Jeff Bloom's Blog

Mullings on teaching, learning, schooling, society, ecology, systems, spirituality, connections…

Communication & Information – Norbert Wiener’s Paradox

| August 26, 2016

“…We cannot afford to ignore Norbert Wiener’s observation of a paradox that results from our increasing technological capability in electronic communication: as the number of messages increases, the amount of information carried decreases. We have more media to communicate fewer significant ideas.” FROM: Neil Postman & Charles Weingartner. (1969). Teaching As a Subversive Activity. — […]

What do Schools Teach Children?

| August 3, 2016

Paul Birtwell posted a graphic that listed the following criteria of schooling: What does school really teach children? Truth comes from authority. Intelligence is the ability to remember and repeat. Accurate memory and repetition are rewarded. Non-compliance is punished. Conform intellectually and socially. … Yep… and it’s been this way for a long, long time. […]

Habits of Mind

| June 12, 2016

We have these habits of mind in the West where we think along lines that are linear… simple cause and effect. But, the world (outside of simple physical, nonliving events) does not work that way. We must think about the complexity of multiple systems interacting and where the “blame” is in the relationships, which is […]

Corporatization of Colleges and Universities

| May 18, 2016

“Corporatization of Higher Education” from Salon.com The above linked article from last October is a good short piece on a few of the problems involved in the corporatization of universities. This change in how universities are run is a huge problem. University decision-making used to be based primarily upon “learning,” which included bringing in high […]

“Knowledge and Thought Have Parted Company”

| May 17, 2016

“If it should turn out to be true that knowledge… and thought have parted company for good, then we would indeed become the helpless slaves, not so much of our machines as of our know-how, thoughtless creatures at the mercy of every gadget which is technically possible, no matter how murderous it is.” — Hannah […]

Epistemology, Epistemological Shock, and Schooling: Part 1

| December 18, 2015

I want to elaborate on a discussion that followed a re-posting of call for university students to stop whining and suck it up when “scary new ideas that challenge your beliefs…” (supposedly by Larry Winget) are presented. In my re-posting, I said: Mary Catherine Bateson called this experiencing epistemological shock. I have felt that as […]

Learning Content is the Trivial Part of Learning

| November 5, 2015

We really have it all backwards. We are completely focused on having kids and adults learn copious amounts of content as the supreme goal of education. But, such a goal is really rather trivial within the entire scope of learning. This is blasphemy in the politico-corporate controlled institutions of education, testing, and publishing, but I […]

Being in a Learning System

| October 25, 2015

Last evening, I had the pleasure of participating in the International Bateson Institute session at the October Gallery in London with a number of wonderful IBI colleagues and extraordinary guests. Our discussion skirted around the notion of how systems learn. At one point, one of the guests asked, “What is it like to be in […]

Play and the Killing of Children’s Spirits in U.S. Schools

| October 7, 2015

Play may be the most powerful form of learning. Play allows us to break rules, test boundaries, look at things upside-down. I can’t imagine a Richard Feynman who didn’t play; or, a Charles Darwin, or an Albert Einstein, or a Carl Sagan, or a Lynn Margulis, or a Stephen Jay Gould, or a Jane Goodall, […]

Jerome Bruner Turns 100 Today, October 1, 2015

| October 1, 2015

Jerry Bruner was and still is an inspiration for my own work (teaching and research). I mentioned to him many years ago that he reminded me of Gregory Bateson, and he responded that he wasn’t even close to being at that level. He is a humble man with a great mind and heart. And, I […]