Ross Parker

International College Hong Kong

CIS SYMPOSIUM ON INTERCULTURAL LEARNING . LISBON . 23/03/2018

An effective strategy for global mindedness

I don’t know if you have had this emphasised to you, but I was asked to make sure that there were plenty of opportunities for interaction and that take-away pedagogical techniques be included.

The Thinking Routine was one, which you’ve got. Another was a Diamond 9 - using the slide on the original that listed a bunch of technologies, I asked them to rank them in order of importance. And I did - very briefly - the Q’eswachaka Bridge exercise.

Very Quick Warm Up

Participation is not optional

Toby Newton

Head of School, ICHK Secondary

HELLO!

I’m Ross Parker

Director of Technology, Pedagogy & Assessment

International College Hong Kong

@rossdotparker | http://rossparker.org

Warning!

This stuff is challenging.

Setting The Scene

Education, Humankind & The Future

That is, it creates scientistically minded students who have picked up the (hardly) surreptitious message: if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t matter, and if you can measure, you want maximum ‘output’ at all costs.

Start with a two part quiz - (1) what theme unites all these issues? (2) Why are the two in white distinct?

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

H.G. Wells

It puts one in mind of the famous HG Wells quote ...

But, what if...

…’education’ is itself the catastrophe?

The ‘anthropocene’, with its many emerging hazards, seems to be far more the consequence of educated than uneducated minds

Scientific schooling uses precisely the same techniques as scientific management. Measure (test) everyone. Often. Figure out which inputs are likely to create testable outputs. If an input isn’t easily testable, ignore it.

It would be a mistake to say that scientific education doesn’t work. It does work. It creates what we test.

School is doing the best job it knows how to create the output it is being asked to create. We ought to be asking school to make something different. And the only way to go about that is to go about it differently. School is successful … at the wrong thing.

Seth Godin

Stop Stealing Dreams

That is, school creates scientifically minded students who have picked up the (hardly) surreptitious message: if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t matter, and if you can measure, you want maximum ‘output’ at all costs.

So we get what we deserve and we need to decide to do things differently.

Schools are generally acknowledged to ‘have’ curriculums although typically it is not acknowledged that they are a curriculum. But, of course, they are. Everything about school has an effect - intentional or not - on the shaping of the young, and a ‘course of study’ surely includes all the conditions under which learning takes place … the total school environment is the most visible thing about school and is certainly what is most remembered about school by everybody in later years.

Neil Postman

Teaching as a Conserving Activity

This moves Godin’s point on - that the culture of school is targeted towards ‘efficiency’ and ‘output’ and ‘growth’ at all costs, at the expense of play and reflection and wider self-knowledge

Technics & Civilisation, Lewis Mumford

The essential issue is that nothing is but what is made to be by the alchemy of the system.

RD Laing

Politics of Experience

This makes Postman’s point more poetically/aphoristically - and, for me, it’s a brilliant reminder how important it is to create the right culture in schools (or institutions or communities more widely).

The faith is that despite some of the more debilitating teachings of culture itself, something can be done in schools that will alter the lenses through which one sees the world; which is to say that non-trivial schooling can provide a point of view from which what is can be seen clearly …

Neil Postman

The End of Education

Human Tech is Postman’s “non-trivial schooling” - precisely it provides a POV that is critical yet generous and holistic. We are all in the same boat and all rely on technologies with strengths and weaknesses that need to be adjudged historically.

Human Technologies

Curriculum in a New Key

That is, it creates scientistically minded students who have picked up the (hardly) surreptitious message: if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t matter, and if you can measure, you want maximum ‘output’ at all costs.

What is technology?

Using the Think-Pair-Share Thinking Routine

Explore the results of people’s thinking … doesn’t matter where they get to - next slides act either as confirmation or surprise ...

Technology is anything invented after you were born.

Alan Kay

An interesting perspective on how we view technology: as only the new stuff.

Technology is everything that doesn't work yet

Danny Hillis

Quoted by Kevin Kelly

An interesting perspective on how we view technology: as only the new stuff.

… scripts, systems, devices, routines, rituals, methods, methodologies, tools, recipes, procedures, protocols, instruments, frameworks, practices, orthodoxies, conventions, apparatuses, customs, formulae …

What is relationship between humans and technology?

Using the Think-Pair-Share Thinking Routine

Explore the results of people’s thinking … doesn’t matter where they get to - next slides act either as confirmation or surprise ...

We feel we move in channels that have been projected from afar by vast impersonal forces.

