Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.

5.01.2012

Another Convergence

One of the areas David Brooks explores repeatedly in The Social Animal is non-linear associations and intuitive connections, so I figure I just have to go ahead and post this.  I was holding onto this quote to decide if I had a use for it or not, when I ran across the graphic that follows.

The quote:

At first, Harold's primary concern was being a good member of his clique.  Social life absorbed his most intense energies.  Fear of exclusion was his primary source of anxiety.  Understanding the shifting rules of the clique was his most demanding cognitive challenge.

The students would burn out if forced to spend their entire day amidst the social intensity of the cafeteria and the hallway.  Fortunately, the school authorities also schedule dormant periods, called classes, during which students can rest their minds and take a break from the pressures of social categorization.  Students correctly understand, though adults appear not to, that socialization is the most intellectually demanding and morally important thing they will do in high school.

I was debating sharing it because I'm still processing just how accurate I feel the statement is and how completely I agree, but there's definitely evidence to support his assertion.  This is being widely shared, but I'll continue the link chain by attributing it to the source from which I discovered it.

Student's Brain Flatlines During Class

In a report designed to prove the feasibility of measuring electrodermal activity on subjects going about their daily life, at least one student showed near brain-death during class.

Am I exaggerating?  Yes.  But, even so, brain patterns during class matched watching TV closer than any other activity on the list.  Studying and homework, lab work, and socializing got more of his attention… sleep was a veritable mental work-out compared to class.


This very fact is one of my biggest criticisms of school and the usual approaches to education, that the experience is predominantly passive and includes huge chunks of waiting and mental inactivity.  However, Brooks's point that schools provide socialization experiences that are important for success in life is one of my main doubts about homeschooling or other options that take students away from those mainstream settings.  So no conclusions yet, just a convergence of related thoughts from different sources.

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