Rajat

Rajat

Let's teach for mastery -- not test scores | Sal Khan
YouTube l https://www.youtube.com/

YES EVERYBODY IS REALLY CREATIVE-YES IT IS IN YOUR DNA:

Excellent TED talk by Sal on the quintessential mastery based concept of learning. He argues that just like you would not build a house without a solid foundation you could not learn something without mastering every step of it.

"In the industrial age, society was a pyramid. At the base of the pyramid, you needed human labor. In the middle of the pyramid, you had an information processing, a bureaucracy class, and at the top of the pyramid, you had your owners of capital and your entrepreneurs and your creative class. But we know what's happening already, as we go into this information revolution. The bottom of that pyramid, automation, is going to take over. Even that middle tier, information processing, that's what computers are good at.

All this new productivity is happening because of this technology, but who participates in it? Is it just going to be that very top of the pyramid, in which case, what does everyone else do? How do they operate? Or do we do something that's more aspirational? Do we actually attempt to invert the pyramid, where you have a large creative class, where almost everyone can participate as an entrepreneur, an artist, as a researcher? "

Vidushi Sharma

Vidushi Sharma

Here's a reflection this week on gender-based myths of innate brilliance and how they affect minority representation in subjects like math and philosophy---

I excelled in math in high school, rising to the top of the tiered class track and dabbling in multivariable calculus before college. I, however, immediately and subconsciously faltered in confidence when I reached Princeton. I was deterred from trying a proof-based math class by the thought that these were only for “math people” – students who had excelled in extracurricular math competitions from a young age or who already had exposure to “real math” beyond AP calculus. The kinds of students, who, when presented with a problem, could scribble across a blackboard and find the answer with a spark of genius.

That student wasn’t me, and so I decided that I must not be a “math person.” I still took college math, but instead of enrolling in a proof-based class, I pushed through Math 201 (multivariable calculus) and 202 (linear algebra), required courses for engineers. The exams were still notoriously difficult, and it wasn’t unusual for average scores to hover around 65%. This seemed to me like a strategy the department used to allow it to separate star students from “the rest of the pack.” Linear algebra during my freshman spring was the last math class I took in college.

Three years later, I’m studying philosophy – a subject with gender ratios comparable to mathematics. Many people know about the lack of females in STEM departments, but this issue slips under the radar in fields like philosophy and music composition. Philosophy professor Sarah-Jane Leslie’s research helps connect the dots.

Professor Leslie has shown that gender gaps are more prominent in disciplines where innate ability – a spark of raw genius – is perceived as a prerequisite for success. Departments like physics, philosophy, and math fit the bill. Using nationwide surveys of academics from 30 disciplines, Leslie and her colleagues demonstrated that people’s success in fields like biology and education is often seen as a result of effort and discipline rather than innate brilliance. These fields attract men and women in more equal ratios. Subsequent research also supports that such stereotypes take hold in children’s minds as early as the age of six. Women who don’t see themselves as innately brilliant mathematicians, musicians, or philosophers often do not give themselves the chance to pursue these disciplines. Since these views shape people’s career choices, women are more likely to choose careers in fields where hard work, rather than brilliance, is seen as the key to success.

Recognizing and stating stereotypes and fears helps me face them. Every time I feel like I am holding myself back in a philosophy seminar, I remind myself that ability is a reflection of effort, and effort entails active participation. After a wonderful time dabbling in proofs in advanced formal logic, I’m considering enrolling in another math class next semester – this time with an understanding that what leads to success is hard work and determination, and the empowering realization that I have what it takes.

Rajat

Rajat Never realized, do you mean there are more males than females in Philosophy! Quoting NPR "There's been no shortage of speculation about why. Perhaps, to quote Hegel, women's "minds are not adapted to the higher sciences, philosophy, or certain of the arts." This is so weird!

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Adam Pryor

Adam Pryor Perhaps that "raw genius" emerges when a child is allowed to try and fail over and over. Soon they become good at it or christened as geniuses. Perhaps the problem also is that our method of teaching/learning does not facilitate enough of failure.

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Anju Sharma

Anju Sharma I am happy that you are discovering more of your innate talents!

