Sunday, March 27, 2016

WHY ARE WE SO READY TO BELIEVE RUMORS?


Gossip, rumors and misinformation are often all too readily believed and spread like wild fire. Are we gullible, naïve, plain stupid or is there some other process at work? Do your research and find out. Then write an essay discussing the causes.
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
·         Truth about rumors https://prezi.com/8efmrgzcuq_d/the-truth-about-rumours/  
Reading material to make notes on
·         The 8 ½ laws of rumor spread https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200811/the-8-laws-rumor-spread
·         Gossip and rumors: different types http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/friends/rumors/article3.html
Click “Why do People do it?” “Why it Hurts; why it is Wrong”  “Breaking the Chain”, “When the Rumor is about you” and “From the Mentors”
·         Why are people so incredibly gullible?
Listen to the podcast

·         A webinar: Dispelling rumors and misinformation during crises https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EsfUtdMbQM

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

IS YOUR BOSS A FEAR MONGER?


“He watches your every move. She’s got you afraid to even breathe too close. Here’s how to get the upper hand over a boss who rules with an iron fist”
By: Rhea Wessel
Level of Difficulty: **
WATCH AND MAKE NOTES
·         Autocratic leadership style https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uB-GKyK7Hc
·         The authoritarian or autocratic leader http://study.com/academy/lesson/the-authoritarian-or-autocratic-leader.html
·         Dealing with an autocratic leader https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eANCjtGAIEE  
QUESTIONS
1.       The three bosses mentioned in the text are examples of leaders who believe…………………………………………………..is the best way to get a job done.
2.       Why do these three bosses act as they do? Two reasons
3.       An atmosphere of threats and intimidation creates ……………….. in the staff.
4.       The importance we attach to public perception means that we become…………
5.       If you stop worrying about public perception you can
·         Get results
·         Be concerned for looking good
·         Commit  to the job
·         Ask questions
·         Forget about the survival instinct
·         Follow the crowd
·         Look uncertain
6.       What surprising discovery does Anne tucker reveal in the text?
7.       The reason for the fear generated by some bosses is that
·         They don’t explain their motives clearly
·         They don’t try and clear up misconceptions
·         They let misunderstandings slide
·         All of the above
·         None of the above (Please specify)
8.       What is the best way to document problems with management style?
9.       We get the impression from the example of the European law firm that business suffered / work was slowed down/ HR was badly managed. Mark as many as necessary.
10.   Read the case of the hedge fund manager. Why didn’t the tactic the boss employ not work?
11.   Read the example of the woman in the aerospace industry. She dealt with her boss by………………….
WRITING TASK
Use the information you have gleaned from the videos you have watched and the text you have read to describe authoritarian leadership, discuss its negative impact and suggest solutions.
 IS YOUR BOSS A FEAR MONGER? KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
Authoritarianism is very common in some companies where managers believe cracking the whip is the only way to get results despite all the research. This straightforward business text should appeal to young people in the private sector.
1.       Spreading fear
2.       Because fear is the most primitive emotion we have; Because they are highly focused on achieving results and meeting targets
3.       angst about how they are perceived
4.       Susceptible to manipulation and tolerant of slights and injustices
5.       Commit to the job
6.       That many bosses don’t realize they are spreading angst
7.       All of the above
8.       Doing it at home in a notebook
9.       Two and three
10.   Because if people suss out that the leader is displeased with a certain person, then people will say what they think the leader wants them to say
11.   Laughing it off or reflecting the behavior back on the boss


Saturday, March 19, 2016

HOW TO IMPROVE PUBLIC EDUCATION- Research-based Problem Solution Essay By Ebru McCallum



Public education is considered to be flawed to a greater or lesser extent in almost every country in the world. Many students don’t see the point of what they are doing; many teachers are frustrated and dissatisfied. Many people feel that our current system fails to meet the requirements of the modern world, which is a real tragedy if the human race wants to survive and prosper into the future. Our challanges are great and the need for creative, emphatic and knowledgable human force is great. The right kind of education is what is needed. Public education around the world must and can be improved by focusing on improving the quality of teaching and by increasing student engagement.

