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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

That OLD is NEW again

I heard the bell of Thorndike's Trail and Error success and B.F.Skinner's Reward and Punishment triumph in Psychology back in the college days. With them, I can fairly sketch Ivan Palov's Response and Stimuli and Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development feat. And not to forget that Swiss Psychologist Jean Piaget's robust and pungent theory of Constructivism.  
But that was six years ago. 
While six years is pretty good time to attain teaching maturity, having just focused to my teaching subject in the school has left my psychological wing injured with missing feathers of understanding key concepts of psychology. 
And today, I virtually survived that brutal kick of complacency because I felt like I was "knowing the unknowing". The old wine that I drank six years ago seemed to give me a new taste in a new bottle.
Thinking for that OLD in a NEW academy
I have never realized to hear the sound of, that once filled casket of my brain, dropping the academic gems on my journey to teaching. After traveling miles for the last six years, I am today totally awake, to explore many leaves of my learning wilted and drooped due to the severe drought of self-complacency and famine of the self-ignorance.  
In retrospection,  realizing my stand as a teacher in front of the students, makes me feel the burning flames of embarrassment because I happened to be a king in a country of blind. I was lucky I escaped unhurt from the bullets of children's query. 
And I wonder how stiff I was then wearing that ego tag to belief I know everything. 
When the pond frog is thrown into an ocean accidentally or deliberately, it knows how to calibrate its own specific heat capacity of the brainpower and perspicacity. 
So, learning again and again is never a mistake. 
To fairly advocate Lamarck's Law of Use and Disuse, I seriously felt that the LEARNING should be an another innate biological organ to be used at all times.  
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what has learned in school" -Albert Einstein

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Flip Classroom

Perhaps the term might sound ancient to the already heard, yet it was all neoteric to me. 
The concept was brewed into our lesson during the presentation from the Guest Speaker Associate Professor Dr. Chailerd Pichitpornchai
President of Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Dr. Chailerd
Currently the President of Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University in Thailand, Professor Chailerd is a medical doctor by profession. 
Walking into the circle of audience, "Sukhothai Thammathirat is the only open university in Thailand. Do you know the meaning of an OPEN? sternly asked the professor. 
The floor remained mute. But soon the clog of mutism was cleared when he answered himself. 
"Open means not closed". 
A huge torrent of laughter swept the class that even the moving hands of the clock was frozen for sometime to let him begin.
"Open means to have an education of all sorts (including distance teaching and learning) systems with an open-door academic policy", he cleared. 
Albeit the fumes of a flip classroom talk sounded captivating, it evaporated with the introduction of his topics on E-Learning and Instructional Design. 
Having attained the technological puberty, many schools in the world have shifted to a flip teaching
This is a kind of teaching model where home work becomes class work. The students learn a new concept and topics online by watching video lectures at home and attend the next class for discussion with their teachers. The teachers, instead of the usual lecture-based teaching, assumes the perfect role of a guide and a facilitator through series of interactions and discussions. In a gist, this kind of education portrays a perfect model of a guided learning. 
But, I was made to think whether such kind of learning model would be reachable to the network of our Bhutanese Education System? If we claim of having a proper internet connectivity throughout the kingdom, I bet, this sounds fairly a good deal to kick off. 
In the circle of academicians and scholars, prolonged debates have proven to have erupted with the lavas of advantages by following such model of teaching, while demerits are also accompanied as well.
Children would get an ample time to explore themselves at their own pace more privately and have unlimited fun in learning. Because they hold the remote to forward, pause or rewind the clip again and again, entire city of exploration is always conquerable. Further, the scholarly clips available in You-tube and Khan academy are the most powerful documents to assist such programs to sustain its life. 
Nonetheless, I feel our education system has miles to go and hard times to sweat to obtain this prescription of flip classroom. With poor internet connectivity, it would still remain as a question for some more time.
Should the hand of Zuckerberg's ambitious project of connecting 5 billion people reach Bhutan, the future is always promising. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Khan Academy

An insignia of Khan Academy

Founded by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate in September 2006, the Khan Academy is a non-profit educational site that hosts millions of free online video tutorials and micro lectures. 
An educator whose father is from Bangladesh and mother from India, Salman Khan invests in this site thousands of materials with just a click away. 
This website encloses a huge volume of materials on wide range of disciplines. The specialty of this site is that it has made unreachable reachable, complex simpler and unseen seen. This salient trait fits to suit his slogan, “A free world-class education for anyone anywhere” because the access door is open throughout.   
It is an educational one-stop-shop for educators particularly the teachers.
If you feel like to check it out, see this link:

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Nature Versus Nurture [Nativism Vs. Empiricism]

"Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select--doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief, and, yes, even beggar man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years."

