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Old 02-18-2010   #21
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BLAB (Bottom line at bottom)
Each of these metaphysical positions or presuppositions predisposes one to a certain solution set for the problem of how one figures out how to get along in the world. But, whatever way one comes down on the question of primacy of place, I trust we can all recognize that at least two different activities are involved and a complete solution requires the successful application of both.
Yup. I was wondering when you would weigh in WM .

Without a (fairly) clear metaphysical model that, BTW, I would argue has to include those of our current and potential opponents, we are dead in the water.

Then again, just mention "metaphysics" and it scares the snot out of most materialists (the dominant metaphysical paradigm in the Industrial Age)....
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Old 02-18-2010   #22
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Default Common Sense and Intuition

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Hard lesson learned at NTC: don't put all the tank ammo on the same HEMMT in the emergency resupply at the CTCP. I know how to plan for tactical resupply and I know how to pre-plan ammo packages that meet weight/cube standards for trucks - I wasn't "learning" how to plan tactical resupply; I was training it. Part of that training was refining the skill to the point that you don't put all the tank ammo on one HEMMT, even if it fits.
As a former tank company XO, I'm laughing, but as a cadet, I'd would of had no clue about what you're talking about. That's part of common-sense that comes with experience. I once had a commander that explained the we learn through one of two ways: 1. Mindless repitition, 2. Blunt Trauma. I think there's some truth to his thoughts.

The same thing goes for intuition. I think it first really hit me on my third tour. Instead of answer questions with "I think x,y, or z," I would just say that "something doesn't feel right." At the time, I couldn't understand or explain why I felt a certain way, but I seemed to have premonitions at certain times that an attack was coming or a tribal leader that seemed very friendly was playing me like a mark in a poker game. Later, back in school, I started researching more into psychology and the study of intution so now I'm better able to articulate those feelings and how they translate into my thoughts and analysis of a situation at times. At the same time, these "feelings" can be a conceptual block that distorts your reality if left unchecked or untrained.

So, here's where I'm going with this. Some would argue that common-sense and intution are gained through experience (i.e. wisdom) and trial and error. I disagree to a extent. I think it's possible to minimize the gap between the theory and practice. I think it's possible to teach our cadets and new LT's some of these intangible traits without them having to learn them the hard way in combat. That was the whole thought process behind developing ranger school back in the early 1960's- tough, realistic training of sleep and food deprivation to simulate combat.

But, how do we do this with the softer side of small wars? Gen Charailli started it back at Fort Hood in 2004. He had his officers work with city officials in Killeen (I think) so that they could get a grasp of what it takes to do nation-building.

I'll give one example of something that I'm considering and it involves anthropology. How do we give a crash course in anthropology so that our boys start gaining a way of understanding the complexities of different cultures? How do I impart what Anna Simons taught me on the anthropology of conflict and that of the combat advisor? How do I get them to read and process what MarcT writes and discusses in SWJ? Most likely, I can't do that. I'm not going to have the opportunity to send them to NPS prior to deployment or take a six-month sabatical to go study Mayan tribes in Guatemala. I gotta work this within my budget and time constraints.

I tried this technique as a commander back in early 2006, and it worked. I couldn't get my guys to read a lot. After The Sling and the Stone, they got burned out and didn't want to tackle the SF FID manuals or FM 3-24. At first, I was frustrated. They wouldn't read the books that might save there lives in combat, but they were obsessed with some book on dating (I think it was called the Little Black Blook). Anyways, some dude wrote a book on how to pick up any girl at any time. After a while, I realized this guy was on to something, and I could use his book as a way to train my boys. So, our informal training became comparing dating to small wars. Finally, I got their attention.

So, long post I know, as I got back and thought all of this through, I realized that despite all of our differences, people are people. We don't need to obtain cultural awareness; we simply have to spend time and get to know people. We don't do leadership engagements; we go and talk to people. In reality, the sunni sheiks that colluded with al Qaeda that I met had a lot in common with my southern-baptist country uncle in North Carolina. I just had to adapt my social skills to talk to them. A lot of this is learning how to actively listen. Other, more subtle tactics include sitting the way they do, holding the cigarette in the same manner, and mimicking their gestures.

I'm going to explore if this works. I tried it back in Cali by just getting out and talking to people- homeless guys, Salinas gang members, lawyers, and doctors. Just talking and trying to better my own skill sets. I'd like to take the complex issues of certain specialities in social science and see if I can convert them in to simple concepts for training. A "Good Enough" solution if you will.

Thoughts?

Mike

Last edited by MikeF; 02-18-2010 at 05:02 PM.
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Old 02-18-2010   #23
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[QUOTE=marct;93528]Yup. I was wondering when you would weigh in WM .QUOTE]


I subscribe to the idea that we will serve no bottom line before its time and finally decided, "it's time."

