29 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2022
    1. Unfortunately, many graduate and professional students rely onreading strategies taught in high school or college for their academicwork. One example is taking notes only during lectures andhighlighting passages of academic texts

      It seems broadly true in the new millennium and potentially much earlier that students are not taught broader reading strategies within academic settings. The history of note taking strategies and teaching would indicate that this wasn't always true.

      In prior centuries there was more focus in earlier education on grounding in the trivium and quadrivium including rhetoric. These pieces and their fundamentals are now either glossed over or skipped altogether to focus more training on what might be considered more difficult and more important material. It would seem that educational reforms from the late 1500s shifted the focus on some of these prior norms to focus on other materials, and in particular reforms in the early 1900s (Charles William Eliot , et al) which focused on training a workforce for a more industrialized and capitalistic society weaned many of these methods out of earlier curricula. This results in students dramatically under-prepared for doctoral research, analysis, and writing.

  2. Jul 2022
    1. They're drawing primarily from students with the following broad interests: - learning sciences / educational psychology - sociology of education (to influence policy/practice) - those with strong real-world experience (looking to apply it to a specific area)

      tuition coverage & stipend<br /> must be based in Baltimore<br /> prefer one speaks to faculty members for alignment of research areas and mentorship prior to joining

    1. During the seventeenth century, this associative view vanished and was replaced by more literallydescriptive views simply of the thing as it exists in itself.

      The associative emblematic worldview prevalent prior to the seventeenth century began to disappear within Western culture as the rise of the early modern period and the beginning of the scientific revolution began to focus on more descriptive modes of thought and representation.


      Have any researchers done specific work on this shift from emblematic to the descriptive? What examples do they show which support this shift? Any particular heavy influences?

      This section cites:<br /> William B. Ashworth, Jr. “Natural History and the Emblematic World View,” in Reappraisals of the Scientific Revolution, David C. Lindberg and Robert S. Westfall, eds #books/wanttoread<br /> which could be a place to start.


      Note that this same shift from associative and emblematic to descriptive and pedantic coincides not only with the rise of the scientific revolution but also with the effects of rising information overload in a post-Gutenberg world as well as the education reforms of Ramus (late 1500s) et al. as well as the beginning of the move away from scholasticism.


      Is there any evidence to support claims that this worldview stemmed from pagan traditions and cultures and not solely the art of memory traditions from ancient Greece? Could it have been pagan traditions which held onto these and they were supplemented and reinforced by ecclesiastical forces which used the Greek traditions?


      Examples of emblematic worldview: - particular colors of flowers meant specific things (red = love, yellow = friendship, etc.) We still have these or remants - Saints had their associative animals and objects - anniversary gifts had associative meanings (paper, silver, gold, etc.) We still have remnants of these things, though most are associated with wealth (gold, silver, platinum anniversaries). When did this tradition actually start? - what were the associative meanings of rabbits, turtles, and other animals which appear frequently in manuscript marginalia? (We have the example of the bee (Latin: apes) which where frequently used this way as being associated with the idea of imitation.) - other broad categories?

    1. Unfortunately, many corporate software programsaim to level or standardise the differences betweenindividual workers. In supporting knowledgeworkers, we should be careful to provide tools whichenable diversification of individuals’ outputs.Word-processors satisfi this criterion; tools whichembed a model of a knowledge worker’s task in thesoftware do not.

      Tools which allow for flexibility and creativity are better for knowledge workers than those which attempt to crystalize their tasks into ruts. This may tend to force the outputs in a programmatic way and thereby dramatically decrease the potential for innovative outputs. If the tools force the automation of thought without a concurrent increase in creativity then one may as well rely on manual labor for their thinking.


      This may be one of the major flaws of tools for thought in the educational technology space. They often attempt to facilitate the delivery of education in an automated way which dramatically decreases the creativity of the students and the value of the overall outputs. While attempting to automate education may suit the needs of institutions which are delivering the education, particularly with respect to the overall cost of delivery, the automation itself is dramatically at odds with the desire to expand upon ideas and continue innovation for all participants involved. Students also require diverse modes of input (seen/heard) as well as internal processing followed by subsequent outputs (written/drawn/sculpted/painted, spoken/sung, movement/dance). Many teachers don't excel at providing all of these neurodiverse modes and most educational technology tools are even less flexible, thus requiring an even larger panoply of them (often not interoperable because of corporate siloing for competitive reasons) to provide reasonable replacements. Given their ultimate costs, providing a variety of these tools may only serve to increase the overall costs of delivering education or risk diminishing the overall quality. Educators and institutions not watching out for these traps will tend to serve only a small portion of their intended audiences, and even those may be served poorly as they only receive a limited variety of modalities of inputs and outputs. As an example Western cultures' overreliance on primary literacy modes is their Achilles' heel.


      Tools for thought should actively attempt to increase the potential solution spaces available to their users, while later still allowing for focusing of attention. How can we better allow for the divergence of ideas and later convergence? Better, how might we allow for regular and repeated cycles of divergence and convergence? Advanced zettelkasten note taking techniques (which also allow for drawing, visual, auditory and other modalities beyond just basic literacy) seem to allow for this sort of practice over long periods of time, particularly when coupled with outputs which are then published for public consumption and divergence/convergence cycles by others.

