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Showing posts from January, 2012

Ethics - A quick overview of how I feel.

In short:
The study: Tell teachers some of their students are gifted (when they are not), and see if these students excel more academically on average.
Results: It would seem they do.
Ethical Implications: Yeah... about that..

A lot of studies have various ethical implications, which today go through incredible scrutiny to make sure we actually don't harm or impact the participant in any lasting way. It's reasonable, and in my opinion, necessary. However, let me point out the difficulty in having this system too. In education, we often want to learn what impacts participants and changes the way they learn to become smarter. However, for someone to become smarter, and learn more, you are inherently required to have a control group, which won't. That is always an issue. There are ways around it, and ways you can conduct the studies to put the control group in the experiment after you are done conducting data so that they both benefit, but for the most part, there's a lin…

How People Learn - Chapter 3

Why do they teach students reading, writing, and mathematics before they teach them how to eat? Think about that as I go through a review of this chapter to lead to my point. Learning in schools involves the core concept of abstracting knowledge to make it transferrable to other scenarios, mainly, as the chapter concludes, to everyday life. Transfer is the process through which you learn something bigger than mathematics or something bigger than that physics problem. Some would argue it is the overall increase in understanding. In order to achieve this transfer, one must have the passion and desire to do these things. This is where we should start most of teaching, in motivation. The study and understanding of how to create motivation in students is particularly, what, to me, makes a great lecture. Learning requires an in depth understanding of the representation of knowledge in the human brain. This understanding will allow you to make better connections with your students, and to r…

A change in title to walk the same direction.

"An english class I am not taking" has finally passed away. A blog I have had for over 4 years now filled with poetry and a hint of darkness, have now slowly faded away as I brightened my path and changed the title of this blog. The same remains the same as I shall rant away into passionate points in everything in my life, a large sequence of posts are to come too. Let it be known that I started this as one of my friends in highschool started a blog for her English class, and I decided, heck why not, but I was not taking the class, and hence the title. It was a great journey and now I find myself looking for a new fresh title.

And then I thought, I want something that represents life in general, and the ideas behind life, the art of life, and I went hmm, that's good. And then I didn't like art, it was too common of a word, so I went with portrait, the portrait of life. And somehow it didn't work yet, so I changed it once more, and replaced life with your steps, a…

How People Learn - Chapter 2

This chapter evaluates the ideas and thought processes that go through in an expert’s mind in order to better understand the idea of education and teaching. It then correlates that with effective teachers (noting that expertise in a field does not make you an expert teacher in that field), a nd how understanding ‘pedagogical content knowledge’ is of upmost importance for effective teaching. In short, we need to understand how the students we are teaching are thinking and what knowledge they bring to the table in order to allow them to understand new content. This ability to understand new content however comes with a condition. In order for a student to truly understand new material, he must understand the breadth and depth of his own knowledge. It is the path to this understanding that takes students from being novices to experts. As the chapter so brilliantly illustrates, experts use to be those who knew all the answers, or could at least fake to do so, but that was flawed in its v…

New Blog - My CS Adventure

I have decided today that I will be making a blog to keep track of my doings in the Open Source community and my work with different libraries that I am experimenting with now as I enter being a 3rd year Senior in Computer Science and find myself ready to work like never before to do wonderful work in this area.

I am excited to keep better track of the work I do and show it off, so hopefully you will all follow it. I have yet to decide a name for it, but i'll post the link once I figure it out.

UPDATE! The blog will be at http://dcastro9.blogspot.com/

How People Learn - Chapter 1

I am reading the book How People Learn and writing reviews which are encouraged to have your thought on the chapter, which makes me love writing these. Here's my first one, the next ones to come will just be the small summary and my thoughts:

It has become evident in education that learning by teaching the facts and assuming every student is equal is a flawed approach. The understanding of what the student knows, and his ideas about the subject matter are of incredible importance prior to introducing new material for learning. Learning is not a process of filling a glass with lemonade, but rather mixing the glass that may have some ingredients, but lacks the remaining, with what it is missing, and possibly removing ingredients that are not needed, to make the lemonade. It is this process that will create a lasting impression on the student. The first chapter of the paper expresses its subjects in a very orderly manner, tackling education in general at first, and then the actual d…