“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”
― Abraham H. Maslow,
“Don’t build roadblocks out of assumptions.”
“We do not realize how deeply our starting assumptions affect the way we go about looking for and interpreting the data we collect. We should recognize that nonhuman organisms need not meet every new definition of human language, tool use, mind, or consciousness in order to have versions of their own that are worthy of serious study. We have set ourselves too much apart, grasping for definitions that will distinguish man from all other life on the planet. We must rejoin the great stream of life from whence we arose and strive to see within it the seeds of all we are and all we may become.”
― Sue Savage-Rumbaugh,
"How Free do really think you are?"
A dress code is a set of written and, more often, unwritten rules with regard to clothing. Clothing, like other aspects of human physical appearance, has a social significance, with different rules and expectations applying depending on circumstance and occasion. Within a single day, an individual may need to navigate between two or more dress codes. For example, many navigate between a home dress code and a work dress code; usually this ability is a result of cultural acclimatization.[clarification needed] Different societies and cultures will have different dress norms, although Western styles are widely accepted as valid.
The dress code has built in rules or signals indicating the message being given by a person's clothing and how it is worn. This message may include indications of the person's gender, income, occupation and social class, political, ethnic and religious affiliation, attitude towards comfort, fashion, traditions, gender expression, marital status, sexual availability, and sexual orientation, etc. Clothes convey other social messages including the stating or claiming personal or cultural identity, the establishing, maintaining, or defying social group norms, and appreciating comfort and functionality.
Role theory is a perspective in sociology and in social psychology that considers most of everyday activity to be the acting out of socially defined categories (e.g., mother, manager, teacher). Each role is a set of rights, duties, expectations, norms and behaviors that a person has to face and fulfill. The model is based on the observation that people behave in a predictable way, and that an individual’s behavior is context specific, based on social position and other factors. The theatre is a metaphor often used to describe role theory.
Although the word role (or roll) has existed in European languages for centuries, as a sociological concept, the term has only been around since the 1920s and 1930s. It became more prominent in sociological discourse through the theoretical works of George Herbert Mead, Jacob L. Moreno, Talcott Parsons, and Ralph Linton. Two of Mead’s concepts – the mind and the self – are the precursors to role theory.
Depending on the general perspective of the theoretical tradition, there are many ‘‘types’’ of role theory. The theory posits the following propositions about social behaviour:
In terms of differences among role theory, on one side there is a more functional perspective, which can be contrasted with the more micro level approach of the symbolic interactionist tradition. This type of role theory dictates how closely related individuals’ actions are to the society, as well as how empirically testable a particular role theory perspective may be.
A key insight of this theory is that role conflict occurs when a person is expected to simultaneously act out multiple roles that carry contradictory expectations.
"As a working model of the social system becomes available to the teacher, he can use it to make the pupil acutely aware of how his mind works on unfamiliar facts. Until he has such a model, the teacher cannot hope to prepare men fully for the world they will find. What he can do is to prepare them to deal with that world with a great deal more sophistication about their own minds. He can, by the use of the case method, teach the pupil the habit of examining the sources of his information. He can teach him, for example, to look in his newspaper for the place where the dispatch was filed, for the name of the correspondent, the name of the press service, the authority given for the statement, the circumstances under which the statement was secured. He can teach the pupil to ask himself whether the reporter saw what he describes, and to remember how that reporter described other events in the past. He can teach him the character of censorship, of the idea of privacy, and furnish him with knowledge of past propaganda. . He can, by the proper use of history, make him aware of the stereotype, and can educate a habit of introspection about the imagery evoked by printed words. He can, by courses in comparative history and anthropology, produce a life-long realization of the way codes impose a special pattern upon the imagination. He can teach men to catch themselves making allegories, dramatizing relations, and personifying abstractions. He can show the pupil how he identifies himself with these allegories, how he becomes interested, and how he selects the attitude, heroic, romantic, economic which he adopts while holding a particular opinion. The study of error is not only in the highest degree prophylactic, but it serves as a stimulating introduction to the study of truth. As our minds become more deeply aware of their own subjectivism, we find a zest in objective method that is not otherwise there. We see vividly, as normally we should not, the enormous mischief and casual cruelty of our prejudices. And the destruction of a prejudice, though painful at first, because of its connection with our self-respect, gives an immense relief and a fine pride when it is successfully done. There is a radical enlargement of the range of attention. THE APPEAL TO REASON
1. I HAVE written, and then thrown away, several endings to this book. Over all of them there hung that fatality of last chapters, in which every idea seems to find its place, and all the mysteries, that the writer has not forgotten, are unravelled. In politics the hero does not live happily ever after, or end his life perfectly. There is no concluding chapter, because the hero in politics has more future before him than there is recorded history behind him. The last chapter is merely a place where the writer imagines that the polite reader has begun to look furtively at his watch.