      This may also point out some of the stagnation allowed by social media whose primary modes is neither convergence nor divergence. While they allow for the transmission/communication portion, they primarily don't actively encourage their users to closely evaluate the transmitted ideas, internalize them, or ultimately expand upon them. Their primary mode is for maximizing on time of attention (including base emotions including excitement and fear) and the lowest levels of interaction and engagement (likes, retweets, short gut reaction commentary).

  3. Jun 2022
    1. The inequalities in the US arise from huge disparities in the resources at school, and a highly unequal society at large. I personally think that improving education is much more about support for students, resources, tutoring, teacher training, etc, than whether we teach logarithms using method X or method Y.
  4. Apr 2022
    1. One of his last works, the Aurifodina, “The Mine of All Arts and Sci-ences, or the Habit of Excerpting,” was printed in 1638 (in 2,000 copies) andin another fourteen editions down to 1695 and spawned abridgments in Latin(1658), German (1684), and English.

      Simply the word abridgement here leads me to wonder:

      Was the continual abridgement of texts and excerpting small pieces for later use the partial cause of the loss of the arts of memory? Ars excerpendi ad infinitum? It's possible that this, with the growth of note taking practices, continual information overload, and other pressures for educational reform swamped the prior practices.

      For evidence, take a look at William Engel's work following the arts of memory in England and Europe to see if we can track the slow demise by attrition of the descriptions and practices. What would such a study show? How might we assign values to the various pressures at play? Which was the most responsible?

      Could it have also been the slow, inexorable death of many of these classical means of taking notes as well? How did we loose the practices of excerpting for creating new ideas? Where did the commonplace books go? Where did the zettelkasten disappear to?

      One author, with a carefully honed practice and the extant context of their life writes some brief notes which get passed along to their students or which are put into a new book that misses a lot of their existing context with respect to the new readers. These readers then don't know about the attrition happening and slowly, but surely the knowledge goes missing amidst a wash of information overload. Over time the ideas and practices slowly erode and are replaced with newer techniques which may not have been well tested or stood the test of time. One day the world wakes up and the common practices are no longer of use.

      This is potentially all the more likely because of the extremely basic ideas underpinning some of memory and note taking. They seem like such basic knowledge we're also prone to take them for granted and not teach them as thoroughly as we ought.

      How does one juxtapose this with the idea of humanist scholars excerpting, copying, and using classical texts with a specific eye toward preventing the loss of these very classical texts?

      Is this potentially the idea of having one's eye on a particular target and losing sight of other creeping effects?

      It's also difficult to remember what it was like when we ourselves didn't know something and once that is lost, it can be harder and harder to teach newcomers.

    1. Instead of imagination, Drexel recommended training the art of excerpting. Thus, he reversed the ancient rule, according to which knowledge should be entrusted to personal memory rather than to the library, and stored in the mind rather than in a closet upside down.

      Jeremias Drexel became one of the earliest educators and reformers to recommend against the ars memoria and instead use the art of excerpting as a means external written memory.

  5. Mar 2022
    1. Too many people who try to predict the future of education and education technology have not bothered to learn the alphabet — the grammar of schooling, to borrow a phrase from education historian Larry Cuban. That grammar includes the beliefs and practices and memory of schooling — our collective memory, not just our own personal experiences of school. That collective memory — that's history.

      Collective memory is our history.

      Something interesting here tying collective memory to education. Dig into this and expand on it.

    1. The ringing of the bell to signal the beginning and end of a class period, rather than just the beginning and end of the school day is often traced to William Wirt, who became superintendent of schools in Gary, Indiana in 1908.

      William Wirt, a student of John Dewey who became the superintendent of schools in Gary, Indiana in 1908, was one of the first educators to use a bell to signal the changes between classroom periods.

  6. Jan 2022
  7. Dec 2021
    1. student advocates are pushing back in the court of public opinion. Inclusiveaccess.org is a new website that counters the publishers' disinformation campaign and advocates for a fair deal on textbooks. https://www.inclusiveaccess.org/
    1. the advantage of forgetting was recognized by scholars with increasing enthusiasm between the second half of the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth centuries.
    2. Drexel, for instance, held those teach-ers ridiculous who taught students to build up houses and rooms by means of imagination and stock them with images of memorable subjects (imagines agentes).16 According to the German Jesuit, the effort was not only huge but students wasted their time because images escape from these artificial places

      much as prisoners escape from jails without guards.17 16 Drexel, Aurifodina, 258 17 Drexel, Aurifodina, 3–4.

      Jeremias Drexel (1581 – 1638) recommended against the method of loci during the explosion of information in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.


      Add Drexel to the list of reformers against the ars memoria in the early 1600s.)


      While dealing with the information overload, educators may have inadvertently thrown out the baby with the bath water. While information still tends to increase and have increased complexity, some areas also show compression and concatenation and new theories subsume old information into their models. This means that one might know and understand Einstein which means that memorizing Newton's work is no longer needed at some point. Where should one draw the line of memorization for subsuming the knowledge of their culture? Aren't both old and new methods for memory usable? Keep the ars memoria while also using written methods.

