Monday, October 31, 2011

Brain salad surgery (Emerson Lake & Palmer)

I'm home sick today from school - sore throat has gone but it has been replaced by a runny nose. This means a stuffy head full of mucus and waste bin full of tissues. Just the right conditions to write about today's subject - the brain!

I am, by nature, both fascinated by and suspicious of many of the latest edufads - learning styles, De Bono's damned hats, talk of the right and left brain hemispheres, the knowledge wave and so on.

In education I often get the distinct impression that an interesting idea gains fadhood by being essentially misunderstood. It then goes viral and every educator who wants to appear au courant propagates and increases the misunderstanding

The Knowledge Wave idea gained fadhood a few years ago in Nu Zild. Everyone was quoting Jane Gilbet's book (Catching the Knowledge Wave?). It became a catch phrase, a conference theme, a training website, a T-shirt and Marvel were considering making a movie of it. Okay I'm making that last bit up (I hope).

Thing was, I don't think many people actually read Gilbert's book. I did and it made sense to me as a way of dealing with the production model of education.

The right and left brain people would have us believe that we are one or the other. Educationalists, who always appear to want to simplify things, therefore seek ways to accommodate each side's characteristics in teaching practice.

I found this talk recently which may take a few views to follow but I enjoyed both the delivery and the message.

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