2 When Plato came to the point where it was fitting that he should sum up, his assurance turned into stage-fright as he thought how absurd it would sound to say what was in him about the place of reason in politics. Those sentences in book five of the Republic were hard even for Plato to speak; they are so sheer and so stark that men can neither forget them nor live by them. So he makes Socrates say to Glaucon that he will be broken and drowned in laughter for telling "what is the least change which will enable a state to pass into the truer form,"204 because the thought he "would fain have uttered if it had not seemed too extravagant" was that "until philosophers are kings, or the kings and princes of this world have the spirit and power of philosophy, and political greatness and wisdom meet in one… cities will never cease from ill,— no, nor the human race…Hardly had he said these awful words, when he realized they were a counsel of perfection, and felt embarrassed at the unapproachable grandeur of his idea. So he hastens to add that, of course, "the true pilot" will be called "a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing."205 But this wistful admission, though it protects him against whatever was the Greek equivalent for the charge that he lacked a sense of humor, furnished a humiliating tailpiece to a solemn thought. He becomes defiant and warns Adeimantus that he must "attribute the uselessness" of philosophers "to the fault of those who will not use them, and not to themselves. The pilot should not humbly beg the sailors to be commanded by him—that is not the order of nature." And with this haughty gesture, he hurriedly picked up the tools of reason, and disappeared into the Academy, leaving the world to Machiavelli. Thus, in the first great encounter between reason and politics, the strategy of reason was to retire in anger. But meanwhile, as Plato tells us, the ship is at sea. There have been many ships on the sea, since Plato wrote, and to-day, whether we are wise or foolish in our belief, we could no longer call a man a true pilot, simply because he knows how to "pay attention to the year and seasons and sky and stars and winds, and whatever else belongs to his art."206 He can dismiss nothing which is necessary to make that ship sail prosperously. Because there are mutineers aboard, he cannot say: so much the worse for us all… it is not in the order of nature that I should handle a mutiny… it is not in the order of philosophy that I should consider mutiny… I know how to navigate… I do not know how to navigate a ship full of sailors… and if they do not see that I am the man to steer, I cannot help it. We shall all go on the rocks, they to be punished for their sins; I, with the assurance that I knew better….
4 For the rate at which reason, as we possess it, can advance itself is slower than the rate at which action has to be taken. In the present state of political science there is, therefore, a tendency for one situation to change into another, before the first is clearly understood, and so to make much political criticism hindsight and little else. Both in the discovery of what is unknown, and in the propagation of that which has been proved, there is a time-differential, which ought to, in a much greater degree than it ever has, occupy the political philosopher. We have begun, chiefly under the inspiration of Mr. Graham Wallas, to examine the effect of an invisible environment upon our opinions. We do not, as yet, understand, except a little by rule of thumb, the element of time in politics, though it bears most directly upon the practicability of any constructive proposal.207 We can see, for example, that somehow the relevancy of any plan depends upon the length of time the operation requires. Because on the length of time it will depend whether the data which the plan assumes as given, will in truth remain the same.208 There is a factor here which realistic and experienced men do take into account, and it helps to mark them off somehow from the opportunist, the visionary, the philistine and the pedant.209 But just how the calculation of time enters into politics we do not know at present in any systematic way. Until we understand these matters more clearly, we can at least remember that there is a problem of the utmost theoretical difficulty and practical consequence. It will help us to cherish Plato's ideal, without sharing his hasty conclusion about the perversity of those who do not listen to reason. It is hard to obey reason in politics, because you are trying to make two processes march together, which have as yet a different gait and a different pace. Until reason is subtle and particular, the immediate struggle of politics will continue to require an amount of native wit, force, and unprovable faith, that reason can neither provide nor control, because the facts of life are too undifferentiated for its powers of understanding. The methods of social science are so little perfected that in many of the serious decisions and most of the casual ones, there is as yet no choice but to gamble with fate as intuition prompts. But we can make a belief in reason one of those intuitions. We can use our wit and our force to make footholds for reason. Behind our pictures of the world, we can try to see the vista of a longer duration of events, and wherever it is possible to escape from the urgent present, allow this longer time to control our decisions. And yet, even when there is this will to let the future count, we find again and again that we do not know for certain how to act according to the dictates of reason. The number of human problems on which reason is prepared to dictate is small.
