Wednesday, June 20, 2018

COMPASSION FATIGUE



The need to put others wellbeing before our own, to show empathy, sympathy and understanding are all drummed into us from an early age. Couple this moral upbringing with a caring profession or the role of a care giver and compassion fatigue may set in. This often under reported problem affects many caregivers the world over and needs to be better understood. Do your research to find out what exactly compassion fatigue is and what its effects are. When you are ready, use your notes and your own opinions to discuss the issue.
Self test
Familiarize yourself with the issue

·         Drowning in Empathy: The Cost of Vicarious Trauma | Amy Cunningham | TEDxSanAntonio

Reading material to make notes on
·         What is compassion fatigue? http://www.compassionfatigue.org/pages/compassionfatigue.html Make sure to explore the site and check out the links to the left of the home page
·         Compassion Fatigue and Burnout Amongst Clinicians: A Medical Exploratory Study
Videos to take notes from
·         How to Manage Compassion Fatigue in Caregiving | Patricia Smith | TEDxSanJuanIsland
·         Compassion fatigue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kse7UE82UFU
·         Recognizing compassion fatigue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=miL0yCEf9nk
·         From compassion fatigue to resilience https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unCc0DgSfDw

Sunday, June 10, 2018

ARE YOU JUST INSIDE YOUR SKIN OR IS YOUR SMARTPHONE PART OF YOU?



By: Karina Vold
Level of Difficulty: **
LISTEN, HIGHLIGHT AND TAKE NOTES
Click on the icon to the left of your screen to listen to the text. As you listen, make sure to highlight the important points and/or take notes
QUESTIONS
1.       What makes the aftermath of the story of the gunman disturbing?
2.       The current capabilities of smartphones lead to the possible conclusion that…
3.        The underlying logic of the view that smartphones and similar gadgets are part of us is that …
4.       Why are the views of Descartes and Locke no longer viable?
5.       Refer back to question three. What conclusion can we draw concerning our identity?
6.       Given our current laws concerning privacy, it now makes sense to…
7.       The extended mind thesis has implications after death too because the argument could be made that…
8.       What is the implication of the extended mind theory as far as the law is concerned?
9.       What conclusion can be drawn from the paragraph beginning “The extended mind…” and the paragraph beginning “The courts…”?
10.   If the theory of the extended mind is carried through to its logical conclusion, we would have to agree that…
WRITING TASK
Write an argumentative essay in which you discuss to what extent you agree with the extended mind theory.
ARE YOU JUST INSIDE YOUR SKIN OR IS YOUR SMARTPHONE PART OF YOU? KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This cleverly written essay raises some novel questions concerning privacy and as such, is very thought provoking. It will be interesting to see what the young generation feels about the arguments put forward. A little help might be necessary with the writing task. This task can be easily done in class or as a self study exercise unlike some other tasks on the blog.
1.       The police used a corpse to break into someone’s digital afterlife
2.       Given the role they play in our lives, our devices deserve the same protections as our brains and bodies
3.       They augment and extend our minds by increasing our cognitive power and freeing up internal resources
4.       Because now the private realm of thought coincides with activity in the brain
5.       We are essentially cyborgs
6.       Push the boundaries of mental privacy outwards to give our cyborg anatomy the same protections as our brains
7.       Our digital devices should be handled as remains
8.       If cognition encompasses devices then arguably they should be subject to the same prohibitions
9.       The concept of personal rights and freedoms that guides our legal institutions is outdated.
10.   Even simple technologies such as pens and pencils would merit recognition and protection as part of the essential toolkit of the mind.



Saturday, May 26, 2018

WHAT WE SAY VERSUS WHAT WE MEAN: WHAT IS CONVERSATIONAL IMPLICATURE?



