Teaching Cartoons: On Context


Calvin will be surprised when the test comes back.


This replicates a classic form of a lesson on ‘precision.’

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Paolo Freire – Last Interview

Only dialogue, which requires critical thinking, is also capable of generating critical thinking. Without dialogue there is no communication, and without communication there can be no true education – Paulo Freire

Paulo Freire

Freire Project

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Complex World

Learning for a complex world

I put together a wall exhibit of various materials prior to facilitating a staff inquiry for a strategic planning project recently, and this graphic purloined via google image search was part of the display.

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Visual Experiment: Real Voodoo #1


Real Voodoo #1 work-in-progress – SCalhoun 2014 – 12″ x 12″ dye proof

This is the original I’m working with to some conclusion, eventually.


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Kamelmauz Update


Nogutsnoglory Studio set up for live video and audio recording. The project for Jesper Nordin and Gestrument features three tracks, two of Gestrument for iPad, and one looped, processed 2 bars of pedal steel guitar, plus steel guitar atmospherics. I am may well be the only audionaut in the world deploying pedal steel and Gestrument to make soundscapes.

Gestrument 1

I gave notice on the music blog, but, here’s the direct link to the page featuring IOS Music Pioneers, including yours truly in his Kamelmauz mode. (Gestrument iis a deep gestural, generative sampler, synthesizer, controller.



Kamelmauz and Duty Free Records, released two records in December recorded on Gestrument, made the demonstration video for Gestrument, compiled older outtakes into a single album, Unity, revitalized the Soundcloud nogutsnoglory site, and, also started an endless album on Kamelmauz-soundz at Bandcamp. As always, the music blog and Kamelmauz twitter @kamelmauz are there to help you keep track! And, there’s a Facebook stone too.


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The Ark

Concept & Visual design by Romain Tardy
Music composed by Squeaky Lobster

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Strip Teases

A Valentine from Möbius

squareONE’s ‘fastest’ tool is called Mobius Strip. I build an introductory program around it, and other times I use it for one-to-one exploring.

Mobius Tool

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Thinking About Libraries

Strategic Planning

Learners share the graphic results of Go Fish

I’m thinking about public libraries again. Kenneth Warren has engaged squareONE learning to help design and guide a strategic planning inquiry for Wadsworth Public Library. We began the interactive part of the process with a staff day this week.

It went really well both from my perspective and given the appreciative report of the library’s Director.

sq1 model

POSTER: squareONE’s model plus the Kolb Learning Styles

I created a bunch of materials for the walls. I showed them, but I didn’t tell much about them.


Context Inquiry-Dichotomies-2

These dichotomies reflect the result of our initial inquiry made with the Director. Cut into cards, they constitute an  evocative device for exploring questions, challenges, and routes for further inquiry.

When I think about public libraries, I’m thinking about their deep human system and how it nourishes development and education throughout the human life cycle. Of course, how a given library does so reflects the unique human system of that particular library.

When this project is completed I will have lots more to say!

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Awesome Photos from the Library of Congress on Flickr


Time Machine


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Stephen Brookfield & the Incremental Rhythm of Learning

Stephen Brookfield

Teaching in a critically reflective way involves teachers trying to discover, and research, the assumptions that frame how they teach. In researching these assumptions, teachers have four complementary lenses through which they can view their practice; the lens of their own autobiographies as learners, the lens of students’ eyes, the lens of colleagues’ perceptions, and the lens of educational literature. Reviewing practice through these lenses helps surface the assumptions we hold about pedagogic methods, techniques, and approaches and the assumptions we make concerning the conditions that best foster student learning. Reflective teaching involves discovering and researching one’s own assumptions. from: Using the Lenses of Critically Reflective Teaching in the Community College Classroom

goldmine: Articles & Interviews

RESISTANCE TO LEARNING from Helping Adult Learn packet-pdf

Poor Self-Image as Learners
Fear of the Unknown
Part of the Incremental Rhythm of Learning
Disjunction of Learning & Teaching Styles
Racial, Cultural & Gender Differences Between
Teachers & Students
Apparent Irrelevance of the Learning
Level of Required Learning is Inappropriate or
Fear of Looking Foolish in Public
Cultural Suicide
Lack of Clarity in a Teacher’s Instructions
Personal Dislike & Mistrust of a Teacher
Racial, Cultural, Gender Mistrust

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the kid's good

cats - behavior interpreted


Kippie in November 2013

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Another Ladybug Moment


Jung did provide some paradigmatic clinical experiences about synchronicity. His most famous example was of a young woman whose analysis was in a bit of impasse based on her resistance to the notion of unconscious process until she had a dream that included a golden scarab (as a piece of jewelry). In discussing the dream, Jung was alerted to a tapping sound at his window, which he opened. He caught a rose chafer, a Scarabaeid beetle, that he gave to the woman, apparently breaking through her resistance. (Joseph Cambray)

