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Remote Ready Biology Learning Activities

Remote Ready Biology Learning Activities has 50 remote-ready activities, which work for either your classroom or remote teaching.

Brain and Behavior Institute 2003 Forum

Comments are posted in the order in which they are received, with earlier postings appearing first below on this page. To see the latest postings, click on "Go to last comment" below.

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getting started
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-06 15:08:40
Link to this Comment: 5804

Welcome to the institute, and to the forum area. Don't think of this as a place for "formal" writing, but rather as a place for conversation ... a place to jot down your thoughts, whatever they are, and find out what other people are thinking. The idea is not to write only when you're "sure" of what you're saying or how to say it, but rather to share thoughts in progress so that others can learn from you and you from them. And not to "judge" what other people say but rather to see what new thoughts they trigger in oneself.

Some people (some students too?) may find this new kind of writing takes a while to get used to. Its worth doing though as a contribution to making of education a shared activity, to which everyone contributes and from which everyone benefits. One learns by doing and from the reactions to what one does of lots of different people, instead of by trying to figure out what the teacher wants and being limited to his/her reaction.

So relax, try it out, and enjoy. Forums like this are one of the ways the internet can help to make a richer, more hands-on, more interactive kind of education.

Institionalized 2003
Name: Mo
Date: 2003-07-07 10:02:58
Link to this Comment: 5805

My name is RaMona Adams. I'm here because Paul sent me the literature in the mail. I attended the institute last year and I figured why not try to learn something new about serendip. I was amazed at what I accomplished last year. This year will be no different. Yeah right!

I taught 8th grade science at Turner Middle School. The students and I tried some activities on brain and behavior. The students enjoyed learning about the brain. I would like to continue building lessons that explore the brain.

Name: Shellie He
Date: 2003-07-07 10:05:10
Link to this Comment: 5806

Who am I?? I am a woman, a mother, a wife, a school counselor at Baldi Middle School, a professional. I am a caring individual who loves to help. I love life and hope to live, learn, love and enjoy.

I am very interested in this Institute this year. I am going to try and get it less wrong this time. I would like to see what makes us tick and what to do about it. I am especially interested in learning about drugs and the brain--all kinds of drugs(legal and not]. I am interested in mental illness and the brain. As a counselor this will be a help.

I am also interested in learning more about computers. Using this notebook today is a new experience for me. I hope to get more new experiences.

Shellie Herdan

Joyce Theriot
Name: Joyce Ther
Date: 2003-07-07 10:07:37
Link to this Comment: 5808

Initially I began my career in science in research and after 17 years a car accident told me it was time to move on (especially since I could no longer hold my head stationary over a microscope for a long period of time). Working at Penn, I had a number of graduate education courses under my belt that I'd originally taken to help me train Special Olympics coaches. So I decided to take a few more a pick up a Masters in Science Education.
I really enjoyed education! It was a new start that was very interesting to me. One of my professors was a proponent of inquiry-based science education and he had a grant for providing kits to elementary teachers in Chester. My connection with him eventually led me to a position at the Franklin Institute where I continued to provide professional development for science teachers in the Philadelphia SD.
Writing science curriculum at the Franklin and hearing teachers' comments about its usefulness in the classroom made me yearn to have a class of my own. One day the science leader of the district told me about a year-round school that was about to open on Philadelphia so I decided to teach there and begin my education research with a "living lab" full of kids!
Now I'm in West Chester and still writing inquiry-based science curriculum and teaching kids. I'm also a technology mentor. West Chester is great, I'm very happy for the wonderful opportunities that are provided to me.

Name: John Dalto
Date: 2003-07-07 10:08:08
Link to this Comment: 5809

Hello! My name is John Dalton. I currently teach at Abraham Lincoln High School. I've been there since 1989. Previously, I taught at Shaw Middle School. I was assigned there in 1969 after one year teaching at Garnet Valley Junior High. I've taught English for thirty-five years and currently serve as Lincoln's Health Academy Coordinator. I took this course once before in 2001 and found the ideas on consciousness very stimulating. As a consequence of my participation, I had my AP English class read Michael Frayn's play, Copenhagen. I found many of Dr. Grobstein's ideas about the nature of science and reality relevant to themes that emerge within this play.

'round about
Name: Anne Dalke
Date: 2003-07-07 10:08:42
Link to this Comment: 5810

I'm a member of the English Department @ Bryn Mawr, where I run the Gender Studies Program. I'm "lurking" (well, I guess if I'm typing/talking here, I'm actually participating) in the Brain and Behavior Institute this morning because I'll be helping to direct the second one, on Exploration and Emergence, which begins in two weeks, and I'm trying to "crib" how to go about setting it up/getting it started. I'm here today so I can "visualize" what it will look like here in two weeks....

I was trained in the study of 19th c. American literature, but my teaching has gone way beyond that....I'm interested in telling my story/inviting others to tell order to learn things about the world that I haven't noticed yet. I'm interested in exploring w/ others ways to set up classrooms so that students want to go exploring, writing stories about what they see and learn, and be willing to revise those stories based on what they learn from others....

'round and round and round about. Getting...somewhere....

Date: 2003-07-07 10:09:40
Link to this Comment: 5811

My name is Sheila Michael and I am a computer science teacher at GWJ YRE Middle School in Phila. I instruct students in 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and special education classes in computer applications. The students complete course material using a MAC platform. We use Appleworks 6 programs and many supplemental software packages to provide remediation and enrichment, including word processing, data base, spreadsheet, multimedia presentation and internet concepts to develop computer literate students and open their minds to explore technology and the advances in technology. Through computer science and technology the students are given and equalizer to bridge the gaps in their academic development and physical development. I am very much intersted in the behavior and nuerological activity of the developing adolescent brain. I believe the development of the brain and physical development are directly connect. I want a better understanding of the brain and the environment in which it develops.

intro 4 linda
Name: Linda Midd
Date: 2003-07-07 10:10:31
Link to this Comment: 5812

My name is Linda Middleswarth (students at AMY/NW call me Ms. Midds or Ms. Middlescience). My 34th year of teaching is coming up; most of those years have been fun. My personal favorites are the ones in which I taught kindergarten, science "prep" in elementary and currently my time in middle school as a science teacher previous to but not including this past year. Personally, I love to hike through the woods, travel, read (I finished the new Harry Potter in 3 days)and hang out with my friends.

I have never parented--until recently. Now, after my first half-century on Earth, my brother and his 5 year old twins are living with me and boy has my learning curve shot sky high. I take back all those things I said to my mother regarding how I thought parenting actually worked. If all goes well I will be retiring from the Philadelphia school system in the next 2-7 years.

I am
Name: Carol. Tys
Date: 2003-07-07 10:10:56
Link to this Comment: 5813

A teacher at Turner Middle School in Southwest Phila.I am in my fifteenth year of teaching.My currnet Position at the school is as SLCC for the Health and Nutrition Community.At present I am waiting for an appointment as an Ass.Principal within Philadelphia.However,I have really broadened my search to the surrounding suburban areas.Thus far my summer has been exciting and quite busy.I have several interesting experiences planned;including a seminar on starting your own business.
My reasons for taking this seminar are many.Most importantly is my desire to better "reach" the students that I am responsible for each day.I believe that as we continue to"debate"societal differences and Ills,an entire generation is "slipping"away from us all.I believe that each person is responsible for making the planet a better place;for at the very end of our lives we ask "why was I here? what have I done? what was my Purpose?" s.

Intro. Julie L.
Name: Julie Leav
Date: 2003-07-07 10:11:04
Link to this Comment: 5814

I'm Julie Leavitt and I teach at AMY NW Middle School In Mt. Airy. This will be my 17th year at AMY, beginning in September. I teach a multidisciplinary course called Expressive Arts. I was originally assigned as a Special Education teacher but throughout the years I have "worn many hats". I've been interested in brain behavior from an educational and personal standpoint for many years. In my classroom, I use activities which allow students to gain knowledge about themselves. I have students explore their particular learning styles, and use "multiple Inteligences" in selecting class projects.

I'm interested in speaking with other Special Ed. people about current thoughts and practices as I have been thrown back into the special ed. arena after a long absence.

Name: Doris P D
Date: 2003-07-07 10:11:25
Link to this Comment: 5815

I hope to learn about how the brain is connected to one's behavior.In,addtion which side of the brain is dominant the left
hemisphere or the right.

I teach seven grade at Beeber middle school

Who? Why? What?
Name: Miss Genev
Date: 2003-07-07 10:12:50
Link to this Comment: 5816


Who? My name is Geneva, a.k.a. Miss T., and I am a Secondary Assistant Principal with the School District of Philadelphia, going into my 5th year as such. I am a former {yearly} participant of this institute, as a Special Education Teacher.

Why? I am here, in part, in appreciation of these forums finally being extended to Educators that have progressed beyond the classroom; namely in-house administrators. I am thankful to the Almighty that folk are beginning to realize we need support, academic and intellectually social, to maintain continual learning and understanding.

What? Dealing with a broader range of staff, students, and school community in a more intense manner, on a daily basis, it is essential to further understand the 'brain' reasons of why people behave the way they do.

Name: W. Keith S
Date: 2003-07-07 10:13:09
Link to this Comment: 5817

My name is William Keith Sgrillo. I go by Keith due to a cooperative arrangement between my parents. You can imagine the problems!

I became a teacher mostly due to the influences of my previous teachers. I find it a very satisfying way to work with and influence young people.

I would expect to gain an understanding of some of the basic phycological processes of children/people and methods of applying thenm in the classroom and other social settings.

Regina Toscani
Name: Regina Tos
Date: 2003-07-07 10:13:10
Link to this Comment: 5818

Who am I? Why am I here? It's Monday morning, and already I am supposed to be answering questions? Don't expect too much.

I am Regina Frances Maria Toscani, person, daughter, sister, teacher, student, animal-lover, couch-potato, and many other things. My main role is as a teacher of special needs children at Rush Middle School. I have acted as a teacher in the Phila. School District for the last 16 years.

Why am I here? Well I needed something to do this summer that wouldn't get me into too much trouble. Also I needed my "educational battery" recharged and these "B&B" institutes seem to give me a "jump start" in thinking about my choosen career.

What do I want to learn? Can a teacher indirectly improve the functioning of a student's brain? By this I mean can I help my students to increase their cognitive level by playing music, doing more physical activities, serve healthy foods, etc.? Second, can damange to a person's brain be "undone"?

Lois Mackey
Date: 2003-07-07 10:14:25
Link to this Comment: 5819

I am a mother, grandmother,and an elementary educator who works for the Philadelphia School System. It is my desire to discover a scientific way to introduce this topic of "Brain and Behavior "in my classroom with my third grade class.I would like to use it as a health/science lesson. Last year while taking this course for the very first time, I was introduce to some very interesting theroies pertaining to the brain. This topic also, pave the way for my interest in science. It made teaching science a lot more comfortable to teach,and therefore, enjoyable for my second/third grade split class.I look foreward to the interaction with other the educators in attendance for the summer institute for next two weeks, and the project that I would develope to use in my classroom this up coming semester.

Brain Power
Name: Pamela Bur
Date: 2003-07-07 10:15:57
Link to this Comment: 5820

My primary interest in the Brain and Behavior Institute is to explore the relationship between humam psychological development and actions.
I'm egar to explore the basic comprehension of how people who suffer from psychological disorders and antisocial characteristics display an interaction between the brain/behavior.

I question what are the various ways the medical/educational communities can join together to assist and improve developments in the brain/behavoir

Name: Nia Turner
Date: 2003-07-07 11:23:23
Link to this Comment: 5822

My name is Nia Turner and I will be a junior this fall at Bryn Mawr. I declared a Political Science major this past semester with concentrations in Africana Studies and Sociology. My academic interests are the sociology of the black community and public policy. I am involved in several activities on and off campus such as Self Government Association, Radio, Sisterhood, and Safe Haven After school program. I enjoy planning student activities. Also, I love to read wedding magazines, and thinking about wedding details. I am considering wedding planning as a possible field. I would like to attend law school and graduate school after I graduate from Bryn Mawr. I look forward to working and learning with each of you during the summer institute.

Emily's poem
Name: Regina Tos
Date: 2003-07-07 13:04:35
Link to this Comment: 5823

"Wider than the sky" "deeper than the sea" "just the weight of God"
If the brain of a person can be all the above, then each person is the creator of their own world. Each person has their own reality.

Day one am
Name: Shellie He
Date: 2003-07-07 13:15:06
Link to this Comment: 5824

Day one am--the Institute started well. I thought I would be a little bored--no not at all.

I especially enjoyed writing our bio and then discussing them. It was a good technique having someone interview. I would like to try this with students.

Now about science well jury is still out. I do like the idea of getting children to learn by doing instead of just giving it to them.

Shellie Herdan

Name: Angela M.
Date: 2003-07-07 13:15:33
Link to this Comment: 5825

I believe that Emily Dickinson was saying that there are no boundaries for the capabilities of the mind. In essence like a sponge, the brain can take in so much that it is difficult to imagine how much "absorption" takes place. Like I tell my students "thinking is free!" In reference to education, you have to utilize your brain. The brain gives one the ability to accomplish and believe anything that it wants.

Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-07-07 13:18:49
Link to this Comment: 5826

My name is Antoinette. I have been teaching in a school setting for seven years now. As a special ed. teacher, I have seen the joys and frustrations of "the normal learning curve". From my teaching experiences, I have learned that many assumptions have to be re-evaluated and dynamic in order to ensure success. Previously I was an administrator for nine years, in both business and academia, so I have had a varied employment backround.
What I expect form this seminar : I am hoping to continually grow my teaching style and sound practices to ensure an envirnment for success.

PS I am spelling challenged so .....

If Dickinson is right ....
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-07 13:21:21
Link to this Comment: 5827

then all teachers should be thinking of theselves as brain surgeons. And so we should know as much as we can about the brain?

science and the brain
Name: Carol Tyso
Date: 2003-07-07 13:21:38
Link to this Comment: 5828

If everything is in the brain, then what and how we teach would be a cakewalk.BUT what about external factors ?What impact do they have on our ability to conceptualize?

Brain Theory
Name: Mo
Date: 2003-07-07 13:25:00
Link to this Comment: 5829

I believe that everything could possibly be in the brain. From my summary of observations all thinking starts and ends with the brain. Who I am and what I want out of this life is thought about everyday. Through the brain I can start to gather information on how to go about being the best person that I can be. Sometimes my first mind speaks to me. Most of the time I do not listen which leads to bad decisions. Without a brain humans cannot survive. Until new observations come into play I am inclined to think that this summary works.

Name: Angela M.
Date: 2003-07-07 13:25:50
Link to this Comment: 5830

I believe that Emily Dickinson is saying that the brain is capable of inputting and outputting so much information that it is almost impossible of imagining the possibitities for thinking. As I tell my students, "thinking is free!" Like a sponge, the brain can absorb so much.

emily's brain
Name: linda m
Date: 2003-07-07 13:26:42
Link to this Comment: 5831

Implications for education
Thought 1--students can learn more than they are often given credit for
Thought 2--before I heap any guilt on myself for not teaching them more, I am keeping in mind that school districts tend not to support teachers in ways they need to be able to demand more from students. Large classes, many classes, extraordinary amounts of paperwork--somedays my brain is full.
Thought 3--putting Thought 2 aside, students can still learn more than I give them credit for.

...on Emily
Name: Miss Genev
Date: 2003-07-07 13:27:39
Link to this Comment: 5832

I agree with Miss Dickerson's belief that the sky is finite and the brain in infinite. That our brain is as infinite as we allow it to be, or as limited as the sky, is an excercise of our free will. We set limits {in major part based on society's influence on us}, the infinite universe does not.

As for my learning environment, this is the fundamental statement I would offer my students...take your limits off and see how far you really are able to go. Continuing from there we are now ready realize an infinite number of summary observations.

Thought's on Emily's Brain
Name: Joyce Ther
Date: 2003-07-07 13:28:10
Link to this Comment: 5833

The Brain - is wider than the Sky -
For - put them side by side -
The one the other will contain
With ease - and You - beside-

Dickinson's poem in my opinion is her way of describing the higher ability of the human brain. We have unlimited facility to "see" and take in great beauty (sky) which generate emotions- love that is boundless like the sky (you).

The Brain is deeper than the sea -
For - hold them - Blue to Bue -
The one the other will absorb -
As sponges - Buckets - do

Dickinson considers emotion in her first verse and in the second verse she follows the noble calling of humanity to elevate itself through knowledge. She says that man has no constraints on the amount of knowledge that we can "absorb" (sponge) because the brain's intellectual capacity is very deep (than the sea).

