The purpose of education

Ed Tech Now

Monty Python and the Holy GrailWhy progress on edtech is dependent on a better understanding of educational purpose

If my last post was a light-hearted love story, this one is more of an attempt to write a Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. But if in places the reasoning might seem dense, I hope that the reader will be compensated by finding the argument to be both careful, original and important. I make the case that the recommendations of the recent Commission on Assessment without Levels are fundamentally mistaken.

It is a response I submitted to the current House of Commons Select Committee’s enquiry into the purpose of education. When announced, this enquiry was dismissed by Andrew Old as a waste of time: the purpose of education, said Andrew, was simply to make people cleverer. While I know where Andrew is coming from (who needs another waffle-fest with a lot of high-faluting rhetoric?) and agree with Andrew most of the time, I disagree with him that this…

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The purpose of education


Cultura Internet


       Por lo general algunos internáutas utilizan la mayúscula sostenida (escribir en mayúsculas) en foros, canales de conversación, correos electrónicos y demás medios del Internet. Según la netiqueta, en el lenguaje en la red escribir en MAYÚSCULA SOSTENIDA es entendido en primer término como un grito para llamar la atención. Según Alice Robb, escritora para New Republic, asegura que escribir frases en mayúscula sostenida es el código internet para denotar gritos y es por lo tanto rudo (Robb, 2014). En un foro realizado en 1984 en donde se preguntaba a usuarios qué significaría escribir en mayúscula sostenida, uno escribió: “si escribo en mayúsculas, estoy tratando de GRITAR“. Dave Decot hizo un sumario del foro y concluyó que la manera de enfatizar palabras en Internet son las siguientes:

  1. Utilizar una PALABRA EN MAYÚSCULA es intentar hacer ver…

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Natural Verus Unnatural Learning

User Generated Education

There is a huge disconnect between how people learn naturally and how students are taught in public education. Mark Twain once quipped, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

In school, students are expected to . . .

  • Sit in uncomfortable desks and chairs, and expected to pay attention for long periods of time.
  • Learn out of textbooks specifically designed for the institution of education – books that almost no one buys in real life.
  • Be quiet, interacting with peers occurs only periodically and only with permission from the teacher.
  • Learn and understand isolated content and topics often without a real world context and in a very linear manner.
  • Learn with same aged peers.
  • Not connect and learn with others outside of the classroom population.

The unintended consequences of these artificial and unnatural ways of learning include believing that learning is or should be difficult, painful, disciplined…

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Natural Verus Unnatural Learning

Dear IT Department, Why Community Management Matters

On Digital Strategy | Dion Hinchcliffe

It’s one of the curiosities of enterprise technology: Despite collaboration and engagement being an exclusively human activity — even when augmented and improved by digital tools — it’s the IT department that most often gets put in charge of rolling out said tools and then operating them long term.

According to recent research by the Real Story Group, IT is in fact far and away the most likely the department to both fund and sponsor, as well as implement social platforms in most organizations. Certainly, this seems to make sense, if one looks at social engagement as primarily a technology concern, rather than a powerful new human endeavor and way of working that is only in the end supported by new technologies.

Thus, even though HR, corporate communications, marketing, and other functions are very likely to be primary drivers and have direct input into the strategy for a social…

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Dear IT Department, Why Community Management Matters


Proactive Intelligence

February 10, 2016

Previously, I have written about CI analysis, with tips on what to do and not to do to keep your mind sharp and to do it well. There is more to add. Here, I want to talk about that vital contemporary skill – multi-tasking.

Multi-tasking means you have developed the ability to talk on the phone while working on a memo and reading incoming emails copied to you. It is a critical skill for surviving corporate information overload. Mastering it makes you more productive. Right? Wrong!

Let’s start with what is killing business productivity. I would direct you to a great article on the continuing slow-down of business decision-making – “Revving Up Your Corporate RPMs” by Tom Monahan.[1] This piece points out that “[m]ost business activity is slowing down, not accelerating”. As proof, Monahan points to documented increases in things like the average time to hire…

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Knud Ejler Løgstrup: The sovereign expressions of life

Extravagant Creation

Knud Ejler Løgstrup (1905-1981) was a Professor of Ethics and Philosophy of Religion at the University of Aarhus in Denmark.  He is probably the most important Danish philosopher since Kierkegaard.  Løgstrup’s best known book, Den etiske fordring (The Ethical Demand), was published in 1956 (translations: German, 1959; English, 1971, 1997; Swedish, 1994; Norwegian, 1999).  Reviewed or discussed in over 100 articles, the book has been something of a lightning rod ever since its publication: in some quarters, it elicits extravagant praise; in others, it provokes bewilderment or even harsh criticism.  Løgstrup described it as an attempt “to characterize in purely human terms the attitude to the other person contained in the proclamation of Jesus, quite apart from any consideration of its religious setting” (p. 114 of the 1971 English translation).  I think the book can be seen as a phenomenological unpacking of this saying of Løgstrup’s: “We never have anything…

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Knud Ejler Løgstrup: The sovereign expressions of life

Secuencia Didáctica – Un Modelo de Planificación | Presentación

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Secuencia Didáctica – Un Modelo de Planificación | Presentación