5 There is, however, a noble counterfeit in that charity which comes from self-knowledge and an unarguable belief that no one of our gregarious species is alone in his longing for a friendlier world. So many of the grimaces men make at each other go with a flutter of their pulse, that they are not all of them important. And where so much is uncertain, where so many actions have to be carried out on guesses, the demand upon the reserves of mere decency is enormous, and it is necessary to live as if good will would work. We cannot prove in every instance that it will, nor why hatred, intolerance, suspicion, bigotry, secrecy, fear, and lying are the seven deadly sins against public opinion. We can only insist that they have no place in the appeal to reason, that in the longer run they are a poison; and taking our stand upon a view of the world which outlasts our own predicaments, and our own lives, we can cherish a hearty prejudice against them. We can do this all the better if we do not allow frightfulness and fanaticism to impress us so deeply that we throw up our hands peevishly, and lose interest in the longer run of time because we have lost faith in the future of man. There is no ground for this despair, because all the ifs on which, as James said, our destiny hangs, are as pregnant as they ever were. What we have seen of brutality, we have seen, and because it was strange, it was not conclusive. It was only Berlin, Moscow, Versailles in 1914 to 1919, not Armageddon, as we rhetorically said. The more realistically men have faced out the brutality and the hysteria, the more they have earned the right to say that it is not foolish for men to believe, because another great war took place, that intelligence, courage and effort cannot ever contrive a good life for all men. Great as was the horror, it was not universal. There were corrupt, and there were incorruptible. There was muddle and there were miracles. There was huge lying. There were men with the will to uncover it. It is no judgment, but only a mood, when men deny that what some men have been, more men, and ultimately enough men, might be. You can despair of what has never been. You can despair of ever having three heads, though Mr. Shaw has declined to despair even of that. But you cannot despair of the possibilities that could exist by virtue of any human quality which a human being has exhibited. And if amidst all the evils of this decade, you have not seen men and women, known moments that you would like to multiply, the Lord himself cannot help you. " -Walter Lippmann / Public Opinion
Public Opinion is a book by Walter Lippmann, published in 1922. It is a critical assessment of functional democratic government, especially of the irrational and often self-serving social perceptions that influence individual behavior and prevent optimal societal cohesion. The detailed descriptions of the cognitive limitations people face in comprehending their sociopolitical and cultural environments leading them to apply an evolving catalogue of general stereotypes to a complex reality, rendered Public Opinion a seminal text in the fields of media studies, political science, and social psychology.
The introduction describes man's inability to interpret the world: "The real environment is altogether too big, too complex, and too fleeting for direct acquaintance" between people and their environment. People construct a pseudo-environment that is a subjective, biased, and necessarily abridged mental image of the world, and to a degree, everyone's pseudo-environment is a fiction. People "live in the same world, but they think and feel in different ones."
Human behavior is stimulated by the person's pseudo-environment and then is acted upon in the real world. Some of the general implications of the interactions among one's psychology, environment, and the mass communications media are highlighted.
The pertinent facts are never provided completely and accurately as a fraction of the whole, they are often arranged to portray a certain, subjective interpretation of an event. Often, those who know the "real" (true) environment construct a favourable, fictitious pseudo-environment in the public mind to suit private needs. Propaganda is inherently impossible without a barrier of censorship between the event and the public. As a consequence, the mass communication media, by their very nature as vehicles for informational transmission, are essentially vulnerable to manipulation.
