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Giorgio Bertini

Giorgio Bertini's Public Library

about 20 hours ago

This article contributes to our understanding of community resilience. Community resilience is the ability of a community to cope and adjust to stresses caused by social, political, and environmental change and to engage community resources to overcome adversity and take advantage of opportunities in response to change. Through an analysis of local responses to multiple challenges, six dimensions of community resilience were found in one village in northern Norway. These dimensions; community resources, community networks, institutions and services, people–place connections, active agents, and learning; are activated in processes and activities in the village to respond to current challenges. Although this corroborates findings from other community resilience research, this research suggests that community resilience is both complex and dynamic over time. Although communities may consider themselves resilient to today’s challenges, the rate and magnitude of expected systemic global changes, especially climate change, means that future resilience cannot be taken for granted. This work concludes that there is a risk that community resilience may be an illusion, leading to complacency about the need for adaption to multiple factors of change. Hence, the ability of communities to actively engage in reflexive learning processes is of importance for both adaptation and future resilience.

about 22 hours ago

Despite the increasing trend worldwide of integrating indigenous and scientific knowledge in natural resource management, there has been little stock-taking of literature on lessons learned from bringing indigenous knowledge and science together and the implications for maintaining and building social-ecological system resilience. In this paper we investigate: (1) themes, questions, or problems encountered for integration of indigenous knowledge and science; (2) the relationship between knowledge integration and social-ecological system resilience; and (3) critical features of knowledge integration practice needed to foster productive and mutually beneficial relationships between indigenous knowledge and science. We examine these questions through content analyses of three special journal issues and an edited book published in the past decade on indigenous, local, and traditional knowledge and its interface with science. We identified broad themes in the literature related to: (1) similarities and differences between knowledge systems; (2) methods and processes of integration; (3) social contexts of integration; and (4) evaluation of knowledge. A minority of papers discuss a relationship between knowledge integration and social-ecological system resilience, but there remains a lack of clarity and empirical evidence for such a relationship that can help distinguish how indigenous knowledge and knowledge integration contribute most to resilience. Four critical features of knowledge integration are likely to enable a more productive and mutually beneficial relationship between indigenous and scientific knowledge: new frames for integration, greater cognizance of the social contexts of integration, expanded modes of knowledge evaluation, and involvement of inter-cultural “knowledge bridgers.”

about 22 hours ago

Ecological research, especially work related to conservation and resource management, increasingly involves social dimensions. Concurrently, social systems, composed of human communities that have direct cultural connections to local ecology and place, may draw upon environmental research as a component of knowledge. Such research can corroborate local and traditional ecological knowledge and empower its application. Indigenous communities and their interactions with and management of resources in their traditional territories can provide a model of such social-ecological systems. As decision-making agency is shifted increasingly to indigenous governments in Canada, abundant opportunities exist for applied ecological research at the community level. Despite this opportunity, however, current approaches by scholars to community engaged ecological research often lack a coherent framework that fosters a respectful relationship between research teams and communities. Crafted with input from applied scholars and leaders within indigenous communities in coastal British Columbia, we present here reflections on our process of academic–community engagement in three indigenous territories in coastal British Columbia, Canada. Recognizing that contexts differ among communities, we emerge with a generalizable framework to guide future efforts. Such an approach can yield effective research outcomes and emergent, reciprocal benefits such as trust, respect, and capacity among all, which help to maintain enduring relationships. Facing the present challenge of community engagement head-on by collaborative approaches can lead to effective knowledge production toward conservation, resource management, and scholarship.

about 23 hours ago

Resilience is emerging as a promising vehicle for improving management of social-ecological systems that can potentially lead to more sustainable arrangements between environmental and social spheres. Central to an understanding of how to support resilience is the need to understand social change and its links with adaptation and transformation. Our aim is to contribute to insights about and understanding of underlying social dynamics at play in social-ecological systems. We argue that longstanding indigenous practices provide opportunities for investigating processes of adaptation and transformation. We use in-depth analysis of adaptation and transformation through engagement in participatory action research, focusing on the role of cultural and social practices among the Guna indigenous peoples in Panama. Our findings reveal that cultural practices facilitating leadership development, personhood development, and social networking are critical for enabling both adaptation and transformation. Further, we argue that Guna ritual practice builds additional skills, such as critical self-reflection and creative innovation, that are important for supporting the deeper changes required by transformation.