In this example, the psychic state is indicated by the patient’s decision to tell Jung her dream of being given a scarab. The parallel external event is the appearance and behaviour of the real scarab. Neither of these events discernibly or plausibly caused the other by any normal means, so their relationship is acausal. Nevertheless, the events parallel each other in such unlikely detail that one cannot escape the impression that they are indeed connected, albeit acausally. Moreover, this acausal connection of events both is symbolically informative (as we shall see) and has a deeply emotive and transforming impact on the patient and in these senses is clearly meaningful. (Jung’s requirement that the parallel events be simultaneous is more problematic. For present purposes, it is sufficient to know that Jung does also allow for paralleling between events that are not simultaneous.1 Thus, the patient’s dream, rather than her decision to tell the dream, preceded the actual appearance of the scarab by several hours. Yet, Jung would certainly have considered the coincidence between the dream and the actual appearance synchronistic even if the patient had not decided to tell the dream at just that moment.) (Roderick Main)

The occurrence of synchronicities is seen as permitting a continuing dialogue with the unconscious and with the larger whole of life while also calling forth an aesthetic and spiritual appreciation of life’s powers of symbolically resonant complex patterning. . . . Although Jung himself did not explicitly describe this later stage in his principal monograph on synchronicity, it is evident from many scattered passages in his writings and from the recollections and memoirs of others that he both lived his life and conducted his clinical practice in a manner that entailed a constant attention to potentially meaningful synchronistic events that would then shape his understanding and actions. Jung saw nature and one’s surrounding environment as a living matrix of potential synchronistic meaning that could illuminate the human sphere. He attended to sudden or unusual movements or appearances of animals, flocks of birds, the wind, storms, the suddenly louder lapping of the lake outside the window of his consulting room, and similar phenomena as possessing possible symbolic relevance for the parallel unfolding of interior psychic realities. . . . Central to Jung’s understanding of such phenomena was his observation that the underlying meaning or formal factor that linked the synchronistic inner and outer events—the formal cause, in Aristotelian terms—was archetypal in nature. (Richard Tarnas)

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Teaching Cartoon: Living At Home


It could be worse.

R Crumb

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Context in Two Shakes




For many, the most significant dimension of affordance theory is its grounding in first principles of Darwinian ecology: an organism and its environs are reciprocally shaped; perceptual features are adaptively molded in response to specific environmental features; both simple and complex organisms exhibit patterns of response to stimuli that are demonstrably innate. [James J.] Gibson’s work is among the first efforts to operationalize these general principles. He argued that the adaptive value of environmental objects and events are directly perceived (Kazdin, 2000). An affordance, Gibson reasoned, is defined by a pairing of an organism (and by extension, its potential or realized behavior) with specific environmental features, embedded in a particular situation or context.

Gibson’s “Affordances”: Evolution of a Pivotal Concept
Harold S. Jenkins
University of Central Oklahoma (pdf)

web site: Journal of Scientific PSychology

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Just Go For It

David Shiyang Lius

As a creative person, I decided long ago that I wouldn’t suffer anything for it, except for small frustrations. I am no master and yet this isn’t patently obvious to others. The only mountain created by satisfying my artistic urges is the one that consists of everything I’ve tossed away.

murky catapult
hesitates longingly, monk
hesitates, bawdy

saxophone shakes, bright
ladybug wailing, praying
fearlesslessly nearing*

everypoet-haiku generator

*I changed some of the words.

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Jerome Bruner on YouTube

Jerome Bruner will be 99 this year. This is his current statement of focus at NYU:

I’m interested in the various institutional forms by which culture is passed on — most particularly in school practices and in legal codes and legal praxis. In both examples, my concern is with how canonical forms create a dialectic with the “possible worlds” of imaginative art forms. My preferred method of work in both instances is the anthropological-interpretive.

(Me too!)

Jerome Bruner’s The Narrative Construction of Reality [pdf] is easily available. It is in the group of essays precocious tenth graders would be directed to read if I were the Headmaster.

Narrative accrual. How do we cobble stories together to make them into a whole of some sort? Sciences achieve their accrual by deriva- tion from general principles, by relating particular findings to central par- adigms, by couching empirical findings in a form that makes them subsumable under altering paradigms, and by countless other procedures for making science, as the saying goes, “cumulative.” This is vastly aided, of course, by procedures for assuring verification, though, as we know, verificationist criteria have limited applicability where human intentional states are concerned, which leaves psychology rather on the fringe.

Narrative accrual is not foundational in the scientist’s sense. Yet narratives do accrue, and, as anthropologists insist, the accruals eventually create something variously called a “culture” or a “history” or, more loosely, a “tradition.” Even our own homely accounts of happenings in our own lives are eventually converted into more or less coherent autobiogra- phies centered around a Self acting more or less purposefully in a social world.*5 Families similarly create a corpus of connected and shared tales and Elinor Ochs’s studies in progress on family dinner-table talk begin to shed light on how this is accomplished.46 Institutions, too, as we know from the innovative work of Eric Hobsbawm, “invent” traditions out of previously ordinary happenings and then endow them with privileged sta- tus,47 And there are principles of jurisprudence, like stare decisis, that guarantee a tradition by assuring that once a “case” has been interpreted in one way, future cases that are “similar” shall be interpreted and decided equivalently. Insofar as the law insists on such accrual of cases as “prece- dents,” and insofar as “cases” are narratives, the legal system imposes an orderly process of narrative accrual.

