What cathedral are you building?

I’ve been on a school trip to York these last few days. As you’ll know if you’ve been there, the Minster dominates the city. On a walk round the city walls, I was chatting with a 10-year old about the 250 years it took to build, from 1220 and 1472.…

Derek Cabrera and Teaching Thinking with DSRP

Derek Cabrera  is an impressive character – superbright and does good social entrepreneur work.   He’s also decided that thinking can be taught with something called DSRP – Distinctions, Systems, Relationships, and Perspectives.  His new book “Thinking at Every Desk” looks interesting , especially in the knowledge that teachers like Jennifer Orr seem to be getting great results with it as do the various other people listed at Cabrera Research.…

Reinventing British manners the Post-It way

Design thinking goes like this: firstly, immersion, whereby the designers research the problem by plunging themselves into it – talking to the people they're trying to help, working with them, interviewing experts. Secondly, synthesis – whereby they gather together their findings and look for patterns.

Umberto Eco: The lost art of handwriting

writing by hand obliges us to compose the phrase mentally before writing it down. Thanks to the resistance of pen and paper, it does make one slow down and think…

It's true that kids will write more and more on computers and cellphones.

Lateral thinking overrated

a number of detailed reports of scientific discovery, artistic creativity, and invention are available, including Darwin’s notebooks on the development of his theory of evolution, Watson’s report of the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule, Picassos preliminary sketches for several of his most famous paintings, and Edison’s notebooks on the invention of the kinetoscope.

Proof, Dodgy Theories and Disconfirmation

We’re pretty bad at theories, it seems, because we don’t really look for disconfirmation.

In Dan Gardner’s book Risk, he recounts an experiment done to show this that was conducted by Peter Watson.

The challenge is pretty simple: given 3 numbers in sequence, can you figure out what the rule is? …

Dealing with Internet Waste

If you assume that the internet, blogosphere et al are complex systems, what might their waste be? And how might we “recycle” it better?

One of the many things I’ve learnt from Steven Johnson’s Ghost Map, is that waste recycling is a hallmark of almost all complex systems.…