- Jun 2022
For Jerome Bruner, the place to begin is clear: “One starts somewhere—where the learner is.”
One starts education with where the student is. But mustn't we also inventory what tools and attitudes the student brings? What tools beyond basic literacy do they have? (Usually we presume literacy, but rarely go beyond this and the lack of literacy is too often viewed as failure, particularly as students get older.) Do they have motion, orality, song, visualization, memory? How can we focus on also utilizing these tools and modalities for learning.
Link to the idea that Donald Trump, a person who managed to function as a business owner and president of the United States, was less than literate, yet still managed to function in modern life as an example. In fact, perhaps his focus on oral modes of communication, and the blurrable lines in oral communicative meaning (see [[technobabble]]) was a major strength in his communication style as a means of rising to power?
Just as the populace has lost non-literacy based learning and teaching techniques so that we now consider the illiterate dumb, stupid, or lesser than, Western culture has done this en masse for entire populations and cultures.
Even well-meaning educators in the edtech space that are trying to now center care and well-being are completely missing this piece of the picture. There are much older and specifically non-literate teaching methods that we have lost in our educational toolbelts that would seem wholly odd and out of place in a modern college classroom. How can we center these "missing tools" as educational technology in a modern age? How might we frame Indigenous pedagogical methods as part of the emerging third archive?
Link to: - educational article by Tyson Yunkaporta about medical school songlines - Scott Young article "You should pay for Tutors"
aside on serendipity
As I was writing this note I had a toaster pop up notification in my email client with the arrival of an email by Scott Young with the title "You should pay for Tutors" which prompted me to add a link to this note. It reminds me of a related idea that Indigenous cultures likely used information and knowledge transfer as a means of payment (Lynne Kelly, Knowledge and Power). I have commented previously on the serendipity of things like auto correct or sparks of ideas while reading as a means of interlinking knowledge, but I don't recall experiencing this sort of serendipity leading to combinatorial creativity as a means of linking ideas,
An interesting perspective on ethical and supportive online learning. More questions and explorations than answers, but then framing is a majority of the battle.
I'm generally in agreement with much of the discussion here.
This was a fabulous piece for "thinking against". Thanks Sean Michael Morris, and Lora Taub.
I definitely got far more out of it by reading and annotating than I ever would in its original keynote presentation version.
Collegial pedagogy in online learning is about creating conditions for learners to bring their voices fully into the conversations that matter most to them. Conditions that lift up students as agents, as readers of their world, imagining their world as if it could be otherwise.
Collegial pedagogy, a term introduced by Lissa Soep and Vivian Chávez, describes a dynamic where both teacher and learner stand mutually invested in a shared project, where neither party could complete the work without the other. They need each other to get it right. “Collegiality is a relationship of shared collective responsibility.”
Best practices will not give these students voices. Best practices will not help them build community. Best practices will not align them with their own agency. You have to do that.
This makes me wonder how one might take a community chat space like the IndieWeb chat and replicate the experience for a classroom or for an entire university? It would require a huge amount of tummeling?
Most students taking fully online classes are doing so in relative solitude. In fact, they’re counting on you to make not just the ideas in your class, the content the LMS is so content to deliver, synthesize, they’re also counting on you to make their experience of education synthesize.
We become convinced, because the LMS doesn’t measure for such things, that online there are no pregnant pauses, no under-the-breath chuckling, no eye rolls.
phatic communication is important in the social interaction components of education
How can this be put into edtech?
granting pedagogical privilege to an edtech that convinces us the pedagogical arc of the universe bends towards analytics, assessment, and grading—these silence student voices by omitting them.
The old rule, now practically an adage, “Post once, reply twice” is essentially the epitaph for online learning.
This sounds godawful and unproductive.
Jesse Stommel and I wrote once that, In the room with our students, we can know if they’re engaged and participating, even as each of them participates in his or her own unique fashion. In an online discussion forum, it’s difficult to observe such nuance, and impossible to quantitatively evaluate it.
The answer shouldn't necessarily be to figure out how to quantify the online unseen portions of the learning process.
Similarly how might one assess the end results of things which are non-literate?
