Conversational exchange requires an interweaving of nuance, of light and shadow. Although each of us controls only part of the pattern, the rhythms of the exchange create a synchronicity, create a “glorious rush of thought” that takes us by surprise. And when the pattern is complexly textured the detail is insignificant. Withdraw from the world a little today and observe conversation as pattern forming.
Pattern of any complexity currently eludes me – remaining tantalizingly out of my grasp this week, is probably why I am tortured by detail.
For example, I am blog posting infrequently, and when I do I am not pausing to engage with others in the community. I am not answering my phone and when I do I am not pausing to capture the lilt and tilt of conversational play. I am too busy to check on the demanding beep of an incoming txt message and when I do I lack the energy to create a poetic response. I hesitate to open an envelope in case it will require something from me.
When Root Bernstein talks about conversation as an “interplay of interwoven yet independent intentions” – it makes me realize that what is missing from my life is the interplay.
It seems that without any great exertion or effort I have adopted the lifestyle of the chemistry teacher who never mentions that there are more than 450 valid representations of the periodic table of elements, most of which are not tables at all.
Check out the way Railsback’s table is organized around charges on ions rather than atoms,
Given the many alternative tables that have been proposed from “spirals and trees to three-dimensional pyramids” I have been reluctant to comment on the representation of “Thinking” in the MoE's latest version of the Key Competencies. But I want to change that .... sometimes interplay does not result in a "glorious rush of thought - and it seems that this might be one of those times. The proposed Key Competency "Thinking" is now represented by the MoE as ...
Using knowledge and information (Thinking)
- pursuing and accessing knowledge
- using knowledge in a reflective, effective and responsible manner
- creative, critical and logical thinking, metacognition, self-awareness, reflection and judgment.
- researching, organising and evaluating
Perhaps a question about the apparent affection for virtual synonyms will be sufficient to collapse this house of eduspeak cards.
Try this question: If metacognition refers to an individuals awareness of, their evaluation of and their ability to regulate their own thinking, then what are the virtual synonyms in the key competencies elaboration above?
And if this doesn’t work for you perhaps a challenge to distinguish between the constituent skills in critical and logical thinking might work.
This most recent attempt to abstract what is thinking feels like an inglorious rush of sediment – a torrent of muddy thinking where thinking contexts and terms have been abandoned together in a cognitive sog. Instead of providing a framework to clarify thinking we have a framework that conflates and confuses thinking. In a desire not to omit something significant we have included anything and everthing.. At least when the scientists played with different representations of the periodic table they did not modify the basic order, the regularities in atomic weights and bonding affinities, they kept the core understanding intact.