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Re: [alt-ed-india] research -memory and looking

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  • Rajesh Lele
    Dear Clive, Some comments and thoughts. ... It could be both. However, The fact that it is less ... Like I mentioned in the previous post, it is more expedient
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 7, 2005
      Dear Clive,

      Some comments and thoughts.

      > One issue raised for me by this research centred on the question: is this
      > category based induction a natural thing for the adult brain, or is it
      > brought about by the sort of education we receive?

      It could be both. However,

      The fact that it is less
      > efficient than a child's method of remembering seems significant in this
      > respect.

      Like I mentioned in the previous post, it is more expedient for adults
      to think this way given the vast quantity of information to be
      processed and taken from the basic level of learning (recall of
      information) to higher levels (analysis, application, etc)

      > Doesn't this describe our lack of real attention in the world in general?

      No. It merely acknowledges what we already know.

      > Isn't it a fact that as long as we categorise what we see, everything is
      > interpreted according to what we already know?

      How else would you attempt to interpret things unless you first try to
      understand it with something you already know. What we do with the new
      information determines our 'openness' and willingness to learn. That
      said, it does not mean that everything new is good and all that we
      know should keep getting junked with time and new information. An open
      mind does not mean a hole in the head!

      > is it possible to educate and raise a child so that he doesn't loose the
      > ability to look at the world?

      I would turn this question on its head and ask if it is possible to
      get adults to do this. To learn how children learn - make connections
      where seemingly there are none, think beyond the box, to explore and
      evaluate.

      In fact, today creativity is a hot subject in corporate training
      circles in India. What we are in a sense talking about is the
      unleashing of the creative adult mind in exploring and connecting. And
      to look at life like a child does.

      --
      Warm Regards

      Rajesh Lele


      On Fri, 7 Jan 2005 20:43:18 +1300, Clive Elwell <cliveelwell@...> wrote:
      >
      > One issue raised for me by this research centred on the question: is this
      > category based induction a natural thing for the adult brain, or is it
      > brought about by the sort of education we receive? The fact that it is less
      > efficient than a child's method of remembering seems significant in this
      > respect.
      >
      > " . . . . once they determined whether the animal pictured was a cat, they
      > paid no more attention . . . "
      >
      > Doesn't this describe our lack of real attention in the world in general?
      > And what a loss this is! We don't look at anything, except to sort of
      > reassure ourselves that something is there, except to give it a name and
      > pass on.
      >
      > Isn't it a fact that as long as we categorise what we see, everything is
      > interpreted according to what we already know? So there is no space, no
      > capacity for anything new in our life? Of course there is an area where to
      > categorise is essential, the material, scientific, technological world. But
      > is that all there is to life?
      >
      > This research brings to mind what J. Krishnamurti said "teach a child the
      > name of something and he will never look at that thing again" (not perhaps
      > exact)..
      >
      > So what does this research, and our own observations, point towards? Is it
      > possible to educate a child to actually look at the world? Or is this
      > considered to have no value? Or perhaps that is a wrong question, rather is
      > it possible to educate and raise a child so that he doesn't loose the
      > ability to look at the world? The world includes himself.
      >
      > ~ Clive
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Rajesh Lele" <rajesh.lele@...>
      > To: <alt-ed-india@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Friday, January 07, 2005 6:16 PM
      > Subject: Re: [alt-ed-india] research -memory and looking
      >
      >
      > Dear All,
      >
      > This article to some extent shows that "there is nothing new under the
      > sun". It is well known that children use a 'connection-based' approach
      > to learning while adults use a classification-based system.
      >
      > The issue is not that one is better than the other, but which is more
      > expedient to use.
      >
      > According to principles of adult learning, adults will learn better
      > when the learning is directly related to a real-world problem and is
      > relevant to them. In most situations, especially, workplace related,
      > the increasing information complexity calls for quick classification.
      > And adults need to go beyond just recall. The need application which
      > is far more real-world than children.
      >
      > However, the same is not the case with children. IF we allow them to
      > explore, connect and discover, rather than classify, their recall is
      > higher. That is all that the article says.
      >
      > In fact, I would to some extent say that thre premise of this article,
      > that adults 'do not recall as well as children' is in itself a bit
      > faulty, since adults need to go beyond recall -- into analysis,
      > application and synthesis of information as part of the learning
      > process.
      >
      > The idea should be to move children, from mere recall of information -
      > which is the first stage of the learning process, and what our entire
      > educational system are champions of - but go into what is known to be
      > the "higher order order learning" - analysis, application and
      > synthesis of information.
      >
      >
      > --
      > Warm Regards
      >
      > Rajesh Lele
      >
      >
      > On Tue, 4 Jan 2005 08:56:58 +1300, Clive Elwell <cliveelwell@...>
      > wrote:
      > > I wonder what do people think is the significance of this research to the
      > > issues of education?
      > >
      > > ~ Clive
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Next time, maybe you'll believe your kid. Small
      > > children apparently have better memories than their parents, researchers
      > > reported on Thursday.
      > >
      > > They found a 5-year-old could beat most adults on a recognition memory
      > > test,
      > > at least under specific conditions. And the reason is that adults know
      > too
      > > much.
      > >
      > > "It's one case where knowledge can actually decrease memory accuracy,"
      > said
      > > Vladimir Sloutsky, director of the Center for Cognitive Science at Ohio
      > > State University, who led the study.
      > >
      > > For their study, researchers showed 77 young children and 71 college
      > > students pictures of cats, bears and birds. The study was designed to
      > make
      > > the volunteers look at the pictures but they did not know what was being
      > > tested.
      > >
      > > Writing in the journal Psychological Science, the researchers said the
      > > children, with an average age of 5, were accurate 31 percent of the time
      > in
      > > identifying pictures of animals they had seen earlier, while the adults
      > > were
      > > accurate only 7 percent of the time.
      > >
      > > The reason, Sloutsky believes, is that children used a different form of
      > > reasoning called similarity-based induction when they analyzed the
      > > pictures.
      > > When shown subsequent pictures of animals they looked carefully to see if
      > > the animal looked similar to the original cat.
      > >
      > > Adults, however, used category-based induction -- once they determined
      > > whether the animal pictured was a cat, they paid no more attention. So
      > when
      > > they were tested later, the adults didn't recognize the pictures as well
      > as
      > > the children.
      > >
      > > "The adults didn't care about a specific cat-- all they wanted to know
      > was
      > > whether the animal was a cat or not," Sloutsky said.
      > >
      > > And when taught to use category-based induction like adults, the
      > children's
      > > ability to remember dropped to the level of adults.
      > >
      > > © Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      >
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    • Clive Elwell
      Perhaps an open mind means the capacity to see things as the actually are. To do this implies an entire absence of categorisation. It does not mean that we
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 8, 2005
        Perhaps an open mind means the capacity to see things as the actually are.
        To do this implies an entire absence of categorisation. It does not mean
        that we registar and accumulate knowledge about what is seen.

