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Ruminations on Education Lee Chu Keong. Parents seek oxygen therapy to boost kids’ grades (Oct 3, 2011) Buy “oxygen concentrators” Free-standing machines.

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Presentation on theme: "Ruminations on Education Lee Chu Keong. Parents seek oxygen therapy to boost kids’ grades (Oct 3, 2011) Buy “oxygen concentrators” Free-standing machines."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ruminations on Education Lee Chu Keong

2 Parents seek oxygen therapy to boost kids’ grades (Oct 3, 2011) Buy “oxygen concentrators” Free-standing machines (costing more than $1,000) which pump out pure oxygen Used to help people focus better on their work Usually bought by executives and athletes

3 Woman wants divorce after son’s grades dip (Oct 9, 2011) Felt that her husband was a “negative influence” on their son Felt very unhappy that her husband often brought their son for outings, and believed that this was affecting her son’s studies Requested that her son’s psychiatrist write a letter stating that her husband was a “negative influence” on her son, so that she could divorce him

4 Question Gardner, H. (2008). Five minds for the future. Boston: Harvard Business Press. What are the kinds of minds that people will need if they are to thrive in the world in the eras to come?

5 What are the kinds of minds that librarians will need if they are to thrive in the world in the eras to come? Question What are the kinds of minds that people will need if they are to thrive in the world in the eras to come? mental dispositions

6 The Idea Having identified these minds (or mental dispositions), one can then start cultivating and nurturing them.

7 The Minds A pentad of mental dispositions The disciplined mind The synthesising mind The creating mind The respectful mind The ethical mind

8 The Minds A pentad of mental dispositions The disciplined mind  cognitive The synthesising mind  cognitive The creating mind  cognitive The respectful mind  relational The ethical mind  relational

9 The Minds A triad of cognitive mental dispositions The disciplined mind The synthesising mind The creating mind Synthesis and creation needs a baseline of literacy and discipline

10 The Disciplined Mind In the future, individuals who wish to thrive will need to be experts in at least one area  they will need a discipline Without at least one discipline under his belt, the individual is destined to march to someone else’s tune Individuals without one or more disciplines will not be able to succeed at any demanding workplace and will be restricted to menial tasks

11 The Meaning of Discipline A discipline is a distinctive way of looking at the world The disciplined mind has mastered at least one way of thinking  a distinctive mode of cognition that characterises a specific scholarly discipline, craft or profession It takes up to ten years to master a discipline It is the goal of schools to eradicate erroneous or unproductive ways of thinking, and to put in their stead the ways of thinking and doing that mark the disciplined professional (p. 26)

12 MSc (Information Studies) at NTU School’s have very little time in which to achieve this! Librarians will have to do much of this themselves!

13 The Hard Questions What is your discipline? What are the bodies of knowledge and the key procedures you have to master to be considered an expert in your area? Are you training to perfect your craft? Are you continually honing your skills? Are you marching to someone else’s tune/beat?

14 Discipline vs Subject Matter Differentiate discipline from subject matter Discipline refers to the deep understanding about a topic that allows a person to think about it in a variety of ways There is a great difference between: Genuine, deep understanding – acquisition and application of dynamic knowledge Superficial understanding – regurgitation of inert data Clues lie in the response

15 The Response Nice!

16 Nice! I feel that the tempo … interpretation … orchestration … melodic structure … harmonic progression …

17 The Response [Example 2] Use LDOCE or OALD. Can you please tell me what a “Dear John” is. This is a librarian?

18 Can you please tell me what a “Dear John” is. That’s a word related to warfare. Let’s refer to Ammer’s Fighting Words. Wow, I’ve come to the right person!

19 When the cardboard is jerked quickly, the coin will fall into the glass. Why?

20 The Response If the response is essentially indistinguishable from those of individuals who have never studied the designated topics  if, indeed, the way that they approach the problem demonstrates little or not disciplinary method, we must then face the uncomfortable possibility that factual knowledge may have increased without a correlative increase in disciplinary sophistication.

21 Disciplinary Method The absence of disciplinary thinking matters  shorn of these sophisticated ways of thinking, individuals remain essentially unschooled  no different, indeed, from uneducated individuals.

22 A Problem At Work You’ve been hired by a company that deals in antiques. Given your qualification (Master of Science (Information Studies)), and work experience as a librarian, you have been asked to develop a classification scheme for the antiques that the company deals in. How would you approach this problem? ¤What principles should guide you in the construction of your classification scheme? ¤What factors should you consider?

