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Thinking Foundation

International Conference on Thinking Mind Tools L'histoire élitiste des historiens universitaires Le 3 octobre dernier, la Coalition pour l'histoire et la Fondation Lionel-Groulx publiaient une étude sur l'enseignement et la recherche en histoire au Québec, dénonçant, chiffres à l'appui, la place minuscule qu'occupent les grands personnages et les grands événements politiques qui ont marqué notre passé. La part du lion revient à l'histoire sociale qui s'intéresse aux pauvres, aux immigrants, aux exclus, etc. Ce constat en a dérangé plusieurs parmi les spécialistes, dont l'historienne Denyse Baillargeon, qui a réagi dans Le Devoir. Son argument central consiste à dire que les historiens du social abordent aussi les enjeux politiques et nationaux. Ce n'est évidemment pas le cas, par exemple, dans un livre relatant la vie de Maurice Duplessis ou Pierre Elliott Trudeau, qui permettra de mieux comprendre le Québec dans son ensemble. Vision réductrice L'intérêt des citoyens Mais qu'importe la vie d'un ancien premier ministre. *** Frédéric Bastien - Professeur d'histoire au collège Dawson

Intute: Encouraging Critical Thinking Online Encouraging Critical Thinking Online is a set of free teaching resources designed to develop students' analytic abilities, using the Web as source material. Two units are currently available, each consisting of a series of exercises for classroom or seminar use. Students are invited to explore the Web and find a number of sites which address the selected topic, and then, in a teacher-led group discussion, to share and discuss their findings. The resources encourage students to think carefully and critically about the information sources they use. A comprehensive Teacher's Guide provides an overview of the course, lesson/seminar outlines, suggestions of illustrative websites, and points for discussion. Teacher's Guide (Units 1 and 2) Printable version (PDF) Resources for Unit 1: Checking Facts and Gathering Opinions Resources for Unit 1 Resources for Unit 2: Gauging and Examining Popular Opinion Resources for Unit 2

The Churning of the Ocean of Milk Contemporary painting of Vishnu seated in the Ocean of Milk, as Brahma, Shiva and other deities approach from the shore. Illustration by Kailash Raj (1) (Click to enlarge)CANNABIS CULTURE - Did you know that the largest continual human gathering in the world, Kumbha Mela, is based around the myth of the making of the Cosmic bhang? (For all those neophytes out there, bhang is a drink made from cannabis). I am still putting the finishing touches on my book Cannabis and the Soma Solution and recently revised some more of the material in my chapter on India: Excerpt from Cannabis and the Soma Solution: In Hinduism, Samudra manthan or The Churning of the Ocean of Milk is one of the most famous episodes in the Puranas (500-300 BC) and the story is still celebrated in the popular festivals known as the Kumbha Mela. Article on Soma: Video on Soma: Literal meaning [of amrita]: ‘non-dead’.

Historical Thinking in the Elementary Years: A Review of Current Research CANADIAN SOCIAL STUDIES VOLUME 39 NUMBER 1, FALL 2004 www.quasar.ualberta.ca/css Special Issue: Social Studies Research and Teaching in Elementary Schools Amy von Heyking University of Alberta Return to Articles Abstract History has long held a privileged place within the social studies. Moreover, history's integration into the social studies meant that it was generally treated as a source of data for solving current problems. Two important developments occurred in the field of history education that challenged these assumptions. The Nature and Purpose of History in Elementary School History is not the story of the past. Children's Historical Understanding The earliest examinations of children's cognitive development within the context of history seemed to indicate that the subject was largely meaningless to students until the age of fourteen. Researchers now have largely rejected universal cognitive development theories. Historical Thinking 2) Epistemology and Evidence

Learning & Brain Society Out of the Blue A computer simulation of the upper layer of a rat brain neocortical column. Here neurons light up in a “global excitatory state” of blues and yellows. Courtesy of Dr. Pablo de Heras Ciechomski/Visualbiotech In the basement of a university in Lausanne, Switzerland sit four black boxes, each about the size of a refrigerator, and filled with 2,000 IBM microchips stacked in repeating rows. The name of the supercomputer is literal: Each of its microchips has been programmed to act just like a real neuron in a real brain. Before the Blue Brain project launched, Markram had likened it to the Human Genome Project, a comparison that some found ridiculous and others dismissed as mere self-promotion. The Blue Brain project is now at a crucial juncture. Henry Markram is tall and slim. But the playboy is actually a lab rat. When Markram looked closer at the electrical language of neurons, he realized that he was staring at a code he couldn’t break. Neuroscience is a reductionist science.

History - LEARNING, TEACHING OF - Historical, Past, Students, and Peter historical past students peter LEARNINGBruce A. Van Sledright TEACHING OFBruce A. Van Sledright The learning of history is a complex undertaking. History as a Subject Domain History is a thoroughly interpretive discipline, closer in many ways to the humanities than to the social sciences. Access to the past is thus indirect, largely governed by artifacts and residue left behind by those who lived it. Substantive Historical Knowledge and Understanding Defining the nature of substantive historical knowledge is rife with debate. This shifting terrain concerning issues of historical significance has raised difficult questions about what history students should learn. This debate has continued into the twenty-first century. Strategic Historical Knowledge Much of the cognitive research done since 1980 has centered on the nature of expertise in historical thinking, and on how novices (e.g., grade school students, college undergraduates) differ from experts (e.g., historians). GREENE, STUART. 1993.

OECD: Brain & Learning EDUCERI › Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) - Brain and Learning Is the current classroom model of learning “brain-unfriendly”? Why are students failing to master numeracy and literacy skills efficiently enough to be employable? Why are one out of six students disruptive and school-haters? Since 1999, CERI's “Brain and Learning” project has been working towards a better understanding of the learning processes of an individual’s lifecycle. The first phase of the project (1999 – 2002) brought together an international group of researchers in several fora to review potential implications of recent research findings in brain and learning sciences for policy-makers. The second phase (2002-2006), channelled its activities on three main issues: Literacy, Numeracy and Lifelong Learning within three trans-disciplinary and international networks, in which cognitive neuroscientists were challenged to tackle questions of direct educational relevance.

The Fifth and Sixth Discontinuity Philosopher Bruce Mazlish claims that the eyes of science have overthrown humanity’s view of itself in a series of revelations. At each unveiling, we descend one notch. In the first removal, Copernicus dethroned our common-sense assumption that our world stood at the center of the universe. Astronomy eventually revealed, with a shock, that we were a minor tribe huddled on a small speck circling a nondescript star at the outer edge of an immense average galaxy floating among a trillion others in one small corner of the universe. The second break from the exalted was launched by Darwin, who revealed that the exceptional discontinuity we perceived between ourselves and other animals or plants was equally illusionary. According to Mazlish the third discontinuity was located in our heads. We are now in the middle of dispatching the fourth discontinuity. But as the arc of evolution continues beyond these four continuums, what future smoothings can we expect?

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