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Vineet Gupta

Vineet Gupta Another reason why math, CS and physics departments may have fewer women is that these tend to be more "macho" --- in the intro courses, faculty are trying to weed out students rather than encourage them. So they tend to be less friendly, and women possibly get turned off more, but a lot of men are discouraged from taking them as well. This could be related to your observation --- teachers and students are asking "Are you good enough to be in this class", which assumes that there is an innate ability that a student may or may not have.

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Vidushi Sharma

Vidushi Sharma ^ I find this to be very true. The faculty in these subjects, in my experience, have had a definite streak of pride in their discipline's inaccessibility. Fixing this requires a massive shift in both students' and teachers' attitudes.

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Vidushi Sharma

Vidushi Sharma

Between Lions and Men - EIDOLON

At the start of his third book, Valerius Flaccus' narrator turns to his Muse to ask the "causes for the unspeakable battle" that brought Jason and the Argonauts into deadly conflict with their former host, King Cyzicus.

Incredible! After Elizabeth Koschel posted the article her professor wrote about the connection between the killing of Cecil the Lion and Ascanius' Italian lion hunt in the Aeneid, I discovered this piece on Eidolon, an amazing journal maintained by the Paideia Institute for scholarly writing on the Classics that isn't formal scholarship.

Leo Landrey, in this piece, focuses on King Cyzicus' ill-fated hunt of a lion beloved to Cybele. He mentions that the story of Ascanius' hunt influenced Valerius Flaccus, who wrote about Cyzicus.

Landrey writes, "I propose to consider this question in light of the position that our pair of lion hunters occupy in a specific and extensive tradition of Western thought...to see how the distress summoned by their actions reflect concurrent anxieties about constructions of masculinity and cultural footprints in a global society. Valerius Flaccus’ fuller treatment of Cyzicus, the civil violence his actions cause, and its aftermath, also helps us see more clearly the deficiencies both of our current anger and the media’s reporting of it."

--Read on to see how. I'm curious to know what you all think!

Alexej Filicek

Alexej Filicek Now I can't help but wonder (although this gives us a sneak peek) how Prof. Landrey feels that Flaccus as an author can use audacity in his writing. What does that look like? How does it challenge or reaffirm Roman society in the wake of civil war?

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Leo Landrey

Leo Landrey I think Youngbin draws out an interesting point, that while Americans no longer view lions as dangerous (instead they are merely majestic, not both majestic AND dangerous), Americans simultaneously view their fellow citizens who happen to be black as dangerous (and perhaps not majestic). Therefore we might say that Law Enforcement (as a system or a structure within society) views black American citizens the same way an ancient community might have viewed a lion - as a non-human threat it is their job to "protect" society from. The difference, of course, is that the West lionized (heh) the Lion's majesty, making the act of lion killing valiant and heroic. Where the West has degraded black Americans it has made the act of killing them mundane and routine. Obviously I feel that this is despicable, but as a process it accounts for the differences in mainstream reactions to competing, contemporaneous stories. Even in the ancient world the barbarian "other" had protecting gods, as did lions. As Prof. Ziogas points out in his parallel piece on Ascanius, we are in the grip of an Allecto-like fury.

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Leo Landrey

Leo Landrey Incidentally, to comment briefly on Prof. Ziogas' piece and its connection to mine, I should start by noting that I do link to him in my text (in the fifth paragraph). I really like his piece, and the way our parallel analyses align Virgil's Alecto with VF's Cybele is very suggestive of how deranged and threatening the gods are in the *Argonautica.* Obviously I think that his piece is correct, and I build off of it in my own. @Alexej, I could write a book in answer to that question! Oh, wait... Briefly, let me give you more of a sneak-peak. "Daring" is part of the Argo-as-first-ship tradition, in which the Argo (or the "first ship") is usually condemned for its boldness (see the opening of Catullus 64 and especially Horace's Odes 1.3). What Valerius does, uniquely, is assign a positive AND a negative value to Argo's boldness. Sailing's audacity is both constructive and criminal at the same time. This audacity of sailing finds its way into individual characters, as well: Jason is bold, but so too are tyrants like Amycus and Jupiter's son Pollux. These different types of audacity compete with each other within the epic, as when Amycus boxes Pollux. Whose daring will reign supreme? Paradigms of audacity therefore become ways of talking about masculine self-reliance, political efficacy, and the moral value of a politics based on internal competition.

