07 November 2007

Beauty in Statistics?

"Nocturne, of Chopin, so beautiful music. But few people will appreciate the music if I just show them the notes. Most of us need to listen to the music to understand how beautiful it is.

"But often that's how we present statistics; we just show the notes we don't play the music."

Hans Roslings - OECD World Forum - Istanbul 2007

To see how this guy has worked to unveil the beauty of statistics watch these two videos from the TED conferences (he's plays with UN statistical data like a little boy who composes a drawing by telling himself the story as he draws each bit.):



His discussion of the components of ending world poverty and prioritizing them as both goals and means is very interesting! (near the end of second video)

The great visualization tools that he uses in these videos is available on-line to play with. There are also a great suite of presentations, too.


05 November 2007

Q&A Core Concepts of Learning

This post has been converted to a page on my site:

Education: Attitutor Learning Theory
Learning is automatic, unconscious and impossibe to avoid. A learning theory based on learning, not just teaching.

It was originally created for Yahoo! Answers:

What are core beliefs that are important to you when you think about learning?

posted by thmtom

Q&A Core Concepts of Teaching

from Yahoo! Answers:

What are core beliefs that are important to you when you think about teaching?

posted by thmtom

Answer Written by Don Berg, Attitutor:

Teaching is the process of assisting someone else to share in your view of the world, usually a view informed by a particular community that shares certain narrative forms and assumptions about the world. Those communities are often called subjects, disciplines, or fields of study.

Another important core belief is that students do not need teachers, but teachers need students, therefore there is an inherent imbalance of power that a good teacher will NOT attempt to compensate for. A good teacher takes advantage of the fact of the student's position of superior power in the relationship. (This is the core of my fundamental critique of mainstream classroom teaching contexts, they put teachers in a reversed power situation that is fundamentally untenable.) The leverage that a proper teacher has over students for the purposes of getting them to conform to the discipline being taught is the privileged access to the world view the student desires to experience.

Thus, there is, in fact, a balance of power in a proper student/ teacher relationship. The student does not need the teacher except for the fact that the teacher has privileged access to the narrative community that the student wants to join. The student is perfectly capable of going to other teachers or learning to access the narrative community through it's literature directly. This is especially true today through the internet. The advantage of using a real teacher, and especially a really good teacher is that the teacher can enable a student to learn much faster and with purposeful direction that leads to the heart of the field.

It is a tragic mistake that mainstream schooling has positioned teachers as dictatorial behavior managers. It is a tremendous waste of time and energy that could be much more productively directed to real learning and teaching.


My web sites:

My book:
Attitude First: A Leadership Strategy for Educational Success

I adapted this answer for my web site here.

Q&A Core Concepts of Leadership

This post has been converted to a page on my site:

Leadership: Leadership Is Not Management
Leadership is about aligning the context of an organization to meet the needs of those inside, those outside it, and other organizations. Management is just meeting the needs of the organization.

It was originally written for Yahoo! Answers:

What are core beliefs that are important to you when you think about leadership?

posted by thmtom

03 November 2007

Q&A Convincing Mom To Home School

from Yahoo! Answers:

How to convince my mom to let me get homeschooled?

I'm fifteen and a sophmore and in HS and have decent grades.. I just can't stand going to private schools anymore and she won't let me go to public.. I do go out with friends alot so I'm not worried about socialization.. What can I do to convince her this would be better for me?

Additional Details:

Thanks.. My friends wouldnt do it.. Does someone have to actually teach you or can you teach yourself in homeschooling and just get a tutor once a week to check up on you or something? What should I say to my mom to make it seem as though I'm not going to slack off or anything?

Thanks sooo much! I'm deffinatly going to start looking into different programs and hopefully by Christmas I'll be able to convince her that I can do it.. She works full time and I don't have a dad so the assignments in the morning might be good.. As for my friends.. They wouldn't want to be homeschooled but they wouldn't care if I was.. Private school kids especially at the all girls school I go to are horrible and my mom just doesn't understand.

posted by: Steph P

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters (written by Don Berg, Attitutor)

Great idea!

First, do your homework. ;-)

You should approach your Mom with a well thought out case for not only why you want to do it, but several options for how to do it.

Check out the local laws via the HSLDA site (I'm assuming you are in the USA) so that you know exactly how to obey the laws.

And as an additional resource for planning your escape from school I recommend the Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get Real Life and Education.

Good luck!


