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BBI 2007 - Session 13

Paul Grobstein's picture



Architecture: From the Input Side

Review: a shifting perspective, the cognitive unconscious and the I-function -> story teller

"The idea of loops creating a system that seems to have a purpose is fascinating." ... Cheryl

"Today's discussion makes me want to pay more attention to my unconscious behavior in the classroom and to teach myself to be more aware of my "I" function. I hope to use my I function to change some of my stories. I hope to be able to teach my students to be more conscious of their thoughts and behaviors and to be aware of their I function to change their stories. The thought of teaching the kids to be effective casual change agents is very exciting to me!" ... Diane

"In terms of our classrooms I wonder if the children took standardized test unconciously if they would do better. I say that because of the basketball senario, when the children are so nervous they seem to "mess up" on questions they know." ... Dalia

"The question I am leading up to is whether the strengthening of hand-eye movement and hand strength is correlated to the strengthening of the I-function." ... Teresa

"In some cases it seems that even the I function cannot make motion happen." ... Bruce

"As educators alot of practices that we do are unconconscious but do we really view it that way. Our unconscious is writing stories that are conscious may or may not be aware of. It is important that we not hold either as truth but as a story that our unconsious or conscious had made by their different types of summary of observations." ... Angela

"this thought of the conscious and unconscious working side by side is extremely interesting. For me, it is a very positive idea that much of what we do is unconscious. It helps to disspell the idea of "fate". I do not like the idea that I have a plan set out for me. That I am following some sort of script. The idea that not only "I" but the rest of me is doing things to creat a new and ever changing story gives me a stronger sense of self. I think this idea is crucial to us as an educator because it hleps us to understand and appreciate the differences that exsist in our students. It also leads me to feel a sense of hope because it suggests the abilty to change the present stories we have, especially those that are negative ... Is the 'I-function' operational when in a dream state or coma?" ... Keith (see also Victoria)

"Does this mean that we can teach our students to be able to isolate movement and or thought? Can our students be conditioned into being more creative, or does this mean that their brain and or muscle power is, at least to an extent, predetermined by their genetics?" ... Graham (see also Deidre)

"I suspect that Paul's question to his twins is key to the facilitator's role in this process. It got them to pay attention to their bodies and cause change." ... Mingh

"The supposition I understood from today was that I-Function allows us to write new stories that can be creative ways to perform desired results." ... Joyce

"During last weeks' discussion I was starting to feel powerless over the outcomes in my classroom or their impact on the school, and community. Today I feel like I can have a positive impact on making students aware of their conscious and unconscious actions. By making them aware of the things that they do without thinking about them I have a better chance of helping them to account for their total "I" function which in turn will positively influence the classroom, the school, their families and hopefully the community." ... Tammi

"Students at an early age need to be given choices. We need to get into their unconscious and pull up some of the beneficial things that will encourage them to be self motivated not only in their own interests but also about the things that will make them productive citizens in the future." ... Judith

"I think there is a small similarity between the contemporary model way of describing the scientific method and the input-neuron-output-reafferent loop" ... Bob

"Change stories and behavior changes, change behavior and stories change" ... BBI 07

New principles from the input side

Key points:

  • Input is always incomplete (and affected by output)
  • Input is always interpreted based on prior information (including genetic information)
  • Input is always ambiguous
  • Interpretation is improved (but not completed) by combining multiple perspectives, resolving conflicts
  • Both input and interpretation are different for different people
  • What we see is a "story" reflecting unconscious processes
  • "Reality" is a collective story, reflecting (desirably) the different perspecties of different people
  • Stories can in turn generate new questions/observations/stories, and new stories (that in turn ...)
What particular aspect of our discussions of the motor side of the nervous system seem most useful for your classroom, for your teaching in general? Write some thoughts/questions in the institute forum area.


