New – Making Instructional Decisions – A guide for both novice and veteran teachers and A dozen important brain based learning concepts – Things every teacher (and parent) should know
Welcome Fellow Travelers:
I bid you warm greetings and invite you to view my personal cache of educational webpages and blog space. Here are posted updated webpages from my original site which was housed at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point from 1997-2013. Many older versions of these pages were used to support my teaching varied education courses over my 22 year career as a university professor.
Since blog spaces can be a little more laid back, as well as personal and political, visitors from my previous site will find that I have culled my old webpages, updated many of them, and have added a few new things. I retired in 2009 as a full professor, but continued to teach graduate courses online for UW-SP through 2012. As a number of the webpages I posted had become integral to others’ teaching curricula, and continued to be popular with web users, I have moved the more visited or frequently accessed concepts here to The Second Principle. However, not everything was moved from the UW-SP site. I have also added a blog space where, when so moved, I can rant, rave or share.
Beyond your own personal use, if you would like to use any of my work, please see the details in my usage policies. If you find materials that are helpful, please pass them on to parents and other educators. I am always happy to dialogue with people about issues in education I hold dear, please contact me. And like most folks who work hard, I always appreciate knowing if posted materials are useful to others.
As a form of pay-it-forward, if you utilize the information I have provided or find the site useful in any way, I request you commit a simple act of random kindness as cosmic payment. Thanks in advance for honoring the intention of my request!
This website is divided into six general areas that reflect my previous and continuing interests.
Blog (my rants and raves)
Creativity (varied topics — levels and types of creativity; how to remain inspired; creative thinking, and more)
Optimal Learning (selections from educational psychology, educational neuroscience [brainbased learning], and theories of learning that allow teachers to optimize learning)
Instructional Design (concepts that should be part of planning and curricular development)
Teaching Essentials – (things all teachers should know — in my humble opinion rudimentary elements and selected best practices.)
Recommendations (exceptional web resources, books, and more)
Why the title the second principle? My title and its related quote comes from The Golden Bough, written in 1922 by Sir James Frazer. The book is a serious treatise on magic, more as an anthropological study rather than a mystical one. The second principle of magic Frazer dubs “contagious magic.” I named my wee bit of cyberspace after his second principle because I do believe that we affect one another through direct and indirect contact, positively or negatively, every day. I also believe evidence of that contact resides with individuals for a long time and therefore we should take our interactions, attitudes, words, and deportment very seriously.
The Internet is a perfect example of how Frazer’s second principle, also designated the Law of Contact or “contagious magic,” works. Some folks post seemingly neutral materials that are either just banter, or may be seemingly neutral data or facts. This information initially may appear to have relatively little effect on others – perhaps they are just FYI kinds of things. But even the most neutral information might be integral to others’ decisions. And then there are those who actively attempt to inspire, elevate, and enlighten others with information that is intentionally positive, reports or examples of wonderful, hopeful new ideas, reinterpretations of old ones, or “how to” information or prototypes. But unfortunately this new genre is also a highway for those who wish to pander the worst of humanity – purveyors of hate, meanness, misery, venom, the nastiest things that poison humanity. For me these are the bottom feeders of cyberspace. My point is rather obvious — anyone entering cyberspace, through the principle of “contagious magic,” can expect to be affected in some way, and they then carry that influence forward as they interact with others.
In case you might be curious, according to Frazer the first law of magic is the Law of Similarity – like produces like.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope I have shared something useful or inspiring.