Metaphysics is not always about things, btw
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Old 02-18-2010   #24
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Default Interesting thread. Some points to ponder...

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One of my MMC professors at South Carolina once said of "higher education" -
As an undergrad we tell you what to think
As a master's student we teach you how to think
It's not until the PhD level that was ask "so, what do you think?"

* caveat: my experience with Ohio State these past 6 years has led me to believe that they are unable to get beyond step 2 in the process, and they reach that step only occasionally and almost always by accident.
These two gems don't require much pondering.

I agree with Steve and Mark that it's a late 50s through the early 70s phenomenon (the lengthy adaptation period caused by geographical and demographic absorption variables) and with Marc that a return to pre-WW II norms would be beneficial. However, the terrible thing about the issue is the damage it had done to the Educational process and most of those who labor effectively (as the 'system' allows) in that milieu.

Not least due to the arrogance of the assumption that one cannot have valid or useful thoughts unless one is a PhD. Having known quite a few, most do not have that attitude -- but some do and they tar the rest. Pity.

Of course, in fairness and as a hat tip to Sam, there are also those in the Armed Forces who are foolishly convinced their rank accords them exceptional wisdom.

People are so annoying...
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Old 02-18-2010   #25
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Hi Mike,

Still processing most of this, but a few thoughts....

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The same thing goes for intuition. I think it first really hit me on my third tour. Instead of answer questions with "I think x,y, or z," I would just say that "something doesn't feel right." At the time, I couldn't understand or explain why I felt a certain way, but I seemed to have premonitions at certain times that an attack was coming or a tribal leader that seemed very friendly was playing me like a mark in a poker game. Later, back in school, I started researching more into psychology and the study of intution so now I'm better able to articulate those feelings and how they translate into my thoughts and analysis of a situation at times. At the same time, these "feelings" can be a conceptual block that distorts your reality if left unchecked or untrained.
Very good point, Mike. Just to add to the mess of Greek terms WM tossed in, they (the Greeks) called this type of knowledge "thumos", what we used to call "gut knowledge", although most of the similar connotations disappeared in the early 20th century.

Training intuition, however, is tricky. I know quite a few systems that do it, but they are all fairly time intense. That said, I think they're worth it.

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But, how do we do this with the softer side of small wars? ....

Anyways, some dude wrote a book on how to pick up any girl at any time. After a while, I realized this guy was on to something, and I could use his book as a way to train my boys. So, our informal training became comparing dating to small wars. Finally, I got their attention.
No reason it shouldn't work, Mike ! That stuff I was writing earlier about how learning by/with analogy operates fits this example perfectly.

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How do we give a crash course in anthropology so that our boys start gaining a way of understanding the complexities of different cultures? How do I impart what Anna Simons taught me on the anthropology of conflict and that of the combat advisor? How do I get them to read and process what MarcT writes and discusses in SWJ?
The short answer, Mike, is that you cheat. A lot of "teaching" is about shifting the perceptions of those you are trying to teach. So, don't start with "complexity", start with simplicity. I used to give my students, back before the PC crowd vetoed it, a really simple exercise - surprisingly similar to your COIN as dating . First, I'd give them a "field exercise": go out to a bar that you would normally go to and just watch people. Since I was generally dealing with 19-21 year olds, that meant that almost all their bars were "meat markets". Now, while you are watching, start looking for patterns of behaviour and how people "identify by display" (what do they wear, how do they handle body language, etc.). Pretty soon, anyone can pick up on the general patterns and develop stereotypes. Then I'd get them to draw a map of the layout of the bar they were looking at and see if they could track the flow of people and how the physical environment encouraged / discouraged certain types of action and interaction. I'd then get them to write up their observations and we would talk about them at the next class.

Now, that next class was crucial, because I wouldn't give them any "facts", I would give them the "names" / terms that we (Anthropologists) used to describe the interactions they (the students) had actually seen. Those terms became the basis for a lot of future discussions about things like gender roles, display, ritual, etc. Even worked for archaeology, too . So, really all you need is a couple of exercises that will give your folks experiences that are analogous to the skills they need in the field, and then name those experiences for them such that all the boring books (and my posts!) now have an experiential base for them.

Cheers,

Marc
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Old 02-18-2010   #26
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Interesting quote I just read.

Quote:
Training gives education its practical significance; the two are opposite ends of the same continuum of learning. Both demand creativity, rigor, and insight. Training tends to be repetitive, rote, and methodical. Its purpose is to provide swift, responsive, and reflexive action in a deadly environment. Education, on the other hand, is reflective, integrative, and pattern-seeking. Just as training deals with the lethality of warfare, education confronts the ambiguity.
James J. Schneider - Professor of Military Theory
The School of Advanced Military Studies
Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas


In the foreword.