The Brain is just the weight of God -
For - Heft them - Pound for Pound -
And they will differ - if they do -
As syllable from Sound -

Dickinson asserts in her last verse that the spiritual center also arises in the brain. She does not simply compare our brain to God, but rather the brain's weight. She is saying that if we have God in the brain then there's nothing to be measured as greater than God.

Emily Dickinson's "The Brain - is wider than the S
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2003-07-07 13:28:11
Link to this Comment: 5834

The Brain - is wider than the Sky -
For - put them side by side -
The one the other will contain
With ease - and You - beside-
The Brain is deeper than the sea -
For - hold them - Blue to Bue -
The one the other will absorb -
As sponges - Buckets - do

The Brain is just the weight of God -
For - Heft them - Pound for Pound -
And they will differ - if they do -
As syllable from Sound -

In Emily Dickinson's "The Brain - is wider than the Sky," we are confronted with a Romantic meditation on the nature of reality. We are introduced to three differentiated elements: the 'Brain', the 'Sky' or 'sea', and 'You'. I think that one can safely assume that the 'Sky' and the 'sea' represent nature, the not-me, and that the 'You' represents the individual, the me. It's a rather standard Romantic bifurcation of the world. The intriguing question is what does Dickinson mean by the 'Brain'.

Her concept clearly has religious implications: "The Brain is just the weight of God." It suggests a definition of man that posits the 'Brain' or consciousness as a margin where the 'You'/me and 'Sky' or 'sea'/not-me intersect. It hearkens back to Emerson's Oversoul. It predicates monism, wherein man is just part of the greater whole, but possesses the ability to merge with the universe through the medium of the 'Brain.'

Name: Sheila Mic
Date: 2003-07-07 13:29:34
Link to this Comment: 5836

In relationship to computer science the Brain is designed to absorb all information and for input and output. Data can be input into the brain and processed through many channel before output. The interpretation (transformation) of the data in the brain is dependent upon the application process. The internal brain processing procedure involves memory, interpretaion and transformation.

As teachers we must assist student in developing the mind to think, process, and explore. Education must be a colloborative and interactive effort to encourage thinking and application of concepts and ideas to daily practical living. It must stimulate an open mind, receptive to a way of thinking to broaden the student's knowledge base of thinking and retention.

Response to Emily Dickerson theory About The Brai
Name: Lois Macke
Date: 2003-07-07 13:29:45
Link to this Comment: 5837

I believe that she theorized in her poem that there was no limitation to the human brain in its manner of thinking. That God gifted man-kind to have that ability to expand his cognitive skills.

response to poem
Name: W. Keith S
Date: 2003-07-07 13:29:51
Link to this Comment: 5838

The poem expresses the idea that reality is relative to the individual and how they precieve their experiences. The brain is wider than the sky and the sea because the sky and sea can only contain what is put in them. In contrast to that the brain is not only able to internalize what was put in tghe sky, but the sky itself.

"I think therefiore I am" is a quote that I feel compliments the poem. I am aware of my existance but can not prove yours. I can merely rely on my observations of you and assume that these observations are real (I suggest "Vanilla Sky" with Tom Cruise on this topic). My reality is how internalize my observations and how i define them. My experience in a situatioin that is similar to abother's is based on my constructs and vice versa. For example, a person who is "color blind" may see green as red and red as green. Although the majority of us would see it as we believe to be correctly, this is that individuals "reality" of a color scheme. So for this individual he or she has constructed their own version of reality.

A dream sequence is very similar to this idea of observations and reality. In a dream, most people are unaware tgaht they are dreaming. In a dream, one may realize they have the ability to fly. In the concious world one believes that people can not fly (witghout aid). But in the reality of the dream it is possible due to the observation of that dream.
The Brain is wider than the sky because the brain is able to internalize not only what is in the sky but the sky itself.

Emily D. Poem
Name: Julie Leav
Date: 2003-07-07 13:30:05
Link to this Comment: 5839

What story do you hear/see in Emily Dickinson's poem? Do you think the brain is wide enough to contain the sky ... "and You beside"? What would this imply? In general? About education?

Implications-We must be "Broadminded". The more open minded we are to thoughts ideas the "better"- more intelligent we will be. Our minds are like sponges which absorb knowledge.

About education- the culture of education equates book knowledge with intelligence. The more book knowledge the more intelligent- the more intelligent the better the brain- the better the brain the better the person. People who don't fit this pattern often don't suceed in school.

Emily Dickinson
Date: 2003-07-07 13:30:47
Link to this Comment: 5840

I believe that wee are all the some total of all our previous experiences. As a poet, novelist, woman, living in the 1830's - 1870's, Emily's possible outlook on life came through her freedom to express of ideas as a writer. She was not inhibited from writing about "science" or the "scientific process".
Given that the brain is capable of seemingly limitless outcomes, as an educator, it is my chosen profession to provide the envirnment for my students to learn. Although test results often drive funding, classroom size, grants and ect. real learning happens when children and adults are allowed to explore...feed their curiosity. Often as teachers we forget about learning as SAT 9's approach or PSSA testing. We want our kids to really understand, history, science, math, ect, but external constraints often get in the way.
Think back to your first or second year of teaching when "real learning" generated unit planning. Over yaers of teaching we too have gotten bogged down in the ...........

Dickinson poem
Name: Pam
Date: 2003-07-07 16:58:47
Link to this Comment: 5842

At first glance the poem suggested that it's substance consisted of a parrallel comparison of the brain's hemispheres. However, while I reviewed and reflected upon Dickinson's poem, a new perspective surfaced. The historical frame developed centuries ago may have assisted the writer in her quest to explain the endless activities and storage of the human bain.

The comparison presented by Dickinson suggested that brain activity and the sky are difficult to be measured by the scientific community during that time period.

Response to Emily
Name: Nia Turner
Date: 2003-07-07 17:05:44
Link to this Comment: 5843

The idea that everything is in the brain is interesting to me,
and reminds me of the Matrix. This notion makes me rethink life.
What if life is a manefestation of the brain? Imagine if this
journey called life is just a test, and that some outside being is
observing our behavior and interactions and forming a "summary of
observations". I think Emily proposed provocative thoughts about the
brain's capacity. I also am reminded of Kant and his ideas of time
and space.

Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2003-07-07 22:48:14
Link to this Comment: 5845

I have been reading and trying to understand how certain parts of the brain are responsible for certain functions, feelings, cognition,etc. The fascinating part is that we can learn to reprogram our brain to function differently, or behave differently. I believe as a counselor, I am also a teacher, learning and teaching more satisfying ways to live and feel fullfilled. I think a lot of people feel powerless around the ability to change. Perhaps if they were presented with evidence, or scientific information about the brain, they might believe they can change, and "re-program" their behaviors for increased satisfaction. I think the challenge is helping people (myself included) be the most that they can be, and not live small rigid lives. My interest is in how we can increase our learning and mastery!

These are just some of my thoughts on what I would like to learn in this institute, but I am certainly up for more!

reflections on our first day together
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-08 07:40:13
Link to this Comment: 5846

Very rich, lots of stuff, lots of good conversation/story-sharing. Thanks all. A couple of things that stuck in my mind ...

A general issue was do we accept that idea that the brain is an explorer, that our business as educators is to "open minds" (or help keep them open, make them ever more open) and, if we do, what do we do with/about curriculum standards/grades/testing?

A related issue was is the potential of us/our students "limitless"? Or is it instead the case that the potential of individual humans is infinite but limited in various ways? And a second related issue was what do we do if we have a story that seems to work (ignoring a few "outliers") and has for many years ... keep it or try to change it? Why? For ourselves, for our students?

I also want to keep in play the idea of "two minds". That may not seem immediately related to all of the above but I think it is, in important ways.

Anyhow, that's some of what yesterday made me think about, want to think more about. What about you? Jot down a few lines about what yesterday made you think about ... so we can see where everyone is before we get started on new stuff this morning. If you need memory jogging, we talked yesterday about science and what it is, about everything being in the brain, about differences in brains, and about a replacement for the "spaghetti" model of the brain. What did any (or all) of that make you think/wonder?

related material
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-08 07:52:47
Link to this Comment: 5847

Some interesting stuff in the New York Times Science Times section this morning.

On diversity: Opposites Attract? Not in Real Life

On reading and the brain: Two Kinds of Brain Problems are Found To Cause Dyslexia

On another "practical" brain/behavior identity issue: Doctor's Toughest Diagnosis: Own Mental Health

Name: Angela M.
Date: 2003-07-08 09:28:29
Link to this Comment: 5848

I enjoyed yesterday's lecture in regards to the brain and the impact that it has on our thoughts, feelings, actions, and beliefs. I thought that I would not be into the lesson due to not feeling well. Even though I did not get much sleep within the past several days, I feel eager to gain more insights as to what is in store for the rest of the day. Had I been at my "regular" job, I might be dragging and feeling like I can't do this today. The brain has always fascinated me and I am looking forward to going on the web in order to delve into the matter further.

Imagine living during the 1850's and thinking about the brain. Emily Dickinson was a remarkable woman not only in terms of her writing but the things that she thought about. The average woman was not into matters of that nature (it wasn't her place.)

Randal Holly's Introduction
Name: Randal Hol
Date: 2003-07-08 09:29:01
Link to this Comment: 5849

July 8, 2003

Hello, my name is Randal Holly. I am a teacher and the current Science Department Head at Thomas Fitzsimons Twin Academies. It is a middle school in north central Philadelphia that is currently experimenting with single gender based education as a means of educating students. I have been working for the Philadelphia School District for a little more than fourteen years. I have worked at several other schools within our district, but have considered Fitzsimons my home. I have been involved in several past Institute offerings, and always look towards the opportunity to visit Bryn Mawr College during the summer months and dialogue with colleagues wrestling with innovating science education at all levels of learning.


Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-08 09:29:08
Link to this Comment: 5850

Forgot about "purpose", personal and educational. How ABOUT this idea that "purpose" is exploration?

Name: Sheila
Date: 2003-07-08 09:29:27
Link to this Comment: 5851

As I viewed the nervouse system and the spinal column with the four lumpy section I wondered if any imperfections--in any one area would cause defects in the brain or alter brain activity? I notice the medulla and forebrain were small numbered sections, also the diecanphaelon sections were divided differently..why?

reflection on 7/7/03
Name: W. Keith S
Date: 2003-07-08 09:31:47
Link to this Comment: 5852

Due to the discussion on Monday, there were several things that came to mind and made me think about the importance of the physical brain and the mental aspects of the brain. How important is one to the other.
I began thinking about my cusin who had 1/3 of her brain removed from cancer. Although she does not function at the level of what we would call a "normal 25 year old," she is still able to retain new information, recall and reflect on previous experiences, and understand and create new meaning from concepts. This began to make me think about limits and who and how they are applied.

I began to think about other aspects of the brain and its functions as I was reflecting and discussing some of the theories of Steven Hawking with a friend. The level of thought and the ability that he has to create his own reality is, in my mind, astonishing. In many cases, some of his theories go beyond what we would think of as rational thought. I began to entertain the notion that science does not prove nor disprove anything.

I also began to think about people we term as psychic. One in particular that I always found facinating was the "sleeping psychic" Casey. I began to wonder if there are other aspects of the brain that allow a different model for thinking and summarizing observations. If so, what are the differences and how would it be possible to explore those differences.

tues AM linda m
Date: 2003-07-08 09:32:38
Link to this Comment: 5853

re yesterday's discussions of the limitations or not of the brain
While I think my brain/nervous system has limitations (now that I'm over 50, my eyes see colors differently, due to my rods, or is it my cones?, nevertheless I have no control over how my eyes perceive warm and cool colors so I consider that an example of a limitation), I do like the notion that there are still infinite directions in which I can continue to grow and explore.

When I was a kid I thought that when I grew up I would know everything; now I am glad there is so much left for me to behold because I intend to live for a long time and it could get pretty boring were there nothing left to experience anew.

tues AM linda m
Date: 2003-07-08 09:33:02
Link to this Comment: 5854

re yesterday's discussions of the limitations or not of the brain
While I think my brain/nervous system has limitations (now that I'm over 50, my eyes see colors differently, due to my rods, or is it my cones?, nevertheless I have no control over how my eyes perceive warm and cool colors so I consider that an example of a limitation), I do like the notion that there are still infinite directions in which I can continue to grow and explore.

When I was a kid I thought that when I grew up I would know everything; now I am glad there is so much left for me to behold because I intend to live for a long time and it could get pretty boring were there nothing left to experience anew.

Name: Nia Turner
Date: 2003-07-08 09:34:07
Link to this Comment: 5855

I learned alot from the discussion and observing the teachers interact. I really enjoyed the icebreaker, and I think it is an effective way for the teachers to get to know one another better. Although, the lesson portion is familiar to me because I had taken the course this past semester it seems I understand the concepts of brain interactions better after yesterday's lecture. I also appreciated the stories the teachers shared about their classroom experiences.

Yesterday-day one
Name: Shellie He
Date: 2003-07-08 09:35:49
Link to this Comment: 5856

This is hard I seemed to be blocking. All I know is that the discussion of yesterday started a lot of sparks--I have many questions. I t would be great to get some answers--tell us about the brains of men and women-boys and girls, how does this affect teaching, two brains-four brains--or do we have one brain, . Just keep the questions coming--and the answers(not truths--almost).

It is funny--I feel excited about these questions. I guess that is are hope--to excite our students with questions and the need to find answers. Is this a possibility.

An Educator Interest About Student's on Medication
Name: Lois
Date: 2003-07-08 09:37:57
Link to this Comment: 5857

When I went home and reflected on yesterday's session, my interest went to that of the many students that we have in our classrooms on various types of medication( drendalin being one of them, oops! spelling may be incorrect). This medication is suppose to help them calm down (questionable), and get focus. My interest is, what role does this medication play on the brain, and its long and short term effects.

Date: 2003-07-08 09:38:06
Link to this Comment: 5858


First Day
Name: Mo
Date: 2003-07-08 09:39:13
Link to this Comment: 5859

On Monday I learned that my entire school teaches the scientific method incorrectly. What a new observation! Teachers should be viewing science as exploration. There is no truth in science only less wrong answers. Science is a continuing looping process with no end. We become scientist at birth.

I wonder what Paul has up his sleeve today!

Response to Paul
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2003-07-08 09:39:42
Link to this Comment: 5860

I agree that our business as educators is to "open minds" (or help keep them open, make them ever more open. But, I don't feel that this is necessarily opposed to curriculum standards/grades/testing? I do agreee that it is difficult, and made even more so by unreal expectations from the people who try to standarize curriculums with unreal expectations of their clientele.

I prefer positing that the potential of individual humans is infinite but limited in various ways? This also relates to the unreal expectations that have been foisted upon curriculums from outside the schools, for instance, assuming that everyone should have rigorous algebra, but not allowing any leeway for students. With your second related issue of what do we do if we have a story that seems to work (ignoring a few "outliers") and has for many years ... keep it or try to change it, I don't believe that a conservative approach is necessarily wrong. After thirty five years of constant curricular change for what seems to be the sake of change, initiated by some new educational perspective, I've become wary of educational revolutions frequently engendered from the university level or in response to political agendas.

The notion of "two minds" that emerged in Dickinson's poem was interesting. One was clearly the individual, the other participated in what may be designated as the "All". It's a nice Romantic conceit that's not too unlike Jung's "collective unconscious." It seems somewhat of a religious leap of faith to therefore assume man's perfectibliity. it's rather a naive flaunting of determinism.

Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-07-08 09:40:10
Link to this Comment: 5861

Yesterday's discussion reminded me of my first day in the classroom. Many of the things that I thought I had an understanding were challenged and I experienced a paradigm shift (to use the Covey term). Understanding how the brian works and how learning \behavior actually causes changes in the brain is encouraging. As knowing that certain parts of the brain are stimulated during reading, listening to music, and exposure to art actually changes the brain, then so too does good or bad teaching methodology.

Yesterday's Class
Name: Julie Leav
Date: 2003-07-08 09:40:15
Link to this Comment: 5862

After yesterday's class I somehow feel like I'm of "ten minds" all going in different directions simultaneously. when thinking about the "spaghetti model" of the brain it brought to mind conversations with parents of kids with learning disabilities. Often the question Why? came up. And I would use the primitive comparison of the brain being like a TV set with a million wires that have to be connected and sometimes they're connected "wrong" and sometimes they're not connected at all. We all have a few "wrong connections". I don't think this was a scientifically correct explanation, but it helped toassuage the fears that their kids will never be successful.

