from Plato is critical, creative and imaginative. To discover alternatives philosophers persistently appraise and examine their own assumptions and presuppositions question what other people normally take for granted and speculate imaginatively concerning ever more comprehensive frames of reference.

Critical thinking, creativity and freedom programs in philosophy support the search for meaning and understanding in a globalized world. People who live together with people from other cultures have to be very sensitive to differences and similarities and have to be open to new ideas and alternative ways of thinking, acting and living.

Read

Read also: Thinking in education

Written by Giorgio Bertini

January 6, 2016 at 10:00 am

21-Month-Olds Understand the Cooperative Logic of Requests

Human communication rests on a basic assumption of partner cooperativeness, including even requesting. In the current study, an adult made an ambiguous request for an object to 21-month-old infants, with one potential referent being right in front of her and the other being across the room. In a normal situation (Hands-Free), infants interpreted the request as referring to the distant object—the one the adult needed help fetching. In contrast, in a situation in which the adult was constrained so that fetching either object herself would be difficult (Hands-Occupied), infants selected the far object much less often. These results suggest that infants just beginning to acquire language already understand something of the cooperative logic of requests.

Read

Written by Giorgio Bertini

November 5, 2015 at 8:46 pm

Human Thinking as Cooperation: Thinking for Co-operating

Human cognition and thinking are much more complex than the cognition and thinking of other primates. Human social interaction and organization are much more complex than the social interaction and organization of other primates as well. It is highly unlikely, we would argue, that this is a coincidence. Complex human cognition is of course responsible for complex human societies in the sense that human societies would fall apart if human-like cognition were not available to support them. But this cognition- to-society causal link is not a plausible direction for an account of evolutionary origins. For that direction of effect, there would need to be some other behavioral domain in which powerful cognitive skills were selected, and then those skills were somehow extended to solving social problems. But it is not clear what other behavioral domain that might be, given that we are trying to explain the many particularities of cognitive skills supporting humans’ unique forms of collaboration and communication, including in the end such things as cultural conventions, norms, and institutions. It seems highly unlikely that cognitive skills adapted for, say, individual tool use or the tracking of prey could be exapted in this way for such complex cooperative enterprises. And so, in the current view, the most plausible evolutionary scenario is that new ecological pressures (e.g., the disappearance of individually obtainable foods and then increased population sizes and competition from other groups) acted directly on human social interaction and organization, leading to the evolution of more cooperative human lifeways (e.g., collaboration for foraging and then cultural organization for group coordination and defense). Coordinating these newly collaborative and cultural lifeways communicatively required new skills and motivations for co-operating  with others, first via joint intentionality, and then via collective intentionality. Thinking for co-operating. This, in broadest possible outline, is the shared intentionality hypothesis.

Read

Read also: Culture and the Evolution of Human Cooperation

Cooperation and Human Cognition: the Vygotskian Intelligence hypothesis

Written by Giorgio Bertini

September 10, 2015 at 2:05 pm

More than Cool Reason: “Withness-thinking” or “Systemic thinking” and Thinking about Systems

Many of our difficulties in our practical lives are not of the form of “problems” that we can solve by reasoning; nor are they are “empirical problems” that we can solve by discovering something currently unknown to us by the application of a science-like methodology. They are difficulties of a quite another kind: they are relational or orientational difficulties to do with how we, as practitioners, spontaneously respond to features in our surroundings with appropriate anticipations ‘at the ready’, so to speak, thus to ‘go on’ within them without being (mis)lead into taking any inappropriate next steps. Difficulties of this second kind are not solved but resolved in the course of our ‘moving about’ within our surroundings, in our tentative explorations of the possible next steps they make available to us. Thus the outcomes of our inquiries as practitioners are not to be measured in terms of their end points – in terms of their objective outcomes – but in terms of what we learn along the way, in the course of the unfolding movements they led us into making. In other words, rather than resulting in nameable ‘things’ out in the world, i.e., products, their results come to be registered in our (still in process) embodied capacities and sensitivities. What is special about this kind of learning without explicit teaching, is that it occurs spontaneously, throughout our lives; it is basic and prior to all our more self-conscious learning and teaching. It gives rise to what I have elsewhere called withness-thinking or thinking systemically, and my purpose here is to explore the collaborative nature of the practices involved in such sensitivities coming to be shared within a social group.

Read

Written by Giorgio Bertini

August 4, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Culture and Systems of Thought: Holistic Versus Analytic Cognition

We propose a theory of how systems of thought arise on the basis of differing cultural practices and argue that the theory accounts for substantial differences in East Asian and Western thought processes. We find East Asians to be more holistic, attending to the entire field and assigning causality to it, making relatively little use of categories and formal logic, and relying on “dialectical” reasoning. Westerners are more analytic, paying attention primarily to the object and the categories to which it belongs and using rules, including formal logic, to understand its behavior. The two types of cognitive processes are embedded in different naïve metaphysical systems and tacit epistemologies. We speculate that the origin of these differences is traceable to markedly different social systems. The theory and the evidence presented call into question long held assumptions about basic cognitive processes and even about the appropriateness of the process-content distinction.

