- Mar 2023
Michel Thomas method also includes: - atomic pieces built up as building blocks into larger pieces - lots of encouragement to prevent the feeling of failure
Downsides: - there is no failure mode which can nudge people into a false sense of performance when using their language with actual native speakers
This reviewer indicates that there is some base level of directed mnemonic work going on, but the repetition level isn't such that long term retention (at least in the space repetition sort of way) is a specific goal. We'll need to look into this piece more closely to firm this up, however.
This video indicates that small mnemonic hooks are inserted for some words in the Michel Thomas method. This was not immediately apparent or seen in the 1997 BBC documentary about his method and wasn't immediately apparent in Harold Goodman's discussion.
Is it apparent in Goodman's session with his nephews? Was it part of Thomas' method originally or was it added later? Is it truly necessary or does it work without it as in the SSiW method which doesn't use it.
- Sep 2022
Local file Local file
After looking at various studies fromthe 1960s until the early 1980s, Barry S. Stein et al. summarises:“The results of several recent studies support the hypothesis that
retention is facilitated by acquisition conditions that prompt people to elaborate information in a way that increases the distinctiveness of their memory representations.” (Stein et al. 1984, 522)
Want to read this paper.
Isn't this a major portion of what many mnemotechniques attempt to do? "increase distinctiveness of memory representations"? And didn't he just wholly dismiss the entirety of mnemotechniques as "tricks" a few paragraphs back? (see: https://hypothes.is/a/dwktfDiuEe2sxaePuVIECg)
How can one build or design this into a pedagogical system? How is this potentially related to Andy Matuschak's mnemonic medium research?
- Jun 2022
Maxine Greene for example, begins by writing that “We are convinced that the movement towards educational technology is irreversible and that our obligation as educators is to learn how to deal with it,” but then she turns that resignation into resistance by adding, “how, if you like, to live with it as fully conscious human beings working to enable other human beings to become conscious, to become responsible, to learn.”
If it's true that the movement toward technology is inevitable, how might we deal with it?
Compare this with the solution(s) that nomadic hunter-gatherers had to face when changing from a lifestyle built on movement to one of settling down to a life of agriculture. Instead of attaching their knowledge and memories to their landscape as before, they built structures (like Stonehenge) to form these functions.
Part of moving forward may involve moving back historically to better understand these ideas and methods and regaining them so that we might then reattach them to a digital substrate. How can we leverage the modalities of the digital for art, song, dance, music, and even the voice into digital spaces (if we must?). All digital or only digital certainly isn't the encompassing answer, but if we're going to do it, why not leverage the ability to do this?
As an example, Hypothes.is allows for annotating text to insert photos, emoji, audio (for music and voice), and even video. Videos might include dance and movement related cues that students might recreate physically. These could all be parts of creating digital songlines through digital spaces that students can more easily retrace to store their learnings for easier recall and to build upon in the future.
Groups in arts education rail against the loss of music, dance, and art in schools and indicate that it's important to a balanced education.
Why has no one embedded these learning tools, for yes they can be just that, into other spaces within classrooms? Indigenous educators over the millennia have done just this in passing on their societal and cultural knowledge. Why have we lost these teaching methods? Why don't we reintroduce them? How can classrooms and the tools within them become mnemonic media to assist both teachers and learners?
Perhaps we need to bring back examples of how to do these things at the higher levels? I've seen excercises in my daughter's grade school classrooms that bring art and manipulatives into the classroom as a base level, but are they being done specifically for these mnemonic reasons?
Michael Nielsen and Andy Matuschak have been working at creating a mnemonic medium for areas like quantum mechanics relying in part on spaced repetition. Why don't they go further and add in dance, movement, art, and music to aid in the process. This can be particularly useful for creating better neurodiverse outcomes as well. Education should be more multi-modal, more oral, and cease it's unending reliance on only literacy as it's sole tool.
How and where can we create a set of example exercises at various grade levels (similar to rites of knowledge initiation in Indigenous cultures, for lack of specific Western language) that embed all of these methods
Link to: - Ideas in The Extended Brain about movement, space, etc. - Nielsen/Matuschak mnemonic media work
- mnemonic media
- Andy Matuschak
- modality shifts
- indigenous knowledge
- method of loci
- educational substrates
- arts in education
- Indigenous pedagogy
- Michael Nielsen
One of my frustrations with the “science of learning” is that to design experiments which have reasonable limits on the variables and can be quantitatively measured results in scenarios that seem divorced from the actual experience of learning.
Is the sample size of learning experiments really large enough to account for the differences in potential neurodiversity?
How well do these do for simple lectures which don't add mnemonic design of some sort? How to peel back the subtle differences in presentation, dynamism, design of material, in contrast to neurodiversities?
What are the list of known differences? How well have they been studied across presenters and modalities?
What about methods which require active modality shifts versus the simple watch and regurgitate model mentioned in watching videos. Do people do actively better if they're forced to take notes that cause modality shifts and sensemaking?
The second was “makedance pay for the dancers.” I’ve always been resentful of the fact that some of theso-called elite art forms can’t survive on their own without sponsorship andsubsidies. It bothers me that dance companies around the world are not-for-profitorganizations and that dancers, who are as devoted and disciplined as any NFL orNBA superstar, are at the low end of the entertainment industry’s income scale. Iwanted this Broadway-bound project not only to elevate serious dance in thecommercial arena but also to pay the dancers well. So I wrote my goals for theproject, “tell a story” and “make dance pay,” on two blue index cards and watchedthem float to the bottom of the Joel box.
Given the importance of dance in oral cultures, what, why, and how has dance moved to be one of the seemingly lowest and least well paid art forms in modern society?
How might modern dance regain its teaching and mnemonic status in our culture?
- Apr 2022
QuotingFriedrich Kittler, Thorn explains that the aim of such an all-encompassing approach to media is to focus on the ‘networks oftechnologies and institutions that allow a given culture to select,store, and process relevant data’ (cited in Thorn, 2008: 7).
Has media studies looked at primary orality and the ideas of space repetition, art, dance, and mnemonics as base layers of media by which cultures created networks of knowledge and culture that they might use to select, store, process, copy, and pass along their knowledge?