Diversity – yes . . . Statement – not easy

I understand that one should be able to articulate views, opinions and values in written form. But I’m having a really hard time “following the rules” (guidelines, standards, whatever they’re called) and framing how I think and behave towards others in a way that both articulates my core beliefs and how I uphold those on a daily basis, how I have in the past and how I will in the future.

It comes down to this:

I believe in the inherent dignity of every being on this planet. I seek to act in a manner that respects and honors the value of each life in relationship to each other. I seek to behave in a manner,  and uphold other’s behavior, that is just, equitable and compassionate. I am constantly seeking ways to grow and learn about others’ stories, responsibilities, perspectives and significance, and I share my own with others freely in hopes of providing them with a perspective they may not have otherwise encountered. I attempt to humble myself to others’ truths and seek meaning through understanding their culture, traditions, relationships, and conflicts. My intent is to connect with others through our commonalities and learn more than I knew prior. I attempt to be open to all perspectives and experiences, but stand firm again racism, bigotry and acts of aggression meant to diminish others’ sense of worth and value.  I champion the underdog, the ones who cannot speak for themselves, or those who have been victimized, taken advantage of and cast aside because they are devalued by others. I seek to educate others to the Truths of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that will enable us all to live a life of good and value, in service to one another and this planet we call home. I am imperfect and make mistakes regularly. When I recognize my errors, or they are pointed out to me, I seek to correct them in the most honorable way I know how.  I seek to express my personal respect for the interdependent web of all existence, of which we are each a part.

That is the best I can do … right now.

(Lest you think that I just popped this off the top of my head: this ‘statement’ has been at least 15 years in the making and is based, in large part, on the beliefs and Principles of the Unitarian Universalist congregations. The UUC Beliefs and Principles have been refined by many scholars, theologians, and passionate minds over centuries. I simply seek to embody them as best I can in all that I do.)

Multitasking does not exist

 

So Don’t even try – https://hbr.org/2010/12/you-cant-multi-task-so-stop-tr

You’re basically short-circuiting your brain’s ability to focus and attend to either (or any) of the tasks you are attempting to do simultaneously (but not) – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201103/technology-myth-multitasking

You’re actually engaged in ‘serial tasking’

There are designated areas of the brain that do specific things. And, sometimes you can seemingly do two things at once (like walk and talk or chew gum), but that does not translate into multi-tasking, according to neuroscientists – https://laurenpietila.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/multitasking-is-not-possible-according-to-neuroscience-attention-part-3/

And in trying to “multi-task” we are likely doing physical damage to ourselves – https://www.truthdig.com/articles/multitasking-its-dangerous-and-it-doesnt-really-exist/

I can’t believe I’m saying this: before you were born there was a great deal of value placed on doing one thing at a time and doing it to the best of your ability. When I was in my 20’s, I fell prey to the myth of believing that I could do two (or even three) things at once: I felt powerful, in control and like I had conquered the time-space continuum. I also didn’t learn to establish reasonable boundaries for myself or conserve my energy, so by the time I was 40, I was exhausted and realized the whole notion of do multiple things well at the same time was all an illusion.

There’s a better chance that one could live in two separate dimensions at the same time than do two things at the same time in one dimension. Chew on that for a moment.

Moral of this story: heed the example of your predecessors’ failures (as well as their successes), understand the scientific explanations of how the brain works/processes information, and make good choices so that you don’t burn out in the future (and pass this wisdom on to your students, please). Do one thing at a time, and do it well. Then the dopamine rush will carry you on to the next task, and the next, and the next.

Live long and prosper, my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other References  – from Cognitive Processes Course @ VT

Junco, R. (2012). In-class multitasking and academic performance. Computers in Human Behavior28(6), 2236-2243. VText*

Sana, F., Weston, T., & Cepeda, N. J. (2013). Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers. Computers & Education62, 24-31.

Carrier, L. M., Rosen, L. D., Cheever, N. A., & Lim, A. F. (2015). Causes, effects, and practicalities of everyday multitasking. Developmental Review35, 64-78. VText*

*you will need to be logged in to the VT Network in order to access these documents via the link provided.

Multitasking does not exist

 

So Don’t even try – https://hbr.org/2010/12/you-cant-multi-task-so-stop-tr

You’re basically short-circuiting your brain’s ability to focus and attend to either (or any) of the tasks you are attempting to do simultaneously (but not) – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201103/technology-myth-multitasking

You’re actually engaged in ‘serial tasking’

There are designated areas of the brain that do specific things. And, sometimes you can seemingly do two things at once (like walk and talk or chew gum), but that does not translate into multi-tasking, according to neuroscientists – https://laurenpietila.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/multitasking-is-not-possible-according-to-neuroscience-attention-part-3/

And in trying to “multi-task” we are likely doing physical damage to ourselves – https://www.truthdig.com/articles/multitasking-its-dangerous-and-it-doesnt-really-exist/

I can’t believe I’m saying this: before you were born there was a great deal of value placed on doing one thing at a time and doing it to the best of your ability. When I was in my 20’s, I fell prey to the myth of believing that I could do two (or even three) things at once: I felt powerful, in control and like I had conquered the time-space continuum. I also didn’t learn to establish reasonable boundaries for myself or conserve my energy, so by the time I was 40, I was exhausted and realized the whole notion of do multiple things well at the same time was all an illusion.