7-7-03 Reflections
Name: Miss Genev
Date: 2003-07-08 09:41:10
Link to this Comment: 5863

Good Morning to all!
Yesterday yeilded interesting comments which mirrors our personal and professional diversity. Open forums, in a constructive manner such as this, are useful in assisting us in realizing the views of others, as well as, respecting reasons of why our jobs get done, even though we may all be doing it differently. In other words, students are learning with open minds and success stories occur more often than Educators get credit for.

Name: Pam
Date: 2003-07-08 09:50:25
Link to this Comment: 5864

In reflection of yesterday's session , I think the issue of providing effective instruction to the learner based on the notion that science has to seek no truth or continue with trying to reach school district designed goals. I think it was refreshing to know that most educators struggle with the same pressures.

I think the aspect of the session based on the several models of the brain provide a basic comprehensive comparison of organism formations. The models demonstrated that despite several unrelated biological characteristics featured by organisms, the basic building blocks are the same. However, the size of the region locations were different.

Yesterday's Class
Name: Julie Leav
Date: 2003-07-08 10:48:17
Link to this Comment: 5865

After yesterday's class I somehow feel like I'm of "ten minds" all going in different directions simultaneously. when thinking about the "spaghetti model" of the brain it brought to mind conversations with parents of kids with learning disabilities. Often the question Why? came up. And I would use the primitive comparison of the brain being like a TV set with a million wires that have to be connected and sometimes they're connected "wrong" and sometimes they're not connected at all. We all have a few "wrong connections". I don't think this was a scientifically correct explanation, but it helped toassuage the fears that their kids will never be successful.

Of two minds ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-09 07:08:12
Link to this Comment: 5870

What thoughts/ideas/questions did our morning session yesterday raise in your mind? You can write about anything, but if you need a reminder/trigger, how about the following:

The Christopher Reeves observations we talked about yesterday suggest that the nervous system is organized so that one can sense inputs and generate outputs without being "aware" of either. What do you think of this "summary/story"? Are there other situations where this occurs (without major damage to the nervous system like a broken neck)? Is it relevant for thinking about education/classrooms?

Two minds?
Name: Miss Genev
Date: 2003-07-09 09:21:48
Link to this Comment: 5871

Good Morning!
I am still not sold on this idea as we have identified it. However, I believe that actions/reactions occur independent of the brain realizing it. Or, does it recognize ways we have yet to identify? Nevertheless, I must recognize that there is a logical explanantion. We need not overlook the realm of The Highest Universal Force as a reason to be reckoned with.

on chris reeve
Name: carol
Date: 2003-07-09 09:25:01
Link to this Comment: 5872

no comment today

Name: W. Keith S
Date: 2003-07-09 09:25:29
Link to this Comment: 5873

This concept brings to mind involuntary muscle movements. The heart is a muscle that reacts without any conscious decisions. This also brings to mind the occasional muscle spasm in which the muscle is moving or convulsing and one can not stop it with conscious thought.

I find this facinating yet I am quite unsure as to how this understanding can be applied to the classroom.

Day 2
Date: 2003-07-09 09:34:15
Link to this Comment: 5874

Thoughts,ideas.questions---I was really impressed about the changes in technology from last year to this year. It is amazing how science progresses. What does this mean for education? One thing for sure--teachers need to be up on the lastest and need to keep coming to this workshop, need to get professional training(that is appropriate), abd need to keep learning themselves.

Now getting to Chris, I am thinking of other activities that we are not aware of. Here are some--sleep walking, dreaming, and more.

What does this have to do with education --well, [getting this less wrong] children may be able to learn without conscious participation. I'm not sure how this plays out. I guess I should make it a question.

July, 8 2003
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-07-09 09:35:40
Link to this Comment: 5875

The 2 Brain thoery reminds me of the 3 brin theory of Frued's Id, Ego, and SuperEgo. There are things that we do automatically, over which we have have no control: ie perspiring when we get over heated, or beginning to shiver when too cold.
The concept that Christopher Reeves is in the rostal part of his brian that explians why a person who is an amputee (sp?) is still the same person they were before the diseased limb or limbs were removed. No one would say, or even believe that a person missing a limb was some how mentally impared, only because the limb was missing. Many times that person's self concept has to be adjusted.
I think about physical learning...How to ride a bike, type, play a sport, or sometimes even dialing a phone number...these at least for me are often happening without consciencely being aware of them. Unfortunatley, some times when I go to dial one number (mentally) I physically end up dialing another number. For a person just learing how to do these things, they have to consentrate on the process. Right now for me designiing a web page is something that takes a very conscious effort, maybe a month from now it will feel as natural as surfing the web.

The Brain
Name: Sheila Mic
Date: 2003-07-09 09:36:10
Link to this Comment: 5876

Christopher Reeve exhibits a tenacity that parellels only to divine will. His determination to walk again is inspiration to all rehabilitation patients everywhere. I have a cousin who through a drug overdose died and was resuscitated to live in a coma--regained consciousness--within a month--only to have the life of a 10-13 year old. She has brain damage, and had to learn to walk and speak, feed herself, etc. much like a person who had suffered a stoke. It has been over ten years now and she can talk, walk and take care of herself with guidance and supervision.

? What state is the patient in--during a coma? Many patients can remember situations when they were comatose. Is the brain activity dormant or regenerating? Or a miracle?
P.S. In the N-E-W-s. . . .
A man has come-out of a coma after 19 years.

Two Minds?
Name: Joyce
Date: 2003-07-09 09:37:21
Link to this Comment: 5877

Involuntary responses of the nervous system are necessary to keep systems alive. We don't "tell" the heart to beat, we don't "tell" the lungs to take in air. However when they are not able to perform their function, our brain strugles to command them to work.

Sometimes students perform functions in the classroom as if they are on "automatic", such as writing worksheets or taking notes from the board. Students are not mentally engaged in this type of activity. Actually students LIKE this type of activity because they can remain brain-dead and it's EASIER for them than thinking. When I require them to be in groups and to question, explore, discuss and write an explanation; the students initially complain "What do you want us to say?" "Are we getting a grade for this?" You never said what we're supposed to write!"

By the middle of the year my students are comfortable with the process. They have stopped copying from each other because the "originator" knows that s/he will receive a zero with the rest of the copies. The students also know that they will get points for writing what they THINK, especially if it is backed up with the evidence from their explorations. I don't grade for spelling or style. As a final result, I am able to get an excellent sense my students depth of understaning from their logs.

Yesterday's Stuff
Name: Julie
Date: 2003-07-09 09:37:50
Link to this Comment: 5878

Are there other situations where this occurs (without major damage to the nervous system like a broken neck)? Is it relevant for thinking about education/classrooms?

Absolutely! It seems that every day school imputs information to kids. Do we get corresponding output? I think not! Sometimes "stuff goes in but doesn't come out". Likewise, kids' responses to stimuli sometimes far outweighs the stimuli- one kid nudges another accidentally -of course- and the other kid decks him/her.

Name: Pam
Date: 2003-07-09 09:38:09
Link to this Comment: 5879

The incident which effected Christopher Reeves has sparked a national debate over fatal tissue used for research purposes. My verdict is still pending on this matter. The concept of two brains dealing with neuron input and output impluses was comprehensible after reflecting on people who have been subjected to an immobile state. At frist, the theory of two minds automatically lead my to think of the conflicts between the id,ego, and superego. Wrong!

However, I can think of situations when completing a task felt robotic without any intellectual stimuli.

2 minds ?
Name: Regina Tos
Date: 2003-07-09 09:38:53
Link to this Comment: 5880

Another possible example of having "2 minds" is when a person performs an activity without thinking about it. If an activity is routine, a person does not have to be conscious of doing the activity. Disassociation occurs and the mind is not processing sensory inputs, nor directing outputs.
In a more sever form of disassociation a person may not remember doing and saying things. For that person, the "I" Function is not engaged when the person is in a disassociated state.
A second possible example of "2 minds" is Tourette syndrome ( or other neurological disorder). The person does not want to tic yet is unable to stop it.

Nervous System
Name: Mo
Date: 2003-07-09 09:39:21
Link to this Comment: 5882

One example that comes to mind when mentioning Chris Reeves would be stroke victims. My dad is a diabetic. He had two minor strokes with damage to his nervous system. Currently he complains of no feeling in the bottom of his feet and has poor management of bodily functions. He doesn't like to stand because his feet slide from under him. When it is time to use the potty he says it just came out. He is not a quadriplegic and has been seen by a nuerologist. It seems as if some days he is very coherent and other days he is out of it. The doctor confirms that he has some damage to his nervous system. Can it get better or do I clean poop forever!

Name: John Dalto
Date: 2003-07-09 09:39:34
Link to this Comment: 5883

Yesterday's discussion lead me to consider the question of where do you place your focus. We have spent a lot of time focusing upon diversity as a consequence of the extent to which each organism is individually different and unique. It's all in the wiring, the distictive organization of neurons. While this divergence is inescapably true, what I find even more remarkable is how much convergence operates. Humans are remarkably similar. It's all about one's point of view.
With regard to the issue of two minds, it's clear that we possess both a conscious and an unconscious mind. In fact, I would argue that our conscious processing represents just a small portion of our overall functioning. Most of what our organism does goes by without being noticed by what I think of as "me". It's not unlike the old distinction between body and soul. What Christopher Reeve's injury establishes is that our soul is located above the neck. There's a little "homunculus" that engages in reflection. The question that begs answering is whether this "soul", individuality persisting over time can be nailed down to a specific area, say the neocortex, our language center.

Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-07-09 09:40:17
Link to this Comment: 5884

How this relates to teaching is that we need to help students develop multiple pathways to learn and demonstrate learning. Book reports for a student who has difficultly writing may not be the most appropriate way to demonstrate learning...maybe a student created puppet show is a "better" way, which allows physical learning to be demonstrated.

linda m / wed AM
Name: Linda M
Date: 2003-07-09 09:40:36
Link to this Comment: 5885

When your hand accidentally touches something hot, it automatically withdraws itself without bothering to consult with the main brain. Perhaps it's akin to the second nerve mass that some dinosaurs had to manage their back ends which were so far from their front ends.

Re implications in educational settings--I often see students do things that appear not to have originated from their upper brain. Actually I don't see the independent actions of the lower body/spinal cord as being a second mind. Rather I see the upper brain as the seat of our multiple minds. I observe students doing and saying things that show forethought and insight and then I see them do something that seems like the mental equivalent of a knee jerk reaction.

spelling error
Name: Pam
Date: 2003-07-09 09:42:18
Link to this Comment: 5886

Spelling correction: fetal

Response to yesterday's discussion
Name: Lois
Date: 2003-07-09 09:44:11
Link to this Comment: 5887

Yesterday,s day session was very interesting. I find that each session has only open the door to entertain that of more questions.
The Chistopher Reeves observations in relation to the nervous system was a very interesting story. And although I personally am unable to recall any incidence where something of this nature has occur to someone personally that I know, I am more then certain that I have heard this subject address at sometime or another.
I do believe this that some of this need to be address in our classrooms. Our children have the tendency to ruff play in their no harm type games.

Name: Randal Hol
Date: 2003-07-09 10:04:41
Link to this Comment: 5888

There is far too much available stimuli in the world for a human to be consciously aware of it all. Perhaps an organism seeks to be pragmatic about selecting which available stimuli it chooses to acknowledge. Perhaps there exists a genetic predisposition that requires this selection process to be done to the specific benefit of the organism. It may be that learning represents a continual improvement upon this selection process.

Today, before lunch.
Date: 2003-07-09 12:11:00
Link to this Comment: 5889

Why do children, who are victims of alcohol and/or drugs during conception, and gestation, act out in negative ways as oppossed to positive? Does this have anything to do , in part, with the school of thought that alcohol and drugs are a bad influence? If not, then what is the explanation and how/why does the brain always process/manifest the negative and not the positive?

July 9, am
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-07-09 12:29:59
Link to this Comment: 5890

The discussion of the morning was and remains stimulating. Why, as educators who are seemingly open to accept the Nuerobiological explaination so "afraid" of the exsistance and workings of GOD?

Sometimems as people present thier points of view from the scientific perspective, they treat people who beileve in GOD as if the witches in Salem, MA, back in the 1600's.

If it is better teaching practices that we want, why not accept that could be some things for which we may never be able to fully understand?
And others still that we may only have a limited understanding of...or the stories we currently tell.

for Antoinette
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-09 19:07:50
Link to this Comment: 5892

Nobody should EVER dismiss people as defective for ANY reason (as per Culture and Disability). At the same time, it is worth noting that in this particular case the disabling has historically gone in both directions, and still does (cf. On Being a Lonely Atheist).

That said, let's agree that what HAS been does not forever HAVE to be. Serendip has a section for people who feel they have been discouraged from telling stories that include concepts like God, so their stories can be clearly heard by others (Science and Spirit). And I personally am more than willing to agree that "there are some things we have only a limited understanding of" (indeed, I'm SURE of it; its fundamental to the "getting it less" wrong principle). And I'm also more than willing to believe I can learn from other people's stories, whether they include the word God or not (cf. How to Get Through the Veil).

Where there may be an interesting difference in our stories (perhaps useful to both of us to see in getting it less wrong?) is the idea that there may be some things "which we may never be able to fully understand". I'm fully prepared to admit that as a "possibility" but very much disinclined to accept it as a starting point ... and even more disinclined to have people specify for others (or themselves) particular things that should not even be examined to see if they can be "understood". Is that a meaningful difference between us, one that would incline us to make different choices in education (or in life)? If so, we have some more things to talk about. If not, we're pretty much in the same place, the words we use notwithstanding.

Culture as Disability
Name: S. Herdan
Date: 2003-07-09 20:08:28
Link to this Comment: 5893

I once again realize how technologically challenged I am. I just spent quite awhile and have not found the correct web site B&B2003, I will not give up. Iam feeling the way students who are classified as disabled must feel in school on a daily basis. It doesn't feel good.

Now to the article--The session this afternoon brought some thoughts and ideas about the article together for me. I see how in our culture we classify people as disabled who do not meet the "requirements", the "standards(artificial at that)", the mold of our culture. We need to treat each person as an individual. We need to look at a person's strenghts and go from there. We all have disabilities and these are on a continuum--our students disabilities are on a continuum also. Why do we have to classify them and make them feel inferior. We need to be able to get help for all students and not classify them. This sometimes creates a self filfulling prophesy.

The World of the Blind was interesting. The blind were not able to accept a sighted person because he was different--we are not able to accept a LD person. This story showed me how ridiculous our values are.

Date: 2003-07-09 20:53:52
Link to this Comment: 5894

It doesn't matter what is said .Reactions to a thought which has been presented to generate discussion from an opposing point of view, and ,immediately discounted because religion "may' be a focus comes from a place of ignorance! How sad for them!

culture as disability
Name: CarolTyson
Date: 2003-07-09 21:54:21
Link to this Comment: 5895

The issue here is not what happens to those who rise to the "standard ". But, what programs can be implimented to benefit the vast number of students who continue to rank below basic.If there exist few outlets for these children to exhibit some wonderful inherent talent ,what shall become of them? We continue to struggle with budgetary constraints ;loss of programs ,etc.With the bleak economic picture it is foolhardy to expect corporate partners to assume responsibility for providing our schools with the disappearing arts programs. Can there possibly be a solution to an all to familiar problem?money!

While alternative programs must be created,the challenge will be to avoid tracking poor and minority students(once again)into the trades.This practice was prevelant in the period from approximately 1930-1960.

culture as Disability Article
Name: Julie Leav
Date: 2003-07-09 22:16:14
Link to this Comment: 5896

I've just spent the past hour rereading the "Culture as Disability" article. (Perhaps I have a reading disability). Certain points stand out. The notion of the "arrogance" of a "developed" and "cultured" society (read as Western Culture) to determine that others are "less cultured" and therefore inferior and we must help these "poor people" become more like us.Aren't we doing the same thing to our kids identified as Learning Disabled? If you don't read and calculate as well as "the rest of us" we're going to put you in a room with others like you and make you learn.The current politics of special education seems to be- separate and educate. I prefer inclusion. Let's give up the notion that every student must read, write, and calculate on a 12th grade level and then go on to a four year institution. It's arrogance at its worst.

