Minneapolis Somali man using cartoons to counter ISIS recruitment | MPR News

Read here: https://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/11/24/daily-circuit-average-mohamed

The videos, aimed at ages 8 to 16, often directly respond to videos already online.

“We take the ideology piece by piece, value for value, and we create that counter-narrative,” he said on The Daily Circuit. “That counter-narrative is meant to question, challenge and agitate minds into not accepting what has been told in the propaganda videos that these organizations of extremism keep on creating.”

Ahmed said he’s taking the videos to mosques, community youth organizations and even families dealing with a family member joining an extremist group. He said it’s important to reach the siblings in this moment to help them understand other ways to look at their religious beliefs.

Source: https://youtu.be/7vJ-SlxjRrQ

Source: https://youtu.be/j_1F_yGw7SQ

Want to praise the children? Don’t just say ‘well done’ | The Straits Times

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/want-to-praise-the-children-dont-just-say-well-done?

When you label a child as “clever”, you are not helping them. For smart kids can all too easily think that effort is something that only those who are less clever have to put in to achieve results.

Instead, we need to be specific with our praise and focus on how the outcome was achieved:

“I really noticed how much effort you put into selecting interesting vocabulary in your opening paragraph. Well done!”

Or we might want more explicitly to connect the effort and the result in the child’s mind by asking:

“Tell me how you organised your practice so that you managed to play that piece so beautifully.”

Praise which helps children see that success is a function of effort or practice or certain learning strategies develops a “growth mindset”. With this mindset, children believe their intelligence can increase through hard work and they value learning over performance.

Why does that matter? Young people with this mindset outperform their peers in tests and examinations, as well as develop vital capabilities like persistence. In short, they become better learners.

Questions:

  • Is it important to praise someone?
  • Do you agree that praise for effort is more important than praise for success? What if someone put in effort, but they didn’t do a good job?
  • What kind of praise do you like to receive?

Jane Elliot and the blue-eyed children experiment

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/07/jane-elliot-and-the-blue-eyed-children-experiment/

While today such an experiment on children in the public school system would likely see the teacher promptly fired and lawsuits against the district pop up, it should be noted that later tests done on the children Elliot ran this experiment on over the years (approximately 450 kids), performed by the University of Northern Iowa, showed that they were significantly less racist than other students their age, both compared to other students in the school itself, and the local community.  Not only this, but they also seemed to have helped make their fellow students who didn’t have the experiment run on them less racist, as the school as a whole scored better than similar schools in this way, with, of course, Elliot’s former students scoring the best of all.  Further, this effect was lasting as the children grew to adulthood.  So while it is a harsh method of teaching, the lesson seems to have been learned well- racism, particularly when based on arbitrary things like the color of something, is silly.

Questions:

  • Do you think certain people are better than others? For example, the Chinese are better at Math than white people?
  • Why do people have stereotypes about others? Are these stereotypes useful or do they serve to distance people?
  • How can a more egalitarian world be built?

Economic disruption and our children’s future | The Straits Times

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/economic-disruption-and-our-childrens-future

Many of these people are packing up and leaving their home countries to find jobs overseas, armed with master’s degrees and PhDs. They are prepared to go to China, learn Mandarin (some speak it even better than many Chinese Singaporeans), immerse themselves in the local culture and compete for jobs that pay non-expatriate packages.

If I were to turn the scenario around to our Singaporean graduates, how many of us are prepared to do the same? If your answer is yes, my next question is, what is the competitive edge you have that other people do not? Can you weather the uncertainty and disruption in today’s complex world?

Singaporeans are trained to spot 10-year series answers. My business counterparts in multinational corporations tell me they like to hire Singaporeans because we are honest, law-abiding and hard-working. We are good at following rules and instructions. For these reasons, we make great heads of internal audit, compliance managers and finance heads.

These are not bad things. But have Singaporeans become victims of their own strong values? The pessimists will say that we cannot be in leadership positions. Leaders are supposed to be flexible enough to manage ambiguity and complexity as they arise. Leaders are supposed to make judgment calls, even with incomplete and imperfect information. We often work well within a clearly defined structure, but may feel uneasy when asked to create something new from the whole cloth.

Questions:

  • Does the current education system prepare students for the ‘real’ world?
  • Is it better to be a good student or have interesting experiences?

Making time for teachers to hone their craft | The Straits Times

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/making-time-for-teachers-to-hone-their-craft

The worry is that the education service is losing trained and talented professionals, and their wealth of experience. Teaching is a complex craft that requires time and effort to perfect. Experienced teachers cannot be replaced overnight by new ones.

That’s because while it takes a decent teacher to deliver content, it requires a great one to break it down in a way that helps students learn. That is a skill honed over time.

What they seek most is assurance that they will be given more time to hone their craft, and to carry out the research and crafting of lesson plans that will enable them to teach their charges more effectively.

The irony is that good teachers are quitting the service to enter the lucrative tuition business because it allows them to focus on teaching and getting better at it. Some former teachers turned tutors say they get a sense of satisfaction from being able to teach so effectively they can guarantee their students a string of As.

“I just sued the school system.”

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

~ Albert Einstein

Source: https://youtu.be/dqTTojTija8

(The background music is kinda distracting though.)

Questions:

  • What do you think of the education system in your country?
  • What is the aim of education, and does it prepare the students adequately?
  • Many people feel that the education system is outdated. How can it be improved?