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By Way of Introduction

Posted: Aug 13 2009 by Cathy Manduca
Topics: Community, Collaboration
Blogging is mostly a new thing to me, my primary experience being reading my son's blogs while he was traveling in China. With that as background, my hopes for this blog are that that my posts will help you see the world differently and lighten your day. The motivation for the blog as a whole, which comes from Kim, is to explore new ways of sharing ideas about geoscience thinking and learning. I am totally enthusiastic about the idea. From my point of view, the blog is like a sketch book where we can explore and get feedback on ideas, some of which can become part of complete works. Like an artist who more completely explores ideas by sketching, I am hoping that I will more completely explore ideas by writing. From a community point of view, I hope that the ideas in the blog foster discussion that might not have taken place and lead to a richer community discussion that elevates ideas from all who are participating. Usually we develop our ideas alone or in very small groups, write them in papers, and hope for some written feedback in other people's papers. This is a long slow loop that I hope the blog can shortcut and expand.

What will I write about? More

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Self-Reflections from the Field: Pressure Release Thinking

Posted: Aug 13 2009 by Cathy Manduca
Topics: Metacognition, Community
One of my psychologist friends tells me that psychologists are very skeptical of individuals self reflections on their thinking. From their point of view most of the interesting action takes place beneath the surface of conscious thought in the sub-conscious. That said, one of the most interesting things about working on learning has been becoming more cognizant of my own thinking processes. I am happily entertained watching how I navigate, perceiving where my spatial skills are strong or weak, metacogniting on my metacognition, and cataloging my strengths and weaknesses as a thinker. I am also fascinated by the commonalities and differences with others and the ramifications of all of this on teaching and collaboration.

One of the most important things I have learned about myself, which I expect applies to many others as well, is what I call pressure-release thinking. Just as mantle melts and releases magma when the pressure is reduced at a mid-ocean ridge, I find that I need to reduce the pressure on my mind for many of my best ideas to emerge. More

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