                Research has shown that the number one factor for effective learning is high quality  teaching. Unfortunately, most public schools lack qualified, creative and innovative teachers.  This means poor learning, poor student motivation and wasted time, hence wasted human potential. This leads to a society poor in new ideas in arts, in science and in technology. Such a society can not survive in the modern world. Policy makers in the area of education must make the teaching profession more attractive by improving work conditions, income and the prestige of the profession. This will attract the most intelligent and creative minds and hearts to teaching. Once a teacher starts his or her profession, he or she should be given plenty of opportunities for professional development through on the job training programs. This will help them become better teachers. Young people will have the opportunity to learn from bright minds rich in knowledge. This will create a whole different society that can think, create practical ideas and make innovations in all areas of life.

                Another major problem with public education, which is directly related to the first problem is the old fashioned, ineffective and unengaging teaching methods. Fortunately, educators around the world are experimenting in small circles with innovative teaching and learning methods. One such method is called blended learning. In this method, each student has an individual learning path. Students start an academic year at a point where they are ready academically based on their skills and knowledge in any given area. They all move at different speeds and through different activities. Students don’t all do the same thing at the same time. Some work closely with the teacher, others work in teams and do projects, while others work individually on their computers doing online activities. Students get constant feedback and see where they need improvement. This method has done wonders even in the most disadvantaged schools where poverty and homelessness is common. It has a lot to teach other schools around the world. One other important point is getting students to work in teams and do projects. This develops their communication skills, empathy skills and they learn better by doing. Healthy and emotionally rich relationships between teachers and students and between students is possible by creating a team environment, which helps students love school and being there. Blended learning and project based learning will help students discover their full potential and learn to the best of their limits.

                Public education around the world is not doing what it is supposed to do. This is unaccaptable. By improving teacher quality and providing students with an environment in which they are active and independent learners who learn by doing and working with others, we can prepare the young people for the future. The future such young people create will be one of solutions to the challanges ahead. Human potential is our most valuable resource and high quality public education will make sure that potential is fulfilled and utilized.





Public education is considered to be flawed to a greater or lesser extent in almost every country in the world. Many students don’t see the point of what they are doing; many teachers are frustrated and dissatisfied. Many people feel that our current system fails to meet the requirements of the modern world, which is a real tragedy if the human race wants to survive and prosper into the future. Our challanges are great and the need for creative, emphatic and knowledgable human force is great. The right kind of education is what is needed. Public education around the world must and can be improved by focusing on improving the quality of teaching and by increasing student engagement.

                Research has shown that the number one factor for effective learning and good teaching. Unfortunately, most public schools lack qualified, creative and innovative teachers.  This means poor learning, poor student motivation and wasted human potential and wasted time. This leads to a society poor in new ideas in arts, in science and in technology. Such a society can not survive in the modern world. Policy makers in the area of education must make teaching profession more attractive by improving work conditions, income and the prestige of the profession.
PROBLEM:          Lack of qualified, creative and innovative teachers
SOLUTION:         1. Make teaching profession more attractive in society by improving work conditions, income and prestige of the profession
What kind of a difference is this going to make?
                               2. Give teachers plenty of opportunities for self improvement through on the job training programs
PROBLEM:          Ineffective and unengaging teaching 
SOLUTION:         blended learning... constant feedback.. individual learning paths...teac
                               Project based learning... team work
                               Emotional engagement

CONCLUSION: What will be the impact of higher quality public education on individuals, societies and the world?  Why is it needed?