Read

Philosophy in the 21st Century – Socratic Philosophy that Engages with People

The way I see it, philosophy should serve human flourishing. To this effect, philosophy should break away from its academic and scholarly boundaries, take seriously its Socratic origins, and develop communicative strategies that work in the contemporary context. Philosophy is the art of thinking and its chief instrument is reason. Each human being possesses the potential for thinking and for insight. Accordingly, philosophy should strengthen that capacity. Philosophy aims to contribute to the creation of a better life as a result of an individual’s improved thinking. Thus understood, philosophy is more an activity than a discipline. Indeed, in my opinion philosophy should insist on personal, context-sensitive, multi-methodological, multi-layered and polyphonic dialogue with people. Connectivity and relatedness are of the essence. Philosophy thus conceived operates across paradigms and covers existentially, pragmatically and humanly fundamental aspects of life with energy, excitement, a sense of integration and a feel for the relevant.

Read

Written by Giorgio Bertini

October 30, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Paradoxical Thinking as Intervention to Promote Peace

In societies involved in an intractable conflict, there are strong socio-psychological barriers that contribute to the continuation and intractability of the conflict. Based on a unique field study conducted in the context of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, we offer a new avenue to overcome these barriers by exposing participants to a long-term paradoxical intervention campaign expressing extreme ideas that are congruent with the shared ethos of conflict. Results show that the intervention, although counterintuitive, led participants to express more conciliatory attitudes regarding the conflict, particularly among participants with center and right political orientation. Most importantly, the intervention even influenced participants’ actual voting patterns in the 2013 Israeli general elections: Participants who were exposed to the paradoxical intervention, which took place in proximity to the general elections, reported that they tended to vote more for dovish parties, which advocate a peaceful resolution to the conflict. These effects were long lasting, as the participants in the intervention condition expressed more conciliatory attitudes when they were  reassessed 1 year after the intervention. Based on these results, we propose a new layer to the general theory of persuasion based on the concept of paradoxical thinking.

Read

Written by Giorgio Bertini

July 30, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Posted in Conflict, Peace, Thinking

Tagged with , ,

Developing Young Thinkers – Enhancing children’s Thinking Skills

It is increasingly popular to ‘teachthinking skills in schools. A diverse variety of programmes exist to support practitioners in this task, and some research has been gathered on the effectiveness of individual approaches. However, the difficulties when assessing the development of thinking skills are widely documented. This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of teaching thinking skills explicitly to 11/12-year olds by infusing thinking skills into the curriculum (i.e., teaching thinking skills simultaneously with subject content). There were three intervention conditions: collaborative, individual and control. The effectiveness of the intervention was evaluated with a combination of standardised and study-specific pre- and post-tests. Results demonstrated statistically significant gains for both the individual and collaborative learning conditions in a range of thinking skills. The greatest increase in performance was seen in the collaborative learning condition. Educational implications for policy and practice are discussed.

Read

Written by Giorgio Bertini

July 9, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Posted in Children, Skill, Thinking

Tagged with , ,

Complexity Thinking and Methodology: The Potential of ‘Complex Case Study’ for Educational Research

Complexity theories have in common perspectives that challenge linear methodologies and views of causality.  In educational research, relatively little has been written explicitly exploring their implications for educational research methodology in general and case study in particular. In this paper, I offer a rationale for case study as a research approach that embodies complexity, and I explore the implications of a ‘complexity thinking’ stance for the conduct of case study research that distinguishes it from other approaches. A complexity theoretical framework rooted in the key concepts of emergence and complexity reduction, blended using a both/and logic, is used to develop the argument that case study enables the researcher to balance the open-ended, non-linear sensitivities of complexity thinking with the reduction in complexity, inherent in making methodological choices. The potential of this approach is illustrated using examples drawn from a complexity theoretical research study into curriculum change.

Read

Written by Giorgio Bertini

October 30, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Apprenticeship in Thinking: Cognitive Development in Social Context

leave a comment »

This interdisciplinary work presents an integration of theory and research on how children develop their thinking as they participate in cultural activity with the guidance and challenge of their caregivers and other companions. Consider the relation of guided participation and creativity, and the roles of challenge and sensitivity of other peoples’ support of children’s effort. The author, Barbara Rogoff, a leading developmental psychologist, views development as an apprenticeship in which children engage in the use of intellectual tools in societally structured activities with parents, other adults, and children. The author has gathered evidence from various disciplines–cognitive, developmental, and cultural psychology; anthropology; infancy studies; and communication research–furnishing a coherent and broadly based account of cognitive development in its sociocultural context. This work examines the mutual roles of the individual and the sociocultural world, and the culturally based processes by which children appropriate and extend skill and understanding from their involvement in shared thinking with other people. The book is written in a lively and engaging style and is supplemented by photographs and original illustrations by the author.

Read

Written by Giorgio Bertini

January 10, 2013 at 11:30 am

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 273 other followers