Light Offerings

This week’s light offerings

Posted by jturner56 on April 8, 2012

Reading Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow highlighted to me two important contemporary learning issues:

First, the importance of school as an integral part of our COMMUNITY now and into the future. On page 55 Kahneman puts forward research by psychologist Kathleen Vohs on how money primes individualism, and with it “a reluctance to be involved with others, to depend on others, or to accept demands from others.” School provides us with an opportunity to be more than this through its social learning and contributions.

Second, I found the book slow and ponderous and sought out the GetAbstract summary which succinctly provided the key points. But if I hadn’t read past page 55 I would have had the summary, but not a key insight. This raised the importance to me of CURRICULUM as the guide to learning. To this end I have come to appreciate the International Baccalaureate for its breadth in showing doors across key areas, and its depth of challenge at all ages. Breadth and depth and opportunity are what should define a good curriculum.

We can do better (isn’t that the hallmark of what learning and good CRITICAL THINKING is about?) but need to be willing to seek realistic and community-driven paths (rather than succumbing to if…only politics with selective justifications, and the individualism that is behind such thinking). Better balances between content and process that support students CONNECTING to CONSTRUCT better futures while being given opportunity to challenge themselves as part of honest COMPETITIONS.

How this is achieved will define the CULTURE we all are part of within and beyond our schools.

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