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Posts Tagged ‘blind

There are many fallouts from local shared bike company’s (OBike’s) withdrawal from the market. The one that seems to concern users is the inability to get a refund of their deposit when they first signed up.

I am not sympathetic to those users because the company offered to return the deposits last November. I know because I was also a user of those shared bikes, made a S$49 deposit, and got it back when I read the notice.

You would need to have been illiterate, blind, or deaf to miss that message. The offer was made six months ago and they have had all this time to get their money back.

Even more serious than the inability to read, see, or hear the news is an indifferent mindset. We have only ourselves to blame if the warning signs were there, but we chose to ignore them.
 

 
Something similar could be said of teachers and constant change. Rarely does a policy or practice sneak up on you. If you cooperate, collaborate, and communicate, you should sense the changes coming. You can then prepare for them by changing behaviours in advance.

We cannot expect our children and students to be have “growth mindsets” or to exhibit “grit” if we ourselves do not possess these traits and model them.

Values are more CAUGHT than they are TAUGHT.

If you found out that a tool and practice you have relied on was based on false premises, would you still use them? I wager you would not if you placed weight on basic ethics.

I recently found out about a school’s career guidance programme. I have no beef with that because kids need to be more aware what lies ahead.

No, I was dismayed to find out that the school relied on the Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI) for students to gain “insights” into who they were.

In the past I have highlighted videos that summarise why the Myers-Briggs personality inventory is a sham.


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After you watch these videos, you will realise that this tool and practice:

  • Are neither valid nor reliable
  • Ignore context and human growth/change
  • Are based on misplaced and reinterpreted Jung theory
  • Go against Jung’s view: “Every individual is an exception to the rule
  • Only emphasise the positive and vague (the same strategy used by pseudoscience)

The only entities to benefit from the perpetuation of the Myers-Briggs personality inventory are the companies that prepare and score them for a fee — to the tune of US$20 million according to the Vox video. Perhaps some HR departments benefit as well if they choose this lazy and unreliable method of classifying people and their potential — again see the Vox video.

Businesses are not about to slaughter a cash cow just because they find out it is fake beef. They will hide this fact or disguise it with beef flavour (pseudoscience). But will school administrators, teachers, and educators keep buying in to and buying these services? Do they not see the long term harm of modelling uncritical thinking and action?

My beef with such schooling is that people know the facts but choose not to change (wilful ignorance) or do not know because they do not keep learning (plain ignorance). Another excuse is that the MBTI is not the only element in the programme. Of course it is not! Poison is not the only ingredient in a beefy dish served to many.

The unkindest cut might be that the continued use of the MBTI — and other perpetuated fallacies — does not mercifully kill the victims immediately. The poison keeps the poisoned alive long enough to poison others.

 
This article asked: How Do You Lead a Class Full of Students Wearing VR Headsets? It likened the process to herding blind cats.

My response is that you do not. You create new affordances and try alternative strategies. I summarise what the article described.

The affordances could be prompts or experiences within the VR world. They could also be layouts and furniture in the room to prevent students from getting hurt as they wander around.

The instructional strategies the article suggested were:

  • Let students discover and uncover instead of leading and covering.
  • If there are not enough VR headsets, design waiting and/or alternative activities.
  • Avoid relying on the novelty effect.

Here is my two cents. The pedagogy of VR-mediated lessons should be built on this foundation: Refrain from repeating in VR what you can already do more easily without. Leverage on what VR does well or is impossible in real life. There is no point recreating delivery when discovery is the order of the day.

Open your eyes; do not herd cats. Take advantage of their curiosity and nurture even more independence. Teach while taking advantage of the affordances of VR instead of blindly teaching only the way you were taught.

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If you are born blind and have severe autism, your chances of living a “normal” life are slim.

But Derek Paravicini is a maestro with an innate talent that needed a nourishing environment (provided by his nanny) and some pruning (provided by his piano coach).

According to his TED bio, Derek taught himself to play the piano when he was four and gave his first concert when he was seven.

Not everyone is a savant. That is a genetic lottery.

Not everyone is given Derek’s opportunities. That is a shame.

We lock normal kids up in a schooling system designed largely to enculturate and industrialize. This is despite the opportunities and tools we have today to create an educational system that can nurture and individualize.

We have the keys to unlock genius and creativity. They are not as fiddly and difficult to use as before. Yet we let fear and ignorance hold us back.


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