Leonhard, R. R. (1998). The principles of war for the information age. New York: Presidio Press.
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Old 02-18-2010   #27
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Great discussion so far. I'm still sorting through some of the comments. Each one is pretty deep.

Selil- thanks for posting those articles. They seem to flow with some of my thoughts, and you just articulated them better. The more I look, the more similarities that I see between the professor and the military officer. I really liked reading the article that your wife wrote. It is always pretty interesting to learn about the different ways that chidlren learn.

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Old 02-18-2010   #28
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Great discussion so far. I'm still sorting through some of the comments. Each one is pretty deep.
So am I ! I'll admit, this discussion would be, hmm, not necessarily "better" but, possibly, have more of a "flow" if we were doing it around a table, face to face. i guess it's just one of those frustrations I'm having to learn to live with .
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Old 02-19-2010   #29
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I really liked reading the article that your wife wrote. It is always pretty interesting to learn about the different ways that children learn.
My professorial spousal accessory unit is one of scariest intellectuals a person might meet. Her bachelors degree is in anthropology. She has, a masters in history (women's anti-slavery movement), a masters in computer science (software systems component engineering), soon to have a PhD in technology (computer forensics implications of science and technology), and will likely be getting her Jurist Doctorate. She is a beginning ultra-marathoner. Worse though...<sly look> a Canadian called her a liberal.

School districts (corporations where we live) don't like us. She prepared an extensive literature review on twinning and education policy nationwide. She then got the leading experts on ISTEM (Indiana science, technology, engineering and math) who work for the Governor to evaluate the local teaching strategies. We make teachers nuts but our children test higher than their peers (2 to 3 grade levels). It is not talent, or genetics (unless the milkman was a mensan).

The strategy of education in our house is that the world is our school house. We offer options (that we can live with) that have to do with learning. We have over 4K books in the house and ANY of them can be read. Right now one of my ten year olds is reading a college text on computer security. It seemed interesting to him. The other is reading the HALO (game) series of books. Next week? Who knows. Museums are where history lives. Lessons in engineering are learned while clearing brush out of the back yard. We've been having a bunch of discussions about the kinetic impact and how the body is engineered regarding their activities in Tae Kwon Do. Math is the language the describes the world. We evaluate the statistics given on the news. I think marct was alluding to a similar experience when he was growing up.

When talking about educational philosophy I have a basic criteria (agility, endurance, strength, and wisdom). This is applied to walking, running, school, martial arts, reasoning, basically living. In my laboratory there is a sign hanging that says "cognitive endurance required". A philosophy is different than principles of living as suggested by Benjamin Franklin (he had 13, I have 5, honor, honesty, courage, courtesy, and respect). Words have power. Reflect on the meaning of them as verbs and visualize what it means to embody them and changes occur.

When looking at professional military education I don't see the flexibility I would like but then again the product is supposed to be specific. I don't think the military wants to see a bunch of fully self actualized dream heads walking around talking about the meaning of existence. The military as an organization wants the smartest life takers and heart breakers they can find or create. Then they argue about the definitions of heart breakers and life takers.
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Old 02-19-2010   #30
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Hi Sam,

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Worse though...<sly look> a Canadian called her a liberal.
Well, at least it's with a small "l" .

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The strategy of education in our house is that the world is our school house. We offer options (that we can live with) that have to do with learning. We have over 4K books in the house and ANY of them can be read. Right now one of my ten year olds is reading a college text on computer security. It seemed interesting to him. The other is reading the HALO (game) series of books. Next week? Who knows. Museums are where history lives. Lessons in engineering are learned while clearing brush out of the back yard. We've been having a bunch of discussions about the kinetic impact and how the body is engineered regarding their activities in Tae Kwon Do. Math is the language the describes the world. We evaluate the statistics given on the news. I think marct was alluding to a similar experience when he was growing up.
Yup. We didn't have quite as many books when I was growing up; maybe 3k or so, but I was encouraged to read anything that caught my attention. At the same time, a lot of the dinner discussions would cut off with something like "ah, okay, go read Machiavelli's The Prince and we'll take this up again tomorrow". Because both my mother and grandmother had worked at the Royal Ontario Museum, I used to go there all the time, and I knew a lot of the curators and got to look at the stuff in storage.

I think that I probably had more exposure to the Arts than your kids are getting, Sam, but that's probably because my father had been a professional musician (before becoming a systems analyst and consultant), my mother taught acting, and my grandmother was a professional portrait painter who lived in a weird, inner-city Artists Colony .

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Originally Posted by selil View Post
When talking about educational philosophy I have a basic criteria (agility, endurance, strength, and wisdom). This is applied to walking, running, school, martial arts, reasoning, basically living. In my laboratory there is a sign hanging that says "cognitive endurance required". A philosophy is different than principles of living as suggested by Benjamin Franklin (he had 13, I have 5, honor, honesty, courage, courtesy, and respect). Words have power. Reflect on the meaning of them as verbs and visualize what it means to embody them and changes occur.
Sounds pretty similar, although mine is a touch more metaphysical.

