On Sat, Sep 28, 2013 at 11:39 PM, GS Chandy <email@example.com> wrote:
> > Indeed you have. But I believe (though I have not done any modeling on > them) that most - ALL! - of your postings, here as well as at your blogs, > etc, reflect a position that ENCOURAGEMENT is crucil, that students would > learn to PUSH themselves when ENCOURAGEMENT is done effectively (by > teachers; by the system as a whole: in fact, I believe this is confirmed > right here in this very post of yours). > > Does OPMS come with any pre-defined axes or spectra? By which I mean "pairs of opposites"? When you get into "assessments" versus "goal setting" you find the gurus have their axes, and series of questions designed to pinpoint you against a backdrop of known personality types, or at least get you in a ballpark, somewhat pigeon-holed.
As you know, Jungian psychology -- a topic in my blogs a lot, along with psychology in general -- may be reduced to primitive archetypes which define the phase space for any given ego. The ego is cast as a "hero" (foreground protagonist) and is faced with challenges or barriers to achieving some objective, often rescuing a member of the opposite sex, but that's just in the general case.
In the foreground, all nuances are accommodated, including same-sex affiliations (the Jungians talk about "eros, philia, and agape" with some adding "storge").
As you well know, Bucky Fuller is one of my heroes (along with Isaac Asimov, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Dora Marsden and some others (many others -- I admire many people)). Bucky thought a great axis was Fear versus Longing, and the spectrum in between.
If you consider the history of Great Migrations, it's sometimes a combination, but weighted towards one end. Like the Irish fleeing famine conditions when potato crops failed. Fear of starvation, of apocalyptic conditions, drove many to the New World who'd had no previous strong longing to go there.
They were prodded more than were following some projection of a longed-for lifestyle. Had it not been for Fear (well justified, not baseless) they would have stayed put, many of them.
I would encourage you and I to take up the "Fear versus Longing" spectrum as a backdrop against which to discuss both pedagogy and andragogy.
To what extent do we enable students to long for a deeper understanding and competence in matters mathematical, and to what extent do they shiver in a fear-driven panic that failure on the next test means disgrace to the family and to themselves.
Let me also say I've been thinking a lot about my critique of the classroom, which is currently dissipating in some areas where it was once the only model.
It's a complicated topic, lets agree.
Group dynamics *and* the "fear versus longing" spectrum: lets employ OPMS to explore that more deeply, if you think it provides the tools.
Consider, for example, how effective it is to punish the group for the failings of individuals within the group. All bear the consequences and so the group dynamic is to gang up as peers against those not pulling their own weight or whatever.
A million movies take us through boot camp X exploring this theme.
Why does a military use this cruel / unfair approach? Because military units have to accomplish their assigned duties as a team with assigned roles. An individual's mistakes may derail the whole mission, and so no matter how professionally you performed, if your teammate was not up to par, you get to be a loser.
Movie-making has a lot of these dynamics. You're a young star, up and coming you hope and think, but then you get trapped into this movie that stinks, and you feel the director, the producer, have let you down, in releasing work that drags down the reputation of all those starring within it, a sinking ship.
Politics: same way. You don't want to be stuck on a team with losers, lest they judge you a loser like them. And so it goes.
It has long been my feeling that students learn quite as much from their > interactions with peers as they do from interactions with their teachers. > Rather, it is mainly through their peer-group interactions that the > teacher's lessons take hold in the students' minds. >
That's quite valid and a true observation and causes me to rethink what's going on in the "workspace teacher lessons" triangle.
I was exulting in how Cyberia now offers you private lessons from qualified teachers in the comfort of your own nook or cranny, no need to venture into the rough and tumble world and find some "classroom" in some far corner of some campus. The campus is on-line.
Caveat, right away: this doesn't work for all subjects. I need to say that a lot. Not every subject is as conducive to learning in a darkened cave. But Pymath, with illuminated text, curtains pulled, is a great pass time for women who are stereotypically expected to stay at home to take care of things. Being a "homemaker" and a Global U student: these go together if you've got bandwidth (Internet access).
How many veiled women in Iran or Saudi Arabia are studying HTML / CSS and/or programming by satellite from the privacy of their own apartments? How many already have their own websites, for eCommerce or eDiplomacy or whatever?
You might be surprised, and/or I might be, but I think we're safe in assuming that no one really has these numbers, not the UN, not the government of Iran, not 007's boss, not anyone. Humanity is not infinitely transparent to itself and much is only revealed in retrospect, years if not decades later.
So yes, that's all true, a lot of private lessons are going on, as we speak, with teacher-lesson-workspace the primary triangle, but there's still a sense of a peer group even in this simple picture.
You have alums from the same school (others who did what you did), you have a sense of shared events, such as Pycons and User Groups -- this is when learning Pymath from me, or whatever we call it.
You just don't know who signed up when or who will finish when you do, at least not in the general case. You don't sit in a room full of other people, not even as avatars.
Or don't you?
Can't a bevy of home schoolers all take the same on-line class, and work through it together in some parents' living room?
We ask them to give proper credit if working with peers, but otherwise don't say they shouldn't. These are programmers in the making. They're *supposed* to work in groups, and well. Talk about tightly coordinated group dynamics: developers use version control and everything.
I need to remember that, in the special case, five people who all know each other might sign up for my course.
They could boast around the water cooler who was up to what project. Some might feel further behind and strive to catch up.
Those dynamics are real and I was wrong to not consider them when contrasting my model to the classroom model. In fact, they're not as mutually exclusive as I may have implied.
Finally, I should remember to remark that this "Fear versus Longing" that Bucky Fuller thought central to individual and group dynamics, was not a thought original with him. He in fact learned it from Albert Einstein and some essay the latter had written in the New York Times. In the early days, Einstein was getting a lot of focus as a philosopher, not just a physicist, and he wrote about non-anthropomorphic cosmic intelligence and such things, quite inspiring to young readers at the time.
Fuller really looked up to Einstein and finally got to meet him in person at Princeton. Einstein had been notified of a book, 'Nine Chains to the Moon' that purported to contain explanations of Einstein's ideas. Publishers were skeptical and mailed Einstein the manuscript. Einstein was intrigued by it, and wanted to meet the young man behind it, our hero, Bucky Fuller. The moment of their meeting is well dramatized in D.W. Jacob's play on Fuller called 'The History and Mystery of Universe'. Einstein gave Fuller his blessings to go ahead with publication. This was all pre-atom bomb and people were a lot more upbeat about nuclear energy then, not yet knowing about the long-lasting radio-toxins that are its byproducts.