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

THE ENORMOUS POWER OF THE UNCONSCIOUS BRAIN


“A lot of things we do in everyday life don’t need to involve our conscious mind. In many cases, the more we use it, the less effective we become”
By: Chris Baranuik
Level of Difficulty: **
WATCH , LISTEN AND TAKE NOTES
·         Watch and make notes on the video of the experiment involving stacking cups
·         David Eagleman: Powers of the Subconscious https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9R9nNBxPfv4
·         David Eagleman: Brain over Mind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWBtT-Gl4vQ
QUESTIONS
1.       The reason why Eagleman did so badly in the cup stacking challenge is the fact that…..
2.       The fact that Eagleman had never done something like cup stacking before meant that the activity ………………………………………………………………………
3.       The reason why Naber’s brain reflected absolute calm during the experiment was the fact that the activity
4.       The automization of any activity or skill is closely linked to the amount of……………………..
5.       What misunderstanding does Eagleman point out in the text?
6.       Why do many sports need the skills of the player to be automised? Because of …… (Use your own words)
7.       What would happen if LeBron James, for example, paid conscious attention to every move he made while playing?
8.       Why is the efficacy of consciousness being debated?
·         Because the non conscious mind is capable of forming opinions
·         Because the non conscious mind is capable of doing sums
·         Because consciousness is not necessary for forming opinions
·         Because consciousness is not necessary for doing sums
·         All of the above
·         None of the above (provide your own answer)
9.       A certain amount of mind control is possible with ………………….
10.   Which of the following would Eagleman agree with: mind control could be used for the good of mankind by (select as many as necessary)
·         Helping people achieve better control of their addictions
·         Helping people achieve better control of their cravings
·         Helping people achieve better control of their bad habits
11.   Which sentence best summarizes the last paragraph of the text ?
DOCUMENTARIES TO WATCH AND MAKE NOTES ON TO EXTEND YOUR UNDERSTANDING
WATCH THE TELEVISION SERIES RECENTLY AIRED ON BBC 4
·         The brain with David Eagleman: what is reality? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MSw2irv0-A
·         The brain with David Eagleman 2: what makes me  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Hb7w6-jcTU
·         The brain with David Eagleman 4 : how do I decide? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsyGZdDVdb8
·         The brain with David Eagleman 5: what does the brain need? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZolBc9XcK8
·         The brain with David Eagleman: what will I be? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LP1JBtecsX0  
WRITING TASK
After completing the series the links to which have been provided, write an essay in which you compare and contrast the role the non-conscious and the conscious mind play in our lives.
 THE ENORMOUS POWER OF THE UNCONSCIOUS BRAIN KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
We strike out down a completely new path in this activity by linking an extended listening activity to the writing task and thus making it more challenging.  If the activity is to be done in class, the documentaries and the writing task could be set as homerwork.
1.       It was his first time cup stacking
2.        Was all conscious
3.       Had been automized
4.       Practice
5.       That our unconscious mind does not play a very deep role in our everyday decisions and relationships
6.       Because of the speed / The pace
7.       He would slow down
8.       Possible answer: Because the unconscious mind is capable of doing so much
9.       The use of subtle cues /tricks
10.   One and two: there is no fundamental difference between an addiction and a craving; bad habits is too general

11.   Consciousness is like a broom closet in the mansion of the brain

Thursday, March 10, 2016

HOW TO INCREASE STUDENT CREATIVITY


Everyone is happy to pay lip service to the idea of increasing student creativity but many educational systems around the world stifle it. Yet creativity is vital for future development and the enhancement of the human condition. In short, creativity must be fostered in students. Do your research and discover how this can be achieved and then write an essay in which you discuss the solutions you have come up with.
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
Now watch the video
Reading material to make notes on
Videos to watch and make notes on
Watch the webinar

·         The flipped class https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1ekxt4EMb8

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

REILLY ACE OF SPIES


Sidney Reilly was a famous, or rather notorious spy whose life and exploits are the stuff of legend. He left his mark on the world of espionage, which has never been the same. He lived and was active during the first half of the 20th century, and the series recounting his adventures takes place against a backdrop of the political and social upheavals of the time. Do your reading, watch the 12 part series and write about what kind of a person you think he was.
Reading material to make notes on:
·         Sidney Reilly http://spymuseum.com/sidney-reilly/
·         Sidney Reilly  http://spartacus-educational.com/SSreilly.htm
Television series detailing the exploits of Sidney Reilly
·         Episode 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTrvj0h8iJY
·         Episode 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXDarWvFlvA
·         Episode 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTYJGjlJzFM
·         Episode 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LI6VG8Hetw
·         Episode 5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBW_LDNqU4A
·         Episode 6 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHumZo8iqHY
·         Episode 7 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lObgOdXV-s
·         Episode 8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=metGNh_1Ld8
·         Episode 9 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmYQFSGuQiY
·         Episode 10 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHs8idF1rr4
·         Episode 11 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8cdhnsBmpo
Episode 12 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbycfSyJ2x4

