Neuroscience and education: myths and messages

NATURE REVIEWS | NEUROSCIENCE

activebrainAbstract: For several decades, myths about the brain — neuromyths — have persisted in schools and colleges, often being used to justify ineffective approaches to teaching. Many of these myths are biased distortions of scientific fact. Cultural conditions, such as differences in terminology and language, have contributed to a ‘gap’ between neuroscience and education that has shielded these distortions from scrutiny. In recent years, scientific communications across this gap have increased, although the messages are often distorted by the same conditions and biases as those responsible for neuromyths. In the future, the establishment of a new field of inquiry that is dedicated to bridging neuroscience and education may help to inform and to improve these communications.

Article here

PDF Neuroscience myths

Posted in Critical Thinking, Media Articles, Cartoons, Philosophy of Mind - Consciousness | Comments Off on Neuroscience and education: myths and messages

Free will is not as free as we think – and that’s ok.

The Philosopher’s Zone – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Free will is on the run. Bit by scientific bit, the belief that we might actually command our own domain is in retreat. But all is not lost, according to Julian Baggini, who’s most comfortable with the idea of not having total control.

Source: How to love a less free will – The Philosopher’s Zone – ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Posted in Media Articles, Cartoons | Comments Off on Free will is not as free as we think – and that’s ok.

Where’s the Proof in Pseudoscience?

Peter Ellerton, The Conversation

j5ztvy5t-1390530728

Contrast this with homeopathy, a field that has generated no discernible growth in knowledge or practice. While the use of modern scientific language may make it sound more impressive, there is no corresponding increase in knowledge linked to effectiveness. The field has flat-lined.

The lack of testable causal explanations (or models, if you will) that characterises pseudoscience gives us a second level of discrimination: science provides casual explanations that lead to growth but pseudoscience does not.

Read more

Posted in Critical Thinking, Media Articles, Cartoons, Philosophy of Science | Comments Off on Where’s the Proof in Pseudoscience?

Science in the lead?

Is scientific progress outpacing progress in areas such as ethics and politics? What does progress in these areas look like?

Science in the lead

Posted in Ethics and Moral Philosophy, Media Articles, Cartoons, Social and Political Philosophy | Comments Off on Science in the lead?

Plato and Aristotle from ‘The School of Athens’

Plato advocating for the Forms, Aristotle for the world. Add in the word ‘basketball’, and you cannot unsee it.Sanzio_01_Plato_Aristotle

Posted in Media Articles, Cartoons | Comments Off on Plato and Aristotle from ‘The School of Athens’

Teaching the nature of science (and keeping students engaged)

Peter Ellerton, The Conversation
spider1

What’s particularly disturbing about current science education at the primary, secondary and tertiary level is the almost complete lack of explicit consideration of what I’ve referred to as the “nature of science”.

Not only are many teachers unaware of the nature of science, they would have little idea how to teach it in detail even if their knowledge was developed.

Read full article here.

Posted in Critical Thinking, Media Articles, Cartoons, Philosophy of Science | Comments Off on Teaching the nature of science (and keeping students engaged)

Why You Don’t Know Your Own Mind

Alex Rosenburg, The Stone.

18stoneWeb-master768

It is often said that we can never truly know the minds of others, because we can’t “get inside their heads.” Our ability to know our own minds, though, is rarely called into question. It is assumed that your experience of your own consciousness clinches the assertion that you “know your own mind” in a way that no one else can. This is a mistake.

Read full article here.

Posted in Critical Thinking, Media Articles, Cartoons, Philosophy of Mind - Consciousness, Philosophy of Science | Comments Off on Why You Don’t Know Your Own Mind

Artificial Intelligence

1401x788-AI-Opener

Could AI of the future be not just smarter, but also more conscious than humans are now?  Will they wonder if we are/were truly conscious?

Discuss.

Posted in Philosophy of Mind - Consciousness | Comments Off on Artificial Intelligence

What is the link between language and consciousness?

idea_ISIZED-Indo-girl2010-5227609661_8d48e1e8fa_o“Scientists working on animal cognition often dwell on their desire to talk to the animals. Oddly enough, this particular desire must have passed me by, because I have never felt it. I am not waiting to hear what my animals have to say about themselves, taking the rather Wittgensteinian position that their message might not be all that enlightening. Even with respect to my fellow humans, I am dubious that language tells us what is going on in their heads.”

Frans de Waalis a professor of psychology at Emory University and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

Read full article here.

Posted in Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind - Consciousness | Comments Off on What is the link between language and consciousness?

The value of subjective experience (or not)

From smbc

The heap problem

Posted in Media Articles, Cartoons, Philosophy of Mind - Consciousness, Philosophy of Science | Comments Off on The value of subjective experience (or not)

Free will and mobile phones

Can you prove you have free will?

dilbert free will robot

Posted in Media Articles, Cartoons, Philosophy of Mind - Consciousness | Comments Off on Free will and mobile phones

A Critical Thinking Matrix

Exploring the relationship between cognitive skills and the values of inquiry. Grey boxes describe student work. This can be used to generate rubrics.