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When looking at professional military education I don't see the flexibility I would like but then again the product is supposed to be specific. I don't think the military wants to see a bunch of fully self actualized dream heads walking around talking about the meaning of existence. The military as an organization wants the smartest life takers and heart breakers they can find or create. Then they argue about the definitions of heart breakers and life takers.
While the "product" may be supposed to be more specific, there does seem to be a concern that it may be the wrong specificity or, if not "wrong", then a less than optimal one . I suspect that's why documents such as the ALDS have glomed on to the word "adaptability"; they don't really know what it means, but they will know it when they see it.

One of the reasons why I truly appreciate the pre-Dewey educational system is that it has an inherent metaphysics built into it that is opposed to the mass market, consumerism of the Fordist model. Basically, it requires people to be the best that they can be. The downside, of course, is that it can be "elitist" in the worst sense of the term. All the same, you can get away with being a "dream head[s] walking around talking about the meaning of existence" as long as, when the crunch came, you can act decisively. Remember, this is the same system that gave rise to the phenomenon of the "professional amateur"; someone with all the skills and aptitude to perform a role who does it for love or honour .

So, what type of a metaphysical model should PME develop over the next, say, 20 years?
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Old 02-19-2010   #31
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So, what type of a metaphysical model should PME develop over the next, say, 20 years?
When you use the word metaphysical a circuit breaker in the back of my head goes "pop". I've been wrangling with different curricula models for quite awhile. Integrative, distributed, etc.. etc... They all seem to role the basic principles of industrial era education in new ways. I've got a couple things on my website about it, but basically any new model should have.

1) A new delivery mechanism has to be based on reasoning.
2) A new delivery mechanism has to be investigative (discovery) based.
3) .... has to be truly interdisciplinary (e.g. learn science through history).
4) .... has to have physical as well as mental aspects for real holistic views (we don't want muscle bound idiots, or floating brain pans).
5) .... has to include a merit based promotion system for knowledge, skills, and abilities attainment (evaluation and assessment is still needed).
6) .... has to adapt internally to environmental and societal changes without breaking (doesn't happen currently).
7) .... has to give up determinism for ... something?

Mortimer Adler in the 1980s suggested The Paideia Proposal, but that just took current education of the time and re-prioritized it. With TRADOC and most education systems they say "don't fix what works". Well, it sort of works sometimes, but it isn't nearly uncorking the potential of the students. If mediocre to sub-par is the goal we're there. If vastly superior capability is the goal we've a long way to go. Learner centered education systems currently appear to be narcissistic and elitist to a fault. They also require large amounts of resources. Neil Stephenson wrote a book about how learner centered education could effect society. I don't agree with several of his premises but it does beg the question of if not that, then what.
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Old 02-19-2010   #32
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When you use the word metaphysical a circuit breaker in the back of my head goes "pop".
Thought it might .

Most of the time I've been playing with the problem with other academic colleagues, they have shied away from metaphysics as if it were the plague, even while they criticized certain aspects of the current model.

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I've been wrangling with different curricula models for quite awhile. Integrative, distributed, etc.. etc... They all seem to role the basic principles of industrial era education in new ways. I've got a couple things on my website about it, but basically any new model should have.

1) A new delivery mechanism has to be based on reasoning.
2) A new delivery mechanism has to be investigative (discovery) based.
3) .... has to be truly interdisciplinary (e.g. learn science through history).
4) .... has to have physical as well as mental aspects for real holistic views (we don't want muscle bound idiots, or floating brain pans).
5) .... has to include a merit based promotion system for knowledge, skills, and abilities attainment (evaluation and assessment is still needed).
6) .... has to adapt internally to environmental and societal changes without breaking (doesn't happen currently).
7) .... has to give up determinism for ... something?
Interesting list, most of which I totally agree with. Hmm, let's see....

1 & 2. These two can be rolled together (along with some other stuff I'll touch on later), into a single concept where the delivery mechanism must be able to deliver different all "types" of knowledge (logos, gnosis, thumos).

3. Totally agree with. In fact, I would personally like to see "disciplines" shifted backwards to their original, mental / symbolic meaning (think "mental" or "religious" disciplines) and away from content areas. That would have the effect of matching "disciplines" with "learning styles".

4. Totally. I would also add in "performative" to the list, so integrating mind, body and "social". Think Musashi's Book of Five Rings or Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier; an integration of body, mind and "soul" as it were. BTW, I'm not pushing this one because I'm into performance arts, I'm pushing it because it complements and balances the others, which is one of the reasons I do it .

