## Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

When I was a student I made some money by helping young people to understand Mathematics. I Listened to the way they tried to Solve the Puzzles their Teachers gave them and tried to find out their Personal Way of Reasoning.

When I found their reasoning problem I gave them a new Way to Think.

This approach was very effective. Sometimes I just needed one hour and the highly frustrated pupil transformed into a Lover of Mathematics. They saw that Mathematics is the Art of Beauty and Harmony.

The main problem most of these pupils had was the Why-Question. They wanted to know what was “behind” mathematics. In Mathematics there is no Why. Mathematics is “Just the Way it is“. It is a System of Rules you have to Apply.

When you are a Highly Creative Person Mathematics is a Highly Frustrating Science.

Highly Creative Persons are Highly Associative.  They See Links between Every-Thing. They Build Bridges between Islands almost nobody knows they exist.

Highly Creative Persons Think with their Imagination. They Jump from Images to Image.

The Images of the Mathematicians are Abstract Symbols and most of the time the Mathematical Symbols are chosen without any relationship to the Situation they want to represent.

If Creative, Associative, Persons are not able to See what Mathematics is trying to represent they are Lost in Space.

When we go back in History the Imagination (and not Thinking/Reasoning) was the most important “Thinking-Tool“. The meaning of the word “Think” originally meant “to See“.

The Art of Reasoning was based on detecting Correspondences.

The Ancient Scientists observed Nature and found out that certain situations “looked alike“. They used and linked Visual Metaphors to explain what they observed.

Abstract Concepts were always represented by something others could See.

The interesting point is that New Scientists are founding out what the Old Scientists already knew. Our Basic Reasoning System is based on Images.

When we move to the Abstract Domain we use Images (called Prototypes) to Reason. Abstract terms like Furniture are always represented by a prototype we have Seen.

This explains why most of the People are not able to See Mathematics and why most of the People have a big problem Understanding Ancient Knowledge.

They try to Map the Ancient Visual Landscape of Knowledge to the Modern Space of  Abstract Terms they don’t understand.

They are looking for something that is already there.

They are asking the Why-Question while the  Ancient Knowledge is Visible All Around Us.

About Topology, the Art of Seeing

Monday, October 6th, 2008

The best way to define a tactic or a strategy is to look back to look forward. You have to understand history to understand the future.

When you realize that history is a cyclic process you are able to copy historic solutions and integrate them in the future infrastructure which is also a repetition of a historic infrastructure.

The current model of Education, the Factory, is outdated and will be replaced by the old model of the Guild now called a Community of Practice.

Let’s have a look at the History of Education.

Education was and is mostly achieved by imitation. Humans are extremely qualified to copy the behavior of others. Therefore the best way to learn a trade is to copy the behavior of a qualified craftsman by serving as an apprentice.

The development of writing and book printing made it possible to distribute practical knowledge (experience) to many people. Later the practical skills were abstracted into theoretical knowledge.

The education of theoretical knowledge (Philosophy, Law and Rhetoric) and the expansion of this knowledge was the task of the Universities. They educated a very small part of the population (the Elite).

Our current education system dates back to the Industrial Revolution. At that time agricultural workers were needed to perform, repetitive, factory jobs.

The schools were organized as a production-line that produced high quality (tested) products that were assembled according to the specifications (the Curriculum) of the Factory-owners.

The School Factory-Model is still operating but the Factory-owners don’t need the workers anymore. They are transformed into Robots. The Factories moved up in abstraction. To find a decent job workers also have to move up in abstraction. Every time when the Factory Schooling System has adopted its curriculum the outside world has moved up again.

When a School moves up in abstraction it moves to another level in the Schooling Hierarchy.

The schools of lower education are not able to move up because they have to serve the children who are unable to abstract. The distance between the lower and higher levels is growing with an increasing speed.

When we look at the Cycle of Education it is very clear that we have to reuse an old model in a new infrastructure to solve this problem.

This old model is apprenticeship.

What is the new infrastructure?

The new infrastructure is the Internet. So the new way to support apprentices is E-Learning. The Internet can be seen in many ways but the most interesting way is the Social Perspective.

The Internet is a collaboration system. The Masters (and the apprentices) were organized in (local) Guilds. The Guilds took care of many things. They organized insurance, shared their secret practices and took care for the old. At this moment Guilds are called Communities of Practice.

What kind of E-Learning?

Just-in-time E-Learning.

What is Just-in-Time E-Learning?

Just-in-Time E-Learning is Learning when you are facing a problem.

Learning starts when your Expectation Fails. When your Expectation Fails  you have to find a solution. When you are unable to find a solution you have already Searched for alternatives so you are open to hear the right answer (Problem Solving).

When you are open to hear the right answer you are Focused. When you are focused you are in the Right Mood to learn (Motivation).

When you finally have formulated the right question you know the right answer (Socratic Learning).

When you are an apprentice you ask Your Master to Help. When your master is unable to give the right answer the “computer” will provide you with the right answer (Help-Systems, Wiki).

How do you design a Just-in-Time E-Learning System?

You have to Interview the Masters to find out what their Expectation-Failures were. When you transform the failures in rules you have created an Expert-System or a Diagnostic System.

Let’s have a look at the Future of Automobiles.

