Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Revising English Part 4

The point is this series of posts by Jim Burke is best thinking/writing I've seen about the purpose of education.
After considering carefully the ideas of Jago and Scholes, Langer and Marshall, and a long list of others, I arrived at my own sense of what English is.

We need to do more than teach skills and knowledge: We need to cultivate within our students a range of personae, each of which is necessary if they are, as Jago says, “to make a living, make a life, and make a difference” (2009, 1).

Note that each of the following personae has two sides: one devoted to comprehending, interpreting, and analyzing the text or content created by others; the other side dedicated to communicating one’s own ideas and content through whichever means or media that person deems most appropriate to the task and occasion. In other words, each role involves both comprehension and composition. Here is a brief description of these eight personae English teachers attempt to develop in students—and ourselves . . .
Storyteller . . . more at the original post
Philosopher . . more at the original post
Historian . . . more at the original post
Anthropologist more at the original post
Reporter more at the original post
Critic more at the original post
Designer more at the original post
Traveler more at the original post

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tumor Mutations Can Predict Chemo Success

Tumor Mutations Can Predict Chemo Success:
"ScienceDaily (Aug. 8, 2009) — New work by MIT cancer biologists shows that the interplay between two key genes that are often defective in tumors determines how cancer cells respond to chemotherapy.

The findings should have an immediate impact on cancer treatment, say Michael Hemann and Michael Yaffe, the two MIT biology professors who led the study. The work could help doctors predict what types of chemotherapy will be effective in a particular tumor, which would help tailor treatments to each patient.

'This isn't something that's going to take five years to do,' says Yaffe, who, along with Hemann is a member of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. 'You could begin doing this tomorrow.'"

14-year-old 'surgeon' to present findings today

The point is you never know what you can do until you try.

"A Jacksonville researcher has developed a way of sewing up patients after hysterectomies that stands to reduce the risk of complications and simplify the tricky procedure for less-seasoned surgeons. Oh, and he's 14 years old. Feel free to read that again. Tony Hansberry II is a ninth-grader who, as it happens, will be presenting his findings today before an auditorium filled with doctors just like any of his board-certified - and decades older - colleagues would. He would say he was following in the footsteps of 'Doogie Howser, M.D.' - if he weren't too young to have heard of the television show. Instead, he says that his remarkable accomplishments are merely steps toward his ultimate goal of becoming a University of Florida-trained neurosurgeon. 'I just want to help people and be respected, knowing that I can save lives,' said Tony, the son of a registered nurse mom and an African Methodist Episcopal church pastor dad. To be sure, he had some help along the way, but, then again, most researchers do. The seeds of his project were planted last summer during his internship at the University of Florida's Center for Simulation Education and Safety Research, based at Shands Jacksonville. To understand why a teenager would be a hospital intern, it's important to know that Tony is a student . . .
read the rest at 14-year-old 'surgeon' to present findings today | Jacksonville.com:

What do we mean by trust?

I think the point is learn how to judge who and what you can trust. The question is what might this mean for education.

Video 2 of 7

Video 3 of 7

Getting together through the generations

The point is this sounds plausible to me.
"Love and sex comprise the dark matter in our high schools. Dark matter is stuff out in the universe that is undetectable, matter whose existence can only be inferred from its gravitational effects on everything else. One couldn't ask for a better definition of love and sex.

I bring this up for two reasons. One, school doors are about to open for the autumn semester and two, schools are publicly concerned about their dropout rate. In Chicago, a good-looking hip-hop artist and recent Chicago Public Schools graduate named Jeremih Felton is encouraging students to remain in school. Calling himself simply Jeremih, the popular singer of the hit song 'Birthday Sex,' and the school district are hoping Jeremih's star power will influence other young people to remain in school. Good for him, although it seems a few people are concerned about some of his hit song's blatantly sexual lyrics. They think perhaps Jeremih is not an appropriate role model for high school students.
. . .
And when Paul Simon sings "When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school it's a wonder I can think at all," I can only nod in agreement, and hope to never again see my own yearbook, a testament to bad taste and unfulfilled promise.

read the full column at Getting together through the generations -- chicagotribune.com:

The Paul Simon Song: