Wednesday, April 26, 2006

17 Learning Techniques for Lectures

You’re a teacher, a lecturer, a professor. You have an hour’s worth of lecturing to do. How do you help your students get more out of your stuff, so you won’t see them nodding off after half an hour? Try these facilitated learning techniques.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Otte opråb om forskning

1. Det er ikke primært flere
forskningsmidler, vi har brug for
Alle forskere ønsker flere penge til forskningen. Men det er ikke mængden af forskningsmidler, det kommer an på, men hvad de bruges til. Mere af det samme fører os ingen nye steder hen. Vi kan få langt mere samfundsmæssigt udbytte af forskningen ved at forskerne ændrer karakteren af deres forskning - som jeg hævder i min bog "Forskning i sammenhænge" (Multivers, 2006).

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Did Luhmann Write over Maturana's Dead Body?

I read an interesting factoid in the Wikipedia the other day: that ”Maturana has explicitly refused to be cited by Luhmann as a supporting theorist” (in the entry on Niklas Luhmann). This is remarkable, to put it mildly, in light of the fact that Luhmann’s entire mature oeuvre, twenty years of work and almost as many books, is built on Maturana’s concept of autopoiesis.

Tjener samfundsforskningen samfundet?

[Trykt i Weekendavisen, Ideer s. 8, d. 9. juni 2006]

Er samfundsvidenskaberne indrettet på at hjælpe samfundet udvikle sig? Nej, det var synd at sige.
I de seneste år er forskningen overraskende kommet i politisk medvind. Politikerne forestiller sig, at forskning fører til økonomisk vækst og velfærd. De bliver naturligvis ikke modsagt af universiteterne, for her er jo endelig en chance for større bevillinger.

Forskning for samfundet?

Trykt i Information, 18. april 2006

Information har i en serie artikler med temaet ”Ud af kosteskabet” belyst det spørgsmål, jeg rejser i min bog, Forskning i sammenhænge: Bidrager forskerne nok til udvikling af liv og samfund? Eller medfører deres forskningsmetoder og karrierehensyn, at de specialiserer sig ned i snævre huller, hvor fx samfundsforskerne blot beskriver samfundsproblemer frem for at bidrage til at løse dem?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Research that Connects

I have a new book out, in Danish: "Forskning i sammenhænge", or "Research that Connects".

I argue that the natural and social sciences should contribute more to the development of life and society than they do now. Scientists are much too concerned with publishability and careers. They could become involved by studying the way the natural world is connected or coheres and ways the social world could cohere.

Facilitation: a Key Distinction

Here's a conceptual challenge for students of facilitation. You can't tell people, "Make sure to have fun at the party and laugh a lot." That's nonsense. But you can tell people, "Walk around these chairs, and when the music stops, find a free seat quickly."

Likewise, on a more serious note, a mediator can't tell people in conflict, "Get over it." But she can tell them, "Each of you, tell me how you see the issues, and please don't interrupt each other. Then I will help you make a list of your issues. Then you will come up with many ideas on what to do about the first issue on your list, then the second..." and so on, all through the six steps of a mediation. Which may finally help the parties get over their conflict.

How do you express this difference in general terms? What is it that a facilitator can and cannot do?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Action Knowledge

There is much talk of the knowledge society. But for that, we need a new understanding of what knowledge is: Action knowledge. For a start, I think we need to distinguish between knowledge and information.

In an airport, the four monitors displaying departures and gates offer information. Only the one line about my flight turns into knowledge as I read it: “The gate just closed, I gotta run!”

Information is cool facts about the world. Knowledge is the hot stuff I can use to act. Information may or may not be relevant to anyone. Knowledge is only what is relevant to someone, that is, useful, meaningful, valuable and personally important. Information is parceled into bits, facts and statistics, but knowledge is always contextual.