“None of the women and men emerging from our schools in the next decade should expect to lead to purely mechanical, conforming, robotic lives. They must not be resigned to thoughtlessness, passivity, or lassitude if they are to find pathways through the nettles, the swamps, the jungles of our time.” ~ Maxine Greene, Releasing the Imagination
I appreciate the poetry in this on top of the broader sentiment.
She had the kind of exacting patience required for video editing.
Beyond this, Gracie also had senses of timing and spatial skills that many also often lack. This is a sort of neurodiversity piece which some are either lifted up or pulled down by within our literacy-focused teaching system.
It may be a skill she's focused on improving, or one which she's naturally gifted and might improve upon to use in a professional career. Focusing on a literacy-only framing for her education is the sort of thing that, instead of amplifying her talents, may have the effect of completely destroying them, and her altogether.
From the classroom, to the street, to the Internet, Eric’s voice carried, and carried within it the possibility of a kind of education–amplified with digital technologies– that enables other human beings to become conscious, to become responsible, to learn.
Sadly, we seem to have othered orality and cultural practices which don't fit into the Western literate cultural box. This prevents us from moving forward as a society and a diverse culture.
In the 90's rap was culturally appropriated by some because of its perception as "cool" within the culture. Can this coolness be leveraged as a reintroduction of oral methods in our culture without the baggage of the appropriation? Can it be added to enhance the evolving third archive? As a legitimate teaching tool?
listen deeply to Eric’s story
Beyond Eric's words here, I'm struck by the fact that he's able to do this "feat" orally in a way that I certainly cannot. Perhaps he spent ages slowly building it up and writing it down in a literal fashion, but I suspect that part of it is not and that it is raw oral poetry in a way which requires culture and oral practice that I wholly lack, but wish I had.
How can we better teach this?! Center this.
Link to: - Eminem's stacking ammo
But systems of schooling and educational institutions–and much of online learning– are organized in ways that deny their voices matter. My role is to resist those systems and structures to reclaim the spaces of teaching and learning as voice affirming. Voice amplifying.
Modeling annotation and note taking can allow students to see that their voices matter in conversation with the "greats" of knowledge. We can and should question authority. Even if one's internal voice questions as one reads, that might be enough, but modeling active reading and note taking can better underline and empower these modes of thought.
There are certainly currents within American culture that we can and should question authority.
Sadly some parts of conservative American culture are reverting back to paternalized power structures of "do as I say and not as I do" which leads to hypocrisy and erosion of society.
Education can be used as a means of overcoming this, though it requires preventing the conservative right from eroding this away from the inside by removing books and certain thought from the education process that prevents this. Extreme examples of this are Warren Jeff's control of religion, education, and social life within his Mormon sect.
Link to: - Lawrence Principe examples of the power establishment in Western classical education being questioned. Aristotle wasn't always right. The entire history of Western science is about questioning the status quo. (How can we center this practice not only in science, but within the humanities?)
My evolving definition of active reading now explicitly includes the ideas of annotating the text, having a direct written conversation with it, questioning it, and expanding upon it. I'm not sure I may have included some or all of these in it before. This is what "reading with a pen in hand" (or digital annotation tool) should entail. What other pieces am I missing here which might also be included?
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
If the rule of professional academics is “publish or perish,” the rule of online teachers might be “adapt or die.”
- student voices
- Western science
- questioning authority
- method of loci
- Maxine Greene
- institutional power
- sense of timing
- ethical educational technology
- voice amplifying
- Indigenous pedagogy
- battle rap
- critical pedagogy
- educational experience
- open questions
- Sean Michael Morris
- information as currency
- orality vs. literacy
- combinatorial creativity
- Vivian Chávez
- Andy Matuschak
- educational tools
- online teaching
- Lissa Soep
- thinking against
- mutual aid
- professional development
- indigenous knowledge
- Western culture
- rules of thumb
- stacking ammo
- toaster notifications
- cultural appropriation
- Michael Nielsen
- online chat
- online learning
- active reading
- power with
- spoken word poetry
- educational substrates
- social justice
- modality shifts
- Indigenous knowledge as educational technology
- Warren Jeffs
- project management
- mnemonic media
- Tyson Yunkaporta
- Donald J. Trump
- social annotation
- idea links
- arts in education
- Lora Taub-Pervizpour
- chat clients
- spatial skills
- mutual care
- Jerome Bruner
- literacy isn't everything
- third archive
- collegial pedagogy
- power over