Matthew B. Crawford

Shop Class as Soulcraft, 2009

This sets the scene for the big picture view of technology: as a force that has shaped human history, development, culture, etc.

“Both as workers and as consumers, we feel we move in channels that have been projected from afar by vast impersonal forces. We worry that we are becoming stupider, and begin to wonder if getting an adequate grasp on the world, intellectually, depends on getting a handle on it in some literal and active sense.”

Matthew B. Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work

Phylogenetic change - e.g. fire allows for smaller gut .˙. bigger brains

Ontogenetic affordances - depending on where you live, survival will depend on a range of appropriate technologies

Homo technologicus? - certainly

Homo sapiens? - the jury’s out

… but the signs aren’t great :-(

“Homo sapiens sapiens”, anatomically modern man, frail, defenseless, clever and cunning, but certainly not wise.

It is culture that makes us human, that allows us to adapt, to create, to thrive. In evolutionary terms, nature develops slowly (PHYLOGENETIC change), whereas culture develops rapidly (ONTOGENETIC change).

And what is culture but an accretion, a concatenation of technologies?

The HT Venn Diagram

Somatic Technologies

Affect our use, configuration, understanding and upkeep of our bodies. They are the most elemental of all technologies, because human life is inescapably lived through the body, including through the embodied mind. Somatic technologies include handwriting, the regulation of breathing, walking with style, callisthenics and the Alexander technique.

Cognitive Technologies

Have the potential to make our thinking clearer and more effective. They include language, maths and the scientific method, and also formal logic and tools such as Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats or Ron Ritchhart’s Thinking Routines.

Material Technologies

The physical things that make us more impactful and effective in the world. They include all the stuff without which we would live very different lives and, in some cases, without which we could not live at all. Clothing is a material technology; so, too, speed bumps; cookware; exam scripts; money; iPads. We live in a world of exponentially expanding material technologies.

Social Technologies

The devices, strategies, tricks and scripts that allow us to get on more effectively with others. Smiling, when drawn on at will to ease communication, is a technology; nodding during conversation to encourage your interlocutor is a technology; shaking hands to indicate trust is another; so too winking to suggest complicity; or looking ostentatiously at your watch to indicate a conversation (or presentation) has overrun.

Spiritual Technologies

The practices, methods and techniques that allow us to know ourselves better, to regulate our emotions and mood when that seems advisable or desirable. Mindfulness is a technology; yoga is another; what the Japanese term shinrin-yoku (森林浴) (tree bathing i.e. going for a walk in the forest) is a technology; as is any programme of physical exercise, even one as simple as a brisk five minute walk. At its best, a family meal is a spiritual technology.

… we do not aim to ‘turn back history’ to the comforts of social cohesion in traditional society - with all the constraints over personal freedom that it entails. Nor do we reduce the individual to a manageable stupidity in a complex society that he does not understand. Instead, we accept the increase in social diversity and personal complexity and attempt to arm the individual so he can cope with what history is doing to him. Then it becomes a fair game - so we educate him to face up to the world ...

Ernest Becker

Revolution in Psychiatry

Human Tech is Postman’s “non-trivial schooling” - precisely it provides a POV that is critical yet generous and holistic. We are all in the same boat and all rely on technologies with strengths and weaknesses that need to be adjudged historically.

What is the most destructive material technology in the history of humankind?

Using the Think-Pair-Share Thinking Routine

~

Year 10 HT Responses

Year 10 responses: projectile weapons, cigarettes, atomic bomb, 4G phones, the nation state

Deconstructing the Nation State

https://goo.gl/TBokvC

https://goo.gl/TBokvC

Beyond “international mindedness”?

What have we learned from this last activity?

Weaving the Bridge at Q’eswachaka

TASK: you are Government Health & Safety Inspectors, asked to recommend whether the existing bridge should be replaced with a permanent stress-tested affordable aluminium structure designed to international standards. What is your recommendation - and why?

https://goo.gl/TBokvC

Ontological vs Epistemological Reality

How much of our “reality” is malleable?

THANKS!

Any questions?

This Slide Deck

You can find me at:

@rossdotparker

ross@rossparker.org

http://rossparker.org

https://goo.gl/pEXhCc

LICENSE & CREDITS

Presentation by Toby Newton & Ross Parker

Shared under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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Warning icon by Vectors Market from Flat Icon

Hong Kong Air Pollution Image from Wikimedia Commons

Fire by Raj Mohanlal from the Noun Project

Swatch by Lee Mette from the Noun Project

Human by zidney from the Noun Project

20180323 - CIS Symposium Lisbon - Human Technologies - Google Slides