about 24 hours ago

Faced with numerous seemingly intractable social and environmental challenges, many scholars and practitioners are increasingly interested in understanding how to actively engage and transform the existing systems holding such problems in place. Although a variety of analytical models have emerged in recent years, most emphasize either the social or ecological elements of such transformations rather than their coupled nature. To address this, first we have presented a definition of the core elements of a social-ecological system (SES) that could potentially be altered in a transformation. Second, we drew on insights about transformation from three branches of literature focused on radical change, i.e., social movements, socio-technical transitions, and social innovation, and gave consideration to the similarities and differences with the current studies by resilience scholars. Drawing on these findings, we have proposed a framework that outlines the process and phases of transformative change in an SES. Future research will be able to utilize the framework as a tool for analyzing the alteration of social-ecological feedbacks, identifying critical barriers and leverage points and assessing the outcome of social-ecological transformations.

Mar 26, 15

Many ecologists and environmental scientists witnessing the scale of current environmental change are becoming increasingly alarmed about how humanity is pushing the boundaries of the Earth’s systems beyond sustainable levels. The world urgently needs global society to redirect itself toward a more sustainable future: one that moves intergenerational equity and environmental sustainability to the top of the political agenda, and to the core of personal and societal belief systems. Scientific and technological innovations are not enough: the global community, individuals, civil society, corporations, and governments, need to adjust their values and beliefs to one in which sustainability becomes the new global paradigm society. We argue that the solution requires transformational change, driven by a realignment of societal values, where individuals act ethically as an integral part of an interconnected society and biosphere. Transition management provides a framework for achieving transformational change, by giving special attention to reflective learning, interaction, integration, and experimentation at the level of society, thereby identifying the system conditions and type of changes necessary for enabling sustainable transformation.

Mar 26, 15

Finland’s plans to replace the teaching of classic school subjects such as history or English with broader, cross-cutting “topics” as part of a major education reform have been getting global attention. Stay calm: despite the reforms, Finnish schools will continue to teach mathematics, history, arts, music and other subjects in the future. But with the new basic school reform all children will also learn via periods looking at broader topics, such as the European Union, community and climate change, or 100 years of Finland’s independence, which would bring in multi-disciplinary modules on languages, geography, sciences and economics.

Mar 25, 15

This book contains translations of eight of Hans-Georg Gadamer‘s best known studies on Plato. Although they all display the interpretive art for which Gadamer is so well known and may be said to exemplify the hermeneutical theory which he elaborated in his magnum opus, Truth and Method, they come from different periods in his development, and consequently the emphases are somewhat different in each of them. The first two studies are later works, “Logos and Ergon in Plato’s Lysis” and “The Proofs of Immortality in Plato’s Phaedo“. These were chosen to begin this volume because they most clearly illustrate Gadamer’s hermeneutical approach to Plato, an approach rather different from that with which the English-speaking world is familiar, although one which should make good sense to us now , given the development in our philosophy of language from the later Wittgenstein to Austin. Gadamer maintains that each of Plato’s dialogues…must be understood as spoken language, as a developing discussion.

Hans-Georg Gadamer is the father of contemporary philosophical hermeneutics. His work seeks a recovery of the Greek sense of a comprehensive and coherent worldview, which he believes has been lost in the fragmentation of modern industrial culture. Gadamer has written major studies of Plato, Aristotle, and Hegel. He is known for opposing science as it is developed and valued in Enlightenment thought. Gadamer’s major contribution has been his work in hermeneutics, an approach that seeks to liberate the humanistic interpretation of experience from the strictures of science and technology, challenging the doctrine that truth is correspondence between an external fact and an idea in the mind of a subject. In place of mechanistic perspectives that regard nature as nothing but raw material for human manipulation, philosophical hermeneutics aims to develop a broader interpretation of experience by showing that all experience is conditioned by history. Thus, various investigations of the same subject can lead to different conclusions. Only interpretation provides the means to understand how this can occur and also to open culture once again to the voices of art. As developed by Gadamer, hermeneutics engages tradition critically so that culture can become alert to its own moral horizons and thereby restore a continuity of thought and practice.