Bruner at inFed
Bruner summary at SimplyPsychology

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Two Sided Coin

Then what are the most essential learnings from your 20 years of dealing with and researching change?

Michael Jarrett:Good question. Let me try to highlight them. First, external factors are often the driver for change, but how organizations respond is the critical factor. Then, too, the managerial capabilities of companies help determine organizational responses; so, the change leadership at the top, middle and bottom is something to be audited and bolstered.

I’d also note that organizations with greater levels of internal dynamic capabilities have a source of competitive advantage as they can adapt more easily. Again, the more locked into the status quo, the more cumbersome any company becomes when it tries to convert a desire to change into real action.

But I should add a caveat or two. Radical change is not the answer for everyone. It’s important to gauge how much change is needed. Incremental and process changes work in relatively stable environments. The invention of the transistor shook the entire electronics industry. The kind of change your own company is facing may not be that profound, and so you must not overreact to change. High-change organizations do better in volatile environments than their lower-change counterparts. In stable environments, the differences are not as significant. Over 20 years, I have seen some organizations face change and succeed; and I have seen some organizations confront change and remain inert. Those who banked on inertia to propel themselves into the future are no longer around. [src pdf]

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Neil DeGrasse Tyson-Bill Moyer

Very worthwhile…

‘Celebrity scientist’ has always rubbed me a bit oddly. Tyson’s research isn’t the highlight of his Wikipedia entry. He’s a communicator! About science!

The Perimeter of Ignorance

We need an army of communicators about science in a nation where something like only 20% of the populace understand that creationism and intelligent design are bunkum.

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Planet Tally!

keplers tally

Link to superb visualization at New York Times.

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Breaking Up Wholes

MAry Parler Follett

Proto-cybernetician; cornerstone pragmatist. Mary Parker Follett [Wikipedia] ‘s Creative Experience (1924) is foundational for me. (online version)

Constructive Conflict by Mary Parker Follett
–Paper presented at Bureau of Personnel Administration conference, January 1925 (pdf)

The psychiatrist tells his patient that he cannot help him unless he is honest in
wanting his conflict to end. The “uncovering” which every book on psychology has
rubbed into us from some years now as a process of the utmost importance for solving the
conflicts, which the individual has within himself, is equally important for the relations
between groups, classes, races, and nations. In business, the employer, in dealing either
with his associates or his employees, has to get underneath all the camouflage, has to find
the real demand as against the demand put forward, distinguish declared motive from real
motive, alleged cause from real cause, and to remember that sometimes the underlying
motive is deliberately concealed and that sometimes it exists unconsciously.
The first rule, then, for obtaining integration is to put your cards on the table, face
the real issue, uncover the conflict, bring the whole thing into the open….

….This method of breaking up wholes is the way you deal with business
problems; it is the method, which precedes business decisions….

….This is the most important word, not only for business relations, but for all
human relations: not to adapt ourselves to a situation—we are all, or rather each, of too
little importance to the world for that; but to take account of that reciprocal adjustment,
that interactive behavior between the situation and ourselves.

Mary Parker Follett @InFed

Mary Parker Follett Network

Mary Parker Follett saw into the situation of the relations between manager and employee–what was at the time termed industrial relations–before there was much of any accurate conceptual psychological language to help her. She works both forward and backward from her observation of the transactional interpersonal system to discover propositions which anticipate systems-theoretical views.

Current-day management leaders such as Peter Drucker and Rosabeth Moss Kanter have cited Mary Parker Follett as guru and prophet given her foreknowledge of systems theory, action research and leadership. She viewed business as a social institution and work itself as a community service, concepts particularly relevant in the context of understanding social entrepreneurship. Referencing two of her works, “The Individual in Society” and “Business in Society”, this paper introduces Follett, defines social entrepreneurship and presents her ideas as timely insights on the meaning of work, ethics and the role of business in society.

Circular response: Response is always to a relation. I respond, not only to you, but to the relation between you and me.  My behaviour helps create the situation to which I am responding. That implies (what we have daily to take into account) that my behaviour is helping to develop the situation to which I am responding the developing situation makes it impossible to develop a map of the future.

(1) Social experience is the basis of state structure.
(2) Sovereignty is relative to the capacity to rule oneself, to rule a group or a state.
(3) State structure is the expression of elements of identity in purpose.
(4) The will of a group is not atomic but is the common expression of individual wills.
(5) Rich experience can only come through actual experiences in group life. There must be experience in a variety of groups. Because of the multiplicity of human nature no one group can exhaust the capacity of the modern citizen.
(6) Individual and group are not antitheses.
(7) The individual is the ultimate unit which is more diversified than any group can be.
(8) There is no necessary contradiction between the citizen and the state.
(9) Freedom and determinism are not opposites.
(10) Self and others are not opposites.

The Enduring Contribution 

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