Culture as Disability
Name: Joyce Ther
Date: 2003-07-10 00:31:27
Link to this Comment: 5897

McDermott and Varenne's article might be simply summarized as viewing culture as the glass half empty or half full. I take the latter view based on my early confrontation with culture while serving in the Peace Corps. Prior to departing for Asia, we had a 3-day culture training in Seattle and then a six week training in country. In Seattle they told us to begin to think outside of the box, beyond our frame of reference. I had no idea what it meant but we played some great games. In one role play I was asked to predict my reaction to a cultural scenario. I responded within the bounds of my culture and the trainers gave their very negative feedback. The games ceased to be fun; I was crushed that I would be expected to do such a thing.

Usually I respond to the forum by writing 3 paragraphs: introduction, explanation and conclusion but Paul never reads my second paragraph, so I'll just jump to the last.

Living in another culture was enlightening, enriching and liberating. Learning how to behave in order to be successful in another culture illuminated the artificial and meaningful boundaries of my own Americanism. I could look down at the ground when a Filipino male spoke to me and in the same minute stand as a PROUD equal with a PCV male.
Culture is like a wheeled baby chair. It keeps you on both feet and gives you a soft place to lean on. It allows you to look up, down and spin around. It can keep you immobile or send you flying. Culture as ability or disability is up to you and your choices.

Nunez missed the greatest experience of his life.

after a full day (wed) ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-10 08:40:10
Link to this Comment: 5899

Not sure how you're feeling but it feels pretty rich (maybe even a little disorienting) to me. LOTS of balls in play.

Good rich discussion of "two minds" yesterday morning, with I thought a pretty good consensus that understanding the conscious/unconscious thing IS important in education (as well as in neurobiology). Along those lines, does one learn unconsciously? How does that relate to wanting our students to "think"? Can on lie unconsciously? How can one tell if someone is doing that or consciously lying?

And some bonuses in the morning discussion. Noticing that it is for some reason harder to write in forum than to just talk ... maybe because one's conscious, with an editor built into it, gets in the way? Maybe that's why students ... ? Was struck also by the playing with "I think, therefore I am". Maybe it should actually be "I am, and find I have the capacity to think, which I can use to change who I am" ... and explore?

Also in the morning was the idea that the nervous system is just neurons, pretty much the same not only morphologically but also functionally ... the same signals, and the proof that indeed those signals could start in the box rather than result from experiences (in some cases EVER, because of the genome). There's certainly more to think/talk about there.

And then there was everyone tells me was a rich session with Kim in the afternoon. I saved the blackboard as a photo and will post it. And then there's the Culture As Disability article.

So, how about writing TWO entries in the forum this morning? One, if you haven't already done it, about the Culture As Disability article. The other about whatever part of yesterday you thought particularly interesting, have reactions/thoughts about. Yeah, please write TWO entries instead of one about both things. Then I can archive them under separate topics. And remember, don't "think" WHILE you're writing. Just write.

)7-09-03 's discussion
Name: Regina Tos
Date: 2003-07-10 09:07:37
Link to this Comment: 5900

If the brain is made up of neurons, and if neurons need action potentials to work, then :
1) Can we increase the number of action potentials to increase brain activity?
2) Can we somehow direct action potentials to "fire" certain neurons?
3) Can we stop action potentials (as in the case of Tourette syndrome)?
4) Where does personal responsiblity come into play, when talking about the unconsious part of the brain?
5) How much control do we actually have over our brain (and consequently over behavior)?
I also wonder how many more questions will arise before these questions are answered.

sundry musings
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2003-07-10 09:28:47
Link to this Comment: 5901

An interesting issue that arises from positing two parts of the brain, or more, centers on responsibility and free will. If more of our behavior is unconscious, are we responsible? It's also difficult to posit just how much interaction occurs.

Unconscious learning precedes conscious learning! The implications for education are enormous. Students should first engage in things unconsciously, busy work in a comfort zone, prior to conscious processing.

Descartes may be wrong, a cultural elitist, in positing that "I think, therefore I am." But, you also can't posit "I am, therefore I think." This is particularly relevant with regard to organisms who demonstrate activity, but have never had sensory or motor neural imput. It suggests to me that this activity may be unconscious, but the reflective activity that characterizes conscious I-function doesn't occur, therefore there might not be any "soul." Acquinas might posit some "vegatative" state.
Is refection what really distinguishes what is "human"? Do different organisms exhibit more or less reflection? The revelation and tracking of Action Potential as an indicator of the difference that humans exhibit between conscious and unconscious activity seems to me very relevant.

"The Great American Melting Pot"
Name: Angie
Date: 2003-07-10 09:32:40
Link to this Comment: 5902

Nunez was given a second chance to get his life together by not dying. Instead he had to learn the hard way that he was not better than everyone else because he had to adapt to another culture. Respect along with the belief that no one culture is greater than the other culture. Everyone is different as well as unique. Just because one has a disability, depending upon the severity- Does that make that individual an "oddball?"
At one time, society labeled individuals as being "possessed" or "crazy" because one was different either in terms of having seizures, being blind, physically challenged, etc... I think that the feeling of the unknown and how to handle/deal with these disabilities. In terms of education, we must do everything possible to provide avenues for learning. IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS!

thurs AM
Name: Linda M
Date: 2003-07-10 09:35:19
Link to this Comment: 5903

1/ response to Antoinette--I had to leave early yesterday so I don't know to when you are referring about people's attitude toward God. I, myself made a comment yesterday about not being able to quantify evidence toward the existence of a higher being. This has nothing to do with my faith (whI guess is why it's called "faith"). There are plenty of unquantifiable phenomena that science cannot explain; to me this doesn't mean they are not real. I find the brain such a marvel that I imagine it must have had some outside divine help becoming what it is.

2/ Culture as disability is reflective to me of the history of my teaching. I have, more often than not, taught students whose subculture in these United States differs from my own. Bit by bit I have become aware of my preconceptions that do not match with theirs. I can only guess as to how much I still don't know. I have students with many talents that do not include reading, writing and ciphering so they are not seen as sucessful in school yet have rich full lives in which they show varied competencies . On the other hand, if I were in a culture that measured success by how fast one can run, I would be among the disabled/limited because I do not have many fast twitch muscle cells (my physical therapist clued me in on that factoid).

Yesterday's class/7/09/2003
Name: Linda slat
Date: 2003-07-10 09:35:35
Link to this Comment: 5904

ain addition to the contentbeing very stimulating, I focused on how what I have always defined as very difficult "scientific" information was presented by Paul in a simple, concreate, manner, broken down and repeatedly explained. This of course has implications for how we approach our students. Do we try to cover too much material too fast, without enough space for students to process the material. Should we be spending more time as educators observing and noticing how teachers in other disciplines, teaching different levels do their stuff?

The afternoon's discussion was interesting , particuliarly because it demonstrated how an activity could be used to engage individual thinking and awareness, promote group ideas, as well as illustrate the points for the learner to focus on - What is a diability? and who decidesthat? For what Purpose? Many of the points in our discussion were revealed or parralled in the article"Culture as a disability".

Lots more reflection of the "two minds discussion" in my head, to mull over.

Culture as disability
Name: Keith
Date: 2003-07-10 09:36:23
Link to this Comment: 5905

Our discussion from Wed., 7/9, related very much so to the "Culture as Disability " article. Many of the points that were brought up were discussed in the article. I found it interesting to look at some of our own personal abilities and "disabilities" and how each individual precieved those differences. The Idea of not being able to use a pencil sharpener seems trivial if not humorous to many of us. But in a setting where that process is needed, it can cause some discomfort for that individual. Especially if you are dealing with young children where that can become a center of focus and ridicule among thier youth culture.

After reading parts of the article (I admit I did not get to read it all), I was reminded of a college professor I had who work with people who had "disabilities." He shared with us his experience when he went to a school for deaf children during the early stages of his carreer. He discussed with us his expectations and his preconcieved notions of what a school for the deaf would be. He pictured a quiet and "peacful" environment. He thought that he would be overwhelmed with the silence. He thought that this would be a relaxing environment to do his work. His experience was the contrary. He found that the students were playing their music so loud that he could hear it hundreds of yards before reaching the campus. He also found that this did not change throughout the day. It became distracting and difficult to work at times under those circumstances. He said that at first he could not understand this. Why did people who could not hear need to have music so loud? Then one of his collegues told him it was because they could feel the music.

He also stated that he knew traditional sign language. He noticed that the students were using signs when communicating that to him, seemed to be nonsense. As he spent more time, he realized that even sign language had dialects. The students had created their own slang and signs (like the codes our students write thier love letters in) to keep the teachers from understanding them.

Much like "THe Country of the Blind" his "ability" became his "disability." ONe other interesting aspect of this was that he found ways to adapt to the culture (as he put it). He began to use ear plugs while working and he also developed and internalized the sign language that they were using over time.

Kim's Session
Name: Joyce Ther
Date: 2003-07-10 09:36:54
Link to this Comment: 5906

Yesterday's session with Kim was terrific! I really enjoyed her facillitation of the group's responses. She took everyone's ideas so there was owership and therefore interest. Additionally for me, there was curiosity about how she would use the material on the board. These are all the elements of good inquiry and (as expected), the result was total participation. I think that the session was enjoyed by all.

morning session
Name: caroltyson
Date: 2003-07-10 09:38:27
Link to this Comment: 5907

A cousin of mine has developed severe depression since the death of her mother.With the depression has come a speech impediment .Under normal circumstances she is exteremly articulate,and, is in fact a speaker for the Presbyterian Church for whom she ministers.Is she of "two minds".When questioned she maintains that she has accepted the death and cannot understand what has happened.However, at certain times she speaks as if heaing impaired,functionally retarded,and,at others with an international tongue.During the exchange of charges in the axons is the order reversing in her brain?She has received numerous neurological evaluations and has been pronounced "physically healthy "by several physicians.

If this can occur with her,what then must be the situation with many students who are unable to process information in an ordered fashion because signals are reversing.I have doubts as to what methods can be employed to "retrain"their message centers.

Culture as Dis..
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-07-10 09:39:18
Link to this Comment: 5908

First, thanks to all who commented on my previous entry.

The article, like the discussion yesterday afternoon brings to mind that our culturre/expectations play a large role in hoe we ppercccieve and react to things. In the early 70's if a child was doing flips over a swing and fell and hurt themself...they would go home and get a bandage put on a cut or scrape and that would be all. If a child did the same thing now, they would go home, call the plastic surgeon, and their lawyer, and try to get a mega law suit from the owner of the swing set, the swing set manufacturer, the shoe manufacturer and so on.

Our culture has set up some standards that "define" minimal achievemnt standards, are those who do not meet them "dis-abled" or "differently -abled?"

When we ask our elem. students to "read, read quietly, and study" Could it very well be that they have a different mental script of what each of these words mean, and a different script of how to demonstrate that they are doing what we ask?

Name: Sheila
Date: 2003-07-10 09:40:15
Link to this Comment: 5909

As I read the article, I thought of the many children I have encountered with a disability. I recall reading the article's reference to "made to order general categories". Every label has a fit! When our cultural and society do not tolerate the disbility because the disability can not be categorized do we change our view?

The seminar yesterday with Kim was very enlightening. We do we get part 2?
Abilities v. Disabilities!

Wed. Session
Name: Shellie He
Date: 2003-07-10 09:40:38
Link to this Comment: 5910

What a day! So many questions,ideas, thoughts. I like the idea to write on the forum without that editor slowing things down. Unfortunately this is much harder than it seems. The thought don't flow -the editor doesn't want to turn off. Now I SEE how so many of the kids who spend the day doing little work feel--they are afraid to be wrong. We muswt do something about this--but what.

Interesting idea--so much of what the nervous system does has nothing to do with anything that happens to it--it just does. And nothing to do withanything that ever happened to it--is this a little about psychosis. What is that anyway?

Afternoon with Kim was great. REally enjoyed hearing her own stories. Really brought culture into the realm of our problems.

Oh well Paul wants us to stop.

Wednesday Thoughts
Name: Julie
Date: 2003-07-10 09:40:53
Link to this Comment: 5911

Yesterday afternoon's discussion about labeling kids brought a flood of thoughts. School is one of the few environments where we catagorize by age and cognitive ability. We don't isolate kids if they can't "do" gym or art or music. Why do we label kids because they read and compute differently? We are too worried about accountability.

My thoughts
Name: Angie
Date: 2003-07-10 09:40:56
Link to this Comment: 5912

I went home excited because I had been given the opportunity to do something new that I never even considered. Since Monday afternoon, I am more conscious by starting to think about every action that someone performs around me. I say to myself, "What mind controlled that action?"
I told my family that they have two minds and of course my four year old daughter was running around saying that she is losing her two little minds (like she know what one mind entails- I am still figuring it out.)

When I sat home yesterday with a sick child and thought to myself that I was upset that I was missing what happened today. This is my first time attending this institute and everything is so exciting. I am lost that I missed the speaker.

Culture and Disability
Name: Regina
Date: 2003-07-10 09:43:23
Link to this Comment: 5913

It is impossible for me to comment on the article as a whole, since I am not sure that I understand it. The one statement that stands out is "no one is disable alone". To be "disabled" , one needs to be compare to others in one specific ability. If the comparision is unfavorable, the person is view as "lacking" and is given the label of "disabled". This is how society divides people. Those who have (or is able) and those who have not (disabled). The problem is that 1) all abilities are on a continuum, and all people fall somewhere along that continuum. (there is no seperate groups). 2) The disability becomes the identitiy of the person, regardless of what the person CAN do. 3) Society tends to view people with disabilities as "different" and perfers to isolate the disabled. We are all different, and the differences enables society to become stronger (at least I think so).
Saying all that, I can not totally dismisses the notion that there are disabilities in life. We need to address this issue in terms of personal dignity of each person, helping each other to reach our highest potenial, and to appreciate each otherf for who we are.

Culture as Disability
Date: 2003-07-10 09:43:56
Link to this Comment: 5914

I never really thought about culture as it related to education or disability. The more I read the more I thought of culture in political terms. If culture decides to arrange things that we should be able or not able to do, isn't that a way to keep order? And who do we usually think of as having the power to to this. I say politicians! People in power. Our discussion about Communism was interesting yesterday. Keith said that it's interesting that we cll for equality and justice for all (communism) but we insist on basing our system on Capitalism in order to do that, focusing instead on the individual. MOre.......

after thursday ....
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-10 21:43:20
Link to this Comment: 5915

LOTS of stuff caught my attention, triggered thoughts re Culture of Disability and the question of whether one can achieve a non-disabling culture ...

"Maternalization of education" as the message of Culture of Disability. Encouraging concepts/nurturing over critical/demanding, less attention to struggle/war/competition? Avoiding "hurt feelings by demonstrating that someone else has a different point of view? All necessarily goes together this way? A good thing or a bad thing or ... ?

Re "special ed". Why classify/analyze instead of just fixing? Could we create a less disabling culture by allowing people to develop their own goals instead of insisting they have to be achieving by a common standard? But need to be careful not to return to a time of prejudging potential based on wealth, skin color, etc. Would help if we could encourage kids to become more self-reflective from earlier ages?

Re Keith's story: VERY important that one can be (be helped to be) aware of BOTH one's strengths and one's weaknesses, without demeaning the latter characteristics in others (can be comfortable about oneself without disabling others). Is this something that can be taught early?

Would be easier for kids to work on sorting themselves out if connections among different subjects/skills in the curriculum were made more apparent. This would help one make personal choices, encourage recognition of worth of things one doesn't onself choose.

almost half way through ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-10 22:00:37
Link to this Comment: 5916

Outputs without input or prior experience? Everything one experiences as patterns of action potentials? Experience limited by sensory neurons, which may vary among individuals? Having information without knowing one has it or where it came from? Two minds (at least)?

How we doing? Do you think differently than you did on Monday about science? about brains? about education? In what ways, and where should we go next?

Friday morning's entry
Name: Regina Tos
Date: 2003-07-11 09:36:14
Link to this Comment: 5918

Concerning the sensory neurons that provides information from the body to the CNS- if people had different levels of the external senses (i.e. some people have better eyesight, better sense of smell, etc.) do some people have higher levels of receiving internal information? Would this account for different threshold of pain? If so, would disorders such as fibromyalgia (which involves the person experiencing pain with no apparent physical cause) have a neurological component?

Kim Cassidy Session
Name: Randal Hol
Date: 2003-07-11 09:38:16
Link to this Comment: 5919

I found it particularly interesting to note that excelling or performing inadequately at a stated activity has played such a vital role in my social and intellectual development. It has made me look harder at how mainstream America, myself included, inappropriately compartmentalizes its constituents based on performance at particular activities. Perhaps, it is easier for "us" to reach a consensus on where a person "fits" in society if we keep to this practice of placing everyone at some point along a performance continuum. The discussion served as an excellent springboard for the reading, or revisiting, of the "Culture of Disability" article.

reflections of Thurs.
Date: 2003-07-11 09:40:54
Link to this Comment: 5920

I appreciated the thought provoking comments from the participants. It was good to observe my behavior in response to John's comments, as a reminder not to get stuck on making other's comments "personal".

