Topic: Education

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πŸ”— Bloom's 2 sigma problem

πŸ”— Psychology πŸ”— Education

Bloom's 2 sigma problem refers to an educational phenomenon observed by educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom and initially reported in 1984 in the journal Educational Researcher. Bloom found that the average student tutored one-to-one using mastery learning techniques performed two standard deviations better than students who learn via conventional instructional methods β€” that is, "the average tutored student was above 98% of the students in the control class". Additionally, the variation of the students' achievement changed: "about 90% of the tutored students ... attained the level of summative achievement reached by only the highest 20%" of the control class. Bloom's graduate students J. Anania and A. J. Burke conducted studies of this effect at different grade levels and in different schools, observing students with "great differences in cognitive achievement, attitudes, and academic self-concept".

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πŸ”— 54% of adults in the United States have prose literacy below the 6th-grade level

πŸ”— United States πŸ”— Linguistics πŸ”— Linguistics/Applied Linguistics πŸ”— Education

A 2019 report by the National Center for Education Statistics determined that mid to high literacy in the United States is 79% with 21% of American adults categorized as having "low level English literacy," including 4.1% classified as "functionally illiterate" and an additional 4% that could not participate. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 54% of adults in the United States have prose literacy below the 6th-grade level.

In many nations, the ability to read a simple sentence suffices as literacy, and was the previous standard for the U.S. The definition of literacy has changed greatly; the term is presently defined as the ability to use printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one's goals, and to develop one's knowledge and potential.

The United States Department of Education assesses literacy in the general population through its National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL). The NAAL survey defines three types of literacy:

  • prose literacy: the knowledge and skills needed to search, comprehend, and use continuous texts. Examples include editorials, news stories, brochures, and instructional materials.
  • document literacy: the knowledge and skills needed to search, comprehend, and use non-continuous texts in various formats. Examples include job applications, payroll forms, transportation schedules, maps, tables, and drug and food labels.
  • quantitative literacy: the knowledge and skills required to identify and perform computations, either alone or sequentially, using numbers embedded in printed materials. Examples include balancing a checkbook, figuring out tips, completing an order form, or determining an amount.

Modern jobs often demand a high level of literacy, and its lack in adults and adolescents has been studied extensively.

According to a 1992 survey, about 40 million adults had Level 1 literary competency, the lowest level, comprising understanding only basic written instructions. A number of reports and studies are published annually to monitor the nation's status, and initiatives to improve literacy rates are funded by government and external sources.

πŸ”— TRIZ – Theory of Inventive Problem Solving

πŸ”— Education

TRIZ (; Russian: тСория Ρ€Π΅ΡˆΠ΅Π½ΠΈΡ ΠΈΠ·ΠΎΠ±Ρ€Π΅Ρ‚Π°Ρ‚Π΅Π»ΡŒΡΠΊΠΈΡ… Π·Π°Π΄Π°Ρ‡, teoriya resheniya izobretatelskikh zadatch, literally: "theory of the resolution of invention-related tasks") is "a problem-solving, analysis and forecasting tool derived from the study of patterns of invention in the global patent literature". It was developed by the Soviet inventor and science-fiction author Genrich Altshuller (1926-1998) and his colleagues, beginning in 1946. In English the name is typically rendered as "the theory of inventive problem solving", and occasionally goes by the English acronym TIPS.

Following Altshuller's insight, the theory developed on a foundation of extensive research covering hundreds of thousands of inventions across many different fields to produce a theory which defines generalisable patterns in the nature of inventive solutions and the distinguishing characteristics of the problems that these inventions have overcome.

An important part of the theory has been devoted to revealing patterns of evolution and one of the objectives which has been pursued by leading practitioners of TRIZ has been the development of an algorithmic approach to the invention of new systems, and to the refinement of existing ones.

