One question for the year

From Edge magazine:

When thinking changes your mind, that’s philosophy.
When God changes your mind, that’s faith.
When facts change your mind, that’s science.


Science is based on evidence. What happens when the data change? How have scientific findings or arguments changed your mind?

Howard Gardner on changing his mind about, but still celebrating, Piaget:

I thought that Piaget had identified the most important question in cognitive psychology — how does the mind develop; developed brilliant methods of observation and experimentation; and put forth a convincing picture of development — a set of general cognitive operations that unfold in the course of essentially lockstep, universally occurring stages. I wrote my first books about Piaget; saw myself as carrying on the Piagetian tradition in my own studies of artistic and symbolic development (two areas that he had not focused on); and even defended Piaget vigorously in print against those who would critique his approach and claims.

Yet, now forty years later, I have come to realize that the bulk of my scholarly career has been a critique of the principal claims that Piaget put forth.

I Stopped Cheering for the Romans (James O’Donnell):

What I have found is that the closer historical examination comes to the lived moment of the past, the harder it is to take sides with anybody. And it is a real fact that the ancient past (I’m talking now about the period from 300-700 CE) draws closer and closer to us all the time.

A good question yields hours of provocative reading.  I pose it to you out there in blog-land, particularly education blog-land: What have you changed your mind about?  Why?



Filed under article, randomness, science

2 responses to “One question for the year

  1. I’ve changed my mind about the popular notion that all children are “teach-able.” At some point, a child, for whatever reason, chooses to be “un-teachable.” I’m thinking about high school level here, not middle school or elementary school. I’ve really come to believe that many of my students have decided that school is not for them, that they are just biding their time, and so this makes them “un-teachable” in the traditional, classroom sense. Don’t get me wrong…they learn plenty when they want to but it’s usually not in the classroom. It’s a powerful argument for unschooling, I think, the way the educational system seems to suck all the joy and pleasure out of learning by forcing the institutions of “school” and “teaching” on children.

  2. Leigh

    I’ve changed my mind about whether reading comprehension is something that can be taught. As a student I experienced the abuse of SRA comprehension sheets in Grade 6. I just couldn’t improve my level. Then as a teacher some decades ago, teaching comprehension boiled down to: 1. read the text, 2. answer the questions … not much teaching going on there. It felt like a waste of time, apart from practicing reading. Having come back into teaching decades later and having discovered Reciprocal Teaching and its use of reading strategies: predicting, question generating, clarifying and summarising, I have changed my mind. Reading comprehension can be taught through these strategies and others, each assisting readers to understand the text in different ways.

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