I am starting to feel a bit more comfortable learning about the science of the brain. I am looking forward to more discussion of the culture article, since it was so rich with controversial ideas. Also, What's next in the workings of the neurons. Can't wait to hear about depression too.

Brain Drain
Name: Joyce Ther
Date: 2003-07-11 09:41:26
Link to this Comment: 5921

I'm thinking I may present information to my students via the Serendip site about how their brain works and perhaps start the year in a similar way that KC did the other day. I'll collect information about the students using the same organizer and then begin a discussion about the "multiple intelligences" of each individual. Even though I'm in physics and physical science this will serve as a great opener for all of us. It will give me greater insights into my students and I hope give my students an awareness that it's ok to follow your talents and that everyone is good at something.

In addition, although I resisted using the cumbersome HTML language for my website, I am changing my mind and thinking that this is a GOOD skill to develop.

July 10, 2003
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-07-11 09:43:59
Link to this Comment: 5922

As educucatiors we are very concerned about the rate and accuuracy of students "learning" the cumulative base of 'culturally relevant knowledge.'

Often we present things as if it is the only possible way of presenting that info. How often have elem. teachers told students that there is nothing to the left of zero on the number line, only for those same students to learn about negative numbers later in middle school. When we teach "This is an 'A'", we by default teach that this is the only way to make one.....

How many other times have we as teachers done this to our students?

Date: 2003-07-11 09:44:32
Link to this Comment: 5923

Note # 5920 was from Linda Slattery

Name: Angie
Date: 2003-07-11 09:45:29
Link to this Comment: 5924

Prior to Monday I thought that my mind controlled everything that I did. I believed that My left hand did not move until without coordination from my brain. By the end of the day, I realized that I had "two minds." Since then, I have been thinking about Christopher Reeves and what he must go through on a daily basis. I have been trying to put myself in his place.

As they say that you learn something new each day. Knowing that we have more than five senses makes sense when knowing what a Propieceptor is and all that it is capable of doing.

day 4
Name: shellie
Date: 2003-07-11 09:45:33
Link to this Comment: 5925

I did not read as yet all those nice comments that Paul left us because I was on a time constraint.

I can't believe how exciting it is to learn someting new. Yesterday I learned how to do someting on the computer with the help of Nia. If only we could capture this with the children that we teach.

achieving a non-disabling culture
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2003-07-11 09:45:51
Link to this Comment: 5926

Inherent within some of what we have learned about organisms is the idea that the majority of our behavior is determined. In fact there seems to have been a gradual shift of the entire nature/nurture paradigm during my lifetime in favor of nature, at the expense of free will. Given that, I find it unrealistic to think that we can create a non-disabling culture. It may be a worthy ideal.

fri AM
Name: Linda M
Date: 2003-07-11 09:46:12
Link to this Comment: 5927

re maternalization
There is a very good book called "Men and Women in Converstion-You Just Don't Understand" by Deborah Tannen or Tannenbaum (I think the Mars and Venus guy used her work. Her sociological studies found that men and women really do converse differently, examples being that men in convertion compete and offer each other solutions unsolicited or not; women nurture and comfort and come to consenses. Women in groups of men report that the men treated them "rougher" because they are women, when to neutral observaters, it turns out the men were actually treating them like they would another man.

Name: Julie
Date: 2003-07-11 09:47:15
Link to this Comment: 5928

I've always believed in letting kids discover as much about themselves as possible- figure out their strengths and work with them but also know what their weaknesses are and work through them. I like giving kids Learning Style inventories so that they can discover these qualities about themselves regardless of a special education label.

Action Potentials
Name: Randal Hol
Date: 2003-07-11 09:47:15
Link to this Comment: 5929

The notion that organisms can demonstrate certain outputs without inputs or any prior experience should not be confusing to anyone. People have long since realized that organisms perform in this manner. One only has to consider various animal's immediate ability to not only wish to walk, but to walk period after only a short period of practice. Consider bird's not having to be "taught" how to make a nest.

Will continue this thought later

Name: Sheila
Date: 2003-07-11 09:47:39
Link to this Comment: 5930

I know that the nervous system is made of boxes with smaller boxes with neurons and axon potential to initiate response from input. NOW, sensory nuerons effect axons in other nuerons and the the activity goes in the brain. How does this help scientist with people who are developmentally slow--autism, down syndrom, etc. What stimuli can correct these boxes being charged?

Name: Mo
Date: 2003-07-11 09:48:27
Link to this Comment: 5932

I have a special education godchild that believes he can do everything. It is hard trying to help him because he doesn't like to read. When he does things well he is proud of himself. He is on a first grade reading level at the age of nineteen. Is it too late? Help!M

Still Exploring
Name: Lois
Date: 2003-07-11 09:50:47
Link to this Comment: 5933

I am still stuck questioning and seeking some answers in the "two mind" mode.If this other mind is the " unconscienious mind" and we are able to tape into it unknowingly,then is there way a way to go there at ones own free will?
I ask that question because it is my belief that I myself have tape into this unconscienios mode on numerious occassions, and yet have been unable to get there when in a conscienious mode. I was a 4.0 student at Drexel for almost two years, yet when I became conscieniously aware, my grade went down a little, and I felt burned out.

Name: Pam
Date: 2003-07-11 10:44:10
Link to this Comment: 5934

During yesterday's discussion I was reminded about an undergraduate experience which involved a verbal debate. The debate between an instructor and student was about society decision makers. The instructor noted that students earning degrees from Yale,Penn,and Harvard were the elite class who controlled(became presidents) and Temple, Drexel students were general workers. I question if earning a degree in this society is important so that social change can occur. Also, if there are society classifications based on an institutional name why encourage everyone to attend. Remember the Bush- Gore campaign?

Name: Pam
Date: 2003-07-11 10:44:18
Link to this Comment: 5935

During yesterday's discussion I was reminded about an undergraduate experience which involved a verbal debate. The debate between an instructor and student was about society decision makers. The instructor noted that students earning degrees from Yale,Penn,and Harvard were the elite class who controlled(became presidents) and Temple, Drexel students were general workers. I question if earning a degree in this society is important so that social change can occur. Also, if there are society classifications based on an institutional name why encourage everyone to attend. Remember the Bush- Gore campaign?

Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-07-11 13:22:17
Link to this Comment: 5936

This morning,someone erased the board, and we did not receive the infor to begin adding to the forum. My question is in our society that tends to evaluate different as better or worse/ more or less powerful...Who then had more power to alter our behavior, Paul or the mystery cleaner? When it comes to the medical profession, who has more 'power' the doctor of the scheduling secratary? Maybe we should consider an inter-dependent rather than better/worse teaching/ learning model.

Sorry to miss the morning disccussion, I am looking forward to reading about it on the forum.

starting week 2
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-14 08:15:12
Link to this Comment: 5941

Hope you thought at least a bit about brain and behavior this weekend? Leave a few notes about what you're thinking about where we've been? where we need to go next? Whatever comes to mind. But if you need a stimulus (do you REALLY?):

Where we ended friday was with the idea that there's lots of inhibition in the nervous system. Does that make you think differently about behavior, yours and other people's? About the classroom?

monday AM
Name: Linda M
Date: 2003-07-14 09:06:12
Link to this Comment: 5942

1. From my summary of observations of middle school students and specifically my 5 year old nephew, I am very thankful the brain has some inhibitions.

2. Will we be doing anything that uses a construct to delineate ways in which people inherently use their brains differently?

Mon--second week
Name: Shellie
Date: 2003-07-14 09:14:54
Link to this Comment: 5943

Inhibitions--I never thought of the mind that way. This is definitely a way to look at all those "unmotivated student". I see so many students in my middle school that don't do anything. Teachers complain--they are lazy, they don't have motivation, they are slow, they don't care-- now I have agood answer for them. The students are inhibited. What are we to do to break that pattern? If I had the answer I would make a lot of teachers happy.

Monday morning - 2nd wk.
Name: Regina
Date: 2003-07-14 09:19:16
Link to this Comment: 5944

Thought about B&B and concluded that if I do have 2 minds, they are both tired. Still cannot decide on topic for TWIKI page.
About inhibitation neurons - Are these neurons slower to develop (or mature) than excititory neurons? I seem to remember that they are, and that is why young children need lots of time to run and move around. They have not develop the inhibitation neurons to control their actions.
If a person grows up with many external restrictions so that their inhibitation neurons are stronger (in what ever way) than their excititory neurons, will the person need more stimulus to produce behavior? Where is the "I" function in this example?

Monday morning - 2nd wk.
Name: Regina
Date: 2003-07-14 09:20:13
Link to this Comment: 5945

Thought about B&B and concluded that if I do have 2 minds, they are both tired. Still cannot decide on topic for TWIKI page.
About inhibitation neurons - Are these neurons slower to develop (or mature) than excititory neurons? I seem to remember that they are, and that is why young children need lots of time to run and move around. They have not develop the inhibitation neurons to control their actions.
If a person grows up with many external restrictions so that their inhibitation neurons are stronger (in what ever way) than their excititory neurons, will the person need more stimulus to produce behavior? Where is the "I" function in this example?

Name: Pam
Date: 2003-07-14 09:22:13
Link to this Comment: 5946

In response to the discussion on Friday, I wondered what would be the effectiveness of herbal supplements on the nervous system. Many people claim that St. John's Wort has helped in controlling depression.

Friday Thoughts
Name: Julie
Date: 2003-07-14 09:24:24
Link to this Comment: 5947

When working with middle school kids it's a darn good thing that there is lots of inhibition in the nervous system but I have observed that they could use A LOT more.

My six year old displays similar behavior as middle school students in terms of impulse control, attention span, moodiness, etc.

I'd like to see us explore brain and behavior development in the elementary and middle school students.

Name: Mo
Date: 2003-07-14 09:26:09
Link to this Comment: 5948

Many new observations come into mind. First, the fact that unconscious learning in our students is underestimated. We tend to believe that children are aware of what is being learned. It never comes to mind that my students sometimes learn by accident. I always tell my class to be quiet because you might learn something accidently. Another new observation is that neurons are 99% inhibitory. If signals start in neurons and those neurons are mostly inhibitory then I am not responsible for most of the things that I might do! Does that apply to my students? No way.

Name: Keith
Date: 2003-07-14 09:28:49
Link to this Comment: 5949

Sorry about missing last Friday. Sometimes there are other situations that come up that the brain can't control. I am curious about the discussion from Friday.

Over the weekend I was thinking about O.C.D. (being that I know several people diagnosed with the "disorder" as well as the notion that maybe we are all a little compulsive about something). I find it curious that a person with the disorder can verbalize that they know something is not dirty or contaminated, but internally they cannot dissmiss the idea that it is. I find it to be very interesting because I cannot rationalize their line of thinking on the matter.

Name: Miss Genev
Date: 2003-07-14 09:29:16
Link to this Comment: 5950

Good Morning!
In keeping with the theme from Friday...
Why does alcohol have an effect of 'loosing your inhibitions' after it has been consumed {at least after a reasonable portion}? Again, why do the effectss of alcohol and/or drugs manifest themselves in a negative, rather than normal/positive manner?

Name: John Dalto
Date: 2003-07-14 09:30:52
Link to this Comment: 5951

Just as there is tremendous inhibition in the nervous system of the human organism, there is inhibition in the social organism that we loosely define as Culture. The complement to perceiving "Culture as Disability" would seem to be perceiving the "Lack of Culture as Disability." Both perspectives may possess their own truth.

Freud viewed the individual inexorably governed by a struggle with the reality principle. In his tripartitite model of the mind, primitive uninhibited impulses of the id were constrained within the ego by the culturally determined strictures of the superego. Inhibition seems to be a basic underlying principle that contributes to the manifold cultures that man establishes. I suspect that there's a necessity implicit in the operation of inhibition that allows the formation of the ego and what we term consciousness. Without it, there would be madness. The struggle is all, and we, both individually and collectively, resist the impositions of the reality principle. There would seem to be a continuum here, whereby differnet cultures may be viewed by the amount of accommodation with which they encourage resistance. Our culture is particularly open, and I sometimes wonder if it wasn't historically engrained through our rebellion against England.

My thoughts
Name: Angie
Date: 2003-07-14 09:32:05
Link to this Comment: 5952

Now that we are into our second week of this program, I feel that everyone (if not most of the people) feels comfortable in speaking out. To some degree, there is some reserve in sharing thoughts and how others will respond. Listening to others and understanding that it is okay to feel/think that we is a key factor in "expression." The atmosphere is better as each day goes along. To some degree I can't believe that it has only been one week that we have been in each others' company. I am not sure of who knew who before the start of the program.

Throughout the weekend I watched people around me and tried to decipher what "mind" controlled their actions. Watching what someone does first in response to something. Sometimes people say that they didn't mean to do something but they do it anyway. I observed a group of children at a birthday party this weekend. Quite interesting!

Date: 2003-07-14 09:35:08
Link to this Comment: 5954

Friday's Brain session was very interesting. I believe that understanding the biological causes will increse our ability to find ways to connect with children in our classes who are depressed or have ADHD. If nothing else, it certainly helps us to recognise the source of aberrant behaviors.

Still Seeking Answers Without Having To Take The c
Name: Lois
Date: 2003-07-14 09:35:55
Link to this Comment: 5955

Friday session was very interesting.I felt as though I was getting a lot more closer in getting some answers that I was seeking as an educator working with younger children.
We discussed depression a little,and Paul said that there were many forms of depression.I would like some more elaboration done on this topic, and of cause the "two minds", as well as the left and right side of the brain.
i am looking forward to once again having a informative week, as well as a interesting.

Name: Randal Hol
Date: 2003-07-14 09:40:15
Link to this Comment: 5956

I have been thinking that perhaps what we perceive as behavior can be represented by the following equation:

Contributory or Noncontributory Actions - Inhibitive Ability = Behavior

I define contributory or noncontributory actions as anything an organism does that either improves or hinders its environmental position. These actions can be observable or not by other organisms.

Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-07-14 09:45:25
Link to this Comment: 5957

TWiki is still a foreign language to me, but it is getting easier/less overt.

reflections on the brain
Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2003-07-14 10:01:29
Link to this Comment: 5958

I really got the impression that our brain was a "bundle of nerves", doing amazing things. It seemed to make sense that the majority of neurons were inhibitory, since that would most likely account for the tremendous varibility in behavior among humans, as well as within our individual experience. It gave new meaning to the term "out of Control". On the other side of the coin, inhibititory behavior keeps us from doing more - Positive creative stuff. This is an English majors interpretation of science.

As far as depression, it seems like an inevitable part of human experience. For as long as time, and written experience (poetry) there is evidence of melancholy". And we can see man's efforts to overcome it through drugs.

reflections on the brain
Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2003-07-14 10:06:51
Link to this Comment: 5959

I really got the impression that our brain was a "bundle of nerves", doing amazing things. It seemed to make sense that the majority of neurons were inhibitory, since that would most likely account for the tremendous varibility in behavior among humans, as well as within our individual experience. It gave new meaning to the term "out of Control". On the other side of the coin, inhibititory behavior keeps us from doing more - Positive creative stuff. This is an English majors interpretation of science.

As far as depression, it seems like an inevitable part of human experience. For as long as time, and written experience (poetry) there is evidence of melancholy". And we can see man's efforts to overcome it through drugs.

Mixed Signals
Name: Miss Genev
Date: 2003-07-14 13:23:37
Link to this Comment: 5962

Being able to spell is {and should be} the rule, not the exception. We are doing more harm than good allowing our students to submit work with spelling, grammer, and structure mistakes.

We are leaving them at a grave disadvantage for a successful professional/vocational life. I have no problem with allowing for brain storming and creation. However, those assignments/projects must be correct in final draft form and prior to grading, as grading is to be it should be.

As professionals, Educators no less, we have the responsibillity{!} of ensuring that our students are receiving a wholistic learning experience, inclusive of exploration, spelling, computation, creating,etc. There is a fundamental credibility to the importance of Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.