TRIZ includes a practical methodology, tool sets, a knowledge base, and model-based technology for generating innovative solutions for problem solving. It is useful for problem formulation, system analysis, failure analysis, and patterns of system evolution. There is a general similarity of purposes and methods with the field of pattern language, a cross discipline practice for explicitly describing and sharing holistic patterns of design.

The research has produced three primary findings:

  1. problems and solutions are repeated across industries and sciences
  2. patterns of technical evolution are also repeated across industries and sciences
  3. the innovations used scientific effects outside the field in which they were developed

TRIZ practitioners apply all these findings in order to create and to improve products, services, and systems.

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πŸ”— Spaced Repetition

πŸ”— Medicine πŸ”— Psychology πŸ”— Linguistics πŸ”— Linguistics/Applied Linguistics πŸ”— Education

Spaced repetition is an evidence-based learning technique that is usually performed with flashcards. Newly introduced and more difficult flashcards are shown more frequently while older and less difficult flashcards are shown less frequently in order to exploit the psychological spacing effect. The use of spaced repetition has been shown to increase rate of learning.

Although the principle is useful in many contexts, spaced repetition is commonly applied in contexts in which a learner must acquire many items and retain them indefinitely in memory. It is, therefore, well suited for the problem of vocabulary acquisition in the course of second-language learning. A number of spaced repetition software programs have been developed to aid the learning process. Alternative names for spaced repetition include spaced rehearsal, expanding rehearsal, graduated intervals, repetition spacing, repetition scheduling, spaced retrieval and expanded retrieval.

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πŸ”— Sloyd

πŸ”— Education

Sloyd (SlΓΆjd), also known as Educational sloyd, is a system of handicraft-based education started by Uno Cygnaeus in Finland in 1865. The system was further refined and promoted worldwide, and was taught in the United States until the early 20th Century. It is still taught as a compulsory subject in Finnish, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian schools.

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  • "Sloyd" | 2017-10-22 | 131 Upvotes 38 Comments

πŸ”— Mozart Effect

πŸ”— Psychology πŸ”— Education πŸ”— Classical music

The Mozart effect is the theory that listening to the music of Mozart may temporarily boost scores on one portion of an IQ test. Popular science versions of the theory make the claim that "listening to Mozart makes you smarter" or that early childhood exposure to classical music has a beneficial effect on mental development.

The original study from 1993 reported a short-term (lasting about 15 minutes) improvement on the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks known as spatial reasoning, such as folding paper and solving mazes. The results were highly exaggerated by the popular press and became "Mozart makes you smart", which was said to apply to children in particular (the original study included 36 college students). These claims led to a commercial fad with Mozart CDs being sold to parents, the U.S. state of Georgia even proposed a budget to provide every child with a CD of classical music.

A meta-analysis of studies that have replicated the original study shows that there is little evidence that listening to Mozart has any particular effect on spatial reasoning. The author of the original study has stressed that listening to Mozart has no effect on general intelligence.

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πŸ”— Forest kindergarten

πŸ”— Education

Forest kindergarten is a type of preschool education for children between the ages of three and six that is held almost exclusively outdoors. Whatever the weather, children are encouraged to play, explore and learn in a forest environment. The adult supervision is meant to assist rather than lead. It is also known as Waldkindergarten (in German), outdoor nursery, or nature kindergarten.

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πŸ”— Wittgenstein's Ladder

πŸ”— Philosophy πŸ”— Education πŸ”— Philosophy/Analytic philosophy

In philosophy, Wittgenstein's ladder is a metaphor set out by Ludwig Wittgenstein about learning. In what may be a deliberate reference to SΓΈren Kierkegaard's Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, the penultimate proposition of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (translated from the original German) reads:


Β Β Β My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used themβ€”as stepsβ€”to climb beyond them. (He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it.)

Β Β Β He must transcend these propositions, and then he will see the world aright.

