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Giorgio Bertini
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Learning Change Project - https://www.facebook.com/learningchangeproject/
Learning Change Project - https://www.facebook.com/learningchangeproject/

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Teachers wishing to offer lessons in nature may hold back for fear of leaving students keyed up and unable to concentrate in subsequent, indoor lessons. This study tested the hypothesis that lessons in nature have positive—not negative—aftereffects on subsequent classroom engagement. Using carefully matched pairs of lessons (one in a relatively natural outdoor setting and one indoors), we observed subsequent classroom engagement during an indoor instructional period, replicating these comparisons over 10 different topics and weeks in the school year, in each of two third grade classrooms. Pairs were roughly balanced in how often the outdoor lesson preceded or followed the classroom lesson. Classroom engagement was significantly better after lessons in nature than after their matched counterparts for four of the five measures developed for this study: teacher ratings; third-party tallies of “redirects” (the number of times the teacher stopped instruction to direct student attention back onto the task at hand); independent, photo-based ratings made blind to condition; and a composite index each showed a nature advantage; student ratings did not. This nature advantage held across different teachers and held equally over the initial and final 5 weeks of lessons

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The cat is slowly scratching its way out of the bag. Ever more people are becoming aware of the colossal waste of money, tragic waste of young people’s time, and cruel imposition of stress and anxiety produced by our coercive educational system.

Children come into the world biologically designed to educate themselves. Their curiosity, playfulness, sociability, and willfulness were all shaped by natural selection to serve the function of education (here). So what do we do? At great expense (roughly $15,000 per child per year for public K-12), we send them to schools that deliberately shut off their educative instincts–that is, suppress their curiosity, playfulness, sociability, and willfulness–and then, at great expense and trouble, very inefficiently and ineffectively try to educate them through systems of reward and punishment that play on hubris, shame, and fear.

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Philosophers are famous for disagreeing on the issues that interest them. Is morality objective? Is the mind identical to the body? Are our actions free or determined? Some professional philosophers will say no to these questions—but an almost equal number will say yes.

Moreover, empirical data bears this out. In a widely publicized PhilPapers survey, conducted by David Bourget and David Chalmers, little or no consensus was found among contemporary philosophers on key philosophical theses. In the face of all this, does philosophy make progress?

Surely the question answers itself. If philosophers can’t agree on their answers, the inevitable conclusion is: they make no progress. Or, at least, they make no progress, except on the meta-question of whether there is progress. On this there can be no disagreement.

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The modest title should not, however, conceal the true significance of this work, misleading the reader into thinking, perhaps, that it is just another philosophical manual, despite the fact that it is from the “South” and dedicated to somewhat “exotic” philosophy. If we begin this brief introduction warning against the risk of drawing this potentially hasty conclusion, it is because this manual – on account of both its systematic and methodological structure and its contents – is a work that challenges us with a call to become committed to working towards an innovative turning point, not only in the perception of the theoretical purpose and social role of philosophy, but also as regards the task of philosophy teaching in contemporary societies.

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The people who started the first widespread systems of compulsory schooling—the systems that still provide the model for our schools today—had a very clear idea of the purpose. These people were Protestant clergymen, in Europe and the American colonies, at the time of the Protestant Reformation, in the late 17th and early 18th century. They stated clearly that the purpose of schooling was indoctrination and obedience training.

Their firm belief was that children are naturally sinful and the only way to salvation was through Biblical indoctrination and the suppression of free will . The schools they created were well designed for that purpose.

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Estudios liderados por el Dr. Claudio Hetz, esperan contribuir al desarrollo de una estrategia terapéutica, que pueda controlar el deterioro de la función cerebral. Baja en la capacidad cognitiva y pérdida de memoria, son algunos efectos nocivos que genera la exposición al estrés crónico.

Analizar los efectos del estrés ambiental sobre las neuronas y su implicancia sobre las funciones cognitivas del cerebro, es la nueva investigación que está desarrollando el laboratorio del Dr. Claudio Hetz, director del Instituto Milenio de Neurociencia Biomédica, BNI. El objetivo de estos estudios, realizados en colaboración con científicos de Suiza de la Escuela Polítecnica Federal de Lausane (EPFL) también llamado MIT Suizo, es desarrollar estrategias terapéuticas y farmacológicas que permitan mejorar la calidad de vida en población afectada por estrés prolongado.

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