  8. Nov 2021
    1. Sixty years ago, in France, the first Napoleon made great changes, mostly useful ones, in methods of education. For more than a generation the government schools of arts and trades, arts and manufactures, bridges and highways, mines, agriculture, and commerce, have introduced hundreds of well-trained young men every year into the workshops, factories, mines, forges, public works, and counting-rooms of the empire. These young men begin as subalterns, but soon become the commissioned officers of the army of industry.

      Notice the focus of turning education here toward servicing the industrial revolution.

    2. Realschule
    1. You might also appreciate Nobel laureate Carl Weiman's work on trying to transform STEM teaching in large research universities. Cautionary tale for how hard it is to change existing institutions IMO. Some notes I took on it here: https://yusufa.notion.site/Improving-how-universities-teach-science-a3b3df69e10b48829e96e9ec70b3fdca

      <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>ysf</span> in 📚-reading (<time class='dt-published'>11/01/2021 20:55:11</time>)</cite></small>

    1. I will use Drexel’s treatise asrepresentative of the basic principles of note taking that were widely sharedin sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe across national and religiousdivides.

      Religious and national divides were likely very important here as authority from above would have been even more important than in modern time. Related to this is the change in mnemonic traditions due to religious and political mores around the time of Peter Ramus.

  9. Sep 2021
  10. May 2021
    1. MMScotofGlasgow

      @MMScotofGlasgow, Hopefully it's not too late...

      Francis Yates discusses Petrus Ramus as an educational reformer in Chapter 10 and onward in The Art of Memory. There she outlines Ramus' crusade against images (based in part on the admonition from 4 Deuteronomy about graven images) and on their prurient use (sex, violence, etc.) which were meant to make things more memorable. Ramism caught on in the late 1500's and essentially removed memory by the root from the subject of rhetoric of which it had been an integral part. Ramus felt that structure and rote memorization would suffice in its stead. As a result the method of loci decreased in prominence in schools and disappeared from the scene based on educational reform which was primarily pushed by Huguenot/Protestants. I've not read anywhere that the practice was ever banned, it just fell out of fashion due to these reforms.

      I'm sure it didn't help that printed books became ever cheaper during/after this time and so the prior need to memorize for those reasons wasn't helped either.

      I'm sure another confounding factor was Erasmus' Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style (1512) which dramatically popularized the keeping and use of commonplace books by the learned and literate. These became a regular place in which people collected and kept their thoughts and ideas rather than memorizing them as they may have done in the past.

    1. The foremost consideration with respect to teaching of the Australian Aboriginal memory technique is the cultural safety aspect and respect for the peoples who developed this approach. In our program, the teaching of this program was administered by an experienced Australian Aboriginal Educator, who was able to integrate the method into our teaching program, while simultaneously preventing several breaches of cultural etiquette and terminology which could easily have compromised the material had it been delivered by a non-Australian Aboriginal educator (TY), however well-intentioned. The need for a deep knowledge and understanding of the appropriate context for teaching and delivery of this material is probably the main factor which would preclude more widespread adoption of this technique.

      I really appreciate the respect given to indigenous knowledge here.

      The researchers could have gone much further in depth in describing it and the aspects of what they mean by cultural "safety". They've done a disservice here by downplaying widespread adoption. Why not? Why couldn't we accord the proper respect of traditions to actively help make these techniques more widespread? Shouldn't we be willing to do the actual work to accord respect and passing on of these knowledges?

      Given my reading in the area, there seems to be an inordinate amount of (Western) "mysticism" attributed to these techniques (here and in the broader anthropology literature) rather than approaching them head-on from a more indigenous perspective. Naturally the difficult part is being trusted enough by tribal elders to be taught these methods to be able to pass them on. (Link this idea to Tim Ingold's first chapter of Anthropology: Why It Matters.)

      All this being said, the general methods known from the West, could still be modified to facilitate in widespread adoption of those techniques we do know. Further work and refinement of them could continue apace while still maintaining the proper respect of other cultures and methods, which should be the modern culture default.

      If nothing else, the West could at least roll back the educational reforms which erased their own heritage to regain those pieces. The West showing a bit of respect for itself certainly wouldn't be out of line either.

    2. The qualitative data collected in this project clearly indicate that this learning approach is pleasurable and productive in itself, and may well have a role in decreasing the ‘drudgery’ often associated with modern higher education.

      This idea has been known historically for centuries. It's only with education "reforms" in the 1500's that things have become markedly worse in Western education.

    3. It is thus argued that early exposure to the Australian Aboriginal approach to pedagogy in a respectful, culturally safe manner, has the potential to benefit medical students and their patients.

      Forget medical students and patients, this could broadly be applied to everyone everywhere! Why limit it to simply medical education?

    4. Most (95%) students indicated that they found the technique effective, and over half (56%) indicated that they would definitely employ the method in their future studies.

      However, I suspect that without prompting or repeated uses and examples, the percentage of students who actually do is likely abysmally poor.

  11. Dec 2020
  12. Sep 2020