“between the ambiguity of the unfamiliar, and the sense of a mutual, deeply-felt human connection…”

In this tension between the ambiguity of the unfamiliar, and the sense of a mutual, deeply-felt human connection…, I’ve often wondered if there might be a universal “way of being”. A way of being which allows us to see, accept, and embrace one another, for who we are as human beings. Bobby Ricketts, UMass Boston graduation speaker

Video of full speech
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Generating a mentoring relationship

Having volunteered to mentor undergraduate students in our Honors College, I now have to learn how to develop mentoring relationships that are helpful.  At this stage what is clear is: Read more of this post

A possible course with more open inquiry even than project-based learning

I seek feedback on the idea of revising my project-based learning courses into something even more open to individualized inquiry. Following the lead of a friend, Mac Brown, I am thinking about a course in which students produce contributions to a book (or handbook) on the topic of the course in all its angles: what is known; how to gain knowledge – to move from a novice to someone with organized themes and examples; ways to pursue action, involving collaboration with various parties; lessons to teach or guide others; case studies or illustrations of themes; etc.
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Why study fractions?

I googled the question “Why study fractions?” (for reasons I describe later) and found a study (reported in Swanbrow 2012) that invites critical thinking at two levels: 1) the assumptions, evidence, and reasoning warrant scrutiny; and 2) what is it that allows researchers and policy makers to proceed as if there are no alternative interpretations to be drawn from the study?
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What’s missing in the field of critical thinking?

During my Tuesday class on critical thinking I found myself saying that critical thinking should make a person happy – or happier. In the field of creative thinking we’re not at all surprised when someone who has created a new product – a story, a poem, a painting, a gadget, a company – feels fulfilled. What, then, is the equivalent in the field of critical thinking?
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Food for thought (if you don’t insist on pure foods)

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Flexible engagement

In this post I expand to education the scope of the principle of “flexible engagement”—“an ideal in which researchers in any knowledge-making situation are able to connect quickly with others who are almost ready—either formally or otherwise—to foster participatory processes and, through the experience such processes provide their participants, contribute to enhancing the capacity of others to do likewise.” (Taylor 2005, p. 225). Read more of this post

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