By: Maria Kasmirli
Level of Difficulty: **
BEFORE YOU READ
·         PHILOSOPHY - Language: Conventional Implicature [HD]
QUESTIONS
1.       You are reviewing reference letters; which would you be more likely to view favorably:
·         For a position as a caregiver: She is a very kind and thoughtful person/ She is a very efficient and sensible person
·         For a position as a teacher:  He is kind and thoughtful / He is efficient and sensible
2.       Explain in your own words the reasons for the answers you gave for the first question.
3.       Listen to the following short talk on the Gricean maxims: https://vimeopro.com/user13420562/academic-skills-videos/video/49169517 You are travelling in remote region of a conservative country. You are talking to a local tribesman. You ask: How many children do you have? He answers two but in fact he has two sons and three daughters. Is the tribesman flouting the Gricean maxims? Why or why not?
4.       Somebody asks you what kind of a person your colleague is and you answer “He is a very nice person”. Which maxim are you flouting? Explain.
5.       You are interviewing a politician. You ask: how do you plan to improve the economy? The politician answers by giving a long explanation about the importance of a strong economy. Which Gricean maxim is being flouted?
6.       You are a hiker and you are in the mountainous region of Eastern Anatolia. You come across a shepherd and ask him if there is a village nearby. He answers that it is a little further on. You later discover it is 10 km away. Why did the shepherd answer the way he did?
7.       Refer to the example given in question 4. How could the implicature in this statement be cancelled?
8.       Listen to the following poem: https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/i-wandered-lonely-as-a-cloud-daffodils/ What was Wordsworth’s purpose in writing the way he did?
9.       One of the first things rape victims are asked by their lawyers is whether they explicitly said “No”. Actually saying “No” rather than “leave me alone” or “I want to go home” prevents any issues with…..and thus leaves no room for misunderstanding
WRITING TASK
Write an essay in which you discuss the following question from the text: “Are we responsible for what we implicate as well as what we actually say?”. Defend your standpoint and remember to give concrete examples
WHAT WE SAY VERSUS WHAT WE MEAN: WHAT IS CONVERSATIONAL IMPLICATURE? KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This text introduces Paul Grice’s conversational maxims, discusses them at length and provides examples. It also raises an interesting dilemma which is addressed in the writing task. Due to the way the text has been written, the questions include examples which are not in the text.
1.       The first for the caregiver, The second for the teacher
2.       In the case of the caregiver, the second implies that the person does the job well and but is not necessarily a people person whereas the first stresses that the person is a people person but not necessarily efficient. It is more important for a caregiver to be kind and thoughtful because the rest can be taught. In the case of the teacher, the ideal would be for the candidate to have all four qualities but the implication in the first that statement is that he is not necessarily efficient and this quality needs to take precedence.
3.       No he isn’t because what he says is in fact true; what he fails to explain is that he has two sons and three daughters. Knowing the social context would help the listener correctly grasp the implication.
4.       Quality. This is an example of what is called damning with faint praise and it means that the colleague is lacking professionally.
5.       Relation
6.       To show cooperation ; he spends his life roaming the mountains with his flock and his dogs and we must assume he feels 10 km is walking distance
7.       By adding a statement like “He is also very efficient, or experienced” for example.
8.       To generate rich indeterminate implicatures
9.       Conversational implicature
10.    


Friday, May 18, 2018

THE HIDDEN SIDE TO OUR PERSONALITY



“Many personality traits can be observed but there are other hidden forces that shape who we are”
By: Christian Jarrett
Level of Difficulty: ** This is a simple level **
BEFORE YOU READ
·         Bacteria can change your personality https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKKZQfwzWAM
·         How our microbes make us who we are  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-icXZ2tMRM
·         Mind altering microbes: how the microbiome affects brain and behavior https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWT_BLVOASI
QUESTIONS
1.       It is a mistake to assess personality based on what we witness because…
2.       Research into how personality is linked to biology has significant implications because…
3.       What vision did Allport and Eysenc share?  Trying to prove that…
4.       What subtitle would you give the paragraph beginning “Take” and the following two paragraphs: cortisol and stress / conscientiousness analyzed / conscientiousness and cortisol / conscientiousness and stress
5.       The 2017 study was able to reach more conclusive results as a consequence of more effective analysis / more accurate predictions/ more thorough research / more effective sampling.
6.       The studies into conscientiousness and neuroticism prove that there is a positive correlation between…
7.       Which sentence best expresses the conclusion that can be drawn from the research into conscientiousness neruroticism?
8.       Where, in the paragraph beginning “The picture” would you place the following: It must be admitted more research needs to be done to better understand this causal relationship?
9.       Watch the following short video and take a few notes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyTyuk482OM . We understand from this video and the text that a low resting heart rate isn’t all it is cracked up to be because such people may experience………..and …………..and as a result may engage in…………..
10.    According to the relationship between chemical or physical aspects of our body and covert personality traits described in the text, it is possible / impossible to detect potential criminals even though some symptoms may be misleading/predictive/prescriptive. (Question contributed by my assistant Sinan Çakmak)
11.   From the realization that our character is closely linked to our character it follows that physical tests in order to…..
WRITING TASK
Write an essay describing the link between our physiology and our personality and mental health. Use the text and all the videos you have watched
THE HIDDEN SIDE TO OUR PERSONALITY; KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This fascinating but relatively simply written text highlights the latest research into the links between our microbiome and our personality. Some of the information is truly interesting and could lead to interesting discussions into the extent we can blame violent criminals for their crimes or the prevention of crime.
1.       It doesn’t tell us much about the roots of personality
2.       Personality is strongly associated with our future mental and physical health and longevity. (This is enough but it is fine if you add the next sentence too)
3.       Psychology is grounded in physiology
4.       The third
5.       The second
6.       Our physical and mental health
7.       The personality and the microbiome are linked and this could help explain why people with a more neurotic, less conscientious personality are more vulnerable to illness than others
8.       After “… in the gut and vice versa.”
9.       Fearlessness and low arousal / criminal behavior (The video must be watched to be able to answer the question.
10.   Measure personality


