Continuity and Change, I

salvēte, amīcī et sodālēs! During my hectic week, which I think I described pretty well in last week’s posts, and during the weekend, as I attempted to recover from the hectic week, I kept thinking about the interplay between Continuity and Change – not just in our little field of teaching and learning ancient languages, but more broadly in society at large. I started reading an amazing book, The Upside of Irrationality by Dan Ariely, which examines what “everybody” knows (but what turns out not always to be true) about a wide range of supposedly rational human behavior … and attempts to isolate some of the factors other than “pure” rationality that actually motivate our seemingly-irrational behavior. I’ll have more to say about Professor Ariely’s book when I’ve finished it; at the moment, let’s just say that it’s well worth reading, and that even just the first few chapters, on the paradoxical consequences of excessively large incentives, may well make you look at everything from the financial crisis of 2008 to high-stakes testing in a whole new light.

It was interesting to juxtapose Professor Ariely’s book with this set of videos:

The Original “Did You Know” video

“Did You Know” 2.0

“Did You Know” 3.0

the very different “Did You Know” 4.0

I’ve been working with them for a school-wide activity later this week. What evidence of continuity and change – and of the mix between rationality and irrationality – did you see as you looked at them in sequence?

Tune in next time, when we’ll try to apply Professor Ariely’s thoughts and the messages in the video series to teaching and learning in general, and to the Tres Columnae Project in particular. intereā, grātiās maximās omnibus iam legentibus et respondentibus.

Published in: on September 20, 2010 at 10:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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