20 February 2010

New Modes of Learning

You know, I can still sing a fair number of the old Schoolhouse Rock songs. Maybe that should tell us something.

18 February 2010


"Several studies have shown that poor families tend to have very few assets."

Well, I'm glad we cleared that one up.

06 February 2010


Don't press play unless you have a few hours to watch all of them ... repeatedly.

05 February 2010


Is between inclusive or exclusive?

Dunno why that question just struck me, but I think in perceiving it as exclusive we may be making a mistake. I also think that between is exclusive in Western culture, but inclusive in Asian culture. Though I could be wrong.

I suppose I should acknowledge that the between I am referring to here is the between that is the social and the political. The thing is that the Western tradition puts the social as something that happens between people but is exclusive of those people the social is happening between. While Asian cultures are more like to think of the social that is between as inclusive of the people it is between.

These two models are significant in what they say about the social, the political, and how it is that people interact. And perhaps by thinking of between as exclusive of what the between is between, we are creating a socio-political situation that impedes communication and negatively influences personal involvement. In other words, we are defining the very sources of the between as not part of the between and thus something that stands apart from the process that is between.

Between, in the social sense, is really something that must be inclusive of those that it stands between, so that it does not stand apart from that which defines it, but rather those that define it stand together as a functioning unit of between. I don't mean this in the sense of traditional Asian cultures, because there are other flaws with the model there. Though between is inclusive it it functions to define those who define it, rather than just letting them define the between that is between them. As such, it may be an odd quasi-circumstance where between is both inclusive and exclusive, or is claimed as inclusive but functions as exclusive.

And I have no idea of where I am going with that, it is the just the germ of an idea.

02 February 2010

Quantifying Education

In the big push to quantify education, I have come up with some measurement systems of my own that I would like to present here. I feel these will be invaluable in advancing our ability to effectively measure key components in education, as well as applying educational measures to other endeavors in life.


Primarily a measure meant for post-secondary educational organizations, though also appropriate to private and charter schools, the Full Tuition Waiver Equivalency is the measure of the number of full tuition waivers could have been given out to students if that money had not instead been spent, for instance, on a fireworks display to celebrate the president of the college winning a golf tourney that the school paid to send them to.

All proposals for non-necessary expenses should be proposed both in dollar values and in FTWE. By using FTWE as a measure of expenditures, it is hoped it will make people much more sensitive to the nature and amount of their expenditures, given the sense of increased need to justify them that will potentially arise.


The Five More Minutes measure (5m2) is the amount of effort required to maintain student attention for five more minutes after some significant breakpoint is reached. The subscript "X" is the time factor (in hours) involved before this significant breakpoint. Further research is required in the rate of progression in this equation, though it appears to approach infinity somewhere shortly after three hours. The measure is somewhat complicated by the fact that it is non-zero when the time factor itself is zero. Though the range of results from a positive non-zero value to infinity does allow us to say with certainty that the time factor cannot function as a simple multiplier.

This measure is not meant purely as a school measure, beyond the ability to assess effort required, so much as a baseline for the measurement of other seemingly impossible tasks. For instance: "You've got to be kidding, that's at least (5m2)2.5, if not significantly more! I want danger pay."