57 – Some types of thinking observed in local government.


Originally posted on Local Government Utopia:

Posted by Whistler                                                                          580 words

ant on leaf

Image from http://caracaschronicles.com

Convenient thinking. I think this is a preferred way of thinking for many people. It is the easiest. What is the quickest way to deal with this matter? Is there someone else who should be doing it? What is likely to have the least impact on me? Once you start asking these questions, you are well on the way to some convenient thinking. It is most problematic when senior management regularly engage in convenient thinking.

Consequential thinking. This is related to convenient thinking but is more focussed on the possible outcomes from doing something. What could go wrong? Who could be upset? Will it move my career forward? The high level of risk awareness in local government encourages consequential thinking. It isn’t necessarily a problem unless you identify so many possible consequences that it becomes a…

View original 437 more words

Metacognition: awareness of what one does and doesn’t know – improve the quality of teaching in adult education


Originally posted on Improving Vocational Education and Training:

Guided reading

Authors: The Teaching Excellence in Adult Literacy (TEAL)  Center staff, Reviewed by: David Scanlon, Boston College,  https://teal.ed.gov/tealguide/metacognitive

About the TEAL Center: The Teaching Excellence in Adult Literacy (TEAL) Center is a project of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), designed to improve the quality of teaching in adult education in the content areas.

meta       learning

What Is Metacognition?

Metacognition refers to awareness of one’s own knowledge—what one does and doesn’t know—and one’s ability to understand, control, and manipulate one’s cognitive processes (Meichenbaum, 1985). It includes knowing when and where to use particular strategies for learning and problem solving as well as how and why to use specific strategies. Metacognition is the ability to use prior knowledge to plan a strategy for approaching a learning task, take necessary steps to problem solve, reflect on and evaluate results, and modify one’s approach…

View original 2,075 more words

Why teaching cursive still matters


Daniel Montano:

I think researchers interested in embodied cognition, musculature-based memory, and other topics could contribute to the advocacy of handwriting, hand note-taking.

Originally posted on Library musings:

The gig is up — children should still be learning cursive in schools. According to an article written last June in the New York Times by Maria Konnikova, children that formed letters in their own handwriting vs. typing or tracing them show connections to broader educational development. In other words, “it’s not just what we write that matters — but how.” Studies are showing that children who write by hand learn to read faster, show an increased vocabulary, and retain what they learn better. “There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation in your brain,” says Stanislas Dehaene, a psychologist at the Collège de France in Paris. To me, it’s kind of like a body memory when you train for something over and over; in a stressful situation, your body knows how to react faster than your…

View original 343 more words

Evidence that Smartphones are used to supplant thinking


From National Public Radio Blogs:

“We all know a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Research increasingly supports a related proposition — that easy knowledge can be a dangerous thing. More specifically, having knowledge at our fingertips, as smartphones and intelligent search algorithms increasingly allow, might have negative consequences for human cognition.

This idea isn’t a new one, but it has received new life this week as media sources have turned to a paper by psychologists at the University of Waterloo provocatively titled, “The brain in your pocket: Evidence that Smartphones are used to supplant thinking.”

Read more at NPR Blogs: “Easy Knowledge Can Be A Dangerous Thing (Maybe)” by Tania Lombrozo

The ethical blindness of algorithms

Featured Image -- 3993

Daniel Montano:

Glad to see people asking good questions and taking a critical look at data, its gathering process, its analysis and the way it’s correlated loosely to arrive at theoretical conclusions that are often treated as facts.

Originally posted on Quartz:

Can an algorithm be racist? It’s a question that should be of concern for all data-driven organizations.

From analytics that help law enforcement predict future crimes, to retailers assessing the likelihood of female customers being pregnant (in the case of Target, without their knowledge), the increasing scale of computer cognizance is raising difficult ethical questions for business.

Witness the controversy that the crime app SketchFactor caused in launching its crowdsourced service in the US. The app works by allowing users to report, in real time, how subjectively “sketchy” a particular neighborhood may be, enabling an algorithm to determine the apparent safety of the area for pedestrians. Inevitably, the app has drawn accusations of racism, with some commentators labeling it a service that literally color-codes neighborhoods.

Of course, marketers have always targeted racially defined customer-bases—typically to adjust price ranges along socio-economic lines. But with ever more data becoming available, the risk…

View original 698 more words

Critical thinking


Daniel Montano:

I’m glad someone else is noticing this troubling and risky trend in our society.

Originally posted on Q Logic:

There’s simply nothing you should just accept at face value. You should always do your own homework.

Critical thinkers rarely take something they read or hear as fact. Critical thinkers will seek out other perspectives. The reflex action of a critical thinker is to assume there’s another side to whatever story they’re told.

What alarms me is how often you see people take a premise at face value with no questions.

There was a time in the late 60s and early 70s when the phrase “question authority” was a well-known and popular refrain.

Fast forward to 2015, and we’re getting emails from the current administration’s “Truth Team.” (The official organization is the “Organizing for Action Truth Team.”)

As a marketer, I would have cautioned any politician from having a self-described “truth team.” It just screams 1984 and Russian and German propaganda, to me.

But what really rubs me the wrong way about…

View original 112 more words

We will usually pick anecdotal stories and narrative over data and evidence


Daniel Montano:

We should be aware of this cognitive bias and make sure to review storytelling with the same rigor as data and evidence.

Originally posted on Facts about Religion:

storytelling-bainLet me tell you a story. Today during lunch I did what I always do, I read an article by people who are supposed to be much smarter than I am. Surprisingly what I read explained my interactions with other people, especially when it comes to their disdain for data and preference for personal stories.

As I processed this article, I began to realize that there is a biological reason for why we prefer to believe the anecdotes our friends tell rather than cold, hard, facts. It turns out we humans are hardwired to prefer narrative.

Apparently a bunch of really smart scientist-people at Emory University did some tests and they discovered that hearing a story releases a chemical called oxytocin (don’t get excited, that’s different than oxycodone) and as it happens, this is the chemical released by breastfeeding mothers that illicits bonding.

“Paul Zak, director of the Center…

View original 171 more words