Friday, January 18, 2013

The World Needs All Kinds of Minds - Temple Grandin

Hi All,

I don't typically post long videos on this blog, but I came across this Ted Talk by Temple Grandin and found it to be quite meaningful, so I'm sharing it with you.

Cheering you on in your work!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Learning new approaches - thoughts from bell hooks

I've been reviewing some writings by bell hooks and one of the things I am struck by is her description  of deep learning, of being willing to let our assumptions be challenged.

"And I saw for the first time that there can be, and usually is, some degree of pain involved in giving up old ways of thinking and knowing and learning new approaches." (hooks, 1994, p. 43)

"And sometimes it's necessary to remind students and colleagues that pain and painful situations don't necessarily translate into harm.... Not all pain is harm and not all pleasure is good....If we are all emotionally shut down, how can there be any excitement about ideas?" (hooks, 1994, pp. 154-155)

When I think about this in my own experience, I think that the pain is often the pain of resistance, of fighting the new ideas and clinging to the old. When I can let go of that, there is often a new sense of freedom and as hooks says, excitement, as I start to embrace the fact that there might be more to this idea than I thought, I can go deeper, I can understand it differently. This can be incredibly energizing!

I encourage you to consider this next time you find yourself resisting new ideas and clinging to the old. What else is there to know here? How might you think more deeply and discover something new? Perhaps this will energize you.

Cheering you on in your work,

hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York, NY: Routledge.

Photo by HLS

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The best thing you can do, is ask

Hi All,

Welcome back! I hope that you had a good break!

As we start the spring semester, I remind you to ask questions. If you are unsure about your schedule or anything else regarding your academic progress, make an appointment with your advisor. Likewise, if anything about new classes is unclear, see your professor and ask for clarification.

Cheering you on!

Photo by HLS
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