Category Archives: Professional Development

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975)

“German political philosopher naturalized U.S. citizen 1950. Arendt received her doctorate at the age of twenty-two from the University of Heidelberg, where she studied with Karl Jaspers. She fled Hitler’s Germany in 1933 and eventually settled in the U.S. (1941), where she held numerous teaching posts and became the first woman to be appointed full professor at Princeton University. She ended her career at the New School for Social Research in New York. Her reputation as a profound and independent philosophical analyst was launched with the publication of The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), in which she documented the belief that Nazism and Communism had their roots in the anti-Semitism and imperialism of the 15th century. She continued to offer challenging and unconventional theories about the decline in values in modern society, in such books as The Human Condition (1961), and Crises of the Republic (1972). A storm of controversy surrounded the publication of Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963), in which she suggested that even the Jews could be held partly responsible for Germany’s barbarisms in World War II. Her other works include On Revolution (1963) and On Violence (1970), in which she suggested that violence is a response to powerlessness. Her philosophically most ambitious work, The Life of the Mind (1978), a three-volume study of the fundamental mental activities thinking, willing, and judging, though unfinished (only the volumes Thinking and Willing were completed), it is a penetrating analysis of the processes of the mind and of their corresponding effects on action.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Countee Cullen (1903-1946)

 “American poet, novelist, critic, and dramatist. Cullen was one of the leading poets of the Harlem Renaissance during the 1920s. Following the traditional verse forms based in part on the works of John Keats, Cullen is best remembered for his poems treating contemporary racial issues. His first volume of seventy-three poems, Color (1925), won the Harmon Award for high achievement in literature. Among his most notable poems in the volume are ‘The Shroud of Color,’ ‘Heritage,’ ‘Yet Do I Marvel,’ and ‘Incident.’ His other published collections include The Ballad of the Brown Girl (1927), Copper Sun (1927), The Black Christ and Other Poems (1929) and The Medea and Some Poems (1935). He also edited Carolina Dusk: An Anthology of Verse by Negro Poets (1929). His only novel, One Way to Heaven (1932), was praised for its accurate portrayal of Harlem life. The Lost Zoo (1940) and My Lives and How I Lost Them (1942) are children’s books. Two important works published after his death were On These I Stand: An Anthology of the Best Poems of Countee Cullen (1947), and My Soul’s High Song: The Collected Writings of Countee Cullen, Voice of the Harlem Renaissance (1991). 

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

A Greek Word Root Checklist for Students in the Healthcare Professions

While I work in Lower Manhattan, I live way up in the the North Bronx. So, I have a long commute every day. Whether I take the 2 or the 5 train, I pass by 149th Street and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. The post office at that intersection has a Ben Shahn Mural in it; across the street is Hostos Community College, named after legendary Puerto Rican educator Eugenia Maria de Hostos and a part of our City’s respected engine of social mobility, The City University of New York, or CUNY.

Often, I will see Hostos students on the train, and I am aware that many of them are nursing students by virtue of the fact that they are wearing scrubs. The other thing that gives them away is their attention to their Greek word root flashcards, or by the fact that pairs of young people are drilling each other on those same Greek word roots. Ever since Hippocrates, and certainly before that, given that ancient Greece is the birthplace of science, philosophy, and the language in which those disciplines are expressed, the language of medicine has been Greek.

So for those of you pursuing careers in health care or the allied professions, here is a list of Greek word roots that form the basis of many words you will use in your professional lives. I hope you find it useful.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

David Dayen: Betsy DeVos’ Gut Punch to Defrauded Students

(Here’s yet another reason why Betsy DeVos will be the worst thing that ever happened to education in this country.)

Diane Ravitch's blog

Investigative writer David Dayen, writing in “The New Republic” describes the variety of ways that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is protecting predatory for-profit “colleges” while allowing them to stiff the students they cheated.

“Imagine a car dealer sold you a lemon. You sue to get your money back. But the judge discovers that you managed to get yourself around most of the time, despite the bum vehicle. You only missed 10 percent of your appointments, so the judge orders that you are entitled to 10 percent of the price of the car.

“That’s essentially what Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced last week for students defrauded by for-profit chain Corinthian Colleges. Victims of the corrupt diploma mill will not have their student loans discharged; instead, they will get a portion of relief based on their current income. The more professional ingenuity they showed despite being defrauded by Corinthian, the less…

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Concept Formation

Process of developing abstract rules of mental concepts based on sensory experience. Concept formation figures prominently in cognitive development and was a subject of great importance to Jean Piaget, who argued that learning entails an understanding of a phenomenon’s characteristics and how they are logically linked. Noam Chomsky has argued that certain cognitive structures (such as basic grammatical rules) are innate in human beings. Both men held that, as a concept emerges, it becomes subject to testing: a child’s concept of “bird,” for example, will be tested against specific instances of birds. The human capacity for play contributes importantly to this process by allowing for consideration of a wide range of possibilities.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.

A Cool Word I Hadn’t Heretofore Known

re·a·lia \rē-ˈa-lē-ə, -ˈā-\ n pl [LL, neut. pl. of realis real] (1937)    : objects or activities used to relate classroom teaching to the real life esp. of peoples studied

Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition (Kindle Locations 297566-297568). Merriam-Webster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Literacy and the Learning Sciences

“A second program of research addressing multimedia learning has been conducted by Richard Mayer and his colleagues and is summarized in Mayer (2001). A caveat relative to this research is that multimedia are construed very narrowly in this research to mean ‘the presentation of material using both words and pictures’ (p. 2) and do not study information technologies specifically. Furthermore, the preponderance of his research has been conducted with young adults. Nevertheless, we include his work because: (a) it is informed by and contributes to a theory of multimedia learning, drawing upon Paivio’s (1986) dual coding theory, Baddeley’s (1992) working memory theory, and Mayer’s (1996) theory of meaningful learning; (b) it attends to the issue of individual differences; and (c) it may productively inform the work of learning scientists studying new literacies.

This program of research has yielded seven principles regarding the effective integration of words and pictures:

1. Multimedia principle–Students learn better from words and pictures than from words alone.

2. Spatial contiguity principles–Students learn better when corresponding words and pictures are present near rather than far from each other on the page or screen.

3. Temporal contiguity principle–Students learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented simultaneously rather than successively.

4. Coherence principle–Students learn better when extraneous material is excluded rather than included.

5. Modality principle–Students learn better when an animation is accompanied by spoken text, rather than printed text.

6. Redundancy principle–Students learn better from an animation accompanied with spoken text rather than an animation accompanied with spoken text and printed text, and

7. Individual difference principle–Design effects positively correlate with users’ domain knowledge and spatial ability.

Learning scientists should study whether these principles still hold in the contexts they find most compelling: real-life settings in which learning is taking place through interactions with others and with technological artifacts.”

Excerpted from: Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar and Barbara G. Ladewski, “Literacy and the Learning Sciences,” in in The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences, ed. Robert Keith Sawyer (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 306.