Posts Tagged ‘socratic learning’

About Just-in-Time E-Learning

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The current model of Education, the Factory, is outdated and will be replaced by the old model of the Guild now called a Community of Practice.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


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?


END_LABEL: Read Blog


A video about car repair using augmented reality

Why Loops are really usefull in Software Programs 

About Reflection

A Generic Learning Model

About Expectation Failures (the theory of Roger Schank).

How to Measure the Productivity of Knowledge Workers

About Learning Styles

About Learning Styles II

About Educational Simulators

About the Learning Factory

Are we Heading at a Total Collapse of all Systems?

Monday, December 17th, 2007
When I finished my blog about the Great Depression in 1929 I wanted to write about the Great Depression of 2008. I was convinced this would happen again. I am not the only one. Many known and unknown people are warning about a worldwide economic disaster (a deep recession).

The Central Banks are pumping money into the market to prevent this to happen but to their big surprise the market is not able to use this money because the banks are afraid to lend money to other banks because there is no trust at all.

They want to revive the system but the system is in a very special and dangerous state called StagFlation. It is slowing down AND speeding up in terms of prices and the creation of money. Stagflation is something the Economist cannot handle. It is a Catch 22-situation. What you do, it always works against you.

Another problem is caused by the collective believe that things are going wrong. People stop to invest and to buy which generates a downward spiral. You can lower the interest rates to zero but when many people are afraid to buy they don’t need a credit.

The collective believe-system is the most important factor. When the Central Bank is lowering the rates it is telling two stories at the same time. The first story is that it is doing something to help but it also confirms the believe that something is really wrong.

The second story is more powerful than the first story. People don’t believe in the financial system anymore. It has destroyed itself. What the people need is self-confidence and a way to solve their own problems but The System that is there to help them is in trouble itself.

The only way out is that people start to cooperate without the “interference” of the big complex dying systems. The Rich could simply lend their money directly to the “poor” entrepreneurs. There are enough people available to create new businesses but they are simply stopped by the incomprehensible System that has lost its own Entrepreneurship long ago.

The Rich, the Investors, don’t want do this because they don’t know how to trust an Entrepreneur. They want to be helped by experts who really don’t know what they are talking about because they are way beyond the practices of real life. The experts live in a highly abstract world that is dominated by Models and Models have nothing to do with Reality. They are a product of the Imagination. To solve our problems we have to move back to Earth and become Practical again.

In a blog I explained to so called Domino-effect. When one domino falls all the domino’s fall. At this moment all the banking-domino’s are preventing the domino-effect to take place. They are afraid they will lend something to another bank that will fall.

The banks are unable to show their credibility because they are unaware of their own risks. The financial structure of a bank has become incomprehensible because of the very complex products based on expectations and the failing IT-Systems that are unable to show what is really happening. Everything is connected to everything. The financial community is a highly complicated knot.

Many people are trying to comprehend the current situation but they are missing the right theory. Suddenly I remembered the Resilience Alliance (RA). They have created a beautiful theory to explain ecologies. It is not difficult to see that the financial system is an ecology.

RA has defined an adaptive cycle with four distinct phases: growth, conservation, collapse and reorganization. The cycle contains two major phases, the fore-loop (growth and conservation) and the back-loop (collapse and reorganization).
At that time an Innovation in Religion came into the World. This innovation can be summarized by the famous statement of Socrate Know Thyself. When we Know Our Selves we will be inspired by our Inner Light. Know Thyself has been translated into many practical approaches like Socratic Learning, Socratic Decision Making (Sociocracy) and of course the Cooperation.

The most important point is not to believe in the Apocalyps but to understand that a collapse is always followed by growth and conservation but on a new level. Believing in the End will generate the End. Our collective imagination is one of the strongest forces on Earth. Look for the signs of the new structure that will enfold out of the old one. Join people that are driven by Spirit and Soul. They are everywhere.

The back-loop is a rapid phase. During the fore-loop wealth is slowly accumulated and competitive processes lead to a few dominant species. The fore-loop destroys diversity. This is what happening in nature and it looks like the same thing is happening in other human ecologies. When most of the diversity is gone the ecology is highly connected and vulnerable to external influences. When something unexpected happens the total ecology collapses.

My feeling is that we are now in a state were many ecologies are collapsing at the same moment. They are collapsing because Nature is collapsing at an impressive speed. We are not heading for a Great Depression but we are heading for the Big Collapse.

The back-loop is a rapid phase. Suddenly the Weather changes with an incredible speed. Suddenly the Financial Market is evaporating and we are unable to do anything. Suddenly major conflicts start and we are unable to manage them with the current systems.

According to RA after the collapse the ecology reorganizes itself by jumping back to a “hidden” state that was stored in its memory a very long time ago.

How far back do we have to go in history to find our rescue? In another blog I wrote about the destructing cycle that was caused by a new insight that was given to the world by Socrate and the Buddha.

How Socrate changed the Cycle of Western Civilization

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

SocrateMany people Project their Knowledge of the Now to History. They Think that People Thought the same Thoughts many years ago.

To understand the Spirit of The Time we have to understand the Historical Context People lived in. One way of doing this is to look at a shared foundation and study the Historical Variations on the Central Theme.

This idea corresponds with the Insights of Micheal Bahktin. He called the central theme The Chronotope, “The place where the knots of narrative are tied”. I used his theory to have a look at the Cultural Cycle of History.

I combined the theory of Bahktin with the Economic Cycle Theory of Kondratiev. To my big surprise Kondratiev and Bahktin use a different periodicity (50, 250 years) of the Cycle but the stages of the Cycle were the same.

