Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Super Summarization Section 1

The overuse of the term “right-brained” was mentioned in chapter one. I’m sure everyone has heard things being termed “right-brained” or “left-brained.” I liked the quote of McManus that Pink repeated on pg. 25 saying that “…they are actually two half-brains, designed to work together….” (thus: A Whole New Mind) One of Pink’s quotes explaining the differences of the right and left brain that really stuck out in my mind was from page 19: “Think of the sequential/stimulation difference like this: the right hemisphere is the picture; the left hemisphere is the thousand words.” I also like the way the author changed the term of using different sides of our brain to “L-Directed” or “R-Directed” instead of “right or left brained” since both are needed to function but the direction of each is unique.

The focus of chapter 2 was that the traditional L-directed occupations are beginning to decline in importance because of “Abundance” (there is so much of the same thing that aesthetic appeal is playing a bigger part in sales,) “Asia” (overseas workers provide cheaper labor for the same job,) and “Automation” (computers are able to provide much quicker “Left-brained” tasks than people can.)

A subject mentioned in chapter 2 and continued in chapter 3 was the tests that “require logic and analysis—and reward test takers for zeroing-in, computer-like, on a single correct answer” that are used to gain “knowledge” professions. Wouldn’t it be nice if a tool used to measure more “R-directed” thinking was used? Think of the aptitude test required to become a teacher. After 4-5 years of college, hopefully all of us are able to use teacher manuals, text books, trade books, reference books, and now the internet to help with content. (Which is different depending on grade level and even school district!) How do these “L-Directed” aptitude tests tell if someone will be a teacher with whom students will connect? Is there a way to measure the “R-Directed” skills such as empathy? Creativeness? Communication with parents? Students? Colleagues? Administration or board? Ability to manage a classroom?! All of these seem far more important than whether we know the reason for villa in the small intestine! (This was actually a question on the Praxis when I took it a couple of years ago….my cousin, a doctor, said, “Really? You need to know that to teach kindergarten? Why?”) I think it reiterates the fact mentioned in Chapter 3 that IQ accounts for between only 4 and 10 percent of career success! The new test that Yale professor Robert Sternberg is developing to measure more right hemisphere thinking sounds interesting. According to Pink it has been twice as successful as the SAT in predicting how well students will perform in college. How long do you think it will take a test of this nature to be considered valid or useful? At what levels?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Susan's Book Cover

The orange background caught my attention on this picture--bright and "New!" With the brain standing out on the black head I thought it appropriately represented "A Whole New Mind!"

Book cover

I chose these uniquely carved crayons because all students are unique and I think looking at a new way to carve the crayon or use the crayon box is an ongoing challenge in working in education. Lookings at things creatively or from a different perspective will help meet the challenges of students and also challenge them.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Welcome to Literature Circle Twenty-two!

Your Super Summarizer schedule is as follows:

Section One--Due October 28, Susan Ostenson
Section Two--Due November 4, Jack Batchelder
Section Three--Due November 11, Janice Hemen
Section Four--Due November 18, Carol Birgen
Section Five--Due December 2, Teresa Bartlett
Section Six--Due December 9, Mariella Paul