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Jason Wolfe

Speaker Curator / Teacher, TEDxTokyo

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In education, Finland is usually at the top & the USA near the bottom, but what is the middle or upper middle doing?

Like many other situations we like to focus on the extremes, and although learning from the best is not a bad idea, I would like to learn a little from the pretty darn good.

What are all those countries located in the upper middle area doing to get themselves where they are? Something tells me they aren't just avoiding wat the USA is doing and emulating Finland.

If you can, please share some of your stories and knowledge on what is working for you that other teachers and educators could mull over.


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  • Apr 23 2013: Tell us Ted, why did you censor my offerings to all runners? Was it because I can prove that I can think for myself, while adding new thinking to science? What new thinking have you ever added Ted?

    The science of running by Jim Ryan.

    Yes, I used to run 10 miles a day for about 2 years. For whatever reason, I started counting a cadence in my head, that matched the cadence of my footfalls and my breathing, which synced body and mind, helping me to get into a trance like state, allowing me to run mile after mile without stress and the last mile I could run almost flat out.

    I know they teach different things today, but give my method a try, I think you'll like it. By the way, keep your eyes focused just in front of you, on the ground.

    The cadence in running I used to use was, "one two three one", " one two three two", "one two three three", and keep going.

    It's a 4 count breathing in and then a 4 count breathing out.

    Happy running.
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      Apr 24 2013: Hi Jim

      I don't think you have been censored by anyone but I do not see how the running story you shared answers my question.

      I am looking for education examples from the middle. We here a lot about the best and the worst but not much about the middle.

      • Apr 24 2013: From where I sat in school, teachers taught from the middle. I never experienced a teacher teaching the best. I was always taught to be the best I could be. Why would you want anything middle of the road? Is that what your bosses expect of you? My bosses always wanted the best. If you ask your children to be middle of the road, that's what their expectations of the world will be.

        You'll have to talk to middle of the roaders so to speak, I was taught to be a critical thinker and problem solver.

        Since you mention only my running post, here's my post on gravity that none yet can refute.


        Original work
        Jim Ryan

        Look to the space junk that NASA wants to possibly incinerate in space. It must be in a high orbit not to fall back to earth. That suggests that gravity is keeping it there. Space junk in a lower orbit eventually falls back to earth. There are two forces in gravity, one is attraction and one is repulsion. I will explain. The planets must sit in the suns high orbits, considering their mass, keeping them from falling into the sun, just as the space junk does not fall back to earth from its high orbit around the earth.

        Those like myself are not a flash in the pan, we offer new thinking on a regular basis. Sorry, I can't help you with middle of the road.
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          Apr 24 2013: Oh I see...when I say middle I don't mean 50% or middle of the road. I am a teacher and definitely give more than that and expect more than that.

          If you look at the OECD chart (see the links posted by Fritzie and myself earlier in the thread) there are lot of countries in the middle, and there doesn't seem to be that many 'points' separating them.

          My concern is that we always here about the top and the bottom, we do like to celebrate extremes, but not much about the middle (I think this is a good middle) and I was hoping someone could share a few ideas from there about what is working for them.

      • Apr 24 2013: What is there to celebrate when not one country in the world teaches children to think for themselves?
        Can you show that the countries do teach children to think for themselves? What one new bit of thinking have you brought to the world? Actually, critical thinkers bring new thinking on a consistent basis, properly motivated.

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