Given the preceding problematic at work in his Tractatus, this passage suggests that, if a reader understands Wittgenstein's aims in the text, then those propositions the reader would have just read would be recognized as nonsense. From Propositions 6.4–6.54, the Tractatus shifts its focus from primarily logical considerations to what may be considered more traditionally philosophical topics (God, ethics, meta-ethics, death, the will) and, less traditionally along with these, the mystical. The philosophy presented in the Tractatus attempts to demonstrate just what the limits of language areβ€”and what it is to run up against them. Among what can be said for Wittgenstein are the propositions of natural science, and to the nonsensical, or unsayable, those subjects associated with philosophy traditionallyβ€”ethics and metaphysics, for instance.

Curiously, the penultimate proposition of the Tractatus, proposition 6.54, states that once one understands the propositions of the Tractatus, one will recognize that they are nonsensical (unsinnig), and that they must be thrown away. Proposition 6.54, then, presents a difficult interpretative problem. If the so-called picture theory of language is correct, and it is impossible to represent logical form, then the theory, by trying to say something about how language and the world must be for there to be meaning, is self-undermining. This is to say that the picture theory of language itself requires that something be said about the logical form sentences must share with reality for meaning to be possible. This requires doing precisely what the picture theory of language precludes. It would appear, then, that the metaphysics and the philosophy of language endorsed by the Tractatus give rise to a paradox: for the Tractatus to be true, it will necessarily have to be nonsense by self-application; but for this self-application to render the propositions of the Tractatus nonsense (in the Tractarian sense), then the Tractatus must be true.

Other philosophers before Wittgenstein, including Zhuang Zhou, Schopenhauer and Fritz Mauthner, had used a similar metaphor.

In his notes of 1930 Wittgenstein returns to the image of a ladder with a different perspective:

I might say: if the place I want to get could only be reached by way of a ladder, I would give up trying to get there. For the place I really have to get to is a place I must already be at now.
Anything that I might reach by climbing a ladder does not interest me.

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πŸ”— University of the Third Age

πŸ”— Education πŸ”— Organizations

The University of the Third Age is an international movement whose aims are the education and stimulation of mainly retired members of the communityβ€”those in their third 'age' of life. It is commonly referred to as U3A.

There is no universally accepted model for the U3A. Its original conception in France as an extramural university activity was significantly modified in the United Kingdom where it was recognized that most people of retirement age have something to contribute and the emphasis has been on sharing, without formal links to traditional universities.

Many English-speaking countries have followed this geragogic model, whereas continental European countries have mostly followed the French model. For historical reasons, Lifelong learning institutes is the term used in the United States for organizations that are similar to U3A groups.

A British U3A website reports this about "The Third Age" membership eligibility: "U3A membership is not related to a specific age but to a period in one’s life (the third age) after the second age of full-time employment and parental responsibility. Anybody in their third age can join U3A and this includes people who are working part-time. There is no lower age for membership."

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πŸ”— Continuous Partial Attention

πŸ”— Business πŸ”— Psychology πŸ”— Education

Linda Stone, a tech writer and consultant, coined the term continuous partial attention in 1998 to describe a modern adaptive behavior of continuously dividing one's attention. Stone has clarified that continuous partial attention is not the same as multi-tasking. Where multi-tasking is driven by a conscious desire to be productive and efficient, CPA is an automatic process motivated only by "a desire to be a live node on the network" or by the willingness to connect and stay connected, scanning and optimizing opportunities, activities and contacts in an effort to not miss anything that is going on.

Continuous partial attention is not necessarily a dysfunctional state. However, it may lead to increased stress and decreased ability to focus and concentrate on the present moment, prohibiting reflection, contemplation, and thoughtful decision making. The constant connectedness that is associated with continuous partial attention may also affect relationships, lower productivity levels, and lead to over-stimulation and a lack of fulfillment.

Linda Stone's research has focused on examples in the United States though she has posited that, "We may not all find ourselves in the same attention era at the same time. We are likely to find ourselves experiencing a flow: attraction to an ideal, taking the expression of the ideal to an extreme and experiencing unintended and less than pleasant consequences, giving birth to and launching a new ideal while integrating the best of what came before."

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