Furthermore, the irony here is that we have no societal grounds to complain about school systems graduating students from high school with a diploma, who cannot read; get a decent job; aspire to higher learning; refrain from a life less acceptable to 'our standards', namely a life of selling drugs, or worse...themselves; stealing; alcohol; alternative lifestyles; and the list continues...when we have not formally equipped them with tools for success. Now we are faced with the challenge of the mixed signals, which manifest themselves in a variety of ways. For example, remedial classes in college/training, which is money spent needlessly, instead of being spent for credit courses leading to a degree/certificate.

Literacy programs are predecated on our iliterate high school graduates/drop~outs. Billions of dollars are being spent to give essentially young adults the same education they should have gotten during the formative years...for free. Thus, more students than we realize are being thrust into the realm of debt, putting them at a further disadvantage. Often this cycle is due to fault, solely not their own.

If being held to task was one of several entities that enabled us to be professionals, therefore positive contributors to society, then why are we settling for less of our generational offspring? It is apparent to me that with the wealth of technology avaliable today more opportunity for success must be more, not less, prevelant. This includes, but is not limited to spell check {no offensive to anyone, as I realize the concerns are valid. However, {in my opinion} this is not, and cannot be, an excuse. Rather, we need to create an on~going means of enabling ourselves, our students, and anyone else we interact with to be wholistically successful.

The Universe is not pleased with our personal and professional complacency. Thus, many problems of today {both generational and new} continue to manifest in ways that are, and have yet to be, identified. Until we realize that life is a cycle of three strongholds, in priority, of Church, Home, and School...we will remain at a wholistic disadvantage as a global society.

Consider this...intellectual genocide.

writing, culture, language, and enabling/disenabli
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-15 08:13:20
Link to this Comment: 5964

Here (with Antoinette's permission) is the email exchange with led to yesterday's rich conversation about forums.

Hi Paul,

I am sending this to you off of the forum, because I just realized that the entire Forum is available from the web. Is there any way to link a spell check program to the forum????? PLEASE....I am sure I am not the only one who is spelling challenged and when I go to present some of the information to my colleagues, I do not want to hear "But, you spelled blah blah incorrectly.



Let's talk more, us and maybe the whole crew, about the concern about being "spelling challenged" and what we ought to do about it. There's a "culture as disability" issue here that's important for thinking about the web and more generally. It has to do with the fear of colleagues who attempt to disable one by saying "you spelled blah blah blah" incorrectly, with what the various ways of dealing with that are, and what the consequences of different ones are for our students and for education in general.


I like a lot the ideas that we came up with yesterday morning: that the forums are a new kind of writing/conversation space, somewhere between talking and formal writing, more like sharing thoughts in progress. And that one should NOT be "editing onself" in writing in them, since that demonstrably gets in the way of sharing one's thoughts (as it does for students). And that they should be labelled "spelling-free, punctuation-free, grammar-free, structure-free".

But what about the issues raised in Geneva's email above? How do we deal with those?

Lots of other interesting issues came up yesterday ... motor symphonies, organization without a conductor, the role of the genome, corollary discharge and its effects on perception, corollary discharge as a mechanism for generation of expectation, mismatches between expectation and input as a source of pain/discomfort ... and all this without the I-function.

Feel free to write about the writing/enabling/disabling issues and/or about anything else yesterday made you think about. If you want to write about both, how about doing two postings? That will make it easier for me to collect all our thoughts about enabling/disenabling in one place in the archive.

Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-15 09:13:04
Link to this Comment: 5966

Some relevant stuff in NYTimes Science Times this morning:

Early Voices: The Leap to Language

Teaching Computers to Work in Unison

Name: keith
Date: 2003-07-15 09:19:28
Link to this Comment: 5967

I like the idea of the "circle" notion as apposed to the box. The discussion on how all the information is passed from one neuron to another and how output can affect input is a very interesting concept. I am looking forward to learning more on this concept.

tues AM
Name: Linda M
Date: 2003-07-15 09:26:01
Link to this Comment: 5968

If the forum is easily accessible on the web, then how safe an arena is it to write without a certain amount of inhibition?

If I want to use my Serendip web page for my students, then some of the more computer savvy ones might pop into the Forum and read my comments, some of which use sarcasm related to their foibles. If Antoinette, or anyone else, wanted to use it in a professional presentation, then my comments directed to a particular audience become grist for someone's unintended mill.

My thoughts
Name: Angie
Date: 2003-07-15 09:30:06
Link to this Comment: 5969

INHIBITIONS- That is a word that I have always heard about: such as shedding your inhibitions or being free or uninhibited, but I never thought much about it or really understood it. I always thought of it as unrestrained when doing something. That is true and I thank you for a clear understanding of what is going on with the generating of inputs/outputs. As a teacher, I do not like using the word lazy either. I used to say that he/she lacks initiative. Now I am going with the belief that this person may be inhibited.

Our bodies were created to work in sync (perfect harmony) with each other in order to establish patterns of coordination. That is wonderful and amazing! As they say that "God Don't Make No Junk."

re;geneva's comment
Name: carol
Date: 2003-07-15 09:36:09
Link to this Comment: 5970

I agree with Geneva in that it is indeed our responsibility to guide our students towards an acceptable "correctness" as it relates to "norms' in our society.Hence, it becomes neccessary to provide the example for them.
The district has implemented several writing approaches which should be applied across the curriculum.Step Up to Writing ,is one that instantly comes to mind.

If in fact we suffer from ,as Antoinette suggests ,a spelling deficiency,some "check" system must then be created within the classroom to guard against continuous errors during instuctional periods.We are,after all placed in positions for the children to emulate.

Our students will not "rise" if we do not create a "standard" of expectations!

Name: carol
Date: 2003-07-15 09:39:40
Link to this Comment: 5971

I do think that the forums should be set aside as an area for free expression!

More Questions???
Name: Lois
Date: 2003-07-15 09:44:56
Link to this Comment: 5972

Good morning! I am looking forward to today sessions.
I'm sold on the idea of "two minds". I would like to now know, what is the relationship of the "two mind" theory, in relation to the "multiple personalities" theory? Is there any ? If so, then what?
I am having fun in the summer institute learnig about a clinical subject such as the "Brain and Behavior". Wouldn't it be productive if we as educator could take our clinical type subjects, and make them fun learning in our perspective classrooms for our students?

Two Minds
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-07-15 09:45:39
Link to this Comment: 5973

During the conversation yesterday, Paul said "pain is the mismatch between expected input and actual input." I am an insulin dependent diabetic and I give myself daily needles. Since I originally expected the needles to hurt, at first they did, now a year later they do not hurt anymore. Maaybe, my CNS now expects 'pain' and when it receives 'pain' it is satisfied and does not send a real pain sygnal to my I-function.

My internal clock is set for Kenya and Italy, whhile visiting these places, I did not need an alarm clock, I just got up att 5:45 each morning. At home to get up at that time, I would need to be cattle- prodded out of bed.

Name: John Dalto
Date: 2003-07-15 09:46:24
Link to this Comment: 5974

First, I would like to commend Geneva's response to this forum, "Mixed Signals." I really appreciate that she has given voice to an idea that's counter to the prevailing hegemonistic educational philosophy of accommodation. I think that she has identified a trend in education wherein through the real desire to help students, to understand differences, to appreciate different learning styles and different kinds of intelligence, to be all things to all people, we have fostered a permissive culture in our schools that no longer adheres to standards, which is ultimately enabling and which ironically engenders "learned helplessness". My definition of "enabling" focuses upon the extent to which we condone the lack of basic standards in the 3R's because we recognize that individuals have different skills, and we want to avoid being critical.

Name: shellie
Date: 2003-07-15 09:46:46
Link to this Comment: 5975

It is a good thing that I am learning about minds--because today I don't think I have one. My mind is full of discharges of all kinds. I can really understand what all the confusion is about. My two minds are both so full of discharge that nothing seems to be able to be accomplished. My I function is trying hard to make some sense but the other mind won't let it.


expectation vs.pain
Name: carol
Date: 2003-07-15 09:47:22
Link to this Comment: 5976

I realize now how "fire-walkers" are able to repeat this activity time and again. I suppose this also applies to relgious groups that self- inflict pain as some symbol of pennance.

Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2003-07-15 09:47:52
Link to this Comment: 5977

As far a "spealling", I agree that we need to have standards for our students, and teach them to be mindful of the value of written material. However, there is also a place and time for free writing, perhaps like journals or forums, for less formal writing. We can teach our students how to use a dictionary, and when it's important to edit.

The ideas presented yesterday are a strain for me to understand, but I think Paul is doing a good job at slowly building at least a superficial understanding of this input/output model of neurons. I still waiting how this impacts what we as educators should do or think differently.

Name: Angie
Date: 2003-07-15 09:47:54
Link to this Comment: 5978

As a child I have been taught that you do not make any mistakes when spelling. As an educator, I let them know that in the beginning I am focusing on your writing style. After we go over the various areas such as focus, convention, organization,, etc... then I tell that their final piece should not have any mistakes. They are allowed to get their portfolios and make corrections. There are times in testing, that I will be asked if spelling counts, I tell that I am interested in what you know

Name: Julie
Date: 2003-07-15 09:48:48
Link to this Comment: 5979

This is a tough issue for those of us held accountable for students' high standardsof performance. Often I have to force myself to look at the content of kids' work before jumping on the mechanical errors. I remember having a staff development by an English teacher from Central High. I try toemploy the technique of reading work first WITHOUT a pen in hand at all. It's hard but it works.

Nervous system control
Name: Joyce
Date: 2003-07-15 10:00:29
Link to this Comment: 5980

First I must apologize for missing class today. When I came out to my car, I found one of the tires almost flat. My husband had left for work and although I could have changed the flat, because I have done it before and there were "experienced neurons" to accomplish the task. However the "I-Function" was not willing to initiate the sequence. My neighbor came over and filled the tire with his compressor and in the last hour it has not lost air but I still want to have it checked by my mechanic. Anyway I'm sure that I've lost the opportunity for a parking space.

I do agree with Keith that the interconnectivity of the nervous system is fascinating especially in its complexity. The more you find out about the biology, the more there is to know and understand. We think that researchers should be able to "fix" mental illness in the same way we are able to develop treatment for physical problems. Now I understand a little more how taking a pill and supplying just one chemical is not enough. Although it may kickstart some neurons to begin to communicate, its difficult to know what "concert" will be produced in the end.

So I will read over the forum today, look at the content notes and work on my web site. I this way my electronic presence will be with you.

Name: Sheila
Date: 2003-07-15 10:26:40
Link to this Comment: 5981

I am learning about the nervous system and enjoying the class more each day. I missed you all yesterday.

Name: Joyce
Date: 2003-07-15 11:22:05
Link to this Comment: 5982

I agree with John about the disability of accommodation and to some extent with Geneva as well. I think rather than intellectual genocide, I would say "cultural genocide" because our accommodation of a non-intellectual focus could contribute to the fall of America. Just as Rome and Greece occupied mankind's cultural pinnacle, there was a timeline and like life itself these too met their demise. American culture is very young relative to others but how we prioritize our societal values may contribute to our early downfall. If we are honest, we must admit that we do not value intellectualism. We call them the derogatory "geeks". We pay a small amount of our earnings toward education compared to entertainment, (concerts, sports, movies, vacations, etc.).

Compare to Asian or European cultures that put education first, they have made the choice and will sacrifice everything (at the basic family level) to be sure that the children receive the best education possible. This is not the norm for America. On the other hand, the essence of America is dynamic. Foreign engineers, doctors, and other professionals flood into our country daily. We need them. Philadelphia brought in 250 Indians to teach our children science. Perhaps in time their(and other immigrants) impact on their new country will change our focus.

Name: pgrobste@b
Date: 2003-07-15 13:21:15
Link to this Comment: 5984

If you've come to write about something else, go right ahead. I'll edit/archive this evening as needed

Here are the questions for tomorrow's forum, in case you want to get a head start on it.

What experiences with college/university/graduate educators were most valuable to you as a teacher? Think both about experiences you had as a student and experiences (like outreach programs) since you became a professional teacher.

What would you like college/university/graduate educators to be doing that would improve education for all students? to help you with your own teaching?

Professor-Teacher Collaborations
Name: Joyce Ther
Date: 2003-07-16 01:07:45
Link to this Comment: 5985

In my opinion, the Professor/Teacher collaboration is vital to student achievement. All teachers need SUPPORT which means to do the following: sustain, encourage, defend, fund, endorse, buttress, cheer on, assist, back, reinforce and collaborate.

Teacher collaboration with professors, experts and other professionals can provide some or all that a teacher seeks to perform with verve. I am renewed by attaining a deeper understanding of science content and as a consequence am better able to lead my students to their own constructed understanding via detailed questioning. Dr. Zbig Dziembowski at Temple University has been a valued influence on my science understanding and delivery. In addition, we have collaborated on grants that give funds, reinforcement, materials and endorsement to my job. Best of all I enjoy our zesty and at times conflicting arguments about pedagogy. Zbig definitely keeps me on my toes by often offering a European assessment of the American educational system. I value this "out of the box" thinking and respect his opinions.

Within a school or a district teachers must look for guidance and support as well. These are people who can sometimes support through insulation. They give you a life preserver and brace you through the storms or cheer you on in the good times. The science supervisor in my district has been an admired and significant mentor for me. Dr. Conn has allowed me to vent unedited complaints and stood by me during unfair confrontations. She considers her fleet of science teachers as a wealth of knowledge that must be protected in order to clear the way to teaching with excellence. She is our advocate and in so doing gives students the best opportunity for success.

I don't think that it's necessary to have only one to one collaborations to advance teacher support. Professors or Professional Developers that are conducting classes can facilitate collaboration among the teachers themselves to foster reflective practice. The Serendip Institute and associated forum has served this purpose well. Additionally, Paul Grobstein et al has provided space for teachers to create their own web site and given them the tools to continue to improve or modify it. I applaud their scheme to cultivate future teacher collaboration through technology and I am appreciative of the skills that they furnished.

Wednesday's Posting- collaboration
Name: Julie
Date: 2003-07-16 07:39:17
Link to this Comment: 5986

I found Joyce's comments insightful and I realize the important link that university programs provide to the chain of education. I also realize that it is my weakest link. My most significant experiences have been with undergraduate educators (a very long time ago.) Since then my experiences with higher education educators have been like a smorgasbord- a class here and a class there.Even in graduate school those long term collaborations seemed a rarity.

I would like college educators to see us more than an institution in which to place student teachers. I would like to see true collaboration between students- undergraduate/graduate to K-12 kids. Help us to prepare them for college life or the working world if they so choose.

Name: keith
Date: 2003-07-16 09:15:52
Link to this Comment: 5987

I feel that during my undergraduate studies, the curriculum was geared too much towards the "ideal classroom." In my opinion and experiences, there really is no such thing. Most of the concepts assume the fact that the classroom is structured in a vacume. That there are not any external factors that disrupt the flow of a classroom. Some of the more extreme behaviors in the classroom are only touched on in specific courses. I feel it would be more appropriate to paint a more realistic model of a classroom.

Many of the concepts that are taught are well meaning and do have some fundamental aspects that are applicable. But in fact many of them do not take into consideration many of the classroom management issues (especially in inner-city schools).

I think it would be benifitial to young teachers to be able to observe and experience these settings (granted they are available) as much as possible. I am not sure there is an answer in terms of preparing begining teachers for such an experience. But I do feel that many of the obsticles of an inner-citty classroom still exist in all classrooms, just not at the same scale.

Name: Angie
Date: 2003-07-16 09:17:58
Link to this Comment: 5988

There is a program called "Upward Bound" that takes place on a campus setting even though the individual has not graduated from high school. I believe that having programs like this in place helps prepare the individual for what lies ahead for them in the academic area. A lot of our students are not prepared and experience a rude awakening as to what they need to do. And as I reflect on my undergraduate experiences, I remember sitting in a class that I thought that one of my professsors talked way above (on another level) than what I knew. I knew that it wasn't just me because others expressed their concerns and I evolved from a family of educators. It took me a while to get use to the class and learn how to tape record the lectures. That was the only way that I could figure out what was happening ( I would replay and decipher what was being said in class.) Everyone does not learn by the book, I prefer the hands-on method. This not a criticism but a point of view that can help other students get through a class where there is difficulty in deciphering what the professor is trying to say.

Can you tell me what are some of the problems that arise when in-coming freshmen arrive for class? What can we help them with in order to make things run a little better for them? Having a liason/link with college students can help serve as a mentor. For career days, more professors should be given the opportunity to share with high school students as to what will transpire.

