Jeff Elkner: where do all the geek girls go? A high school teacher grapples with the realization that there's actually an age at which the "tech is boy stuff!" inflection point hits - somewhere in middle school, girls drop out of STEM. (My response was basically "sometimes they just don't think of themselves as geeks, for various reasons, even if they do or previously did what adults could see as "geeky stuff.")

Caroline brought up the Zone of Proximal Development, the space between what I can do by myself and what I can do with someone else's help. It's where you want to learn; it's where teaching and mentorship are most useful (because really, how can you teach someone something they can't even do with help - although perhaps zen koans might not fit this framework...)

Every time I learn about things from "the world of education," they make a lot of sense. They stretch my brain, they're subtle, good, tough to really understand, but they make sense the same way some math or the "feel" of a brainstorm just Makes Sense to me. I mostly just don't have the big names names and vocabulary words down, so I don't know the right search terms to find the good research on these kinds of things.

I need to find a mailing list or IRC channel or Planet of education researchers to listen to - or whatever the equivalent would be in that domain (scholarly papers, yes, but researchers don't have casual conversations in those formats...) - any ideas where to look, or what the list/channel/Planet equivalents would be? And yes, I'm applying for education grad school in the fall - nothing like immersion to teach you a language and a culture.