Over the last 30 years, the amount of computer-based technology – compared with mechanical systems – making up the average car has increased from nothing to more than 45 per cent. And this rise is showing no signs of slowing down. To cope with this, the role of the mechanic has evolved from mechanical repair to one that is highly technological. As technology continues to evolve, they must learn continuously to keep up with new developments.

Using highly specialized diagnostic equipment, technicians are able to monitor and diagnose key areas of a vehicle to ensure they are working correctly, from engines to exhaust emission levels.

Many provide automatic updates to technical manuals and access to manufacturers’ service information, keeping technicians up-to-date on new developments. But it’s not just a simple process of plugging a car into a diagnostic unit. If the wrong data is applied, serious damage could be done to a very expensive vehicle.

It is necessary to study Computer-Technology to Maintain a Car?

I don’t think so.

It is necessary to study Automotive-Technology to Maintain a Car?

I don’t think so. When you know how to operate the diagnostic tools you are able to fix a car.

Now we have reached the most interesting part.

When we combine Just-in-Time Learning with the Tools that are available to Diagnose a car we have created a highly effective Learning Environment.

When a mechanic diagnosis a car-failure he can ask Question like How (Is Motor working?), Why (Is Motor producing Rotational Energy?), What (is Motor?) or What is Happening?.

Who is Developing Learning Environments in the Car Industry?

The developers of Educational Just-in-Time E-Learning Tools are not situated in the Factory School anymore. The Educational Tools are developed by the Manufacturers of the Cars! The Makers of the Tools you Use Are the Developers of the Educational Tools to work with the Tools. The only thing they have to is to make them Self-Explaining!

The Tools have to Understand Them Selves.

LABEL: When Everybody is “Out OF Work” GOTO END_LABEL

It is possible to Maintain Your Own Car?

In a few years time this will be possible when you buy a new car.

At that moment the mechanics are only useful to maintain the old cars.

But it is not very difficult to develop a (Semantic) Model of an Old Cars also.

How Long will this Take?

The tools are already there the big problem (as usual) is the Schooling System Itself.

Will the Educational Factory Adopt itself to the new Situation?

No.

It is very difficult to Change Yourself.

What the Educational System needs is an Huge Expectation Failure.

What could this Failure Be?

The Government will stop funding the System.

Will that Ever Happen?

What the Government needs is a Huge Expectation Failure.

Will that Ever Happen?

It will happen when The Citizens will stop funding the Government.

Will that Ever Happen?

It will happen when most of the Citizins will be out of Work.

Will that ever Happen?

It will happen when Your are able to Do Everything Your Self.

Will that ever Happen?

Goto LABEL.

A video about car repair using augmented reality

Why Loops are really usefull in Software Programs

A Generic Learning Model

About Expectation Failures (the theory of Roger Schank).

How to Measure the Productivity of Knowledge Workers

### Why the Education Factory is Producing Products Nobody Wants to Buy Anymore

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

I have been involved with the Education System in many roles. I have been responsible for the education of children and adults and I have advised many companies and institutions (including the Dutch Ministry of Education) about education.I want to write a few blogs about this issue. This is the first one.

The first issue I want to write about is the System itself. I think the System is at the end of his life-cycle. It is dying.

The current System was created just after the war to handle many children (now called the baby-boomers). It’s focus was efficiency.

To be efficient the System was organized according to the paradigms that where part of the “Spirit of the Time” at that time. The main paradigm was the Factory.

The main product of the Factory is of course a product and the product has to be tested (exams).

There are many product-lines and they deliver products of high (University) and low quality.

The product-lines produce workers who are prepared to work in the product-lines of the next step, the real product-lines in the factories.

They deliver the norms for the previous step. At this moment the factories are using robots and we don’t need human robots anymore.

The current educational factories don’t know what product they have to deliver.

One serious problem is the Input. The Input has become more conscious every year. When I was at school we were accustomed to being programmed. We listened to the teacher and tried to do our utmost best.

This attitude changed of course when we got older and created big problems in the state of puberty. The state op puberty (resistance to power) now starts at a very early age. Females are much earlier in this state than males.

The big problem now is motivate children to learn something. They are easily bored and need an exiting environment to become motivated.

This environment is provided by commercial companies. They attract and manipulate young people with ease and provide them with goals in life that are very unrealistic. They also provide them with tools (games) that are much more exiting (and educational??) than what they are getting at school.

The last point is that we live in a highly materialistic society. This society provides simple goals that are related to making a lot of money. Many parents support their children in these goals and “making a lot of money” determines the major choices made in school.

At the end of the assembly-line the product looks around and is very dissapointed. There is no work available  or the speed in which they are able to reach their materialistic goals is much to slow. The effect is a mid-life-crisis at thirty.

If you read this blog you see that the Educational System has to compete with the Mass Communication Industry and this Industry is very wealthy and global.

The Educational System is local and poor and is not using the Marketing tricks of the Mass Communication Industry. It is certainly not able to follow the speed of innovation in this industry. The current Schooling System is completely out of tricks.

To solve their problems we have to restructure the System but this is not possible for the simple reason that Old Systems are resistant to change. The only thing we can do is to wait for is a total collapse.

What can we do to change the Factory Scholing System?

We have to Speed Up the process of dying.

How?

By creating exciting educational games!