Mar 25, 15

For nearly half a century, research on education systems has been increasingly popular. However, this popularity was long restricted primarily to internationally linked policy makers and education planners, often backed up by international organizations such the OECD but also by governmental or para-governmental organizations within the individual countries. These institutional affiliations provided education research with a specific character that often centres on notions such as excellence, efficiency, or standards. The specific comparative character of this policy-driven research agenda triggered the development of suitable research techniques such as comparative statistics and pertinent sub-disciplines such as cognitive psychology. Backed-up by powerful global institutions, this agenda purported to be rather unique, and it tended to ignore the cultural complexity of the educational field and those research approaches that address this complexity. This volume includes different historical, cultural, and sociological approaches to the education systems and to questions as to how research on education systems can be undertaken beyond the parameters of the existing research agenda. They demonstrate how pertinent problems of research on education systems can only be tackled taking an international and interdisciplinary approach with regard to both research questions and methods concerning education systems.

Mar 25, 15

In recent decades, Susan Oyama and her colleagues in the burgeoning field of developmental systems theory have rejected the determinism inherent in the nature/nurture debate, arguing that behavior cannot be reduced to distinct biological or environmental causes. In Evolution’s Eye Oyama elaborates on her pioneering work on developmental systems by spelling out that work’s implications for the fields of evolutionary theory, developmental and social psychology, feminism, and epistemology. Her approach profoundly alters our understanding of the biological processes of development and evolution and the interrelationships between them. While acknowledging that, in an uncertain world, it is easy to “blame it on the genes,” Oyama claims that the renewed trend toward genetic determinism colors the way we think about everything from human evolution to sexual orientation and personal responsibility. She presents instead a view that focuses on how a wide variety of developmental factors interact in the multileveled developmental systems that give rise to organisms. Shifting attention away from genes and the environment as causes for behavior, she convincingly shows the benefits that come from thinking about life processes in terms of developmental systems that produce, sustain, and change living beings over both developmental and evolutionary time. Providing a genuine alternative to genetic and environmental determinism, as well as to unsuccessful compromises with which others have tried to replace them, Evolution’s Eye will fascinate students and scholars who work in the fields of evolution, psychology, human biology, and philosophy of science. Feminists and others who seek a more complex view of human nature will find her work especially congenial.

Mar 25, 15

The Ontogeny of Information is a critical intervention into the ongoing and perpetually troubling nature-nurture debates surrounding human development. This was a foundational text in what is now the substantial field of developmental systems theory. In this revised edition Susan Oyama argues compellingly that nature and nurture are not alternative influences on human development but, rather, developmental products and the developmental processes that produce them. Information, says Oyama, is thought to reside in molecules, cells, tissues, and the environment. When something wondrous occurs in the world, we tend to question whether the information guiding the transformation was pre-encoded in the organism or installed through experience or instruction. Oyama looks beyond this either-or question to focus on the history of such developments. She shows that what developmental “information” does depends on what is already in place and what alternatives are available. She terms this process “constructive interactionism,” whereby each combination of genes and environmental influences simultaneously interacts to produce a unique result. Ontogeny, then, is the result of dynamic and complex interactions in multileveled developmental systems. The Ontogeny of Information challenges specialists in the fields of developmental biology, philosophy of biology, psychology, and sociology, and even nonspecialists, to reexamine the existing nature-nurture dichotomy as it relates to the history and formation of organisms.