The blame for that perceptual parallax falls not upon the mass media technology (print, radio, cinema, or, inferentially, television) or logistical concerns but upon certain members of society who attend to life with little intellectual engagement. That causes the following:
When properly deployed in the public interest, the manufacture of consent is useful and necessary for a cohesive society, because, in many cases, "the common interests" of the public are not obvious except upon careful analysis of the collected data, a critical intellectual exercise in which most people are uninterested or are incapable of doing. Therefore, most people must have the world summarized for them by the well-informed, and will then act accordingly.
That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough. . . . [a]s a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power.... Under the impact of propaganda, not necessarily in the sinister meaning of the word alone, the old constants of our thinking have become variables. It is no longer possible, for example, to believe in the original dogma of democracy; that the knowledge needed for the management of human affairs comes up spontaneously from the human heart. Where we act on that theory we expose ourselves to self-deception, and to forms of persuasion that we cannot verify. It has been demonstrated that we cannot rely upon intuition, conscience, or the accidents of casual opinion if we are to deal with the world beyond our reach.
The political élite are members of the class of people who are incapable of accurately understanding, by themselves, the complex "unseen environment" wherein the public affairs of the modern state occur; thus, Lippmann proposes that a professional, "specialized class" collect and analyze data, and present their conclusions to the society's decision makers, who, in their turn, use the "art of persuasion" to inform the public about the decisions and circumstances affecting them.
Public Opinion proposes that the increased power of propaganda and the specialized knowledge required for effective political decisions have rendered the traditional notion of democracy impossible. The phrase "manufacture of consent" was introduced, which the public intellectuals Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman used as the title of their book Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988).
Habits of the Mind
Some say the "Great Dust Bowl" was the greatest man made disaster in American History,if so the Banking Model of teaching has been the greatest Social Disaster in American History, in my opinion
Essential body of knowledge
Unschoolers sometimes state that learning any specific subject is less important than learning how to learn. They assert, in the words of Holt:
Since we can't know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever must be learned.
It is asserted that this ability to learn on their own makes it more likely that later, when these children are adults, they can continue to learn what they need to know to meet newly emerging needs, interests, and goals; and that they can return to any subject that they feel was not sufficiently covered or learn a completely new subject.
Many unschoolers disagree that there is a particular body of knowledge that every person, regardless of the life they lead, needs to possess. Unschoolers argue that, in the words of John Holt, "[I]f [children] are given access to enough of the world, they will see clearly enough what things are truly important to themselves and to others, and they will make for themselves a better path into that world than anyone else could make for them."
Parents of unschoolers provide resources, support, guidance, information, and advice to facilitate experiences that aid their children in accessing, navigating, and making sense of the world. Common parental activities include sharing interesting books, articles, and activities with their children, helping them find knowledgeable people to explore an interest with (anyone from physics professors to automotive mechanics), and helping them set goals and figure out what they need to do to meet their goals. Unschooling's interest-based nature does not mean that it is a "hands off" approach to education. Parents tend to involve themselves, especially with younger children (older children, unless new to unschooling, often need less help finding resources and making and carrying out plans).
Unschooling opposes many aspects of what the dominant culture insists are true. In fact, it may be impossible to fully understand the unschooling philosophy without active participation paired with a major paradigm shift. The cognitive dissonance that frequently accompanies this paradigm shift is uncomfortable. New unschoolers are advised that they should not expect to understand the unschooling philosophy at first. Not only are there many commonplace assumptions about education, there are many unspoken and unwritten expectations. One step towards overcoming the necessary paradigm shift is accepting that, "what we do is nowhere near as important as why we do it."
In terms of pedagogy, Freire is best known for his attack on what he called the "banking" concept of education, in which the student was viewed as an empty account to be filled by the teacher. He notes that "it transforms students into receiving objects. It attempts to control thinking and action, leads men and women to adjust to the world, and inhibits their creative power." The basic critique was not new — Rousseau's conception of the child as an active learner was already a step away from tabula rasa (which is basically the same as the "banking concept"). In addition, thinkers like John Dewey were strongly critical of the transmission of mere facts as the goal of education. Dewey often described education as a mechanism for social change, explaining that "education is a regulation of the process of coming to share in the social consciousness; and that the adjustment of individual activity on the basis of this social consciousness is the only sure method of social reconstruction". Freire's work, however, updated the concept and placed it in context with current theories and practices of education, laying the foundation for what is now called critical pedagogy
"There is no such thing as a neutral education process. Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate the integration of generations into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity to it, or it becomes the 'practice of freedom', the means by which men and women deal critically with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world."
