Weekend Building Blocks - 18 AUG 2017

There's no value in collecting blocks unless you're connecting them to build something awesome!
Pink toy bricks. Cognitive biases. Affective learning. Jerks. The power of "yet" in learning.
  1. Why pink LEGO might be bad for girls. Dr Christian Jarrett writes about some "experiments" run with boys and girls and with colors of their building bricks. (I used quotation marks around "experiments" because it sounds like a bunch of crap.) My kids play with LEGOs - with sets that include rocket ships, ice cream trucks, race cars, princess castles, hot dog stands, superheroes. Then when my kids are done, they go off and play with dolls and Nerf guns. What do these research projects tell us about gender and the roles associated with it? 
  2. Overcoming the Biases That Come Between Us. Hunter Gehlbach talks about stereotypes, opinions, echo chambers, and more. He discusses cognitive biases...and why they exist: survival and efficiency. I liked this piece because it takes familiar theories and applies them in a new domain. 
  3. Ultimate Guide to Changing People's Beliefs, Values, and Emotional Reactions - The Affective Domain. David Wilkinson of The Oxford Review dissects the affective domain of learning and education. He depicts brainwashing and education at opposite ends of a spectrum along an axis of freedom. The modern learning environment is short on its inclusion and addressing of emotions, values and beliefs in both learners and teachers. David makes a solid case for looking deeper at the more ambiguous aspects of human development. 
  4. A Theory of Jerks. Eric Schwitzgebel writes a humorous piece on jerks and sweethearts. I couldn't help but think of inward versus outward mindsets when I read this piece. How do we see value in others and their perspectives, thoughts, ideas, etc? What can each of us do to become less jerk and more sweetheart?
  5. Helping Learners Move Beyond "I Can't Do This." Jackie Gerstein (I believe she's the author) offers a dozen suggestions on how to handle fixed mindsets in the learning setting. They range from the simple (like language) to the more comprehensive philosophic overhaul. 
Lastly, I did not finish my blog post this week. You'll just have to wait around...

I appreciate you allowing me to make these recommendations to you each Friday.
    Lou Hayes, Jr.
    thinking & adapting like a Tactical Philosopher


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