Teenage Liberation Handbook

Home School Legal Defense Association

02 November 2007

Q&A Which attitude is correct?

from Yahoo! Answers:

Which attitude is correct?

I was a person who took the responsibility of each and everything. When a person hurt me or block my path, I always thought in his favour, that he is not wrong if behaving like this, he is forced to do that as he can't resist that. And then I go on continue my work. But there is someone who had been so adamant in blocking my path that finally I started to blame her as I was bearing her for 4 or 5 years. Now I couldn't control My anger.But one day when I started to blame her in front of a friend, he said, "Upto when you will do like this,blaming others for your condition. You and no one is responsible for your own condition.But at times, you would have got emotional while you just had to keep your eye at your goal." and so on. Actually, he was meeting me after so many years and did'nt know about me at all. I later understood that he meant that we should fight with those people. That way,I agree, the goal would be achieved. But would not we abusing them ? That too, when she is mother.

posted by anuragsrawat

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker (written by Don Berg, Attitutor)

The attitude that is correct is the attitude that leads to well being for both you and those around you.

Your initial attitude of taking responsibility for everything seemed correct, except that when the situation got worse you succumbed to your humanity by getting angry but you did not have the ability to control it.

Your initial attitude was flawed. Instead of dealing positively with the natural feelings of resentment that follow from being abused by others, you denied those feelings. Then, when those feelings finally broke through your denial you were out of control.

Your initial attitude was an illusion of responsibility, not the real thing. True responsibility is being able to deal with reality through creative responses to what is actually happening. Your initial version of responsibility denied the reality of your feelings about what was happening to you and so you have suffered the consequences of your lack of responsibility through uncontrollable anger.

If you want to be truly responsible for everything that happens to you, which is a very good idea, then you have to find ways to acknowledge the reality of both the events that happen to you and all your thoughts and feelings about those events. Denying your feelings, even "negative" feelings, is a denial of what is really happening. Although it is usually wise not to express them wantonly and in situations that will cause strife. Gossip is not helpful.

What you need is a trusted confidante. Someone, or better yet a group of people, who would accept your thoughts and feelings and help you deal with them without betraying them to others. For me that is mostly my girlfriend and my Mom. I have a religious community that I can trust, too.

The right attitude is the attitude that leads to well-being for all. That means that you acknowledge the abuse you receive and then find creative ways to express the negative feelings that will, inevitably, result from being abused. If you simply attack your abuser then you may enter a cycle of retribution, each of you taking revenge for the attacks of the other. And retribution cycles are not constructive, nor creative avenues for increasing well-being since they tend to spread to other people who are forced to take sides in the battle.

By all means take responsibility, but also remember to be respectful. Respect yourself by finding ways to safely express your feelings in private. Respect your community by finding ways to prevent abuse from spreading and eventually stop it, if possible. If you cannot stop the abuse, then see if you can escape the situation where the abuse happens.

My web sites:

Q&A Do you know any self teaching Singing tips?

from Yahoo! Answers:

Do you know any self teaching Singing tips?

Or an approximate cost of singing lessons?

posted by sylv_chick

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker (written by Don Berg, Attitutor)

If you don't have any training at all then I suggest you start with Singing Coach Unlimited Software. It's basically going to help you get the basics of matching pitch and begin to get you familiar with singing basics.

From my own first experience with singing lessons (before I got the software) it helps to get familiar with a keyboard enough to pluck out your practice pieces, so I also recommend Piano Wizard. It's a fun game environment for learning piano easily and naturally. If you get good at the game then it will eventually teach you to read musical notation, too. (I am having trouble getting both hands to work together on the basic game so it will be awhile before I get to the reading music phase.)

If you are an experienced singer, then you should look for live coaching to get beyond the basics. I don't have any idea about costs, but you should make sure that your teacher is someone you trust. Talk with them about their methods and philosophy. You won't necessarily understand everything they say, but if you are still comfortable with them then give it a try. Pay attention to your discomfort if they dismiss any of your questions or talk down to you in any way. Don't bother with someone who can't be sympathetic to your concerns and treat you with dignity.

Church choirs are a very good resources for doing some singing, getting instruction and asking around for good coaches.

Singing Coach Unlimited Site [No longer available, sorry :-(]

Piano Wizard Site
for a discount use this code: DBERG-11DON

Asker's Rating:
5 out of 5
Asker's Comment:
Great Help. Thank you.