Monday, March 7, 2016

THE EFFECTS OF URBAN LIVING ON THE MIND


Urban living is a relatively recent phenomena considering how long mankind has been around and it is not always all it is cracked up to be; it has some serious impacts on mental health according to the latest research. Do your research and find out what these effects are, why they emerge and how to deal with them.
Podcast
Video to watch and make notes on
Reading material to make notes on:
·         Sick cities: why urban living can be bad for your mental health http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/feb/25/city-stress-mental-health-rural-kind
·         Urbanization and mental health http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2996208/

Videos to watch and make notes on
The videos focus on solutions
·         For your mental health, get back in touch with nature http://www.theage.com.au/comment/for-your-mental-health-get-back-in-touch-with-nature-20141222-12cnv2.html

·         Green spaces deliver lasting mental health benefits http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-01-green-spaces-mental-health-benefits.html

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

HOW NAZI’S DEFENSE OF “JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS” PLAYS OUT IN THE MIND


“Modern day Milgram experiment shows that people obeying commands feel less responsible for their actions”
By: Joshua Barais
Level of difficulty: **
WATCH AND CONSIDER
·         History channel documentary: The Nuremberg Trials https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9t2maZjV5k
·         Benjamin B. Ferencz, former prosecutor for the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial
QUESTIONS
1.       Why did Eichmann use the “just following orders” defense?
2.       What surprising conclusion did Milgram reach as a result of his experiment?
3.       Acc. To new research, people don’t feel responsible for inflicting harm on others if they are following orders because……………………..(Two answers; find both)
4.       Acc. to a study published in Current Biology, people inflicting pain on others as a result of a direct order saw their attitude as involuntary/ impassive/irresponsible/ submissive / aggressive
5.       It can be concluded from the research at University College London that people seem to lose their………………………when following orders even if the outcome is unpleasant.
6.       Both Milgram’s and Perry’s experiments prove that people feel ………………………….for what they do or say if …………………………………….
7.       What was the purpose of Haggard’s second experiment?
8.       Did the experiment mentioned above support or refute the initial hypothesis?
9.       Haggard’s findings justify/ validate / support/ disprove/challenge/ the Nuremberg defense.
WRITING TASK
Before you write, access the following article and read it carefully: “Military orders: to obey or not to obey” http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/militarylaw1/a/obeyingorders.htm. When you have done so, write a paragraph or on essay on the following topic: “To what extent can the Nuremberg defense be justified?”
HOW NAZI’S DEFENSE OF “JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS” PLAYS OUT IN THE MIND; KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This vitally important yet straight forward text tackles a very important issue: the famous Nuremberg defense. Many students of the current generation may be hearing about it for the first time but it is important that they do. The writing task is an argumentative essay.
1.       To shift the responsibility for the deaths of millions of Jews to his superiors
2.       Any human was capable of a heart of darkness ; OR, Ordinary folk would inflict harm on another person after following orders from an authoritative figure
3.       They perceive a distance from outcomes; They feel disconnected from their actions
4.       Submissive
5.       Sense of agency
6.       Less agency ; they choose for themselves
7.       To see whether the loss of agency could also be seen in the brain activity of subjects
8.       It supported it
9.       Challenge (it means to question)




THE IMPACTS OF URBAN NOISE; This a simple research related writing task


Noise pollution is a growing problem, especially in urban centers. It is only latterly that experts have become aware of the serious effects of noise pollution. Do your research and write about the causes and effects of noise pollution.
Familiarize yourself with the issue: power point
·         Noise pollution https://prezi.com/3eg1clm4gpoy/noise-pollution/  
·         Noise pollution presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQT2tiVrNHI
Reading material to make notes on: simple texts
·         Noise pollution: definition, sources and effects of noise pollution http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/speech/noise-pollution-definition-sources-and-effects-of-noise-pollution/28295/
Reading material to make notes on: a more challenging alternative
You may skip this text if it is too hard
·         Noise pollution: a modern plague http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/554566_3
Videos to watch and take notes from:
·         Noise pollution https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VaaTn_g1_k

·         Noise pollution https://prezi.com/nkxcbvog9d-k/noise-pollution/