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Splitting Skulls

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12 posts
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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 66 months ago by

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The Story of Shoes 

Doing a little research for the Aesthetics of Technology course this Fall, I get side-tracked by shoes. Or rather, its hard to find something that shoes aren't at the bottom of. (I'm envisioning a two course "foundations" series now: Interfaces I: Chairs, Interfaces II: Shoes.) But I digress. Here's the video that side-tracked me: The …

Posted 71 months ago by

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Deconstruct this (Mr. President) 

Diane Ravitch, in Education Week:  "Does President Obama Know What Race to the Top Is?" "Deconstruct this," she says. Granted, Ravitch is at least more interesting since her about-face. And pointing out the irony/hypocrisy of Presidential rhetoric in the face of policy is perhaps a good start. Likewise her grasp of the territory (and …

Posted 73 months ago by

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Shadow Play and the Frozen Tableau 

I just came across this old interview with Victor I. Stoichita in Cabinet Magazine. He's discussing his fascinating, shall we say illuminating book, A Short History of the Shadow. But I am struck again with his characterization of Plato's Cave Allegory as a Sadistic tale. Not because I want to come to its defense—Plato is …

Posted 84 months ago by

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Occupying Academe 

Sitting here, late at night, in a tower of Academe, I am writing about the occupation of Wall Street, thinking about how the trope of "occupation" has found such a strong resonance. I imagine it is in no small part because we have been raised on the images of education. Not the images within education, …

Posted 93 months ago by

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The Hermetic Library Goes Spelunking 

Yeats on Shelley: often caves are, he says, symbols of ‘all invisible power; because as caves are obscure and dark, so the essence of all these powers is occult,’ and quotes a lost hymn to Apollo to prove that nymphs living in caves fed men ‘from intellectual fountains’; and he contends that fountains and rivers …

Posted 97 months ago by

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Trapped Children: Popular Images of Children with Autism 

I stumbled across an interesting paper on images of Autism in the media, today. The author distinguishes two typical media images: the Broken/Fragmented Person, and the Imprisoned Person. My first thought is that these images are not particular to Autism, but represent ways of thinking about our world and threats to it in general. Applying …

Posted 103 months ago by

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America’s Mythology: Abundance From Nothing 

With my head steeped in early mythology, and in particular the stories by which Athens imagined itself "born of the earth," Thanksgiving has snuck up on me once again. It does that. Indeed, one of the interesting aspects of founding narratives is the way in which they repeat themselves. Founding, it seems, is never over, …

Posted 105 months ago by

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In Search of Withdrawing Gods 

I was at the library today, playing detective, tracking down a lead. And I found myself musing on the layers of what I was doing. Someone wrote a book, it was translated, printed, then photographed and copied to microfiche, which I in turn was scanning as digital images, converting to PDF's, saving to the cloud, …

Posted 106 months ago by

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Education and the Rigorous Tying Up of Milk  ☆

It always surprises me when people seem to get away with the argument that we need better education in order to maintain our national primacy. Tired nationalism keeps on kicking. And yet, isn't it interesting how compelling it is in its apparent simplicity? Even as we become sensitive to the atrocities of Empire, the notion …

Posted 109 months ago by

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The Never Ending Story 

We live in the age of search. The question is not what is known, but what is next. Possible combinations. This video shows a machine that trawls patents, serving up an endless series of related patent drawings. But this is not so new, either. Georg Philipp Harsdörffer was fascinated, in the 17th century, by the …

Posted 110 months ago by

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Progressive Education & The Myth of Sisyphus  ☆

It has to make sense. Those things we bring ourselves to day after day. Or rather, do we not need them to promise, one day, to offer up their sense, retroactively. This is the work. Progress. But what is sense? Against what do we measure progress? King Sisyphus' problems started with the hubris of thinking …

Posted 110 months ago by

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The Siren Song of Education 

In yesterday's post, we saw schools defined by an odd function: the dictating of right over left. But even this is a bit misleading. The practice of writing, by which this typically occurs, results primarily in placing us more firmly in our seats. We are to go neither right nor left. Is this not the …

Posted 110 months ago by

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“Race from the Bottom” 

Question: What do you get when you combine "No Child Left Behind" with "Race to the Top"? Answer: A "Race from the Bottom"? Perhaps. But if so, one in which the bottom itself must drop away. Imagine the scene in the movies where the bridge crumbles behind the heels of our racing hero. Otherwise s/he …

Posted 110 months ago by

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Strange Beginnings: The Birth of Athena 

One day, according to the stories, Zeus' head was laid open to the light of day. It was split by the surgical strike of an ax, and out stepped Athena, full grown and fully armored. Some suggest that she arrived with a shout, causing the sky and earth to take notice, and by all accounts …

Posted 113 months ago by

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