Diane OFee-Powers's picture


I understand the question that if the kids took the PSSA unconsciously, would they do better? I would like to take all of this info concerning, inputs, outputs, stories, I Function, emotions, etc  to teach them to look at things consciously at first, then practice using this info to to attack test, situtations, etc unconsciously. This way they have had  the time to practice how they will react to something stressful (PSSA). WHen the time comes to take the test, or react to someother stressful situation they are ready for it.

OK, Where do I start?????


Deidre Bennett's picture

The Matrix

As we get deeper into our study of the brain i am more convinced that we live in "The Matrix." As I remember "The Matrix" was a system that created what people needed to see and believe. We call these stories. The disturbing side to this is that once you were removed fom the "story/matrix" the world/reality was really crappy and bland.
Victoria Brown's picture

Tuesday's Comments

If most of what we see is not real, and were making up interpretations of what we see, we need to reevaluate our responses to what we see!!!
Judith Lucas-Odom's picture

Filling in the Black holes

Today's lesson was very important because now we know that what we see is not always what we see but a sense of our own reality.   As a teacher, I think it is very important that we look at the "holes" in our students and fill them up with the "wholes" of self worth and an "I can do it spirit!" Think goodness our brain does fill in the holes and does not leave us in a state of ambiquity!
Teresa Albers's picture

input side of NS

In thinking about the checker board squares and that each was the same color, how did it come about that everyone perceived a difference in the colors? How much of that commonality of perception was related to prior experience with checker boards? Was perception simply a matter of retrieval (i.e., activation of background knowledge)? It would take another experience with data unfamiliar to all to understand if a common perception would occur. Two things are arising here...1)what is the role of consensus in perception, education, and the building of society? How does consensus override actual, individual perception or construction of meaning? 2) how can consensus be dissected out to determine when brains perceive sheer sensory input similarly. In the classroom, we have a whole series of activities in the area of "Sensory Education." In this area, each of the five senses is educated with foremost regard to refinement of perception. The child's senses are honed to discriminated grades of difference and similiarities. between objects. These tasks are challenging as they progress in fineness of perception. IN working with the children, my task is to observe and assess the child's progress in these tasks and of course, the progress is determined by his/her conclusions matching "consensus with the rest of the our perceptions." Language further complicates this phenomenonof consensus as it gives us words to help us communicate.
Graham Phillips's picture

Storytellers, live...

What interesting storytellers our brains are! Our morning session today on inputs into our brains really showed how much of our sensory inputs are "told" to us by our brain/nervous system; we are simply along for the ride. It was really interesting to me to see how much the brain tells us stories about our surroundings, and uses a few basic observations to fill in the gaps.

The obvious implication, then, for us as educators, is that our students' brains may very well also be filling in the gaps based on a few observations they may make in class. We need- not only to do this ourselves- but also encourage our students to do the same- practice "getting it less wrong" by going back and editing and looking where our students' brains are spinning stories live, and encourage in our students the ability to self-check to make sure that we do indeed "get it less wrong", rather than get taken for a ride by our brains and nervous systems.

Tammi Jordan's picture

Vision and multiple images.

As a result of this morning's lesson I will teach my students that their brain has the ability to see the same thing in multiple ways. Each brain evaluates data differently simultaneously. The only thing that you can controll are your responses to the information that you perceive. No one can tell the story that your brain creates we can only relay the outcomes which we all see differently. So we must controll our response to what we see and feel in order to help to recreate the stories that others (their brains) are being told about us.
joycetheriot's picture

Our Perceived World

Our perceived world is created by the sensory inputs to the brain. Testing our reality is accomplished by verification (or reactions) from others or technological assists. If we challenge the reality of our students with discrepant events will their search for their best reality cause new or more neurons to fire and thus a new or less wrong scenario to emerge?
Bruce Williamson's picture


Now I see that when students are taking input from the situation I set up for them, that there can be many many variations in what they get. I need to check more often and more carefully to see what it 'looks like' in their head. I know what I would like it to look like, at least most of the time. No matter how carefully I show, or arrange for students to do, concepts or skills their brains are only catching the edges and filling in the substance based on their own architecture. Regards,

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