The phrase that made an American psychologist John B. Watson well known for many centuries. His study in behaviorism has injected a lot of ideas in the field of psychology to accept the relation between the Nature and Nurture.     
He argued that even the heritable characters like that of a skin colour, eyes, height and hair [Nature] can be determined by the environmental or physical variables such as care, nature of home, oxygen and temperature [Nurture] during the process of onto-genesis [development]. That means, a mother who is dark and tall necessarily will not give birth to a dark and tall child. Environment has a crucial role to play in shaping the growth of the child.
This theory of Behaviorism was graciously put into an examination and proved that Nurture is just another hand of Nature to make a complete organism. 
Mr. KC Jose, a lecturer in English at Samtse College of Education demands a standing ovation for having established the theory with an abiding results.   
Our class, the B.Ed Secondary Science comprised of many potential candidates in their own caliber.
The study materials of an English Psychologist used to prove a scientific study: My class, 2007
I still remember many of them being remorseful and sharing the lumps of repentance for not being able to score few marks in class XII, making them wingless to fly abroad.We were the most disgruntling and malcontent lot that existed for few years. 
But things have changed in its colour as soon as Mr. Jose warmed the seat of our class adviser. He was a genius that most of our class will never forget. A foreigner by status, his care was more than a family touch that even a tiny portion of its heat was sufficient to melt the young hearts. 
He remained as the tag of our pride. We sailed in his boat of intelligence and insights. And 'Jose' soon metamorphosed to a Trademark of our class in the market of education college. 
Within a span of time, he revived the weak muscles of our repentance, ironed the wrinkles of our undesirable etiquette and spread the wings of his pregnant hug and care uniformly throughout. 
Eventually, the continuity of his care and guidance was never in vain. The lyrics of his hope was composed to a beautiful song that we shall never forget. 
Today, as a matter of pride, almost sixteen of the thirty two disciples of his Mr. Jose have completed and some undergoes Masters in Science abroad. 
Thanks to Mr. Jose for those unwavering support and seeing the bright light in our dim future. 
And of all, for being a behaviorist of the 21st century to prove that Environment [Nurture] is as important as the Nature itself.
The chicks that bloomed under the heat of Josean care

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Golden Ratio and the Fabonacci numbers

Today, I attended a class on Evolution of Science, Maths and Technology. I enjoyed a good appetite during the start of our ride that it was an oration of the great philosopher's discoveries based on their scientific instincts. 
Thales of Miletus and Anaximenes to Democritus and Aristotle possessed one thing in common: the scales of instincts and intuition seldom found in all human beings. 
They were very Creative to be Innovative. In the words of an Associate Professor Dr.Binyo Panijpan, Mahidol University, creative means production of anything but Innovation means production of something that had no similar existence before and therefore people use it. For instance, we publish a book chiseled out of our own creativity. If no body reads, it means we have just been creative enough but if everybody reads the book and uses it, that's being innovative and is thus, called innovation. 
So, all those scholars and intellectuals have been highly innovative. The things they discovered are put into an excessive use today. 
In the process of dissecting more on their noble innovations, I was forced to walk the bridge of mathematics as many of their discoveries has mathematics bricks used as a foundation.
Mathematics has never really been a good sauce for me while tasting the meal of science. And after I dropped it from the wing of the science stream in class XII, I struggled to fly even more because, Physics still needed some additional maths feathers.     

I surrendered before the bullets of mathematics
Our professor began with the discoveries of the Thales of Miletus and his strong bond with Mathematics. Instantly, I lost my sense from the repeated hit of his maths hammer because the jargons used were totally Greek to me. 
I happened to hear about the Golden Ratio and that so called Fabonacci numbers for the first time in my life. 
"Do you have any questions to ask?" grinned the professor to the audience, that comprised of nine MSc. students and two Ph.D candidates. 
"Professor, these are all Greek to me. Since I opted for Biology and didn't prefer mathematics after class XI, I am dull to ask you any question. And today, I felt like having a talk with the Thales of Miletus himself", I voiced.
The class roared into a huge laughter. My voice almost became like a string of fun for some to stretch it till the class got over. 
For any Mathematicians it might be just a cup of tea to uncover the meanings and its significance but to me, the concept was unreacheable to the network of my brain's comprehension. So, I had to frequently insert the new sim card of my attention and would still suffer from poor network receptivity. 
Thus, it is never a good thing to ignore mathematics particularly for science students. Science has its own share for mathematics to step in in the process of learning it. 
Now, forcefully, I am traveling reversely with an empty basket to collect those mathematical gems left before while my friends still carry some pieces of it, giving them an easy entry to sell it in the "market of learning mathematics'.  
This means, I have never invested any mathematical coins in the bank of my brain before, so I have to pay for the late mathematical disability now. At present, I am already hospitalized on my bed with a high fever and allergic appearances of the so-called Golden Ratio and the Fabonacci numbers. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Yalaroo Musicine

It is interesting to notice that a world has many things in its disposal. The fact that a diseased and the sick can be treated in the medical infirmary is interesting and extraordinary. And those substances fed to make them revive are called MEDICINES in the global language.
But yesterday night I discovered one medication for a person who suffers from an insomnia after I became one to undergo it.  Nothing could lower the fever of the disease that, I was engulfed by its tentacles till 3:49AM. 
I stretched to seek for an alternative to bury myself into a coffin of sleep but failed. Many attempts designed with a diverse set of stratagem collapsed. 
Eventually, I was reminded of William Shakespeare's tongue that rolled to utter "If music be the food of love, play one". Aptly said. 
I flipped the menu of songs that I had in my cellphone. And to my utter surprise, I had few songs that was of latest version to me. I played one and kept the rest to follow the tunnel of my ear, with both the windows of the eyes shut. 
The coffin where I was fed with a Yalaroo Musicine

The river of the song kept flowing and suddenly it turned mystical. The song Yalaroo...Yalarooo...though had beauty in its lyrics, injected me an anesthesia that gradually put me off to a sleep. I liked this medicine which was made from music. So, I termed this a Yalaroo Musicine. 
Musicine is derived from the word medicine that has 100 percent music content.


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