5. Granted that evaluation and assessment are still needed, but the form of them needs to be changed depending on the area of knowledge. So, for example, in areas of knowledge with high predictive validity, a "passing" grade needs to be near perfect; it's one of those "you can either do it or you can't at the moment" situations, where that "at the moment" is a crucial consideration.

"Promotion" is where we would have the most trouble, because it contains the implicit model of credentialization. Personally, I happen to like the medieval Guild model in Academia, but that can't be the solution, although I think it needs to be part of it. I'll have to think about this one for a bit.

6. Simpler to do when you are credentializing disciplines (as defined above) and areas of knowledge separately. The contents of the area of knowledge change, probably quickly, while the disciplines change slowly.

7. Non-deterministic adaptability in the Darwinian sense. Part of the problem with the modernist form of education is that it is predicated not only on a Fordist production model, but on the assumption that Spencer was right; and he wasn't. Maximal group survival is based on a) the amount of variation in the group and b) the ability of individuals in the group to rapidly move between immediately required selection criteria.

This last point, I think, is crucial to the future of PME since few other areas of social action have such an immediate operation of selection criteria (LE, and some others as well). So the area of knowledge, training and education both, would need to focus on a) multiple potentialities and b) rapid pattern recognition and shifting between framesets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by selil View Post
Mortimer Adler in the 1980s suggested The Paideia Proposal, but that just took current education of the time and re-prioritized it. With TRADOC and most education systems they say "don't fix what works". Well, it sort of works sometimes, but it isn't nearly uncorking the potential of the students. If mediocre to sub-par is the goal we're there. If vastly superior capability is the goal we've a long way to go. Learner centered education systems currently appear to be narcissistic and elitist to a fault. They also require large amounts of resources. Neil Stephenson wrote a book about how learner centered education could effect society. I don't agree with several of his premises but it does beg the question of if not that, then what.
Learner centered education, without internal discipline, will pretty much inevitably end up as elitist in the worst sense and narcissistic . The resource argument, I'm not so sure of. Certainly, if we rely on current models of resource production / distribution, you're correct, but that is a fairly recent (historically) development and there are a lot of alternatives (check out the Fourth Sector material on the economic value of volunteerism).

And on that note, I have to go prepare for an outreach concert at a couple of local schools (volunteer ).

Cheers,

Marc
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Old 02-19-2010   #33
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So, what type of a metaphysical model should PME develop over the next, say, 20 years?
Marc, let me take a step back before we jump into that question. I want to consolidate some of your thoughts along with Selil and WM using the example of Mrs. Liles (I hope that she doesn't mind us bragging on her a bit.) Then, I want to elaborate on some of the ideas suggested by Steve the Planner, John T, BB, and Steve Blair. If I can put all this together, we may find how to do this and not have to ask the question of what should we be doing.

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Originally Posted by selil View Post
My professorial spousal accessory unit is one of scariest intellectuals a person might meet. Her bachelors degree is in anthropology. She has, a masters in history (women's anti-slavery movement), a masters in computer science (software systems component engineering), soon to have a PhD in technology (computer forensics implications of science and technology), and will likely be getting her Jurist Doctorate.
Some of the most brilliant minds that I've met and studied are generalists with exposure to a broad range of study. I've often wondered if the forced specialization in social sciences is hampering our learning, creativity, and progress. Same thing holds in branches. I've served in some elite armor and infantry units and worked with some great SF guys. But, sometimes, the same thinking and mentality that made us great in some wars (i.e. tanks during the Thunder Runs) hampered our ability to think critically in others (um, death before dismount).

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School districts (corporations where we live) don't like us. She prepared an extensive literature review on twinning and education policy nationwide. She then got the leading experts on ISTEM (Indiana science, technology, engineering and math) who work for the Governor to evaluate the local teaching strategies. We make teachers nuts but our children test higher than their peers (2 to 3 grade levels). It is not talent, or genetics (unless the milkman was a mensan).
Welcome to the world of wicked problems. Almost any social reform is a wicked problem, and they quickly get political as stakeholders cling to the status quo processes, emotions and egos spark and clash, and money is involved. Tell her to drive on with the understanding sometimes just putting together the facts is not good enough. One has to learn how to mobilize, recruit, advertise, and influence. Wow, that's sounding very familiar. Oh yeah, it's phase one of Mao's guide to social revolution. Please don't make it an armed rebellion and start flying planes into public education offices .

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The strategy of education in our house is that the world is our school house.
Well done. Your children will thank you one day.

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When looking at professional military education I don't see the flexibility I would like but then again the product is supposed to be specific. I don't think the military wants to see a bunch of fully self actualized dream heads walking around talking about the meaning of existence. The military as an organization wants the smartest life takers and heart breakers they can find or create. Then they argue about the definitions of heart breakers and life takers.
emphasis mine, MikeF

Sam, I disagree with the last two sentences. IMO, that's our problem, and it leads us to 1. Rush to failure. We forget the 5 P's (Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance), and we don't do proper planning, reconnaissance, and intel-gathering to define the problem sets that we hope to change. 2. Leads to micro-management. For instance, we have a problem with too many civilians getting killed in A'stan. Solution- Place restrictions on the ground commander. That's a weak solution. There are better ways which I'm going to attempt to explain in my next article.