Mar 25, 15

As the twenty-first century unfolds, it is becoming more and more evident that the major problems of our time – energy, the environment, climate change, food security, financial security – cannot be understood in isolation. They are systemic problems, which means that they are all interconnected and interdependent. Ultimately, these problems must be seen as just different facets of one single crisis, which is largely a crisis of perception. It derives from the fact that most people in our modern society, and especially our large social institutions, subscribe to the concepts of an outdated worldview, a perception of reality inadequate for dealing with our overpopulated, globally interconnected world. There are solutions to the major problems of our time; some of them even simple. But they require a radical shift in our perceptions, our thinking, our values. And, indeed, we are now at the beginning of such a fundamental change of worldview in science and society, a change of paradigms as radical as the Copernican revolution. Unfortunately, this realization has not yet dawned on most of our political leaders, who are unable to “connect the dots,” to use a popular phrase. They fail to see how the major problems of our time are all interrelated. Moreover, they refuse to recognize how their so-called solutions affect future generations. From the systemic point of view, the only viable solutions are those that are sustainable. As we discuss in this book, a sustainable society must be designed in such a way that its ways of life, businesses, economy, physical structures, and technologies do not interfere with nature’s inherent ability to sustain life.

Mar 24, 15

In this chapter, we review the current state of evolutionary social psychology. We begin with a brief primer on exactly what evolutionary social psychology is and is not, articulating its assumptions and the tools it provides for inquiry into social cognition and behavior. We then present an overview of what we call the affordance management system—a conceptual framework that articulates, in general terms, the manner in which many evolved psychological mechanisms influence cognition and behavior as individuals negotiate the many threats and opportunities inherent in social life. We proceed to review many different lines of evolutionarily informed research on a wide range of social psychological phenomena. This review highlights the many novel and nuanced hypotheses that have been deduced within an evolutionary framework, and illustrates the generative and integrative power of evolutionary logic when applied to the study of social psychology. We then address broader questions. We explore the relationships among evolved adaptations, development, learning, and culture. We discuss several epistemic and methodological issues that attend inquiries in evolutionary social psychology (and common misunderstandings that arise from these issues). We identify promising directions for future research. Finally, we reconsider the utility that an evolutionary perspective offers to scientific inquiry into social behavior.

Mar 24, 15

The basic pattern found in the evolution of cognition is a pattern in which individual organisms derive an advantage from cognitive capacities in their attempts to deal with problems and opportunities posed by environmental complexity of various kinds. Cognitive capacities confer this advantage by enabling organisms to coordinate their behavior with the state of the environment. Cognition itself should be thought of as a diverse “tool-kit” of capacities for behavioral control, including capacities for perception, internal representation of the world, memory, learning, and decision-making. These capacities vary across different types of organism and are not sharply distinguished from other biological capacities, some of which have a “proto-cognitive” character. The “environment” referred to in the Environmental Complexity Thesis – ECT – includes the social environment, and there are some reasons to believe that problems posed by social complexity have been very important in the evolution of primate and human intelligence. Many specific evolutionary scenarios that have been discussed as possible explanations of particular cognitive capacities are instances of the ECT, or have the ECT as a part.

Mar 24, 15

Human intelligence appears to be unique in the biological world, but how did it arise? Its very existence raises two fascinating and difficult questions. What evolutionary factors have given rise to human intelligence? How great is the discontinuity between the mental life of humans and that of other animals? Two recently published studies provide important new data relevant to the evolution of human intelligence. Both studies of social behavior in baboons, Bergman et al. demonstrated that baboons use two criteria simultaneously to classify other troop members, and Silk et al. showed that highly social female baboons have higher reproductive success than less social females. Taken together, these studies provide strong evidence for the importance of social context in cognitive evolution.

Mar 24, 15

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have become a prominent feature of the higher education discourse in recent years. Yet, little is known about the effectiveness of these online courses in engaging participants in the learning process. This study explores the range of pedagogical tools used in 24 MOOCs, including the epistemological and social dimensions of instruction, to consider the extent to which these courses provide students with high-quality, collaborative learning experiences. Findings suggest that the range of pedagogical practices currently used in MOOCs tends toward an objectivist-individual approach, with some efforts to incorporate more constructivist and group-oriented approaches. By examining MOOCs through the lens of engaged teaching and learning, this study raises concerns about the degree to which MOOCs are actually revolutionizing higher education by using technology to improve quality, and challenges educators to strive for more creative and empowering forms of open online learning.

