Mushroom seminar in Brunswick, Maine – January 30

January 29, 2010

Biology covers vast fields, with experts in some areas able to spend entire lives without touching other areas of the science of living things.

Working on the effects of climate change, many different areas of biology need to be tapped to figure out what is going on, and what might happen.

Mushrooms, anyone?

Old friend Greg Marley, one of the very few I’d trust to identify edible wild ‘shrooms, presents a session on mushrooms in Maine, tomorrow.  Mushrooms had a tough go of it in Maine over the last season.  Why?  Marley may offer suggestions, you may have some data.

Mushrooms for Health, Greg Marley

Greg Marley is the author of Mushrooms for Health

In any case, if you’re in or near Brunswick, Maine, this is one of the better things you could do tomorrow; I hear from Marley:

The Maine Mycological Association is holding their second Winter Lecture this Saturday, Jan 30 In Brunswick.

Many people talk about the cold wet year that we just allowed to slip into history.  “Boy, it must have been a fantastic year for mushrooms!” they say.  Well, in reality it wasn’t.  We didn’t see many common species at all or in anything approaching normal numbers.  Other species were delayed or fruited in very different habitats that usual.  It was a very odd mushroom season.

Greg Marley will be leading a discussion and showing slides of mushrooms fruiting in 2009.  We will look at weather patterns and talk about out ideas on what happened and, more importantly, what we can learn from the year’s lessons.

Please come, bring your ideas and opinions along with your mushroom stories from 2009 and join the conversation!

Saturday, January 30.  9-11:30am
Free and open to all.
Curtis Memorial Library
Pleasant St
Brunswick, ME

Exit 28 from I-295 onto Route 1 (Pleasant St).  At the 3rd traffic light continue straight as Rt 1 bears left.   Curtis Library is 2.5 blocks down on the right, across from the Post office.


Geography education vs. geography learning

January 29, 2010

Angst over the state of education never goes away:

Much more important is the way we seem to have turned away from the very idea of education that sustains a healthy, vibrant liberal democracy.  As I write this I am conscious of how unfashionable it sounds. However, there has been a steady erosion of the notion that education can and should fuel our individual ability to think critically about the world as we find it – which requires knowledge and understanding of how the world has come to be. We are swamped with a language of targets, skills and 21st century ‘learning to learn’, but have forgotten what it is that distinguishes learning (a word that now seems to carry huge weight and always deemed a good thing in itself, when clearly it is not) from education.  All worthwhile education is, in the end self-education, based on the student’s curiosity, their need to know and readiness to rise to the challenge of finding out. Indeed, offering challenge to young people is one way to motivate them – so different from today’s orthodoxy which says we should make learning accessible, bite-sized and achievable by all.

These guys write from England, however, and they write from the vantage point of teaching geography and having just published their book on how better to teach geography.

See their take on what geography teachers should be teaching about Haiti right now.


More schools jump on “no-recess” recess bandwagon

January 29, 2010

How long will the madness persist?

Via Lenore Skenazy at Free-Range Kids comes word that MommaLou has a meeting to find out why her kid’s school wants the kids to spend recess time engaged in something other than recess.

Excuse me?

They aim to “change the perception of recess from free time away from learning to a valuable learning experience that will teach them and will help them cope in all social settings and environments. When children view recess as “free time” they have a tendency to act in a less responsible manner and push the limits of irresponsible behavior. In order to change the perception of recess, children must see that its content is respected and valued.”

The absolute best memories I have of my childhood consisted of me and my sister on the loose in our backyard making mud pies and playing “lost kids”. When I was in college studying early childhood education, I spent countless hours in classrooms learning about how kids learn. Kids learn through play. They just need the resources. The tools. And time.

Well, yeah, that’s what recess is all about, isn’t it?

Kids need recess to stay healthy, the studies show. Recess keeps them healthy.  In my corporate consulting, we counseled managers to provide recess.  Creativity and corporate problem solving experts, like Dr. Perry W. Buffington, recommend business people take a recess and get away from work for a while when things get tense, or when problem solvers get dense.  In one session I watched with Buffington, one manager didn’t get it and kept coming up with all sorts of things to do to avoid taking a recess.  Buffington finally spelled it out for him:  Get away from the office; make sure that the activity is AWAY from the building . . .

Heck, do they have an “organizational health” survey at that school?  The teachers need recess for the kids, too.

Recall these resources from my earlier post:

Nota bene: Even just a little movement worksIt works for adults, too.

Resources:

  • PEDIATRICS Vol. 123 No. 2 February 2009, pp. 431-436 (doi:10.1542/peds.2007-2825) (subscription required for full text),  “School Recess and Group Classroom Behavior,” Romina M. Barros, MD, Ellen J. Silver, PhD and Ruth E. K. Stein, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and Rose F. Kennedy Center, Bronx, New York

    OBJECTIVES. This study examines the amount of recess that children 8 to 9 years of age receive in the United States and compares the group classroom behavior of children receiving daily recess with that of children not receiving daily recess.

  • See this year-old post at The Elementary Educator
  • Post in agreement from the venerable Trust for Public Lands, one of the best and best respected non-profits in America

Also, be sure to see this post from Ms. Cornelius at A Shrewdness of Apes.  If you’re having difficulty telling the difference between school and a prison — or if your school kid is having that difficulty, it’s time to act.

Cartoon - lawyers still get recess.  Andertoons

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