Monday, May 14, 2018

HOW YOUR WORKPLACE IS KILLING YOU



The modern workplace can inflict dangerous levels of stress on employees. Jeffrey Pfeffer, author of “Dying for a Paychack” argues that these practices don’t help companies – and warns governments are ignoring an emerging public health crisis
By: Jeff Pfiffer
Level of Difficulty: *
BEFORE YOU READ
·         Is your workplace killing you? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL-pkKEHMkE
·         Trouble at work: Jefferey Pfiffer on fixing leadership failure https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfJezKekY5g
QUESTIONS
1.       The examples listed in the first paragraph are all those of people who suffered as a result of…
2.       What makes harmful workplace practices a special concern is …
3.       The findings of the world economic forum seem to support the view that…
4.       Where in the paragraph beginning “The aptly named…” would you place the following: which proves that it is in the interest of the government and big business to seek to rectify the situation?
5.       The fact that harmful management practices have been allowed to go on for so long is surprising because…
6.       What companies need to do to address the problem is to ………so as to………..
7.       Read the information concerning job insecurity. The current job insecurity described in the text is due to a shift from….to….in the management of companies.
8.       The above shift means a complete disregard for ….
WRITING TASK
Write a short essay or paragraph describing harmful workplace practices and the effects they have on employees.
HOW YOUR WORKPLACE IS KILLING YOU; KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This is a simply written and straightforward text on current workplace practices and as such, should appeal to adult learners who may also be working. Some of what is described in the text should be familiar to these people and hopefully, they will have plenty to contribute during the class discussion. The writing task should follow seamlessly from this discussion.
1.       Harmful workplace practices
2.       Rising healthcare costs all over the world
3.       Your supervisor is more important to your health than your family doctor.
4.       At the end of the sentence beginning “A paper I co-authored…” after a comma
5.       The work practices that are bad for people don’t help the company either
6.       Give people more control over how and when they do their jobs / increase motivation and engagement
7.       Stakeholder capitalism to shareholder interests
8.       The physical and psychological well-being of people who come to work


Friday, May 11, 2018

AN EFFORTLESS WAY TO IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY



“A surprisingly potent technique can boost your short and long-term recall – and it appears to help everyone from students to Alzheimer’s patients.”
By: David Robson
Level of Difficulty: **
BEFORE YOU READ
·         Spaced learning and interleaving to improve student learning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpaGbzCWVv8
·         How to master spaced repetition and improve your memory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5PLO4XAXhs
QUESTIONS
1.       What conclusion can be drawn from the first paragraph? Where else could the answer be placed?
2.       What natural inclinations should be resisted during time-out? Why? The inclination to….because…
3.       What is the significance of the new discovery concerning time-out?
4.       What significant conclusion was reached as a result of Muller’s experiment?
5.       Where would you place the following clause: "proving that undisturbed rest benefitted recall across the board"?
6.       Where would you place the following clause: "which goes to show what little sense long class hours with no breaks makes"?
7.       What bonus to the already proven advantage of time-out did Della Sala discover?
8.       Where would you place the following: The reason may be that this is too similar to a structured activity and not a rest?
9.       Why is the view that consolidation occurs during sleep misleading? Because consolidation…
10.   What general conclusion can be drawn from all that has been said so far?
11.   What is the potential problem with trying to work down time into daily life?
12.   A. What warning does the writer offer us all?
B. Students would do well to take the above advice seriously because…
WRITING TASK
Write an essay in which you discuss the tactics students can use to improve their performance. One of these tactics, uninterrupted down-time, you have just read about. Here are some more: overlearning, interleaving and chocking. Complete your research and write an essay in which you bring everything together.
·         Overloading https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uypvJsjZWkU&vl=en
·         Interleaved learning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbDpYMp8F6o
AN EFFORTLESS WAY TO IMPROVE YOUR MEMORY, KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This wonderful text gave me the opportunity to focus on learning strategies and some of the mistakes that are made while studying. I thought it would be a good idea to bring overloading , chocking and the like into the picture as well so although the writing task draws on the text, the students will need to do more research before they can write. Hopefully, they will find all that they learn useful.
1.       We should pace our studies; right at the beginning of paragraph one
2.       The inclination to run errands, check your emails or surf the web on your smartphones; because you really need to give your brain the chance for a complete recharge with no distractions
3.       It may also offer some relief for people with amnesia and some forms of dementia.
4.       Our memory for new information is especially fragile just after it has first been encoded.
5.       After “… with no neurological damage” right at the end of the paragraph beginning “The impact of the small intervention…”
6.       After 10 and 30%, at the end of the paragraph beginning “The next results…”
7.       Short periods of rest can improve spatial memories
8.       Before the last sentence in the paragraph beginning “Even then,…”
9.       Is not limited to sleep, similar neural activity occurs during periods of wakeful rest too
10.   The brain takes any potential down time to cement what it has recently learnt – and reducing extra stimulation at this time may ease that process.
11.   It may be difficult to schedule enough periods of rest to increase overall daily recall
12.   A. Our smartphones aren’t the only thing that needs a regular recharge. Our minds clearly do too.
B. The 10-30% improvements recorded in these studies could mark the difference between a grade or two.