23 General Classification Theory Everything, object, etc., has to have a distinct and unambiguous description of its unique qualities Principles involving likeness and distinctness must be used in creating classes Hierarchies and other relational methods are necessary in order to group fundamental characteristics and to identify fundamental differences clearly The final system should appear as a logical progression from general to particular

24 Factors to Consider Type of notation Expressiveness Degree to which mnemonics are supported Hospitality Brevity Consistency Simplicity Policy: Frequency and modality of updates

25 Important Questions Did you use a disciplinary approach? Did your problem solving process embody disciplinary thinking? Did you display disciplinary sophistication? Did it differ from Peter’s solution? [Assume Peter does not have an MSc (IS)] Did your response differ from that of Peter?

26 Steps to Develop a Disciplined Mind Identify truly important topics or concepts within the discipline Spend a significant amount of time on the topic Approach the topic in a number of ways (use several lenses) Set up “performances of understanding”  a culminating masterpiece (a public lecture once a year on the topic in which you are the expert?)

27 Discipline in Another Sense The acquisition of habits that allows one to make steady and unending progress in the mastery of a skill, craft, or body of knowledge A deeply internalised form of discipline is needed here Realises that given the accumulation of new knowledge and methods, one must become a lifelong student Enjoys and has become passionate about the process of learning about the world

28 Preface to the Paperback Edition In a world that shows no sign of slowing down, no individual can rest on his or her laurels. The future belongs to those organisations, as well as those individuals, that have made an active, lifelong commitment to learn. Those individuals who can continue to learn and who can help preserve a zest for learning in organisations are at a special premium going forward. Nguyen Thai Vu

29 Synthesising & Creating Minds Parallels abound between the synthesising and creating minds (e.g., they both benefit from a multiplicity of perspectives) No sharp line that separates them clearly exist

30 The Salient Difference The synthesiser’s goal is to place what has already been established in as useful and illuminating a form as possible The creator’s goal is to extend knowledge, to ruffle the contours of a genre, to guide a set of practices along new and hitherto unanticipated directions

31 The Synthesising Mind … An ability to knit together information from discrete or disparate sources into a coherent whole An ability to collate the most important knowledge relating to an area of concern An ability to synergistically amalgamate different perspectives on an issue Types of synthesis  narratives; taxonomies; complex concepts; rules and aphorisms; powerful metaphors, images and themes; embodiments without words; theories; metatheory

32 The Creating Mind Almost every task that can be routinised will be, sooner or later To realise creativity, three elements are needed The individual who has mastered a discipline and is steadily issuing variations in it The cultural domain in which an individual is working, with its models, prescriptions and proscriptions The social field – those individuals and institutions that provide access to relevant educational experiences and that pass judgment on the merit of the creation

33 Question: Has the domain in which you operate been significantly altered by your contribution? Does your contribution break new ground? Because creators are bold and imaginative, they fail frequently and dramatically Are instructive cul-de-sacs allowed? Are productive mistakes tolerated? Can you exercise your imagination? Originality or conventionality preferred? Are deviants tolerated?

34 Minds Missed Out by Gardner The Financial Mind … The Read-between-the-lines Mind … The Streetsmart Mind … The Failure-is-part-of-life Mind …

35 The Financial Mind Credit card overspending accounts for about half of bankruptcy cases in 2009

36 The problem: $2,000 pay, but $5,000 lifestyle The solution: $2,000 pay, and $1,200 lifestyle

37 The Read-between-the-lines Mind … FROM THE DESK OF CHIEF AUDITOR INTERNATIONAL AUDITING DEPARTMENT OFFSHORE CREDIT COMMISSION ADDRESS: RE: YOUR OUTSTANDING REMITTANCE AMOUNT DISCOVERED I AM WRITING TO YOU IN A TOP CONFIDENTIAL LEVEL AS I MADE AN ASTONISHING DISCOVERY DURING THE COURSE OF MY AUDITING FOR THE JUST CONCLUDED FISCAL YEAR. A WHOPPING SUM THAT RUNS INTO MILLIONS OF UNITED STATES DOLLARS WAS UNCOVERED BY ME WITH YOUR NAME AS THE MAIN BENEFICIARY. THIS FUND WAS ORIGINALLY TRANSFERRED TO THIS OFFICE BY YOUR PARTNERS AFTER WHICH THE OPTED FOR PAYMENT IN A DIFFERENT LOCATION. UNFORTUNATELY THE FUND WAS RETURNED HERE IN OUR OFFICE AS THE SAFEST VENUE FOR DISBURSEMENT. EVER SINCE THEN NOBODY HAS COME FOR THE CLAIM.

38 The problem: Believing that something-for-nothing exist! The solution: Delete the

39 The Streetsmart Mind … An invitation to buy a chemical to remove the black ink on some ‘real money’, followed by a demonstration

40 The problem: Believing that out of six billion people in the world, you are specially chosen to receive this special invitation The solution: Believing that, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!”

41 The Failure-is-part-of-life Mind … A*Star scholar found dead at bottom of block

42 The problem: Insufficient exposure to setbacks in life! The solution: Some exposure to setbacks, if possible, early in life!

43 Thank You!


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