Jeff Bloom's Blog

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

| 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. […]

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 […]

Brainwashing

| April 21, 2016

The brainwashing discussed in the article about the Dalai Lama, below, also applies to other areas, such as our thinking about schooling/education, the nature of our world, how we view others, relationships, life in contemporary societies, and much much more. We need to question all of the assumptions that underlie everything we do. It’s difficult, […]

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 […]

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, […]

The Tragedy of Simple Science Illiteracy

| September 28, 2015

I’m a science educator, but I’m not a big fan of promoting science as more important than the arts or any other subject matter area. I often cringe when I hear people talk about the importance of science literacy. But…. there comes a point, when I think, “wait a minute! Everybody should know this.” Last […]

Teaching, Learning, and Time

| September 25, 2015

Almost all of schooling is focused around warped uses of time. By “warped” I mean trying to squeeze a lot of material into a short period of time. “Efficiency” is the key word that marks this insidiously warped use of time. When I talk about schools in this post, I am generalizing about the vast […]

Alternatives to Consumerism in Life and Schooling

| September 21, 2015

Over the past few days, I was thinking about this week’s blog entry as a re-analysis of some old research data from a teaching unit. I was looking through old transcripts of students working on a ship building project and how their thinking naturally involved multiple perspectives and seamless multiple interacting systems. I think I’ll […]