Friday, June 13, 2014


Sometimes I'm asked why I would try to look at educational reform or the organizational physics/dynamics of large groups from a trajectory highly influenced by religious like dynamics?  

My answer is because it is informative,  novel, poorly understood, and real science shouldn't worry about taboos.  Another, perhaps, better framing is because moralized attitudes make a dramatic difference in the physics producing different classes of dynamics.

As Ryan (2013) says in a excellent article on the political consequences of moralized attitudes
A distinctive characteristic of moralized attitudes is that, pitted against other attitudes, they resist processing through a cost/benefit framework (Baron and Spranca 1997; Bennis, Medin and Bartels 2010; Fiske and Tetlock 1997; Tetlock 2000; Tetlock et al. 2000).

Rational approaches to educational reform dramatically miss the mark.  Educational research is, unfortunately, optimized for producing overly-precise research valid for limited, time sensitive contexts.   Teachers generally aren't known for scientific rigor.  Therefore, its important to investigate the underlying physics which give rise to the structures practitioner ed researchers describe.  Without well grasped physics, the resultant structures are wise but ephemeral happenstance.

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