Ok, so the next step is discussing collaboration, aka "The Huddle," as a process of discovery, learning, and a pathway to better ideas. It's also very Socratic and akin to King Author's Round Table discussions.

Thoughts?

v/r

Mike
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Old 02-19-2010   #34
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Default TRADOC's Ideas on Training and Education.

Very interesting discussion and one that I have spent some time dealing with for the last few years. I come from a different perspective then most of the posts on this page; in that I am an internet educated holder of an associate’s degree in general education; however I am also a CSM and responsible for training, educating and developing junior leaders for our army.

Since the discussion started with TRADOC I went back to the latest DRAFT of FM 7.0 Training for Full Spectrum Operations and looked at their definitions of training and education.

Paragraph 3-5 states;

"The Army Training System comprises training and education. Training is not solely the domain of the generating force; similarly, education continues in the operational Army. Training and education occur in all three training domains. Training prepares individuals for certainty. Education prepares individuals for uncertainty. Education enables agility, judgment, and creativity. Training enables action."

I don’t particularly disagree with the statement. Training prepares one to act, and education prepares one to adapt those actions to meet success. That makes sense to me. What does not make sense to me is the ways in which the army has separated the two. As an enlisted soldier and later as an NCO, I have been “Educated” in only 4 schools in the Army; PLDC, BNCOC, ANCOC and the USASMA. Every other TRADOC experience I have had has been focused on “training”. Likewise I was never “educated” in unit training. The Army accounts for this by specifying three domains of training, one of which is self-development. That catch all says that if you need to know it, it is your responsibility.

That brings me to paragraph 3-9 which states;

“Traditional training and education may not meet all the needs of an expeditionary Army. The Army is adapting training and education as appropriate to meet the conditions of today‘s operational environments. Developing new approaches may be necessary to ensure Soldiers and Army civilians are confident in their ability to conduct full spectrum operations anywhere along the spectrum of conflict with minimal additional training.”

The reason for this paragraph was to give the opportunity to develop approaches to training such as Outcome-Based Training and Education (OBTE) of which I am a firm believer. The core idea behind OBTE is that simply training on a skill or learning new knowledge is not sufficient to develop soldiers capable of success in full spectrum operations. One key aspect of FSO that everyone can agree on is that there is no certainty on which to train. Every event will be new, different and unexpected, and it will come at a rapid pace with little time to prepare. What is necessary for success in FSO are soldiers who have been developed, through their training and education, to be adaptable leaders who are confident, inventive and who hold themselves responsible for meeting the strategic commander’s intent.

To get back to the original question; “what is education” I would say that education is half of the requirement to prepare soldiers for Hybrid Warfare and FSO (as stated in A Leader Development Strategy for a 21st Century Army, 25 Nov 2009). Education cannot be separated from Training if we are attempting to develop soldiers who can adapt their training to meet the demands of the current conflicts. Education is understanding the skills that one is trained on and how they interrelate, vital to understanding how to adapt those skills to uncertainty later in life.

This brings me to another point that I would like to bring up about Training and Education in our Army. FM 7.0 states that the goal of training is mastery (paragraph 2-42). It then defines mastery as being able to perform the task intuitively without having to think about how to perform it, and being able to perform the tasks to standard regardless of the conditions.

I disagree with the first statement that mastery is not thinking. I think a true master is someone who understands the task to the level that he can adapt it to any situation. I think that is summed up in the second half of the statement about performing to standard in any condition. By linking mastery to uncertainty (unknown conditions) Education becomes necessary to being labeled a “master”. I then think that TRADOC needs to relook in FM 7.0 the ideas of Mastery to incorporate execution of the task to standard (training), and understanding the task (education) to the level that it can be adapted to any conditions.
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Old 02-19-2010   #35
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Hi Mike,

Just some initial thoughts before I get in to more detail in my next post....

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Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
Marc, let me take a step back before we jump into that question. I want to consolidate some of your thoughts along with Selil and WM using the example of Mrs. Liles (I hope that she doesn't mind us bragging on her a bit.) Then, I want to elaborate on some of the ideas suggested by Steve the Planner, John T, BB, and Steve Blair. If I can put all this together, we may find how to do this and not have to ask the question of what should we be doing.
Mike, if the purpose of stepping back a bit is to reflect on the stuff already in play, I certainly have no problems with it. As I mentioned early, the "M" word tends to send people into a tizzy, as do the "E" (Epistemology) and "O" (Ontology) words . I raised it for a couple of reasons that, I believe, are actually quite pertinent.