        My point is that categorisation does have its place. It is essential in the
        material, technical world. Categorisation is the very essence of thought,
        which is measurement. But when it becomes the only response to the world, we
        have no real relationship with the world.

        And school encourages this domination of thought. It is the place were
        thought is the subject :

        How to think and what to think (reasoning, memory, ..)
        Becoming well conditionned ( morality, skills, ..)
        Being selected for some kind of job, ...

        But thought is nothing more than a mechanical process. And nothing really
        unknown, really new can come from thought

        Thinking is useful but it is secondary. It is "seeing" which is the point

        ~ Clive

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Rajesh Lele" <rajesh.lele@...>
        To: <alt-ed-india@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2005 1:36 AM
        Subject: Re: [alt-ed-india] research -memory and looking



        Dear Clive,

        Some comments and thoughts.

        > One issue raised for me by this research centred on the question: is this
        > category based induction a natural thing for the adult brain, or is it
        > brought about by the sort of education we receive?

        It could be both. However,

        The fact that it is less
        > efficient than a child's method of remembering seems significant in this
        > respect.

        Like I mentioned in the previous post, it is more expedient for adults
        to think this way given the vast quantity of information to be
        processed and taken from the basic level of learning (recall of
        information) to higher levels (analysis, application, etc)

        > Doesn't this describe our lack of real attention in the world in general?

        No. It merely acknowledges what we already know.

        > Isn't it a fact that as long as we categorise what we see, everything is
        > interpreted according to what we already know?

        How else would you attempt to interpret things unless you first try to
        understand it with something you already know. What we do with the new
        information determines our 'openness' and willingness to learn. That
        said, it does not mean that everything new is good and all that we
        know should keep getting junked with time and new information. An open
        mind does not mean a hole in the head!

        > is it possible to educate and raise a child so that he doesn't loose the
        > ability to look at the world?

        I would turn this question on its head and ask if it is possible to
        get adults to do this. To learn how children learn - make connections
        where seemingly there are none, think beyond the box, to explore and
        evaluate.

        In fact, today creativity is a hot subject in corporate training
        circles in India. What we are in a sense talking about is the
        unleashing of the creative adult mind in exploring and connecting. And
        to look at life like a child does.

