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Summer ’16 Courses 

Posted 2 months ago by

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Dear Pearson, 

I just received your letter asking for feedback about my introductory level course. I'm so glad you found out about that, and are curious to know more. I, too, wonder what introductory course it is, and how many classes I have missed. Do you think they will notice? But you asked about learning outcomes. I …

Posted 3 months ago by

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Concern Trolling in School 

concern troll ‎(plural concern trolls) (Internet slang) Someone who posts to an internet forum or newsgroup, claiming to share its goals while deliberately working against those goals, typically, by claiming "concern" about group plans to engage in productive activity, urging members instead to attempt some activity that would damage the group's credibility, or …

Posted 4 months ago by

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Playing with Fire 

Some kids playing with fire... Here in Anji, China, one of the latest additions to the playground is a working oven. The kids cook potatoes. If they want. The play is self-determined. This isn't the only place where the capacity of children to generate their own play, and assess their own risks is taken seriously. …

Posted 11 months ago by

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Tech Support Notes from the Underground 

I'm deep in the bowels of AT&T and Apple. I've actually got them talking to each other. I feel like an extreme match maker. Increasingly senior tech people, roused from their slumbers... Cheerful persistence in the face of polite deferral... All I want for Christmas is for this SIM card to Validate... After endless hours …

Posted 12 months ago by

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Objects of Play, Summer Course ’15 

In his seminal 1939 book, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play Element in Culture, Johan Huizinga places play as the central element in any flourishing society. In an increasingly gamified, but also risk adverse, educational environment and culture, how are we to think the role of play today? This course will take up both …

Posted 14 months ago by

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The Work of Toys 

I'll be teaching a course this summer on "Objects of Play," in the strange hope that if we looked at the things we play with, we might surprise ourselves. We'll be looking particularly at the large scale toys—ladders, oil barrels, etc.—at play in the early childhood education of Anji, China. I am reminded of my …

Posted 14 months ago by

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The Politics of True Play 


Reposted from Learning at the Library. Written by Anastasia Chiu.

On Wednesday March 11, the library hosted a guest lecture by Cheng Xueqin, regional director of early childhood education in Anji, a county in China’s Zhejiang province. Ms. Cheng presented on her work and experience in developing Anji Play, a play-driven curriculum for preschool- and kindergarten-aged children that she and a group of Anji school …

Posted 14 months ago by

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The Art of Play in China 

This is one of those things you need to see. Over the last several decades a pedagogy of play has been working itself out in rural China. The resonances with Western early childhood practices of learning and play are all the more striking, given that there is no direct connection. Even more interesting are the …

Posted 15 months ago by

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Shoes and/or Poetry 

This article was just brought to my attention, "because it's about shoes." "Bringing a Daughter Back from the Brink with Poems" Is it always about shoes? Are shoes one of our primary apparently-casual-examples? Even if we aren't talking about shoes, does it inevitably insist on being sorted? The shoe always goes on in the end... …

Posted 16 months ago by

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Subway cognizance 

Posted 16 months ago by

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The Shoe as Interface 

If you are looking for a Breadth/Elective course for the Spring, “Aesthetics of Technology” will be looking at “the Shoe as Interface” as a focus this time around. Performing an interdisciplinary examination of the fundamental role of shoes in our world, we will engage in Material Cultural Studies. Drawing on Philosophy, Aesthetics, History, Movement Education, …

Posted 18 months ago by

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Architecture’s Excess Possibilities 

Here's a nice article on Architectural deterrents to its own use. We should perhaps dig past the obvious and proper outrage around these practices to note how architecture generates its own crevices, the attempt to modulate them a sign both of our capacity to exceed plans and the excess that every plan is to itself. …

Posted 24 months ago by

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Walking’s the thing 

An excellent interview of Frédéric Gros, author of A Philosophy of Walking. There is, it reminds me, something tricky that happens when walking becomes a thing. In articulating the thing one never talks about, we find ourselves speaking to its other. One does not just walk, in walking one is not walking but rather not …

Posted 25 months ago by

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Thinking Through the Interface 

Fall 2014, Mon 7:20-9pm Aesthetics of Technology A&H4089 In this course we will be looking at the aesthetic effects of interfaces—not just how they appear, but how appearance itself is mediated by the deeper influence of interfaces, often to create the very sense of aesthetics as a "surface effect." But what is an interface? How …

Posted 26 months ago by

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The Words we Use 

This, dear meta-readers, from the Chronical of Higher Education: This Week's Highlights Dissecting the Classroom The classroom: a black box at the core of the traditional college education. Now scholars are investigating just what goes into good teaching. Highlights from the chronicling of the dissection of the black box core and its feeds. (And locked …

Posted 28 months ago by

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Paranoia and School 

The comforting thing about school is that you won't be left out. Even in dropping out, you have a role to play. That is explicit enough. No, the secretive paranoia in school works the other way, ensuring that nobody leaves the building. If paranoia is always the lonely scene of isolation, we should not be …

Posted 30 months ago by

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Sphinx like 

Like the Sphinx, my marine Father spoke in riddles. But rather than devouring the individual incapable of answering, he brought about his birth, and deposited him, garbed in the body of a child and full of questions, on the shore where I first recognized myself as human. —René Daumal, "On the Old Man and the …

Posted 31 months ago by

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Play Already 

We can safely assert, even, that human civilization has added no essential feature to the general idea of play. —Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens, 1949. And facing my other most similar faces, those of men, this despair turns in on itself in one last spasm and, with my nails digging into my palm, my fist clenches so as …

Posted 32 months ago by

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