Sunday, June 26, 2016

LIGHT POLLUTION


Light pollution is one of those serious problems the details and implications of which elude many people. Do your research and write about the effects of light pollution; in your conclusion, suggest some solutions.
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
·         Light pollution https://prezi.com/novpsv9zduzk/light-pollution/
·         Light pollution: an infographic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjsFC2Q77FY
Look at the light pollution map:
Reading material to make notes on

·         Missing the Dark: Health effects of light pollution http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2627884/

·         Light pollution impacts animals and environment http://physics.fau.edu/observatory/lightpol-environ.html

Videos to watch and take notes from

·         Light pollution https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqBXpgGKr1Y

·         What is light pollution and how does it hurt our planet? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtQGfucst-o

·         Taylor teaches: light pollution https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdIGJNVUwmE

 



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

WHEN SUCCESS LEADS TO FAILURE


“The pressure to achieve academically is a crime against learning”
By: Jessica Lahey
Level of difficulty: **
BEFORE YOU READ: WATCH AND LISTEN
·         Creating a positive classroom culture https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/establish-classroom-culture
·         Making feedback meaningful https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/personalize-feedback-for-students
·         Don’t give up! Plan, persevere, revise https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/math-practice-standard-perseverance
QUESTIONS
1.       What does “the same thing” in the phrase “I had noticed the same thing about her daughter refer to? Be specific.
2.       Read the paragraph beginning “The truth”. Which of the following are true according to this paragraph?
·         Marianna has learnt that the means justify the end
·         Everyone is born with a natural curiosity and love of learning
·         We should stop testing and comparing the scores of students
·         Teachers don’t really mean to destroy love of learning
·         People are aware of the problem but are not doing anything about it
·         We should explain that intellect is as important as character
3.       Marianna’s mother’s attitude can be described as:
·         Rewarding
·         Misguided
·         Pleasing
·         Well-intentioned
·         Pathetic
·         All of the above
·         None of the above
·         Other: please specify
4.       It is implied in the text that Marianna’s mother should also deliver praise for….
5.       We understand from the text that Marianna has acquired certain positive qualities but has lost certain vital features because……….The reason for this is that………………………………..
6.       Marianna’s mother is not following in the path of her own mother because…………….
7.       What should she have done instead?
8.       It is implied in the text that the current system of reward for high performance does not make kids ………………………………………..
9.       It is also implied that parents should direct their focus to …………………………contrary to the dictates of the current system of rewards for high performance
WRITING:
Discuss the damage done by the system of rewarding performance and how it can be improved
 WHEN SUCCESS LEADS TO FAILURE; KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
1.       That her daughter just doesn’t seem to love learning
2.       1, 2, 4, 5
3.       Misguided and well-intentioned
4.       Diligence and effort
5.       She has started to take fewer intellectual risks/ failure will be hard evidence that she is not as smart as everyone says she is
6.       She is too worried about Marianna’s future achievements
7.       She should have allowed her to fail and play and learn for the sake of learning/ she should have allowed her to lose herself in the trying and when she…
8.       Independent, competent adults
9.       To children’s long term developmental and emotional needs