        --
        Warm Regards

        Rajesh Lele


        On Fri, 7 Jan 2005 20:43:18 +1300, Clive Elwell <cliveelwell@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > One issue raised for me by this research centred on the question: is this
        > category based induction a natural thing for the adult brain, or is it
        > brought about by the sort of education we receive? The fact that it is
        less
        > efficient than a child's method of remembering seems significant in this
        > respect.
        >
        > " . . . . once they determined whether the animal pictured was a cat, they
        > paid no more attention . . . "
        >
        > Doesn't this describe our lack of real attention in the world in general?
        > And what a loss this is! We don't look at anything, except to sort of
        > reassure ourselves that something is there, except to give it a name and
        > pass on.
        >
        > Isn't it a fact that as long as we categorise what we see, everything is
        > interpreted according to what we already know? So there is no space, no
        > capacity for anything new in our life? Of course there is an area where to
        > categorise is essential, the material, scientific, technological world.
        But
        > is that all there is to life?
        >
        > This research brings to mind what J. Krishnamurti said "teach a child the
        > name of something and he will never look at that thing again" (not perhaps
        > exact)..
        >
        > So what does this research, and our own observations, point towards? Is it
        > possible to educate a child to actually look at the world? Or is this
        > considered to have no value? Or perhaps that is a wrong question, rather
        is
        > it possible to educate and raise a child so that he doesn't loose the
        > ability to look at the world? The world includes himself.
        >
        > ~ Clive
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Rajesh Lele" <rajesh.lele@...>
        > To: <alt-ed-india@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Friday, January 07, 2005 6:16 PM
        > Subject: Re: [alt-ed-india] research -memory and looking
        >
        >
        > Dear All,
        >
        > This article to some extent shows that "there is nothing new under the
        > sun". It is well known that children use a 'connection-based' approach
        > to learning while adults use a classification-based system.
        >
        > The issue is not that one is better than the other, but which is more
        > expedient to use.
        >
        > According to principles of adult learning, adults will learn better
        > when the learning is directly related to a real-world problem and is
        > relevant to them. In most situations, especially, workplace related,
        > the increasing information complexity calls for quick classification.
        > And adults need to go beyond just recall. The need application which
        > is far more real-world than children.
        >
        > However, the same is not the case with children. IF we allow them to
        > explore, connect and discover, rather than classify, their recall is
        > higher. That is all that the article says.
        >
        > In fact, I would to some extent say that thre premise of this article,
        > that adults 'do not recall as well as children' is in itself a bit
        > faulty, since adults need to go beyond recall -- into analysis,
        > application and synthesis of information as part of the learning
        > process.
        >
        > The idea should be to move children, from mere recall of information -
        > which is the first stage of the learning process, and what our entire
        > educational system are champions of - but go into what is known to be
        > the "higher order order learning" - analysis, application and
        > synthesis of information.
        >
        >
        > --
        > Warm Regards
        >
        > Rajesh Lele
        >
        >
        > On Tue, 4 Jan 2005 08:56:58 +1300, Clive Elwell <cliveelwell@...>
        > wrote:
        > > I wonder what do people think is the significance of this research to
        the
        > > issues of education?
        > >
        > > ~ Clive
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Next time, maybe you'll believe your kid. Small
        > > children apparently have better memories than their parents,
        researchers
        > > reported on Thursday.
        > >
        > > They found a 5-year-old could beat most adults on a recognition memory
        > > test,
        > > at least under specific conditions. And the reason is that adults know
        > too
        > > much.
        > >
        > > "It's one case where knowledge can actually decrease memory accuracy,"
        > said
        > > Vladimir Sloutsky, director of the Center for Cognitive Science at Ohio
        > > State University, who led the study.
        > >
        > > For their study, researchers showed 77 young children and 71 college
        > > students pictures of cats, bears and birds. The study was designed to
        > make
        > > the volunteers look at the pictures but they did not know what was
        being
        > > tested.
        > >
        > > Writing in the journal Psychological Science, the researchers said the
        > > children, with an average age of 5, were accurate 31 percent of the
        time
        > in
        > > identifying pictures of animals they had seen earlier, while the adults
        > > were
        > > accurate only 7 percent of the time.
        > >
        > > The reason, Sloutsky believes, is that children used a different form
        of
        > > reasoning called similarity-based induction when they analyzed the
        > > pictures.
        > > When shown subsequent pictures of animals they looked carefully to see
        if
        > > the animal looked similar to the original cat.
        > >
        > > Adults, however, used category-based induction -- once they determined
        > > whether the animal pictured was a cat, they paid no more attention. So
        > when
        > > they were tested later, the adults didn't recognize the pictures as
        well
        > as
        > > the children.
        > >
        > > "The adults didn't care about a specific cat-- all they wanted to know
        > was
        > > whether the animal was a cat or not," Sloutsky said.
        > >
        > > And when taught to use category-based induction like adults, the
        > children's
        > > ability to remember dropped to the level of adults.
        > >
        > > © Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        >
        >



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