It helps knowing that there are caring professors out there to guide or help you whenever a concern arises. Just having someone to talk to and seeing that they were committed to what they were doing helped me.

wed AM
Name: Linda M
Date: 2003-07-16 09:21:33
Link to this Comment: 5989

What came to mind first is actually what didn't and does not work. The current program for student teachers in most colleges gives these teachers-to-be the most minimal contact and experience possible. They go into their first year of teaching with such limited experience and practically little or no support that it is a wonder so many people choose to continue after that first year. It is no wonder that so many opt out.

Institutes of higher learning need to change their idea of what higher learning is when it comes to preparing candidates who will have our children's minds in their hands and whose own well being and confidence/competence is at stake. We need longer periods of classroom training; ideally student teachers could spend a paid residency of at least 1 year benefitting themselves and the schools more than current systems allow. Today's status quo does not provide any of its constituents with what they deserve or need.

Name: shellie
Date: 2003-07-16 09:25:03
Link to this Comment: 5990

As a teacher and a counselor I found a great deal of value taking courses at colleges. Courses, like this one, bring many new ideas to the brain. Also working with colleagues stimulates the brain and encourages daring ideas to be tried. Sometimes one needs a little push in the right direction.

This year I had a college student working with me. She was doing a 6 week internship. This was a beneficial experience for both of us. It was wonderful to see her relate to the children--she was a lot closer to their ages and this was helpful.

My wish list: more interns--college students interested in exploring careers in schools; college students interested in working with students and their science projects--that's big in my school; students to work as tutors; college prof giving staff development--that's you ,Paul--what we get is not the best.

Name: John Dalto
Date: 2003-07-16 09:25:06
Link to this Comment: 5991

First, during my thirty-five years of teaching, there has been one constant: the poor quality of staff development. Invariably, it has been poorly planned and delivered. Only when universities or outside agencies have been involved has it been truly professional development. It's not my purpose to attribute blame, since there are real reasons why internal staff development doesn't work. But, that's a subject for another day. Here, I would like to suggest a means by which universities could be more helpful.

The best professional development that I experienced involved Professor Woobie from Millersville who taught a group of Philadelphia teachers Latin so that they could enhance vocabulary acquisition in their classrooms. We met centrally, and he taught it like a college course. He clearly had something to impart. That's why it worked. Too often "professional" development deteriorates into a gripe session where there's simply a forum for venting.

I would like to see local universities engage in outreach where they provide further instruction in subject areas. This could be done by means of conferences or sponsoring classes. Naturally, I'm highly appreciative of our Summer Brain Institute.

Second, during the last fourteen years, I have been seriously engaged in Service Learning. I am a fervent believer in its efficay both for those who volunteer and for those that they serve. Specifically, I have been involved with having high school students volunteer in elementary classrooms supporting literacy. It's my strong belief that school districts could benefit not only from this kind of mentoring in literacy, but also in mathematics, and science. I would strongly encourage universities to engage in this praxis.

Name: Mo
Date: 2003-07-16 09:27:24
Link to this Comment: 5992

The most valuable experience in college was student teaching. This course allowed me to actually work with students. It's like getting your hands wet without washing them. Taking college courses do not prepare teachers for the classroom. More hands-on courses should be added to the education curriculum. There is also a need for more staff development and summer institutes (like brain & behavior). Every teacher should be enrolled for at least one course every summer with a stipend of course. There is also a need for training on the new scope and sequence curriculum frameworks. The School District of Philadelphia comes up with new curriculum ideas constantly without training the teachers on how to apply them correctly in the classroom. What a waste! As a student I always thought my teachers were well prepared. Now I often wonder how many of those teachers were actually faking it. Graduate schools would help teachers more if they focus on practices that could be applied in the classroom.

Symposium Questions
Name: Randal Hol
Date: 2003-07-16 09:35:48
Link to this Comment: 5993

What experiences with college/university/graduate educators were most valuable to you as a teacher? Think both about experiences you had as a student and experiences (like outreach programs) since you became a professional teacher.

One experience immediately comes to mind. I was enrolled in a writing course at a community college in 1984. The section of the course was added so as to reduce the number of students who were overloading another section offered at the same time. As a result, this section consisted of only eight students. The instructor who arranged for this section addition was the English department head. Having an exemplary teacher and such a small class size allowed for greater attention to be given to those who were having difficulties organizing their thoughts when writing. Reflecting upon this convinces me that I probably would not have had as much success in my other coursework had it not been for this early experience.

What would you like college/university/graduate educators to be doing that would improve education for all students? to help you with your own teaching?

I always felt that at the college/university/graduate level, instructors are greatly concerned with the acquisition of knowledge in a particular subject area. Obviously, this is a mandate. However, only minimal pressure exists that requires one to make improvements as an educator.

In light of this, I have noticed that a great many instuctors tend to exhibit a single-mindedness with respects to how best one can impart this knowledge to others. I believe both teaching assistants and professors would benefit immensely from the exposure gained in teaching methodology courses.

Date: 2003-07-16 09:38:11
Link to this Comment: 5994

The most helpful aspect of my practicum was the amount of extended time working in the field and the supervision I received. I believe I was especially lucky to have such interesting and caring supervisors.

However, I think most teachers today do not have enough time processing their experience in a non judgemental atmosphere. I think the coaching model used in some teacher retention programs is the way to go. The coaching process develops collegiality, self reflection, and curiosity. Adult learners need to be engaged in learning by finding their own areas of interest and development. Too much of the time is spent pouring information into their heads, instead of teaching adults how to be better observers of their behavior, and the behavior of others. There is much more to say on this topic.

Name: Sheila Mic
Date: 2003-07-16 09:38:54
Link to this Comment: 5995

To improve education . . .
Educators and instructional leaders must utilize reflective practice as a tool to improve classroom teaching and learning. When teachers engage in reflective practice and open discourse, teachers will become better equipped to identify their practical knowledge and to develop their philosophy of education to improve classroom teaching and student learning outcomes. Sharing experiences and classroom practices is necessary to teacher development. Teachers must learn new ways of teaching, through professional development, thus they need to connect their new knowledge with what they already know and do in their classrooms and discard what may have been useful in the past. Teachers must constantly examine there teaching styles and theories of practice utilized in actual classroom episodes, to reconstruct curriculum meaning to focus directly upon the classroom experience. Teacher must be allowed to recall experiences and to criticize it in the privacy of one's reflective moments, but also to provide a knowledge base to identify what we are learning about teaching.

Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-07-16 09:38:58
Link to this Comment: 5996

My most valuable experience during my teacher preperation was student teaching. I taught at a private school for and received payment. Not only did I have a mentor, but many other teachers 'took me under their wings' and allowed me to have that important learning curve. I believe that one semester, with a master teacher in the room does not prepare new teacher for what they will experience.

As a special ed teacher, I have been allowed more latitude than many other regular ed elem. teachers......

Professional Experiences
Name: Miss Genev
Date: 2003-07-16 11:29:44
Link to this Comment: 5998

Good Morning!
When I reflect upon my youth I recall having my childhood friends sit on the porch steps as I led 'the class'. One of the things I remember 'teaching' them was "The rain in Spain...". Enunciation {getting it right} was important to me even then. When I recall my high school years, which were spent in public school {my first 8 were in Catholic school}, I realized teaching was my vocation. It was a simultaneous call and choice. I have been blessed to always have good teachers. My entire high school experience was excellent. Through maternal illness, paternal job closing, and personal senior year teacher meaness {the only exception} I entered college as a secondary English major. Due in large part to my high school involvement with student goverment, yearbook committee, marching units, etc. I knew high school was my level of choice, and time has proven this true.

Essentially these early characteristics have continued through my professional endeavors. I am hard but fair, and yes my students and I have fun. As a public school administrator I support the current agenda of our district. As an adjunct professor I pray the benefits of my 15 years of experience as an Educator lend support and insight to the aspiring administrators and graduate students I interact with.

For the School District of Philadelphia I pray our system will recognize the importance of each grade and level utilizing the same texts, workbooks, and manipulatives; on the same paceing schedule system wide {not to be confused with our former pacing practice}. We have excessive movement of students throughout the school year, and they are at a disadvantage when they transfer into the same grade, at another school, doing something completely different. Teachers would also have the advantage since they would be in a better position to accept a student at an 'on task' point, rather than having to bring them up to par. Budget wise, we would save major funds which could be put to better use in classrooms via increased teacher hiring or increased teacher allotment {$50 simply is not enough, nor is it competitive}.

Colleges need to realize that today's students are diverse learners, and therefore colleges must be able to accomodate their learning styles without sacrificing the importance of completing their assignments correctly. We must create overcoming graduates that are positive contributors to society, as oppossed to frustrated dropouts that are likely to be social systems dependents.

Minisymposium K-16
Name: Regina Tos
Date: 2003-07-16 12:44:13
Link to this Comment: 6000

I appreciate the willingness of college staff at this gathering to listen to K-12 teachers. I think it is a great method of improving the overall education system. I am disturbed by the high percentage of new teachers leaving public schools. In reality, the Phila. school district offers little support for the novice teacher. Much depends on the principal of the school. I believe that to improve these "symposium" , administrators need to be invited (and encouraged) to come and participate.

culture as a disability
Name: Regina Tos
Date: 2003-07-16 15:02:43
Link to this Comment: 6001

It took me many days of internal discussions on whether I should write these comments. Last night I decided to take the chance. As a person who can view the article and the ongoing discussions as both a person with a Learning Disability, and as a teacher of special needs children, I think my perspective is unique. I was born with an auditory possessing disorder. I had to be taught to discriminate the different sounds that words are composed of. If a word was spoken in isolation, I did not understand what was being spoken. Consequently, the way I learned to talk was affected. My speech was such that I needed 10 years of therapy to make my speech understandable. Am I LD? YES. Is that all I am? NO! It is not the label that cripples a person; it is the way the person is treated. I invite anyone who is interested to look at

Name: Regina
Date: 2003-07-17 09:08:45
Link to this Comment: 6005

It took me many days of internal discussions on whether I should write these comments. Last night I decided to take the chance.
As a person who can view the article and the ongoing discussions as both a person with a Learning Disability, and as a teacher of special needs children, I think my perspective is unique. I was born with an auditory possessing disorder. I had to be taught to discriminate the different sounds that words are composed of. If a word was spoken in isolation, I did not understand what was being spoken. Consequently, the way I learned to talk was affected. My speech was such that I needed 10 years of therapy to make my speech understandable. Am I LD? YES. Is that all I am? NO! It is not the label that cripples a person; it is the way the person is treated.
I invite anyone who is interested to look at and explore how this group deals with the issue of disabilitiy.

thurs AM
Name: Linda M
Date: 2003-07-17 09:17:00
Link to this Comment: 6006

Isn't gender still on the table? Are men and women different just because of the endocrine system or are there neurological differences also?

PS My writing neurons are wearing out or else the daily stress of writing is causing cell damage to the writing centers of my mind. Some of us just don't like writing!

Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-07-17 09:27:22
Link to this Comment: 6007

My most valuable experience during my teacher preperation was student teaching. I taught at a private school for and received payment. Not only did I have a mentor, but many other teachers 'took me under their wings' and allowed me to have that important learning curve. I believe that one semester, with a master teacher in the room does not prepare new teacher for what they will experience.

As a special ed teacher, I have been allowed more latitude than many other regular ed elem. teachers......

K-16 collaborations
Name: John Dalto
Date: 2003-07-17 09:29:13
Link to this Comment: 6008

Yesterday's meeting on K-16 collaborations was very positive, and it invariably lead me in the opposite direction to play devil's advocate. What I have observed is that sometimes those at the university level come to the table with their minds made up, wearing an intellectual straitjacket. This is particularly evident when political ideology informs their perception of what transpires in the classroom. There's an inherent prejudice that their perspective is superior. I suspect it originates in the Departments of Education that value the latest educational revolutions at the expense of the traditional. It's part of the progressive cycling of ideas that always seeks to transform what is happening in the schools. Experience and tradition are inexorably devalued.

Name: keith
Date: 2003-07-17 09:35:16
Link to this Comment: 6009

I enjoyed the interaction that took place during the symposium. I am looking forward to future interactions with the college and those who participated. Over the past two weeks it has become more clear to me the idea of "less wrong." Maybe we are not looking for the right answers but better ways to approach the things we do.

Name: Angie
Date: 2003-07-17 09:36:41
Link to this Comment: 6010

One of the common factors that emerged from the K-16 meeting was that there needs to be a bridge/link that features more communication and experiences for the parties involved. Everyone appeared very supportive and promising.

I enjoyed listening to Dr. Thomas yesterday. I would love to take a class of his because the man is a wealth of knowledge ( Just like Dr. Paul.) It is amazing how stress can play a part into various components of one's life. I believe that everyone has some form of compulsive behavior (to a degree.) It is nice to know that people can learn to change with the use of therapy. In some cases, Medicine is best. I enjoyed listening to the part about the lobotomy/lobectomy phase. The part of the film shown on compulsive behavior was excellent! Too bad time is limited

Name: shellie
Date: 2003-07-17 09:39:44
Link to this Comment: 6011

Wow! I really enjoyed the day yesterday--both am and pm. I am looking forward to working with Mr. Biology and Mr. Physics. This is a real benefit from this course--getting experts to come to my school.

Dr. Thomas had so much to share with us. I really think it would be worth it to have a class just covering the brain and the diseases of the brain.
What about all the med and other treatments for the diseases!!!! I would be interested in learning more about them.

Next year what about depression--need more information especially childhood depression.

Still on the table
Name: Julie
Date: 2003-07-17 09:40:23
Link to this Comment: 6012

Here's some stuff that's still on the table (excuse me if I missed something).
Free will
Are humans the only ones who worry about it?
How do 2 minds communicate with one another?
Alcoholism, addiction, and inhibition

Name: Joyce Ther
Date: 2003-07-17 09:41:01
Link to this Comment: 6013

Dr. Thomas gave a very interesting lecture yesterday. OCD is so strange and fascinating. I wonder if we are all just one chemical away from a different person.
I started to type up my notes from the lecture last night and was amazed at the amount of material that we covered with Dr. Thomas, I'd love to hear more from him. He offers a unique perspective with his stories and films, although he can keep the film of the monkey and the chicken to himself!
I wonder if anyone would like to share notes from the lecture, let me know.
I also enjoyed the first session, I thought that our own group had some really great comments. I would also offer an idea of a "Science Kit" loan program to the BMawr Physics group. They could require Prof. Dev. from teachers before they borrow the kit and that would give sustainability to their K-12 outreach program.

Response To Yesterday Sessions
Name: Lois
Date: 2003-07-17 09:41:38
Link to this Comment: 6014

Good Morning! Although yesterday's sessions were very interesting, I still didnot get the answers I sought as to the "effects" that various types of drugs have on the brain wealther over the counter drugs, prescriped drugs, or street drugs.
However, I do look forward to have another informative day.

comments for Thurs.
Date: 2003-07-17 09:42:55
Link to this Comment: 6015

I loved the guest speaker Earl Thomas. I found his lecture entertaining, engaging, and informative. He presented yet another argument supporting the idea that therapy can indeed change the brain. Although we didn't get to talk about it, it follows that "self talk" can also change the brain and behavior. All the more reason that schools and business should pay more attention to developing emotional intelligence competencies to increase weel being and productivity. He talked about the affect cortisol has, which is released through constant stress, and it's relationship to memory impairment, and the destruction of neurons. I would like to read the book he and his wife are collaborating on, hopefully understanding better with my new knowledge of the brain.

After yesterday mornings discussion, I will try even harder to address the problem of encouraging high school girls to be more involved in science programs. As a counselor I think I can make the difference just by exposing students to available opportunities involving science and math.

Still not being brave with my web page!

on drugs/anxiety/
Name: carol
Date: 2003-07-17 09:45:50
Link to this Comment: 6016

A cousin of mine has developed a severe speech disorder since the death of my aunt.Several months prior she was diagnosed with depression and prescribed Paxil.On the day following her death my cousin began to exhibit these unusual symptoms.There are times when she speaks with a Latin tongue,sounds as if she may be hearing impaired,or ,even mentally deficient. She has recieved numerous neurological tests, and has been pronounced "normal"by several teams of physicians.Her doctor prescribed a new medication and advised her that normal speech would return by Easter. That did not occur.

My cousin does a great deal of public speaking for the Presbytery for whom she is a minister. The problem has become so severe that she was asked to take a leave of absence from her post. She maintains that she is at peace with the death of her mother,and ,that this can't be the issue.Is she of two minds? Is this stress?Will drugs ultimately cure her?