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Vidushi Sharma

Vidushi Sharma Thank you so much for joining the conversation, @Leo! Darrel Cj I didn't realize you knew each other! Leo, I was reading more Eidolon articles today and thought of a connection between what you and Youngbin mentioned and a piece by Wells Hansen that explores tensions between domestic civilization and the element of the wild. (https://medium.com/eidolon/robots-elephants-and-other-terrifying-beasts-76767f446afb). Hansen talks about lions too, mentioning that Lucretius writes about them as uncontrollable and dangerous weapons on the battlefield-- "Were they unleashed in warfare, as we see them to be in book five, they would act according to their nature, not their training." This seems often to be how cops justify their aggression towards black Americans. As you said, though black Americans have the right to be seen as equally domestic/civil elements, they are seen as "others". Cops resort to gun violence too quickly against black Americans, and then argue that they were "defending" themselves-- though the threat is usually imagined.

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Alexej Filicek

Alexej Filicek You set up a very interesting dichotomy in your book. It's true that we usually see characteristics sorted into one of two boxes-- heroic or non-heroic. But heroes and villains can both be bold! What do you mean by the moral value of politics based on internal competition?

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Jade Mills

Jade Mills posted a photo in blog 'Weekly Rumi'

Nesting Dolls

Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.

They're in each other all along.

~Rumi

Rajat

Rajat Khalil Gibran perhaps in the same vein says " And think not you direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course."

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Emma Zahren-Newman

Emma Zahren-Newman very similar to the concept of soul mates, no? @Jade, do you think that's what he's getting at? or is it more like the Khalil Gibran quote?

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Jeff Gordan

Jeff Gordan off topic! but that is a great picture and composition with lot of depth.

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The Paideia Institute

The Paideia Institute

Who's Afraid of Simone de Beauvoir? - EIDOLON

Female Classics, Feminist Classics, and Feminine Classics Simone de Beauvoir is not taken seriously as a reader of the classics. Some "certified" classicists might say that's because she didn't have a Ph.D. in Classics and possibly couldn't have distinguished an epexegetical infinitive from a complementary one ( quelle horreur!).

Yung In Chae on "female Classics, feminist Classics, and feminine Classics," via Eidolon.

The Paideia Institute

The Paideia Institute

Classical Cover-Ups - EIDOLON

Concealing the bodies of ancient statues with censorship or fashion adds another layer to their complicated politics. We are so accustomed to classical nudes in the West that they often blend into the wallpaper - until they are covered up, that is.

"Earlier this year, the Italian government came under fire for concealing nude statues in the Capitoline Museums during a visit from Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, drawing accusations of cultural self-censoring...This was not the first time, of course, that the pagan statues of Rome had been covered up in the name of religion." Read on in Eidolon on Verity Platt's thoughts on the censorship of ancient statues:

Jade Mills

Jade Mills posted a photo in blog 'Weekly Rumi'

Tear down the Wall

Your task is not to seek for love,

but merely to seek and find all

the barriers within yourself

that you have built

against it.

~Rumi

Adam Pryor

Adam Pryor

"perhaps in the end
things
balance:

a million poems
that miss their point

single mass-
produced bullet

that simply
doesn't"
Damiam Garside.

Jade Mills

Jade Mills posted a photo in blog 'Weekly Rumi'

Poverty: having nothing and wanting nothing

Last night my teacher taught me the lesson of Poverty: Having nothing and Wanting nothing. ~Rumi

 

For this quote, I decided to change it up and use http://recite.com to create the art! Pretty cool!

What do you guys think about this one? I was personally shocked by it when I read it for the first time. It seems like a bit of a paradox to me somehow...

Rajat

Rajat Hmm isn't that being rich..metaphorically

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Jade Mills

Jade Mills Right! Confuses me as well. Maybe Rumi is trying to say that we Should want things? And have some things? But with moderation? Interesting how we automatically interpret his words with a pretty narrow mind of what we expect him to say

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Jade Mills

Jade Mills posted a photo in blog 'Weekly Rumi'

Rumi on Divine Love

Category : Pictures |

“Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absentminded. Someone sober will worry about things going badly. Let the lover be.”

~Rumi

 

Rajat

Rajat Jade please let us know if you face any issues publishing from blogs. We were trying to sort out. Also somewhat confused with Rumi how did he know about intoxication without alcohol ?

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Emma Zahren-Newman

Emma Zahren-Newman I think he means sober in the sense that they're "with it"-- not necessarily with regards to alcohol. If the lover is drunk on anything, it's infatuation!

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