First, you are absolutely correct about the 5 P's. The problem, though, is that to plan effectively, you have to know where you want to end up at a certain point in time, how much you are willing to spend to get there and how to get there; you need a map. Strangely enough, that gets you right smack into philosophy. What we consider to be the basic units of analysis, our nouns and verbs or map symbols if you want a cartographic analogy, are defined by our ontologies. These, in turn, are tested in the real world by how effective they are at achieving certain ends, and our test protocols are our epistemology. Underlying both of these is our basic assumptions about how "reality", where we live and operate, is constructed, and that is our metaphysics.

I'm not saying that we should dwell on it, just that we need to a) be aware of it, and b) think about the effects (2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th order) of what we propose, as well as the current, socio-cultural limitations on metaphysical assumptions.

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Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
Some of the most brilliant minds that I've met and studied are generalists with exposure to a broad range of study. I've often wondered if the forced specialization in social sciences is hampering our learning, creativity, and progress.
I've always thought that it did, especially after watching how some colleagues reacted when I started talking about "taboo" knowledge areas - like neuro-biology. And, while I have a definite preference for generalists - Renaissance (Wo)Men - it is absolutely critical that we have "specialists", otherwise we generalists wouldn't have anything to generalize about !

[IMG]file:///C:/Users/Marc/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-1.png[/IMG][IMG]file:///C:/Users/Marc/AppData/Local/Temp/moz-screenshot-2.png[/IMG]
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Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
Ok, so the next step is discussing collaboration, aka "The Huddle," as a process of discovery, learning, and a pathway to better ideas. It's also very Socratic and akin to King Author's Round Table discussions.
Well, outside of the fact that I'm sitting at my dining room table on my laptop with a glass of Merlot instead of a beer, isn't that what we are doing ? (Slightly) more seriously, what would you suggest? Personally, I would all be in favour of a week-long group get-together / retreat (preferably in the Caribbean!), but I doubt that we could get funding for it.

Cheers,

Marc
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Old 02-19-2010   #36
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Hi pup,

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Originally Posted by pup View Post
Very interesting discussion and one that I have spent some time dealing with for the last few years. I come from a different perspective then most of the posts on this page; in that I am an internet educated holder of an associate’s degree in general education; however I am also a CSM and responsible for training, educating and developing junior leaders for our army.
Excellent! We need someone who will go "Uh, guys, do you realize you are about to walk over a cliff?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by pup View Post
Since the discussion started with TRADOC I went back to the latest DRAFT of FM 7.0 Training for Full Spectrum Operations and looked at their definitions of training and education.

Paragraph 3-5 states;

"The Army Training System comprises training and education. Training is not solely the domain of the generating force; similarly, education continues in the operational Army. Training and education occur in all three training domains. Training prepares individuals for certainty. Education prepares individuals for uncertainty. Education enables agility, judgment, and creativity. Training enables action."

I don’t particularly disagree with the statement. Training prepares one to act, and education prepares one to adapt those actions to meet success. That makes sense to me. What does not make sense to me is the ways in which the army has separated the two. As an enlisted soldier and later as an NCO, I have been “Educated” in only 4 schools in the Army; PLDC, BNCOC, ANCOC and the USASMA. Every other TRADOC experience I have had has been focused on “training”. Likewise I was never “educated” in unit training. The Army accounts for this by specifying three domains of training, one of which is self-development. That catch all says that if you need to know it, it is your responsibility.
You know, I was never taught how to teach either, but I've been doing it for 15 years now, so I am very familiar with the "self-development" domain . Part of the problem I had when I started teaching was this training / educating dichotomy. I rapidly realized that most of my students just weren't prepared for what and how I wanted to teach, so i had to adjust to a more training based model. "Frustrating", since I was teaching in a university, doesn't even come close to it!

By the second time I taught a class, I had come to the conclusion that my students had never gone through what I would call "Basic [Academic] Training" - they couldn't write, they didn't know how to read like a scholar, and their most frequent question was "Will this be on the exam?" I *think*, I'm not sure, that a rough equivalent would be you teaching at an SNCO school and having a bright student ask you how many men where in a rifle platoon.

Every since then, I have had to assume that my students didn't have "the basics" - and that has held true for classes from Intro To.... through to graduate level courses - so I have had to structure the courses to assume that they were missing. Occassionally, all of my students have had the basics, and I have been pleasantly surprised; rapidly reworking my lectures as I go .