CT Matrix

Matrix

Posted in Critical Thinking, Syllabus and Course Outlines | Comments Off on A Critical Thinking Matrix

The Skills, Values and Virtues of Inquiry

A model for understanding effective thinking through categorising key educational ideas and examining the relationships between them.

Skills Values and Virtues of Inquiry

SVI

Posted in Critical Thinking, Syllabus and Course Outlines | Comments Off on The Skills, Values and Virtues of Inquiry

Science and art from Dilbert

sceince-art

Discuss.

Posted in Media Articles, Cartoons | Comments Off on Science and art from Dilbert

Why would anyone believe the Earth is flat?

Sociedade-Terra-Plana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Ellerton, The University of Queensland

Belief in a flat Earth seems a bit like the attempt to eradicate polio – just when you think it’s gone, a pocket of resistance appears. But the “flat Earthers” have always been with us; it’s just that they usually operate under the radar of public awareness.

Now the rapper B.o.B has given the idea prominence through his tweets and the release of his single Flatline, in which he not only says the Earth is flat, but mixes in a slew of other weird and wonderful ideas.

These include the notions that the world is controlled by lizard people, that certain celebrities are cloned, that Freemasons manipulate our lives, that the sun revolves around the Earth and that the Illuminati control the new world order. Not bad for one song.

Even ignoring that these ideas are inconsistent (are we run by lizards, the Freemansons or the Illuminati?), what would inspire such a plethora of delusions? The answer is both straightforward, in that it is reasonably clear in psychological terms, and problematic, in that it can be hard to fix. Continue reading

Posted in Critical Thinking, Media Articles, Cartoons, Philosophy of Science | Comments Off on Why would anyone believe the Earth is flat?

Dilbert on Zeno

Zeno does it again.

Dilbert Zeno

Posted in Media Articles, Cartoons, Philosophy of Science | Comments Off on Dilbert on Zeno

We can’t trust common sense but we can trust science

Peter Ellerton, The University of Queensland

When a group of Australians was asked why they believed climate change was not happening, about one in three (36.5%) said it was “common sense”, according to a report published last year by the CSIRO. This was the most popular reason for their opinion, with only 11.3% saying their belief that climate change was not happening was based on scientific research.

Interestingly, the same study found one in four (25.5%) cited “common sense” for their belief that climate change was happening, but was natural. And nearly one in five (18.9%) said it was “common sense” that climate change was happening and it was human-induced.

It seems the greater the rejection of climate science, the greater the reliance on common sense as a guiding principle.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott also appealed to “common sense” when arguing against gay marriage recently.

But what do we mean by an appeal to common sense? Presumably it’s an appeal to rationality of some sort, perhaps a rationality that forms the basis of more complex reasoning. Whatever it is, we might understand it better by considering a few things about our psychology. Continue reading

Posted in Critical Thinking, Media Articles, Cartoons, Philosophy of Science | Comments Off on We can’t trust common sense but we can trust science

What does it mean to think and could a machine ever do it?

Peter Ellerton, The University of Queensland

The idea of a thinking machine is an amazing one. It would be like humans creating artificial life, only more impressive because we would be creating consciousness. Or would we?

How can meat think?

It’s tempting to think that a machine that could think would think like us. But a bit of reflection shows that’s not an inevitable conclusion.

To begin with, we’d better be clear about what we mean by “think”. A comparison with human thinking might be intuitive, but what about animal thinking? Does a chimpanzee think? Does a crow? Does an octopus?

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Continue reading

Posted in Media Articles, Cartoons | Comments Off on What does it mean to think and could a machine ever do it?

Teaching how to think is just as important as teaching anything else

image-20150813-5172-1ln99jn

Peter Ellerton, The University of Queensland

A new paper on teaching critical thinking skills in science has pointed out, yet again, the value of giving students experiences that go beyond simple recall or learned procedures.

It is a common lamentation that students are not taught to think, but there is usually an accompanying lack of clarity about exactly what that might mean.

There is a way of understanding this idea that is conceptually easy and delivers a sharp educational focus – a way that focuses on the explicit teaching of thinking skills through an inquiry process, and allows students to effectively evaluate their thinking.

What are thinking skills?

Let’s first understand what we might mean by thinking skills. Thinking skills, or cognitive skills, are, in large part, things you do with knowledge. Things like analysing, evaluating, synthesising, inferring, conjecturing, justifying, categorising and many other terms describe your cognitive events at a particular functional level. Continue reading

Posted in Critical Thinking, Media Articles, Cartoons | Comments Off on Teaching how to think is just as important as teaching anything else

Some useful tips on how to raise an argumentative child

image-20150709-10895-1khzznb

Peter Ellerton, The University of Queensland

The old adage that children should be seen and not heard is nothing but wishful thinking. Children are naturally inquisitive and they usually can’t help verbalising their curiosity.

Asking “why?” is the most natural thing that children can do as they attempt to make sense of the world. This simple – and tough – question allows them to construct a wide range of knowledge and to build a depth of understanding. Continue reading

Posted in Critical Thinking, Media Articles, Cartoons | Comments Off on Some useful tips on how to raise an argumentative child