There’s a better chance that one could live in two separate dimensions at the same time than do two things at the same time in one dimension. Chew on that for a moment.

Moral of this story: heed the example of your predecessors’ failures (as well as their successes), understand the scientific explanations of how the brain works/processes information, and make good choices so that you don’t burn out in the future (and pass this wisdom on to your students, please). Do one thing at a time, and do it well. Then the dopamine rush will carry you on to the next task, and the next, and the next.

Live long and prosper, my friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other References  – from Cognitive Processes Course @ VT

Junco, R. (2012). In-class multitasking and academic performance. Computers in Human Behavior28(6), 2236-2243. VText*

Sana, F., Weston, T., & Cepeda, N. J. (2013). Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers. Computers & Education62, 24-31.

Carrier, L. M., Rosen, L. D., Cheever, N. A., & Lim, A. F. (2015). Causes, effects, and practicalities of everyday multitasking. Developmental Review35, 64-78. VText*

*you will need to be logged in to the VT Network in order to access these documents via the link provided.

Critical Pedagogy: Education as Emancipation . . . or . . . Teach for the Sky

Table 3’s Take on Critical Pedagogy

Education is getting an overhaul. A growing appreciation of the dynamic nature of the world has led to dynamic classrooms, and we could not be more excited.

Previously, the initials CP might trigger vague thoughts of Canada’s largest international airline, or how physicists still measure luminosity (Candle Power). Not anymore! Now CP stands for one thing, and one thing only: Critical Pedagogy. But what is Critical Pedagogy?

Codified and championed by Paulo Freire, the Argentine polymath, CP is a revolutionary teaching approach that aims to challenge education’s traditionally authoritarian perspective (I teach, you learn). Whilst CP can be achieved in myriad different ways, there are several things it cannot do without.

Critical Pedagogy …

 

Requires dialogue between teacher and student

Teachers must know their students in order to be able to teach effectively, thus the relationship between the two, and the one that exists between the teacher and the collective group of students (class), guides and shapes the education that is given and received.

 

Facilitates the asking of questions   

 

 

 

 

 

Is political and requires teachers to be engaged in societal issues and debates

 

Is Centered upon the Concept of Biophily – nature is inherently dynamic, and thus can only be fully understood if we appreciate the changes and adaptations of natural systems over time.

Neither students nor teachers are static entities, and this has direct consequences for both teaching style and course content. Failure to recognize the fluid nature of a classroom will likely lead to failure. What’s more, the progress of society hangs on these shared dynamic properties, without which there would be no reason for hope. We have made it this far, but only by the skin of our teeth.

video – 4 Billion Years of Evolution in 40 Seconds

Blog post: Freire and Fromm on Necrophily

 

Searching to define the ‘best’ way of teaching – versus thinking that the existing way ‘works fine’.

 

Democratic in its approach to including all perspectives:

  • Attends to equity rather than equality   

 

Another illustration from a different perspective (CP in action!!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flexible in its construction: not proscriptive or prescriptive – utilize what makes sense, adopt practices and outcomes that align within the general framework of Frerie’s ideas, but does not need to follow them exactly

 

Respects students’ pre-existing knowledge and make use of it.

Learning goes beyond re-learning existing knowledge, includes the creation of new knowledge. The teaching process is more than knowledge transfer, encouraging the learners to create and recreate knowledge for themselves.

 

An example for this from Chang:

My previous research was focused on some new functional nanomaterials before I came to Virginia Tech. Then I joined the group at VT which the projects were mostly about environmental contaminants detection by spectrum analysis. By using this kind of analysis, substrates were employed to get the chemical compound detected. In some specific project, the nanomaterial I studied before could be used as perfect substrates in the work we are doing now. It s a great incorporation for which I could dig deeper based on my previous study and make use of it in the future research. My advisor totally respects what I have got and he said he had definitely learned something from it.  

 

Open to various ideas and perspectives  

Multiple perspectives are essential in order to reach various learners  and promotes students adopting various perspectives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group Members:

Brittany Boribong, Chang Liu, Faith Skiles, Jonathan Harding, George Brooks, Kathryn Culbertson

#IAmACuriousBeing

It has become apparent, to me in the past few years, that humans possess the answers to how to become all that we can be for at least 100 years. And, we continue to learn what we need to be

 

“It is through the exercise of tolerance that I discover the rich possibility of doing things and learning different things with different people. Being tolerant is not a question of being naive. On the contrary, it is a duty to be tolerant. “

 

Freire recognizes the importance of teachers being critical thinkers and learners in order to effectively and constructively pass along this critical way of perceiving and living in the world:

“The more I learn about myself as a thinker and kind of epistemologist proposing a critical way of thinking and a critical way of teaching, of knowing [for] the teachers in order for them to work differently with the students.”

And he understood the responsibility of every person to be educated well enough to influence the course of humanity:

“[T]he more they can grasp the dominant syntax, the more they can articulate their voices and their speech in the struggle against injustice.”

Because what is more important in being human than to search for, and learn to recognize ‘truth’ over ‘untruth’. In other words: light versus dark, good over evil.

“Change … is difficult, but [always] possible. ”

~ Paulo Freire

    Pedagogy of Freedom: Ethics, Democracy and Civic Courage

 

 

Freire, P. (1998). Pedagogy of freedom: Ethics, democracy, and civic courage. Rowman & Littlefield.