Tuesday, May 8, 2018

OUR FICTION ADDICTION: WHY WE NEED STORIES



“From fireside folk tales to Netflix dramas, narratives are essential to every society – and evolutionary theorists are now trying to figure out why, writes David Robson
By: David Robson
Level of difficulty: **
BEFORE YOU READ
·         The Epic of Gilgamesh https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8scf80TnbU
·         The Odyssey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSRucHuNHP4
QUESTIONS
1.       What is noteworthy about the Epic of Gilgamesh?
2.       We can infer from the introduction to the article that the Epic of Gilgamesh encompasses some
·         Some universal themes which are still valid today
·         Some important characteristics that researchers are interested in
·         Themes and characters that appear in fiction worldwide
·         The same themes as Homer’s Odyssey and Harry Potter
·         All of the above
3.       What obvious conclusion can be drawn from the cave paintings in France?
4.       We can safely assume that people would not spend so much time buried in fiction if it were just a form of …
5.       The results of the brain scans of subjects reading or hearing a story prove that …
6.       Why are the results of the above study significant in terms of society as a whole?
7.       What conclusion can be drawn concerning the dominant themes in stories throughout history?
8.       Why did moral decision making and cooperation become such an important theme in stories?
9.       The positive correlation between storytelling and increased cooperation in society proves that…
10.   The similarity between Odysseus and the Epic of Gilgamesh is that they both emphasize…
11.   What surprising discovery was made after studying the answers of the panel of readers?
12.   Why did Thackeray call Vanity Fair a novel without a hero?
13.   What does “this reason” in the phrase “It is for this reason that…” refer to?
14.   The ultimate purpose of portraying evil characters they way we do is to …
15.   The universality and timelessness of fiction stems, according to McEwan, from the fact that…
WRITING TASK
Write an essay discussing why stories are important to societies.
OUR FICTION ADDICTION: WHY WE NEED STORIES; KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This is a relatively straightforward text on the important place story telling holds in society and the writer makes some interesting points concerning universal themes and the reasons why they have persisted through the ages. It is a well written text and should provide opportunities for plenty of discussion and a good writing task.
1.       It is read and enjoyed today / it is read today
2.       The first
3.       Narratives have been central to human life for thousands of years
4.       Pure escapism
5.       Storytelling is a form of cognitive play that hones our minds (allowing us to simulate…)
6.       The more people read fiction, the easier they find it to empathize with other people
7.       Our prehistoric preoccupations still shape the form of the stories we enjoy
8.       Because humans evolved to live in bigger societies
9.       Moral decision making in tales translated to daily activities.
10.   Cooperation and friendship
11.   Our interest in cooperation has not dwindled with the increasing individualism of the Industrial Revolution.
12.   Because the ruthlessly ambitious (and possibly murderous) Becky Sharp was at the very center of the novel
13.   A greater chance that your genes will be passed onto a greater number of grandchildren
14.   Reinforce our own sense of altruism and loyalty to the group
15.   We share some common emotional ground, some deep reservoir of assumptions with the writer even though he is from a time remote from our own or from a culture that was profoundly different from our own