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Thanks for your humility and insight

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As a philosopher and a beginning first year teacher, I have often wondered why there is not more discussion on the complexities of what sort of memories and mental processes we hope to develop in our students. Of course, using the authoritative metrics of state testing can simplify the discourse on what counts as understanding, but the philsophical question remains: is this the only sort of understanding we seek to develop in humanity?

Executive Vice President @ SUS Inc.

Interview with the Dali Lama

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The concept of defining student "understanding" reminds me of an interview I saw years ago, where the top 100 scientists of the USA were interviewing the Dali Lama. After a bit of introduction, the first question was presented by the scientific group. "Dali Lama, you have stated that not everything can be measured. Can you please give us 1 example where that statement is true?". After a bit of chatter - the Dali Lama responded through his interpreter, "Try measuring awareness". And here we are again...

There is a body of science that can be applied to student performance, but requires a great deal of discipline over time. B.F. Skinner said something akin to "if the student fails to learn; who is responsible?" The answer is of course - the teacher. That observation pretty well banished him from educational circles for many years.

Everybody wants "real student

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Everybody wants "real student understanding" or "deep understanding" but we don't always step back and consider what this means. I appreciate your encouragement to embrace the complexity of an idea like "understanding" instead of offering false certainty.

a simple test of understanding

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"If you can't explain it to a 6 year old, you don't understand it yourself"

- Einstein

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