Mar 24, 15

There is increasing pressure for Higher Education institutions to undergo transformation, with education being seen as needing to adapt in ways that meet the conceptual needs of our time. Reflecting this is the rise of the flipped or inverted classroom. The purpose of this scoping review was to provide a comprehensive overview of relevant research regarding the emergence of the flipped classroom and the links to pedagogy and educational outcomes, identifying any gaps in the literature which could inform future design and evaluation. The scoping review is underpinned by the five-stage framework Arksey and O’Malley. The results indicate that there is much indirect evidence emerging of improved academic performance and student and staff satisfaction with the flipped approach but a paucity of conclusive evidence that it contributes to building lifelong learning and other 21st Century skills in under-graduate education and post-graduate education.

Mar 24, 15

With the advent of Smartphone technology, access to the internet and its associated knowledge base is at one’s fingertips. What consequences does this have for human cognition? We frame Smartphone use as an instantiation of the extended mind—the notion that our cognition goes beyond our brains—and in so doing, characterize a modern form of cognitive miserliness. Specifically, that people typically forego effortful analytic thinking in lieu of fast and easy intuition suggests that individuals may allow their Smartphones to do their thinking for them. Our account predicts that individuals who are relatively less willing and/or able to engage effortful reasoning processes may compensate by relying on the internet through their Smartphones. Across three studies, we find that those who think more intuitively and less analytically when given reasoning problems were more likely to rely on their Smartphones (i.e., extended mind) for information in their everyday lives. There was no such association with the amount of time using the Smartphone for social media and entertainment purposes, nor did boredom proneness qualify any of our results. These findings demonstrate that people may offload thinking to technology, which in turn demands that psychological science understand the meshing of mind and media to adequately characterize human experience and cognition in the modern era.

Mar 23, 15

This study analyzed current uses of emerging Web 2.0 technologies in higher education with the intent to better understand which tools teachers are using in the classroom. A total of 189 faculty in higher education from three western US universities were invited to participate, with 54 completing the survey. The survey included open-ended questions as well to offer an alternative analysis approach. In this study, the respondents claimed that the intrinsic factors of a lack of time and training were the main barriers to use, and reported positive views of Web 2.0 use in class, with 75% saying that these tools would benefit students and 83% saying they would benefit teacher-student interactions. In contrast to these results only 44% of the respondents used at least 4 of the 13 listed Web 2.0 tools with students. The reported uses did not match with the reported benefits, and this would support the results that extrinsic factors (time, training, support), instead of intrinsic factors (beliefs, motivation, confidence) are the main barriers to faculty in this study using more Web 2.0 in education. The top five Web 2.0 tools used, in order of preference, follow: (a) video sharing with tools like YouTube; (b) instant messaging; (c) blogs; (d) social communities, such as Facebook; and (e) podcasts or video casts. This data was originally submitted to the Abraham S. Fischler School of Education in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education.

Mar 23, 15

Higher education institutions face conflicting challenges; they must equip students with up-to-date knowledge in fields in which knowledge is constantly being renewed, while they also need to guide students to examine reality through broad-based observation and consider different scientific disciplines. They operate within different constrictions such as: learning program boundaries, budgetary constrictions, and lack of accessibility to experts in different areas, and the range of courses offered to students is limited. To cope with these constrictions, Ort Braude Academic College of Engineering opened an experimental program. As part of this program, students were allowed to study MOOC courses under the college’s supervision, and were eligible for accreditation if they completed the courses successfully. Only 15 out of the 600 students offered the program, registered for these courses. Only seven were accepted for the program. This paper describes the background for the college’s decision, the registration process and supervision of students, detailing students’ challenges and achievements in the MOOC courses. Students who completed the MOOC courses reported that they enjoyed meaningful learning, requiring serious efforts in comparison to the courses that the MOOC courses replaced. Given this positive feedback by the students, it was decided to continue with the experiment.

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