Name: Sheila
Date: 2003-07-17 09:45:55
Link to this Comment: 6017

Behavior is a relative term in our society today. What standards measures behavior? What was previously classified as "crazy" is now medically diagnosed. In my neighborhood (as a child) we had one neighborhood with a son with a special conditions, that was not properly diagnosed and not medically treated as a result. My neighbor refused to acknowledge her son's disability and subsequently he was not allowed to have episodes and outburst. I believe to a certain extend his brain responsed and executed normal chemicals for him to function. His brothers did not allow him to be different, but they did acknowledge his development being delayed. He was in a special class in school and a special bus would pick him up to transport him to and from classes.

Small Talk
Name: Mo
Date: 2003-07-17 09:46:15
Link to this Comment: 6018

More work can be done as far as K-16 collaborations are concerned. Each college should link up with schools within their area. Every college student should have a course that allows them to teach younger children. College students from Drexel have presented lessons in my class on static electricity. The students really enjoyed the lesson presented. I believe college students have a lot to offer our students.

Regina is really an amazing person. Emaia often puts up the sign language(taught to her by Regina)fingers for I love you. She has also put up the bad finger saying it means I love you too. I do believe she knows the difference. Thanks Regina for helping to corrupt my grandchild. Just joking.

Stress is this web page that is due tomorrow. So many things I want to do. I guess time flys when you are having fun.

Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-07-17 09:59:52
Link to this Comment: 6019

Wow! There are now many more people who are trying to be part of a solution, instead of looking at a problem. We have taken a problem and made it a challenge. I am looking forward to utilizing some of the resources now mad avail. to me.

Who is normal anyway?
Name: Pam
Date: 2003-07-17 11:10:04
Link to this Comment: 6020

In review of Wednesday's lecture provided by Dr. Earl Thomas, I began to associate the concept of "talking to the brain" with several incidents that occured in school when conflicts have been defused by communication. As Dr. Thomas pointed out several psychological disorders have been maintained by "talking to the brain" to improved the daily lifestyles of suffers by psychotherapy. During the lecture several visual aids helped in understanding the characteristics of OCD,Stress and Anxiety that presented a realistic insight into the lives of suffers. I wonder what effect "talking to the brain" has on students that are overly aggressive during conflicts with peers. As a result,I question what daily impact do I have on an individual's Amygdala by talking.

The essential message I received from the lecture was that psychotherapy allows people to help themselves without relying entirely on medication.

Still on the table
Name: Julie
Date: 2003-07-17 11:14:13
Link to this Comment: 6021

Here's some stuff that's still on the table (excuse me if I missed something).
Free will
Are humans the only ones who worry about it?
How do 2 minds communicate with one another?
Alcoholism, addiction, and inhibition

taking stock ...
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-18 08:40:30
Link to this Comment: 6024

What are you thinking that's different from what you were thinking two weeks ago? About the brain? behavior? classrooms?

Name: Regina
Date: 2003-07-18 09:33:38
Link to this Comment: 6025

The most intriguing revelation to me is that all that I consider to be reality is my own invention. And everybody else is creating his or her own reality. Whose reality is "less wrong? How can we say someone is "not in touch with reality", if reality is subjective and depends upon each person? This is scary since I need an objective standard of life (or reality) to guide me. If I feel that I am not required to "live up" to this objective standard, then I might do some crazy things! The world will be in BIG trouble.
I also want to thank the writer of yesterday's anonymous postings. It took a lot of courage to share that. Continue expressing yourself. Don't let anyone silence you.
My last comment for B&B institute is SHOW ME THE MONEY.

two weeks review
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-07-18 09:36:41
Link to this Comment: 6026

Up until two weeks ago, I thought that I was a little strange for the way that I view things. I believed that History was written from the perspective of the winner and that most people when they make decisions comes from their own cumulative perspective of the world around them. After this seminar, I am reminded that I am indeed a little strange, but that is a creation in my own mind. I continue to have difficulty with the 'story' that we can not get things right, that we can only get them less wrong. I am very greatful for everyone's input! Being able to go back and re-read some of the things on the forum is a plus for I change/ develop/mature I may indeed find the comments useful.


Name: Angie
Date: 2003-07-18 09:37:08
Link to this Comment: 6027

As mentioned before, our bodies are very amazing. It is overwhelming to imagine neurons, dendrites, and synapses having conversations with each other in order to produce a reaction. If the reaction seems abnormal or unusual from what they are used to, then they consult the I-function (like if Congress can not reach a decision about a bill, it goes to the President who has the option to pass or veto it.)

I am disappointed that I will not be attending the next session. This sessions was very enjoyable. The everyone has been very friendly and I wish you the best in the future. Nice to meet all of you. Dr. Paul look for me next year and take care of yourself. You are extraordinary!

Name: Linda Slat
Date: 2003-07-18 09:38:26
Link to this Comment: 6028

I was really struck by how much of our "being" is unconscious. I'm starting to get how little the "I function" is in relation to all that goes on in our minds and bodies. The examples of ambiguous figures and discussion made me understand that the nervous system has a mind of its own (or two or three).

I was also surprised to hear that talk therapy doesn't work because the I function doesn't have the will or power to communicate with the unconscious. Perhaps that is why hypnosis may be more effective, in some of these cases. My interest in hypnosis has been re-energized as a result of our discussions. I am inferring that hypnosis is the mechanism to get the unconcious mind to communicate with the conscious mind. It takes a master practioner to do that. I have seen video clips of that kind of work. I wish I could go back to school full time and really spend a lot of time on learning about what interests me ! I want to return next year!!!

Name: Keith
Date: 2003-07-18 09:40:09
Link to this Comment: 6029

I tend to think a lot about my preception of reality more now than before. It is interesting to me how the unconscious mind has more to do with who we are than I had originally thoght. I am even more interested now about that aspect as it relates to disorders and disabilities.

In that respect I find that my views on disorders has changed quite a bit as well. I am going to make a less wrong effort to understand the reasons behind the behaviors of students as well as other people in society as a result of this institute.

Thanks Paul. Everyone enjoy the rest of your summer and good luck in September!!! Just remember when your students have you feeling as though you might jump out of a window, it is only a story that your unconscious is telling you.

Thinking differently
Name: Julie
Date: 2003-07-18 09:42:37
Link to this Comment: 6030

I'm thinking about the Far Side cartoon in which a student raises his hand and says, "Teacher, may I be excused? My brain is full."

MY brain is definitely full. I realize how much we have learned about the brain and how much more we need to learn. Science doesn't have many of the answers but it continually poses questions- a never ending cycle.

I've been thinking a lot about the connection between neurology and psychology and perception and truth.

Name: John Dalto
Date: 2003-07-18 09:43:55
Link to this Comment: 6031

It's always interesting to consider whether learning really creates a difference in "seeing" and "responding to" the world. The Summer Brain Institute clearly has that potential. This is my second time taking this course, and I know that it has really transformed my thinking about the way in which organisms construct their own reality. Some years ago, I learned that the "polysemic" quality language undermines the notion that there is one meaning that emerges. Because words have such infinite connotations and denotations, all communication is inherently problematic. Interpretation is inexact to say the least, and truth is ever vanishing in the multitude of perspectives that emerge. This strongly correlates with the sense in which all of our sense perceptions have individually determined inexactitude because our own constructions from the imput are so potentially variable. This too exacerbates epistemological uncertainty. It highlights solipsism and the sense in which both knoweldge, truth, and communication are ever fleeting.

Name: Nia Turner
Date: 2003-07-18 09:44:17
Link to this Comment: 6032

Good Morning Teachers,
I would like to thank each of you for your contributions to the Brain and Behavior Institute. The experiences you shared about teaching have inspired me to continue mentoring youth. I appreciate your commitment to teaching. Teachers like you have helped me to get to the place I am today. Thank you and enjoy the rest of your summer !

"Your heart is your first teacher"
-Sonia Sanchez

Thanks! For The Summer Institute
Name: lois
Date: 2003-07-18 09:44:32
Link to this Comment: 6033

I don't find myself strange in my way of thinking. I now some answers, as well as understanding for some present and previous experience.
Had more thoughts, gotten started too late.

Name: Mo
Date: 2003-07-18 09:46:01
Link to this Comment: 6034

One thing I would like to explore more is the fact that I have two minds. Although the unconcious is in control of the concious 99% of the time I'm still here. I would like to know how to think conciously without actually thinking about it. I could really do some damage then.

Even though the class is over today I'll be thinking about brain and behavior throughout the year. This course is always dynamite!

Can you teach power point next year Paul? Have a nice weekend. See you on Monday.

Seeing Red...
Name: Miss Genev
Date: 2003-07-18 10:00:30
Link to this Comment: 6035

Good Morning!
It is difficult to accept that my red coach bag is not red. My money was truly green when I bought it! I feel more for folks with 'a little red corvette'. Is this why yellow makes us mellow? Yellow doesnot exist, therefore, the feelings have when preceiving it are a limbo described as mellow? Will I ever understand the Sun is white, when I have always associated heat with yellow, orange, and red which is indicative of the Sun...heat...

I completely understand the science of rainbows, however I accept it as God's promise that the earth will not again suffer the likes of the flood that set Noah's Ark afloat.

In teaching the science implications of life, it is essential for learners to receive spiritual reasons of the creation and purpose of life.

*Enjoy a refreshing Summer. I've enjoyed sharing with this group. Many thanks for the kindness all of you extended to Pastor Abrams for Guyana, South America. She, too, found this institute challenging her thinking.* Again, many thanks to Dr. Grobstein for extending these institutes to administrators. The adult conversations have been great professionally and 'fresh air' personally.

final reflecions
Name: Pam
Date: 2003-07-18 10:19:00
Link to this Comment: 6036

One of the most remarkable concepts that I learned was that the brain is never working alone. Thus, mental illness/disorders effect the entire body and behavior. This knowledge will allow for future sensitivity for the learner. Also, as I wrote in the daily forum sometimes performance anxiety surfaced and I can relate to what learners must feel not to be wrong. This institute should be offered throughout the year to educators.
Excellent two week session! I hope to see everyone next year.

Thank you,
Paul and B&B institute

It has been a pleasure. . .
Name: Sheila Mic
Date: 2003-07-18 11:04:38
Link to this Comment: 6037

Paul, Thank you . . .I have enjoyed the B&B Institute so much. I will look at the behavior and emotions of ALL students also the functioning of the brain in a very different context. I have learned so much in terms of the brain, "I" function, influences on behavior and the brain's control as a core center. I can substantiate--the multiple computers in the brain directing activity and behavior.Thanks!

continuing ....
Name: Paul Grobstein
Date: 2003-07-19 10:48:58
Link to this Comment: 6038

Thanks, all, for a wonderfully rich, thought-provoking, and warm/enjoyable two weeks. It was a deep pleasure to work with/learn from all of you.

I'm keeping to keep this forum area alive as a place where we can keep talking/sharing thoughts/ideas during the year. Stop by every once in a while and let everyone know what you're thinking? Remember, our own realities get "less wrong" if/when we share them ... the more minds the better.

College Courses
Name: Sheila Mic
Date: 2003-07-31 15:36:23
Link to this Comment: 6258

As an undergraduate--all college classes are "new" and interesting also the road to employment and $$$$. As graduate students classes and professional development are necessary elements to maintain a professional skill level and move up in your chosen profession. A number of professors have increased my thirst for knowledge; Dr. Paul Grobestein at Bryn Mawr, Dr. Catherine Hill and Dr. Richard Jacobs, both at Villanova. I can now better relate to my students and make sure the lessons are engaging, exploratory and interactive to create a thirst for knowlege.

Name: Angie
Date: 2003-08-20 09:41:25
Link to this Comment: 6282

Dr. Paul,

I have been raving about your institute to anyone that I can get to listen to me (spread out from Rhode Island to Georgia.) That is how much I have enjoyed your class. Things have been pretty busy but I wanted to take time to write you a message. Yesterday, I watched a brief special on "teenagers and their brains." My understanding was that the frontal cortex is the only part that does not mature until after the teenage years then maybe we should not hold teenagers responsible for what they do. The basis of this story was to say that teenagers can not control no think about some of the things that they do. This feeds into the reckless acts that they sometimes commit. Right away, I was like do not let parents as well as teenagers use that as an excuse to do something. At that point it will not be the "unconscious or personal will" when a teenager does something. the impulse is gone. Take care and talk to you soon!

Feedback to Angie's comments
Name: Joyce
Date: 2003-08-22 23:18:55
Link to this Comment: 6284

Hello Angie,
You are the first to write in our old posting place. Sounds like you did some traveling this summer.

I've heard about this idea that teenagers should not be tried "as an adult" because they lack the developed brain of an adult. If true then it is correct to not bring them to this level of responsibility. However I also agree with you that I too would be very apprehensive about turning murderers loose at the "developed" age of 21.

We go back for inservice next week so my summer has officialy ended. I enjoyed it! Now let's dig into fall and a new school year.

teen age brain
Name: joan schir
Date: 2003-08-23 01:42:33
Link to this Comment: 6285

I just happened on your correspondence on the teen age brain and its immaturity in the frontal region. THANK you . I have raised 5 children and have never ceased to wonder at the phenomena of /TEEN years!
Ah... the metamorphosis from a butterfly to a worm.
Your comments open up a new possibility of explanation to me.

Just a line to say "hi"
Name: Sheila
Date: 2003-09-16 11:43:54
Link to this Comment: 6491

I have shared my institute experience with my colleagues, friends and family. It was very rewarding and informative. I am presently sharing the web page with my students in small instructional groups. Netlogo is a big hit. Thank you to all. Sheila

Follow up
Name: Antoinette
Date: 2003-09-16 16:37:57
Link to this Comment: 6500

Hey everyone,
This is the first chance I have had to use the forum since the end of the Summer Institutes. I am hoping to bring the Dr. Mike's show to my school, in the spring. Like Angie, I have been raving about the Institutes to anyone who would listen. It was a major highlight in my summer and has inspired me to continue to pursue my EdD at Temple. Thanks for all of the insights and fun !

School is in Session!
Name: Miss Genev
Date: 2003-10-01 12:57:00
Link to this Comment: 6743

Hello Everyone!
I trust we have all started the school year off being refreshed and better for having attended at least one of the Summer institutes. When folk inquire about my Summer, they find it interesting to learn of my Bryn Mawr experience. Many listen, others think I am even more crazy than they thought, and then there are those who are enlightened and want to know more. Of course, I share with them our wonder filled journey and encourage those who are Educators to consider participating next Summer.

There are many changes and challenges in all our districts and my best advice is to keep your wits about you and respond to issues in an intelligent {and prayerful} manner. Remember, everything we see isn't always what it seems.

God bless us all~

P.S. Don't forget to send those reviews and plans to Paul!

Soul Twinning
Name: Ardith
Date: 2005-01-26 11:16:58
Link to this Comment: 12237

My name is Ardith and I co-exist with a soul twin named Kendra. We developed our unique persona on each side of the brain hemisphere. Our personality traits are much like being a conjoined twin. Though we share a body, soul and spirit, both of us are so very different. In the case of Multiple Personality Disorder, alters are created or "splintered" off from the original personality. In our case, we developed individually. It is said that there was a possibility of early stages of twinning in the womb that did not take. I really don't know exactly how it happened. Because of the "stigma" of mental illness, we shy away from the public eye and ridicule. There were signs of twinning in the soul as early as 6 months old, so my grandmother says. Later on in our lives there was an onslot of abuse, causing disassociation on both sides of the brain. Kendra had 2 alters, I ended up having over 30. Since being healed from the trauma and all alters integrating, there leaves Kendra and myself again, just like in the beginning.

Does anyone know of a study of right brain/left brain twinning? Just curious. I suppose the reason Kendra and I stay quite isolated is because of the views that if you are different, you are a freak. If you have a "mental" oddity, you are called "sick". I've never felt better in my entire life. I am now 37 years old and live quite a productive life. Kendra and I are so dependent on each other now that it's like living as a conjoined twin. Limited on my half, whole with the other half.

I guess I'm looking for a needle in a haystack when it comes to this subject. I was hoping someone would have more insight than I.

Thanks for your time.

Ardith K. Tolson

On self-concept and Communicative Competence
Name: Susan
Date: 2005-04-27 23:01:44
Link to this Comment: 14918

This is Susan from Philippines. Currently I am working my thesis in Language teaching, focusing on self-concept and its relationship on the communicative competence of the students. Could anybody help me find additional related studies on this? I would be very glad to hear a helpful info to all of you guys. More power


Name: sonnia
Date: 2005-06-20 01:00:08
Link to this Comment: 15357

what type of therapy is approperiate for a adult with fetal alcohol syndrom

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