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Scientific Research

Thesis 1 – Providing Roots and Wings for our Children

[Please scroll down to listen to an audio version of this thesis] The education of children is the most important task parents, or a nation, have to undertake; on them the future well-being of the world depends.  Through the combined influence of home, community and school, education has to create men and women capable of […]

The Story, so Far

Can we – in this generation that knows so much about where we have come from – help our children to be wise rather than greedy?

It’s Really Very Simple … The Solution to England’s Education Problem

The solution to England’s education problem will be very simple once the country comes to appreciate the damage still being done by two Victorian myths that haunt everyday thinking.

Adolescence; a critical Evolutionary Adaptation

This Paper has been written in response to an increasing concern that formal education, especially at the secondary level, is failing to meet the needs and expectations of young people for an appropriate induction into adult life and responsibilities.

Lost in Translation

A personal reflection on the Conference held at Harrison Hot Springs Resort on March 7th and 8th 2006 to consider “Promoting a learning Community in British Columbia”, sponsored by the Canadian Council on Learning. Available in both English and French.

Can the Learning Species fit into schools?

If we humans are the planet’s pre-eminent learning species surely none but the most obdurate of young people should readily accept the benign conditions of the classroom?

Learning to Go with the Grain of the Brain

If young people are to be equipped effectively to meet the challenges of the 21st century it is surely prudent to seek out the very best understandings from current scientific research into the nature of how humans learn before considering further reform of the current system.

This article by John Abbott and Terence Ryan appeared in the Spring, 1999 issue of Education Canada.

An Organic View of Educational Change

“Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all- young and old, rich and poor, good and evil – the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current was what each had learned from birth. But one creature said at last: ‘I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.’ The other creatures laughed and said: ‘Fool, let go and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom. But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks. Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom and he was bruised and hurt no more.”

The Chaodic Organization: Out of Control and Into Order

It is almost impossible these days to read a business article or participate in a seminar without stumbling over such popularities as “learning organizations,” “empowerment,” or “re-engineering.” It is equally common to encounter in the scientific community the study of complex adaptive systems, commonly referred to as “complexity.” I find it cumbersome to either think or write about fundamental principles underlying both physical systems and human institutions in the terms unique to either business or science.

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