I love going to class after digesting and writing about ideas -- they always give me new ones when my thoughts and the thoughts of others in the classroom collide.

Joran pointed out that Bloom's Taxonomy ("of learning objectives, " Farshid hastened to explain) could be overlaid across the top two-thirds of my comic from last week; "remembering" and "understanding" trawl across the behaviorism portion of the timeline, going up to "synthesizing" and "evaluating" and so forth as we run through cognition -- but Bloom's halts short of metacognition and doesn't touch any of the motivation/collaboration work stretching across the bottom.

We examined our own knee-jerk reactions of "BEHAVIORISM! EVIL!" It's not evil, it's just incomplete -- but of course it was, because of how history happened. Behaviorists were pouring the foundations of scientific acceptance for educational psychology, and some of their ideas are still incredibly useful today. ("How do you teach a kid the two-times table?" YuGong pointed out. "At some point, they do have to memorize it.") We don't laugh at Newton for not coming up with relativity; we celebrate his formulation of Newtonian mechanics. And behaviorism-inspired techniques are useful for motivated social learners who practice metacognition -- I use flashcards when I study German.

It was interesting to also think about Maslow's Hierarchy when examining these theories. In a social sense, behaviorism was about survival, getting psychology established in academia; then we get to safety needs, then love and belonging, then esteem and self-actualization and/or self-transcendence. So, just for fun, maybe we could look at educational psychology researchers over the years and where certain paradigms might have fallen on Maslow's Hierarchy...

  1. Survival (behaviorism) - food, water ("will they accept this journal article?" "can I get a grant for this?")
  2. Safety (behaviorism) - security of employment ("can we get tenure track faculty positions doing this work?")
  3. Love/belonging (cognition) - friendship/family ("oh hey, computers/AI over there and business knowledge management over here, we should collaborate!")
  4. Esteem (motivation, situated cognition) - respect by others, confidence (This is where my attempt to map this falls apart, because the ideasof motivation/situated cognition are related to esteem, more than the researchers who first studied it were driven and motivated by esteem.)
  5. Self-actualization (metacognition, motivation?) - (Same note as above, but both these topics are very much about self-actualization. I wonder if I could make the argment that one can only study topics esteem and self-actualization if one feels safe and respected on some level, but that seems like a weak leap to me. Still, this was an interesting thought exercise.)

Nick, Corey, Farrah, and I came up with a nifty little table representation of some of our thoughts on behaviorism, cognition, and situated cognition. We've agreed to pool those notes together and pop it online under an open license, so when Nick sends me the files, I shall get that up. (Spreading the open content publishing meme, whee!)

During break, I talked with Robin about my propensity for generating output in formats other than traditional academic writing. I can write about the graphics and whatnot I'm generating, and sometimes the writing's needed -- but sometimes (as in my what-is-engineering comic) it isn't, and it feels artificial to force myself to write additional annotations. During those times, it's useful if I can get my non-text output counted as "a work" in its own right -- so where can I publish and how? Would they accept, for instance, a graphic novel as a dissertation? (There are interesting conversations about this going on in, for instance, the art and design world; as Shannon asked me last semester, what does it mean to have a PhD in studio art? We don't quite know yet. And it takes pioneers to try it out for the first time. Sooooo...)