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November 7, 2011

Despite taking an academic tounge lashing for being ineffective, boring, and authoritarian, the  lecture remains the dominant teaching method in higher education. Is it time to retire the lecture for more dynamic methods that develop students for a turbulent environment or does the lecture still have a place in the contemporary classroom? 

June 4, 2011

Part 1 of "Perspectives in human development" considers the mechanistic philosophy, which explores questions about what makes people the way they are (Goldhaber, 2000). Those who see through the mechanistic lens see humans as machines (Pepper, 1970) that passively react to internal and external forces over which they have no control (Goldhaber, 2000). Literally, Hunt and Ellis (2004) describe mechanism as "the physics of motion or the study of mechanics", that describes how parts of a system work together to produce phenomena (p. 23). This leads to the assumption that that universal laws of nature govern all natural events, including human development and behavior.  In other words, "We can't help ourselves, it's just the way we are."

Competing "isms" of human development

May 18, 2011

Although general system theory explains how interdependent components work together to make the system more than its subsequent parts (Bertalanffy, 1972), chaos theory explains how tiny variations in initial conditions can have major influence on unfolding events within the system (Capra, 1996; Gleick, 2008) that make prediction a risky, if not impossible process. This essay will explore the nature of chaos theory in systems to discover how the unpredictability of events can be harnessed for real-world applications.

Although general system theory explains how interdependent components work together to make the system more than its subsequent parts (Bertalanffy, 1972), chaos theory explains how tiny variations in initial conditions can have major influence on unfolding events within the system (Capra, 1996; Gleick, 2008) that make prediction a risky, if not impossible process. This essay will explore the nature of chaos theory in systems to discover how the unpredictability of events can be harnessed for real-world applications.

May 17, 2011

Neuroscience is demonstrating that theorists like Freud, Piaget, and Erikson were wrong when they concluded that adulthood marked the end of development and the beginning of decline to death. To the contrary, emerging discoveries are showing how adulthood is a time of new possibility with immense potential to nurture.

April 27, 2011

Exploring the evolution of leadership thought from ancient times to contemporary research provides rich perspectives that provide today's leaders with insight, awareness, and tools for enhancing their ability to influence others.

Note: This post is an excerpt from Leadership Perspectives by Brent Duncan, an unpuplished paper.

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April 24, 2011

The media is starting to recognize the emerging phase of the disaster that struck Japan on March 11, 2011: survivor suicide. The question becomes, what can we do, if anything, to stop the survivor-suicide phase of disaster? A key part of the challenge is to influence change using existing practice and infrastructure within the established culture. That means teaching locals how to administer to one another, not imposing programs, practice, and morals as outsiders. 

Some Japanese friends told us a story that is making the rounds through the grapevine about a Fukushima farmer who killed himself when he learned that he had to destroy his crop of radioactive cabbage. This grapevine story appeared in the Los Angeles Times today in a story titled "Japan fears post-quake rise in suicides."

April 18, 2011

 

Been a busy week. A few notes to catch you up.

March 16, 2011

The earth's axis shifted on March 11, 2011, when an off-the-scale quake jolted Northern Japan. Seeing the event before and after it unfolds illustrates the face of a disaster; watch the bouncing X to draw the pattern. 

https://youtu.be/nwpRfB3Bslg

When the increasing intensity and frequency of earthquakes in Northern Japan started to remind me of the foreshocks of the Loma Prieta Quake that hit the Santa Cruz, CA area in 1989, I started gathering earthquake intensity data from the Japan Meteorological Agency. A few days later--March 11, 2011--the earth's axis shifted when an off-the-scale quake jolted Northern Japan.

March 14, 2011

In response to those expressing concerns about our condition at the edge of chaos, at this point, we are fine and looking for opportunities to help others to be the same. We are kind of old pros at this kind of thing; I seem to have lived near the epicenter of every major California over the last few decades and have had to dig out more than once. Also spent much of my childhood fighting LA fires away from our house. Plus, we're kind of used to doing without, so it takes a lot to take us out.