Reflections on necessity

This is a long unfinished blog post from spring 2013, written for other participants in a small, international collaboration that was waiting to hear about funding of an innovative proposal on economic and political mobilization “from below”–how it may be produced, persist and be productive in spite of social-environmental crises and violence. Read more of this post

Support versus puzzling (a 2nd project for the Believing and doubting workshop)

One theme that emerged from the pre-circulated writing of the participants coming to the Believing and Doubting workshop was for teachers to honor the individuality of each student and their best way forward. This matches my emphasis on supporting journeys of developing thinking, but doubts I have about my commitment to that endeavor are explored in this post. Read more of this post

Critical thinking, Creative thinking: An ongoing journey (first project for believing and doubting workshop)

The autobiographical introduction I shared with the participants coming to the Believing and Doubting workshop was “Intersecting Processes: complexity and change in environment, biomedicine and society” Ludus Vitalis XXI (39):319-324, 2013, (pdf).
The written work I shared in April was as described in the following cover note. Read more of this post

Believing and doubting workshop

This week, for family reasons, I had to withdraw from a workshop led by Peter Elbow on “The Believing Game and its many Ramifications.” Participants pre-circulated autobiographical introductions and some writing or thinking that they wished to build on during the workshop. I decided to use the week to develop my thinking as if I were at the workshop, drawing on the pre-circulated materials where appropriate (but not sharing unpublished materials by the other participants). I set myself the challenge of using believing as well as doubting when I was puzzling over my own thinking, writing, teaching, and engagement. Read more of this post

Definitional ceremony

In November 2009, Laura Rancatore and Peter Taylor introduced to the CCT graduate program the narrative therapy and community work of Michael White. This approach helps a person or a group acknowledge multiple past allies, aspirations for their lives, significant discoveries, problem-solving practices, etc. so as to write and realize alternative scripts (or narratives) to the ones that are limiting their lives. A central part of the CCT event was a definitional ceremony, which took something akin to the following form: Read more of this post

Bureaucracy: Smart not stupid-making?

I had two responses to the introduction of The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy by David Graeber (2015): 1) Articulate design rules for bureaucracy that might be smart, not a way to make us stupid (as Graeber describes); and 2) Examine the forces that come into play that subvert such designs or, conversely, lead me to fantasize that such a design could be implemented. This post tackles 1) while recognizing the need for 2). Read more of this post

Critical thinking as a journey ( a youtube)

This 44-minute youtube is a practice run of an interactive lecture, designed to explore the implications of defining critical thinking as understanding ideas and practices better by holding them in tension with alternatives and of viewing each student’s development as a journey. Audience members will leave with their own short checklist of tools and processes to put into practice, including ways of assessing their professional development as teachers of critical thinking. (Sources and extensions)


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