Jeff Bloom's Blog

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

When Things Go South — Schismogenesis

| June 28, 2016

Have you ever noticed what happens when our life situations go south or when big global situations turn bad? It seems that much more often than not, we react with aggression, which can range from pushing someone away to outright physical aggression and violence. At least in contemporary Western societies, the only other ways of […]

Responsibility and Relationships: From You and Me to Society

| March 9, 2016

Over the past eight months or so, my wife and I have been renting a house after moving from a different city. Several weeks ago we found a house to buy. We approached our landlord, who lives out of state, and proposed that if he can let us out of our lease we could help […]

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 […]

Beyond Systems 2: Borderless Cognition

| September 7, 2015

As discussed in my last posting, the mere mention of “systems” brings to mind images of mechanistic-like dynamics. But, this sort of association with living “systems” is problematic. In the embedded video of hawks catching prey and flying through various habitats, we can think about the dynamics of what is occurring, but not so much […]

Linear Thinking… a Lament

| April 10, 2015

Every time I listen to radio news, read news stories, communicate with people, I am saddened by the intensity of linear (or as Gregory Bateson referred to it, “lineal”) thinking. When I can discuss issues and try to present more complex, non-linear or recursive ways of thinking about problems, I almost always encounter a knee-jerk […]

Relationships, Bundles of Relationships

| October 14, 2010

Over the past several years – actually it’s probably been over the past several decades – I’ve been increasingly interested in “relationships.” This topic has arisen in previous posts. However, I’d like to explore this topic briefly, but in some depth here. When I bring up the topic with my students, the immediate reaction is […]

Children as Real People and Engaged Learners, but Schools Get in the Way

| October 14, 2010

I mention in my book, Creating a Classroom Community of Young Scientists (2nd ed.), that “children are people.” Although this may seem obvious, the “institution” of schooling assumes that children are something less than human. In fact, children (as emotional, thinking, creative, and curious human beings) are totally missing in The No Child Left Behind Act. Children […]

Confusion – Double Bind or Connection in the Classroom

| October 14, 2010

Recently, I was reading part of A Letter to My Students that I had sent them a few days earlier. Among the ideas that I mentioned were ideas of learning as non-linear and of learning as pattern thinking. After I finished a student asked the question, “… but how do patterns fit?” She went on, […]

Disconnects – A Brief Initial Exploration

| October 14, 2010

The initial question I posed on my previous post (What is the extent of the disconnects we experience today?) is almost overwhelming. Each of us, if we sit and think about it, can come up with a huge list of examples of the disconnects we experience in our lives. In some ways the list seems […]