“[T]he more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled. This person is not afraid to meet the people or to enter into a dialogue with them. This person does not consider himself or herself the proprietor of history or of all people, or the liberator of the oppressed; but he or she does commit himself or herself, within history, to fight at their side.”
― Paulo Freire,
A review of "Pedagogy of the Oppressed " by Paulo Freire
"Just finished my annual rereading of this book. Again, teachers in inner-city America, teachers on the plains, teachers in rural America--read or reread this book now. With attempts to oppress our students inside the classroom with more and more standardized crap, this is more than ever a must-read. My original review: Here is one of those books I think they oughtn't let a teacher in front of a secondary classroom without having read. Even the most affluent of our students in contemporary public education classrooms are oppressed to some degree. Oppression comes in many attractive wrappings. From the trite shite they are brainwashed to care about by the television, to the lies they hear about what their bodies must look like and what they must own to be somebody, I don't know how we ever humanize them anymore at all. Freire can be applied to every student...every classroom. Here was a man who was the real thing. A teacher. (May he rest...) "-goodreads
New Ways of Learning must be Learned to have behavior change
Before participating in a learning event, participants should have a thorough understanding of what they are expected to learn, how their behavior is expected to change, the results they are expected to achieve and how these results contribute to the overall goals of the organization.
When this step is skipped, participants attend the learning event and are left entirely on their own to determine what they are supposed to do with what they learn. This often leads to a disconnect between participants and their leaders when they return to the workplace.
For example, when you attend a Leading People class with a dozen learning objectives, you discover some new tools for gaining group consensus. You know this is something you can apply right away to make some decisions in your work team. Returning to work, you share your ideas with your manager only to find that what your manager really wanted you to learn was how to facilitate the creation of a team vision. This was covered in the class, but not knowing this was why you had been selected to attend the class, you focused your attention on what you perceived to be an important skill.
Just as the A3 management process requires both an assessment of the current state and a description of the desired outcome, 3A learning requires managers and employees to clearly define the desired outcome before the learning event takes place.
During the learning event, you focus on assimilating the learning that resonates with you. An effective learning event will engage you in applying what you already know in building relevant skills and knowledge that you decide to focus on and practice in the class. If these vital elements of an effective learning event are part of the assimilation, then you will return to work prepared to apply what you have learned. If not, then you may have an awareness of and even a desire to apply these tools but no practical experience in how to do it.
Whether assimilation happens effectively largely depends on who is leading your learning event. An instructor is a content resource and usually shares knowledge through writing or lectures, appearing as a “sage on the stage.” A facilitator is a process manager first and a content resource second. Facilitators use their knowledge of how people learn to create an active environment that embraces participants’ prior knowledge and unique learning styles. When they facilitate, they appear as a “guide by the side.”
Thinking back to the A3 management process, when you plan a countermeasure to an existing gap or problem, you want to plan the best countermeasure possible. When it comes to learning events, seek out events that take into account your learning style, your skills and your knowledge. This will ensure what you learn will stick with you when returning to work to apply what you have learned.
Applying what you have learned is where 80 percent of the learning takes place. This involves using the skills and knowledge within your work environment that makes the learning stick, causing a behavior change that produces desired results. In this step, it is important that you experience early success. This early success depends on leadership support and coaching. Left on your own, you are likely to discover unique factors in your work environment that make it difficult to apply what you have learned. The system and often the people resist change. Since learning is changing behavior, you will encounter resistance. You will need someone supporting you with encouragement, coaching and running interference as you attempt to adapt your behavior.
Just as the A3 management process requires a follow-up step to review the outcome and a follow-up step to capture what has happened, what was learned and what issues remain, the 3A learning process requires the manager and employee to evaluate the learning that has taken place, the progress of changing behavior and how the environment is adapting to change.
When you consider your future investments in training, remember the 3A learning process – align, assimilate and apply – and the result will be learning that changes behavior to produce results.
About the Author
Bill Wilder is the director of the Life Cycle Institute at Life Cycle Engineering (LCE). Bill holds a master’s degree in education from East Tennessee State University and a bachelor’s degree in human resources. He is also Prosci-certified in change management. You can reach Bill at bwilder@LCE.com