What I want from technology is not a new world. What I want from technology are tools for exploring and enjoying the world that is – the world that comes to us thick with ‘things counter, original, spare, strange’, as Gerard Manley Hopkins once described it. We might all live in Silicon Valley now, but we can still act and think as exiles. We can still aspire to be what Seamus Heaney, in his poem ‘Exposure’, called inner émigrés.”
What we are saying is that there are different ways of telling a story, and they have different impacts on the way we perceive social reality. Literary fiction, we say, tends to challenge social categories – the characters are category-resistant … Popular fiction, on the other hand, uses types of characters which help us immediately understand what is going on. That’s how we learn about the social world – how we build our national and cultural identities.”
Any Gikuyu mother in Kenya knows that you wait to give a child a task until you see that she is ready for it. Any Baiga father in the forests of India knows that if a child tries something and then backs away, you leave him alone, because he will be back to try again later. Any Yup’ik elder knows that young children learn better from story than lecture, from hands-on experience than direct instruction. Any Fore parent from Papua New Guinea knows that children sometimes learn best by emulating older children, not by being taught by adults. People all over the world know these things about children and learning, and interestingly, they are as workable for learning how to design software or conduct a scientific experiment or write an elegant essay as they are for learning to hunt caribou or identify medicinal plants in a rainforest. But we don’t know them any more.”
Every week I send out articles I encounter from around the web. Subject matter ranges from hard knowledge about teaching to research about creativity and cognitive science to stories from other industries that, by analogy, inform what we do as educators. This breadth helps us see our work in new ways.
Readers include teachers, school leaders, university overseers, conference organizers, think tank workers, startup founders, nonprofit leaders, and people who are simply interested in what’s happening in education. They say it helps them keep tabs on what matters most in the conversation surrounding schools, teaching, learning, and more.
– Peter Nilsson