Many animals produce alarm calls to predators, and do this more often when kin or mates are present than other audience members. So far, however, there has been no evidence that they take the other group members’ knowledge state into account. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and the University of St. Andrews, Great Britain, set up a study with wild chimpanzees in Uganda and found that chimpanzees were more likely to alarm call to a snake in the presence of unaware than in the presence of aware group members, suggesting that they recognize knowledge and ignorance in others. Furthermore, to share new information with others by means of communication represents a crucial stage in the evolution of language. This study thus suggests that this stage was already present when our common ancestor split off from chimps 6 million years ago.
Some humans seem to have de-evolved. Most of us have either had them as classmates, co-workers and certainly many supervisors or others with authority. They have information you need. There is no practical reason for them not share, it might even be a moral imperative or as directed by their supervisor. yet as long as they keep that information to themselves – it is, in their view – a time in which they have some kind of upper hand. I can understand not giving notes to someone who skips class a lot or a lazy co-worker who doesn’t want to do their own research or also has a habit of never sharing with others. Most of the time it seems to be about having a sense of superiority for however brief a time. Perhaps chimps will evolve this height of silliness someday as well.
I was going to insert the video directly but the code does not seem to work. Cute cardboard robot produces documentary. The objective was to find out about the everyday environment of the various people who work, attend or visit MIT. That is interesting, but how people react to a cute little robot is fascinating. One child reportedly try to take one home as their new friend. People spoke to it as though it was just another visitor asking questions and needed help.
Finland’s schools owe their newfound fame primarily to one study: the PISA survey, conducted every three years by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The survey compares 15-year-olds in different countries in reading, math, and science. Finland has ranked at or near the top in all three competencies on every survey since 2000, neck and neck with superachievers such as South Korea and Singapore…
[ ]…Since the 1980s, the main driver of Finnish education policy has been the idea that every child should have exactly the same opportunity to learn, regardless of family background, income, or geographic location. Education has been seen first and foremost not as a way to produce star performers, but as an instrument to even out social inequality.
In the Finnish view, as Sahlberg describes it, this means that schools should be healthy, safe environments for children. This starts with the basics. Finland offers all pupils free school meals, easy access to health care, psychological counseling, and individualized student guidance.
As the U.S. turns towards more testing and more competition, Finland’s tremendous success is a contradiction. Those that think some kind of competitive element is essential might only find solace in the academic achievement expected of Finland’s teachers who must all have a graduate degree. This recently published study also provides insights into how relatively small changes can make a big difference, Key to school improvement: reading, writing, arithmetic……. and character?
A study of 20 elementary schools in Hawaii has found that a focused program to build social, emotional and character skills resulted in significantly improved overall quality of education, as evaluated by teachers, parents and students.
The concept includes organized activities to build character that go beyond more traditional rules or policies to control or punish problem behaviors. But it still takes only about an hour a week away from traditional education, and previous research has documented much lower numbers of suspensions, lower absenteeism, and better reading and math scores on standardized tests.
The latest study, being published by researchers from Oregon State University in the Journal of School Health, found for the first time that teachers believed this approach improved “overall school quality” by 21 percent, with parents and students agreeing in slightly smaller numbers. It was based on findings from racially and ethnically diverse schools, half using the program and half that did not.
[ ]…“These are not new concepts, they’re the kind of things that have always been discussed in families, church and social groups,” Flay said. “A third-grade lesson, for instance, might be helping kids to understand how other people feel, to learn about empathy. That may seem simple, but in terms of educational performance it’s important.”
School quality, as defined in this research, includes a safe environment, involvement and satisfaction among individuals, student support, continuous improvement, standards-based learning and other features.
We could have better educated teachers who are more rigorously screened per the Finland example, but that would only go so far if parents are not good at providing a nurturing environment for learning. And that means teaching kids less about values like empathy, not self-esteem so much as self-respect and being enthusiastic about learning even for those times when learning is not all fun.
I was tipped to this video – Lana Del Rey, “Video Games”, from this list – The 25 Best Music Videos of 2011. I’m not crazy about several of their selections. Though this and a couple of others were interesting. Even if you don’t care for the music it works as a short film. This commentary might be helpful,
(Director: Lana Del Rey). This is a song about sacrifice, the things a girl will do for the love of a boy, and Lana Del Rey uses its dreamy video not just to sell her brand of Hollywood sadcore, but to provocatively ruminate on the Dream Factory’s callous exploitation of aspiring starlets, even expert self-promoters like herself and the hot mess that is Paz de la Huerta. No wonder David Lynch fell in love with Del Rey.
The video does a few things at once. It’s a nice piece of cinematography and narrative. It is a commentary on how you can or should only go so far to please others and it says something about people like Warhol – who whether they are in the arts or the construction business or run a restaurant – exploit people as though they were disposable.