Tuesday, June 21, 2016

THE WAR ON STUPID PEOPLE


American society increasingly mistakes intelligence for human worth
By: David H. Freedman
Level of difficulty: ***
BEFORE YOU READ: LISTEN AND TAKE NOTES
QUESTIONS
1.       In the first half of the 20th century, you were likely to be hired by a company provided you possessed …………………………….and made the right impression. ………………….did not figure in hiring decisions.
2.       It seems ironical that less intelligent people are derided, humiliated and made fun of because there is a great deal of focus on……………………………………
3.       Which of the following conclusions can be drawn from the paragraph beginning “This gleeful derision” Mark as many as necessary
·         We have created a dystopia not a meritocracy
·         Those with a lower IQ may as well shoot themselves
·         Nietzsche’s dream of two classes the leaders and the followers has finally been realized
·         The American dream has become the American nightmare for some
·         The system is rigged to favor those with a high IQ
·         A system that resembles the cast system is taking shape.
·         Blame your parents if you cannot get ahead in life
4.       Where, in the paragraph beginning “Rather than looking…” would you place the following phrases or sentences?
·         Which is really carrying it too far
·         What this means is that they are testing for IQ but being secretive about it
·         In other words, they are paying lip-service to the age old hiring practices
5.       Treating intelligence as vital when hiring is misguided because…………………..
6.       The cases of Terry Bradshaw, Dan Morino and Jim Kelly prove that ……………
7.       Read the paragraph beginning “At the same time…”Which of the following conclusions cannot be drawn from the paragraph?
·         Automation and technology are going to condemn millions to poverty
·         The idea that technological developments always lead to new jobs is a fallacy
·         People will be dealing with machines and robots in their daily life not humans
·         If you want to get a job, you need a college degree.
·         Even service jobs will soon be closed to many people
·         Millions of Americans will be facing the prospect of living on the dole
8.       All the hype about intelligence on television and in life proves that in the current century, ………………………is considered to increase success
9.       The writer claims that we are fooling ourselves when we claim that……………………..because ……………………………………………
10.   Read the information about college degrees and SAT scores. Achieving the college readiness benchmark is………………………(your own word) for most of the population in the US.
11.   Those telling themselves that they are working hard to help the unintelligent become more intelligent are lying because…………………………………………………………This is a mistake because………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
12.   What ill advised method is being employed by the authorities to close the intelligence gap? What is the alternative? Why?
13.   The writer is criticizing the authorities mainly for
·         Sidestepping the main issue
·         Refusing to address the main issue
·         Overlooking the main problem
·         All of the above
·         None of the above (specify)
14.   The writer states that educational reform programs should address the shortage of…………………………………….and the schools themselves should shift their attention to……………………………………so as not to leave out………………………………………….
15.   The writer states that society needs to learn to benefit from……………………….
16.   Companies could benefit from hiring less intelligent staff because such staff is….
17.   The writer states that by applying Michael Young’s idea of meritocracy to the real world, we have ……………………………………………………………………….and this is wrong.
WRITING TASK
Draw on all the information you have gleaned to discuss how the current system could be made fairer more egalitarian and less discriminatory.
THE WAR ON STUPID PEOPLE KEY AND TEACHERS’NOTES
1.       A critical skill or two / OR: qualifications for the job
2.       Micro aggressions and victimization
3.       1, 3,4,5, (2 is extreme, 6 is exaggerated, 7 doesn’t apply)
4.       1: right at the end of the last sentence; 2: After the top 5%; 3: after “are smart”.
5.       Smart people can make the worst employees in part because they are not used to dealing with failure or criticism
6.       SAT scores are not helpful hiring filters
7.       3
8.       Academic skills
9.       No one is unintelligent; the form it takes won’t raise SAT scores
10.   Impossible
11.   Our government and society are not seriously considering any initiatives capable of making a significant dent in the numbers or conditions of the poor / The strength of the link between poverty and struggling in school is as close to iron clad as social science gets.
12.   Reforming primary and secondary schools / Early education/ Because it seems to largely overcome whatever cognitive and emotional deficits poverty and other environmental circumstances impart in the first years of life
13.   All of the above
14.   Vocational schools / students who struggle academically
15.   The full range of human capacity
16.   Is aware of their biases and flaws, won’t assume that recent trends will continue into the future, is not anxiety ridden, is not arrogant
17.   Permitted smart people to reshape society


Monday, June 20, 2016

SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS; WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT IS VITAL


Lao Tzu famously said “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny” Lao Tzu was warning against lack of social consciousness among other things. Do your research and discover what social consciousness is and how to promote it. Then, write your essay.
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
·         Social consciousness https://prezi.com/a7nwowpbow-p/socially-conscious-individuals/ 
·         How to develop social awareness http://www.wikihow.com/Develop-Social-Awareness  
Reading material to make notes on
·         The importance of social consciousness in an age of declining democracy
·         Cultivating social consciousness http://icpa4kids.org/Wellness-Articles/cultivating-social-consciousness.html
Serious academic text to read if you feel adventurous
Videos and documentaries to watch and make notes on

·         The Zeitgeist movement http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-zeitgeist-movement/  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

MURDER OR SUICIDE? READ AND DECIDE


Read the story and watch the videos in order to decide whether this man was murdered or whether he committed suicide. When you are ready, write a paragraph in which you state your opinion and justify it
·         BODY ON THE MOOR
“Why did this man ravel 200 miles to die?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-e8c6cbab-da44-4a3c-8f9b-c4fccd53dd24?ocid=socialflow_facebook&ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnewsmagazine&ns_source=facebook?ns_mchannel=email&ns_source=inxmail_newsletter&ns_campaign=news_magazine_110616

Thursday, June 16, 2016

THE STRATEGY OF PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE

As an individual with a 19 year old desk top which is working beautifully despite having an operating system that is no longer supported, and a 20 year old fridge in tiptop condition, I seem to have avoided the planned obsolescence trap. I still use my old Nokia and my old television but is this just me and good luck or is there some grand design afoot? Do your research and find out about planned obsolescence. When you are done write an essay in which you indicate what it is and what affects the policy has.
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
Reading material to make notes on
·         Planned obsolescence http://www.economist.com/node/13354332
·         We are all losers to a gadget industry based on planned obsolescence
·         Planned obsolescence: the good and the bad http://www.perc.org/blog/planned-obsolescence-good-and-bad
·         Planned obsolescence: advantages and disadvantages http://smallbusiness.chron.com/planned-obsolescence-advantages-disadvantages-75368.html
Videos to watch and make notes on:
·         Planned obsolescence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60YN8honuDs
·         Technology rant: planned obsolescence https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AvND-RH79o
Will planned obsolescence kill Silicon Valley? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQQtMqUffzU

Sunday, May 22, 2016

THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF BIODIVERSITY DECLINES


Loss of biodiversity is probably the greatest threat to our continued existence on Earth, yet it is the most neglected issue. Many pay lip service to the dire consequences of loss of ecological biodiversity but far too little is being done about it. Do your research and discover the extent of the problem then write an essay in which you discuss both the precipitating factors and the threat it poses.
Familiarize yourself with the issue
Reading material to make notes on
·         What is biodiversity? http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/what-is-biodiversity.php 
·         Biodiversity loss and why we should be concerned about it http://www.tropical-rainforest-animals.com/biodiversity-loss.html
·         Loss of diversity: causes and consequences http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK219310/ 
Videos to watch and make notes on