Quote:
Originally Posted by pup View Post
To get back to the original question; “what is education” I would say that education is half of the requirement to prepare soldiers for Hybrid Warfare and FSO (as stated in A Leader Development Strategy for a 21st Century Army, 25 Nov 2009). Education cannot be separated from Training if we are attempting to develop soldiers who can adapt their training to meet the demands of the current conflicts. Education is understanding the skills that one is trained on and how they interrelate, vital to understanding how to adapt those skills to uncertainty later in life.
I would agree with that with one, minor, proviso - that the training include training in how to adapt. This, to me, seems to be one of the stumbling blocks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pup View Post
This brings me to another point that I would like to bring up about Training and Education in our Army. FM 7.0 states that the goal of training is mastery (paragraph 2-42). It then defines mastery as being able to perform the task intuitively without having to think about how to perform it, and being able to perform the tasks to standard regardless of the conditions.

I disagree with the first statement that mastery is not thinking. I think a true master is someone who understands the task to the level that he can adapt it to any situation. I think that is summed up in the second half of the statement about performing to standard in any condition. By linking mastery to uncertainty (unknown conditions) Education becomes necessary to being labeled a “master”. I then think that TRADOC needs to relook in FM 7.0 the ideas of Mastery to incorporate execution of the task to standard (training), and understanding the task (education) to the level that it can be adapted to any conditions.
You know, the concept of "mastery" ties directly back to that old, Guild system I was talking about earlier: Apprentice, Journeyman, Master. "Masters" or "mastery" implies someone who has internalized an area of knowledge so well that they are not only licensed to make changes in it, they are noth capable and required to do so.

Years ago, back when the guild system was really operating, in order to gain recognition of "mastery" each candidate had to produce a "master piece" (NB: TWO words, not one). This was the piece of work upon which their mastery would be decided by other masters of the guild. In academia, we have a remnant of that still with the idea of defending a thesis / dissertation, but it has disappeared in most other areas.
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Old 02-19-2010   #37
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Default That's important.

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I would agree with that with one, minor, proviso - that the training include training in how to adapt. This, to me, seems to be one of the stumbling blocks.
Very important. It is easy to do yet is rarely done. Really good leaders will do it in subtle ways but too many will avoid it due to the subjectivity required in evaluating success. I believe it is mostly not done due to the fact training or educating to a sliding standard or a 'no right or wrong answer' solution make many uncomfortable. Shouldn't -- and it is absolutely NEEDED in warfighting!

Such a lack of 'objectivity' (and metrics...) definitely makes many in the US Army uncomfortable nowadays and I blame that largely on the Task, Condition and Standard training regimen.

That and the Congressional demand that the Army be able to show 'objectivity' in training and education to insure the supposed overseers that fairness reigns.
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You know, the concept of "mastery" ties directly back to that old, Guild system I was talking about earlier: Apprentice, Journeyman, Master. "Masters" or "mastery" implies someone who has internalized an area of knowledge so well that they are not only licensed to make changes in it, they are noth capable and required to do so.
While I and many would agree with you, the bureaucracy would not -- having the unannointed (non-LTC and above command selectees) make changes to processes or products is definitely a 'No-Go.'
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Old 02-20-2010   #38
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Selil wrote:

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School districts (corporations where we live) don't like us. She prepared an extensive literature review on twinning and education policy nationwide. She then got the leading experts on ISTEM (Indiana science, technology, engineering and math) who work for the Governor to evaluate the local teaching strategies. We make teachers nuts....
Actually, that would drive superintendents nuts, Sam.

Most university teacher training programs do not emphasize the epistemological methodology that has been demonstrated by research to work. Most teachers of science and nearly all elementary teachers are unqualified to teach science in any sense that resembles "science" as it is practiced in a lab. The conditions for teacher preparation in history or social studies border on the non-existent.
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Old 02-20-2010   #39
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Hi pup,

Thank you for your comments. I can tell you that no piece of paper can ever define the wisdom that a GOOD sergeant major brings to the table.

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Well, outside of the fact that I'm sitting at my dining room table on my laptop with a glass of Merlot instead of a beer, isn't that what we are doing ? (Slightly) more seriously, what would you suggest? Personally, I would all be in favour of a week-long group get-together / retreat (preferably in the Caribbean!), but I doubt that we could get funding for it.
Yes, Marc. We do it here everyday. What I'm trying to write about is how to expand that impact. Something Steve the Planner suggested has been bouncing through my head this week,

How do we make one plus one greater than two?

More on Monday. Off to the beach to watch my brother preach and attend my niece's bday party.

Mike

Last edited by MikeF; 02-20-2010 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 02-20-2010   #40
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Default Obsolete Thinking Worse Than Osolete Weapons

GEN Mattis weighs in at the CNAS conference on Officer Development,

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“I believe the single primary deficiency among senior U.S. officers today is the lack of opportunity for reflective thought,” he said. “We need disciplined and unregimented thinking officers who think critically when the chips are down and the veneer of civilization is rubbed off -- seeing the world for what it is, comfortable with uncertainty and life’s inherent contradictions and able to reconcile war’s grim realities with human aspirations.”
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