What surprised me more what that the periodicities of the Cycles where related by the factor Five. When you know the basic periodicity the only thing you have to do is multiply or divide by five and the same pattern, the Basic Fractal of History, emerges. The Five or the Pentagram shows itself in every culture on Earth. When we transform this structure in three dimensions it shows itself as a Spiral or a Moebius Ring.

A beautiful example of a projection of the Now on History was a visit to the Cave of Lascaux in France. An anthropologist was explaining to us what we were seeing.

The Cave contained many Spiraling Abstract Paintings. She told us that the Cave was used for rituals and the many pictures we saw had a symbolic meaning. I did not believe that because the theory of symbolism was “invented” by de Saussure (1857-1913).

The people that lived in the Cave had no idea of Symbolisms and Symbols. They just painted what they “saw” in the Outside World and the Inside World. If I place myself in their Context I cannot Imagine they were Thinking a lot. I feel they were Experiencing Nature in all his states of Wonder and Terror. Imagine what a beautifull Sky they were experiencing every Night and you will understand why the Sky Father was the major Force they felt.

The people that lived at the time of the Cave of Lascaux always situated their Holy Places at the crossings of important Ley Lines. These Ley Lines represent the Spiraling Knots of the Electro Magnetic Field of the Earth (the Earth Grid) .

Highly sensitive people can still feel the PowerPlaces and it is not strange to assume that the sensitive people at that time (“the Sjamans”) could do the same. Just like the Current Sjamans they could travel Space/Time by performing Rituals (Spinning, Chanting the Sacred Tones), Lucid Dreaming or by eating Sacred psychoactive plants like the Peyote and the Amanita Muscaria (the Soma).

Symbolism was a theme of the Spirit of the Time of a stage in the development of the Kondratiev Wave that operated between 1890 and 1940. It was the time of Standardization (Control, Plan).

The stage before this stage (1850-1890) was related to Energy (Ego, Self, Desire, Fire). It was the time when the Steel Mills were created, the research in Chemistry started and Alexander Noble invented Dynamite. I was able to map every phase of the Kondratiev Cycle to the Cycle of Bahktin.

The 5 phases of the Kondratiev Cycle (5×50 =250 years) could be summarized at a higher level, the Industrial Revolution. I found out that the Industrial Revolution was a Social Movement. A Social Movement is always preceded by a Spiritual Movement, the Renaissance.

I started to map the Cycle again with a periodicty of 250 years. The time-interval between 1450 and 1700 is called Renaissance. It is the stage of the Spirit and Ideas. The model fitted.

I went back 5×250 years (200-450). In this time Christianity was created by the Roman Emperor Constantine I. He used the widespread Cult of Mithras to introduce Christianity in the Roman Empire. Again we are in the stage of the Spirit. The Model fitted.

I jumped to a higher level of the Cycle (The Cycle of Civilizations) and travelled further back in time. I arrived at the time of the Cave of Lascaux. At that time many caves contained “abstract pictures”. The pictures look like Spiraling Spirals.

Later the spirals where placed in a Medicine Wheel and connected to Animals (Eagle, Bull). The same animals appear in the Medieval Cathedrals but now they are related to the Apostles. Even the medicine wheel (a labyrinth) can be found there.

If you walk this wheel in the Cathedral it will point you to all the important stories that are told. Just like the Medicine Wheel the Cathedrals (build by the (Free) Masons) where an educational tool to tell about the Spiral of Life. Suddenly I saw the big picture.

Every step in the Cycle was nothing but a new way to show the “same thing” again and again. The spiralling spiral came back all the time but on a different level.

What happened around 550 BC?

At that time an Innovation in Religion came into the World. This innovation can be summarized by the famous statement of Socrate Know Thyself. The same statement can be found in the Gospel of Thomas and is also the central theme of the teachings of the Buddha. The Gospel of Thomas is a part of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a Gnostic Library of the Essenes, dated 50 BC.

Jesus said: Whoever knows the All but fails to know himself lacks everything . . . But the Kingdom is within you and it is without you. If you will know yourselves, then you will be known and you will know that you are the sons of the Living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty and you are poverty“.

Boeddha became an Inspiration in the East. Socrate and Jezus were killed. From that time on an enormous amount of people were killed in the West when they wanted to Know Themselves, find the Whole in their Inner World.

They could not experience the Roman Religion through A System. Know Thyself was a huge threat to the Rulers of Western Civilization. Constantine simply took over Christianity to preserve the power and made it into a Roman System. A system of Laws to Obey. He practiced the old Roman trick of Divide and Conquer to save his Empire.

Between 1450 and 1700, the Renaissance, the tides started to turn. It took another 250 years (1950) before the people in Europe started to find their own Identity again. We are now in the Stage of Individuality of the Cycle and are slowly entering the state of Empathy. It shows itself in the many attempts to create Networks (Communities). The Internet is one of the major Western technological inventions to support this.

The Cycles of East and West (and North and South) are coming together. The Eastern Cultures embrace Western Culture and the Western Culture embraces Eastern Culture. We can create Harmony by a fuse of everything the Human Race has Learnt when a new cycle started around 550 BC.

The Cycle of The Earth is almost at The Breaking Point. According to many environmental scientists we will soon experience a very fast Reorganization on the Level of Earth. The long term cycle of Earth is restoring itself.

Not only Earth will restore itself. The original Spirituality of the civilization of MU, will be restored. An ancient Bhuddist prophesy speaks of the darkest hour of the Dark Age, when the rivers of materialism burst their banks, and plague, famine, greed and warefare beset desperate people everywhere.

That Dark Age will soon end and the new Golden Age will appear. Many living buddhas are now here to bring the precious healing Dharma to anyone ready to receive it.