Category Archives: Knowledge Transmission

Journalists on the Edge of Truth – NYTimes.com

In this re-blogged post (8/19/12), David Carr offers a number of interesting observations on pressures facing journalists.  I was especially struck by his observations on changes in the nature of professional socialization in journalism.  He notes a shift from how journalists who came up the ranks by working in old media (“legacy media”) to a new situation in which media stars rise to prominence without the requisite experiences necessary to foster conformity to conventionally understood professional ideals.   I wonder if there are not parallel problems in other fields as well?   — EdProf

Journalists on the Edge of Truth – NYTimes.com.

Gratitude, Mindfulness and Awe

 

Image of a spiral galaxy

Pinwheel Galaxy



From the Association for Psychological Science (APS) 2012 Annual Convention website: An article and video on “Facets of Mindfulness as Predictors of Gratitude.”   This co-authored paper presentation was given by Anthony Ahrens of American University.  Gratitude increases the desire to be helpful to others and appears to be amplified by mindfulness (as demonstrated in this particular study).

The same page references Wray Herbert’s discussion of the societal and psychological benefits of experiencing AWE (“Making Time Stand Still“).  This and many other fascinating commentaries appear in the “We’re Only Human” blog.  It would be interesting to know more about how professionals maintain capacity for emotion regulation, including maintaining a sense of purpose when things go wrong.  And since there are always risks associated with carrying out professional roles and responsibilities, there are always going to be times when outcomes fall short of expectations and hopes.

Those readers interested in the comparative study of professional communities might want to compare the APS web project to the American Psychological Association (APA) web site.  Take a look. Which organization seems most engaged with the task of conveying vivid images of “professional identities” to site visitors? I imagine the audience for these sites includes a wide range of “guests” — licensed practitioners, psychological scientists, students at all levels, and members of the general public.   Every institutional website has a history produced by the actions of individuals and groups.  It would be interesting to know more about the histories of professional association websites, since “internet presence” constitutes an important interface between professionals and the people they serve.  — With gratitude and awe,  EdProf

Sources

Association for Psychological Science Website: “http://www.psychologicalscience.org”

Ahrens, A. (2012). “Facets of mindfulness as predictors of gratitude” (video post). “http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/video/facets-of-mindfulness-as-predictors-of-gratitude.html” (February 15, 2012)

Herbert, W. (2012). “Making time stand still. Awesome.” Posted on the We’re Only Human blog. “http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/were-only-human/making-time-stand-still-awesome.html” (January 26, 2012)

Herbert, W. (2012) We’re Only Human Blog. http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/were-only-human

Photo Credit: European Space Agency and NASA.  For more information on this “pinwheel galaxy” See: http://spacetelescope.org/images/heic0602a/

Continue reading

A Postmodern Pearl

South Dakota Classroom

South Dakota Classroom

The Pedagodfathers: Lords of Education is a remarkable text — complex, multilayered and imaginative.  It captures the wonderful world of educational discourse through the voice of an “old hand” sharing his thoughts and observations with a young educator at the beginning of his career.  The book presents many keen insights and “pearls of wisdom.”  In the words below, the old hand (mentor) offers his best and final advice:  to treasure each moment, choose fresh beginnings and share the wine of life with others.   In the passage below, we are told to expect no more of ourselves than this.

“Eliot understood hell better than Sartre. Not that Sartre was completely wrong. He wasn’t. He was even right as far as he went. Hell is, at times, others. The pedagodfathers certainly torture all of us…But hell, as Eliot so beautifully conveys the ugly truth, is also oneself — our drives and choices, their consequences; our fears, failures, pretensions, delusions; our extended, unending solitude; our loss of dignity and self; and our imprisonment as strangers. He offers an exit, however, unlike Sartre: fresh beginning, each moment of the day if necessary. Fresh beginnings, however, are almost over for some of us; but, there are plenty left for people like you and Sophia. I hope you’ll take advantage of them. We need educators and attorneys, even administrators, who choose to enjoy a good life as they seek to build, protect and extend a just, free, good and caring society. Our hope — individually, professionally, institutionally — rests in each person’s treasuring each moment, choosing fresh beginnings and sharing the wine of life with others. No one can ask more from us, and we dare not expect more of ourselves” (Simpson, 1994, p. 157).

It is interesting to juxtapose this advice with the notion expressed earlier in this book about the nature of success (See  “On Doing What One Ought to Do“).  Captives of our culture, we (educators, human service professionals) are advised to live principled lives as well as good lives, while dedicating ourselves to creating and preserving “a just, good, free, and caring society.”  Two moral imperatives — to do what one ought (thereby redefining our conceptions of success), and to enjoy oneself while doing so!  This reminds me of Martha Wolfenstein’s fun morality construct — the mid-20th century notion that parenting should be fun and enjoyable, and if we find it otherwise, there must be a problem!  — EdProf

References and Photo Credit

Simpson, D. (1994). The Pedagodfathers: The Lords of Education. Calgary, Alberta, Canada: Detselig.

Wolfenstein, Martha (1951).  The emergence of fun morality.  Journal of Social Issues 7 (4): 15-25. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.1951.tb02249.x

Photo Credit: Classroom, by Mike Kamrud of South Dakota.  Taken in 2010 and posted to Pics4Learning in 2011.  http://www.pics4learning.com/details.php?img=classroom.jpg