Quotes from Others

Thought of the Day: “Probability theory is telling us something about the way our own minds operate”

I have started to read the book Probability Theory: The Logic of Science, by the late E. T. Jaynes.  From what I understand so far, I think there is a high plausibility that it will help me have a more unified and deeper understanding of probability (and hence statistics).   In reading the preface, he makes some interesting observations about probability and human thinking, and it seems quite apropos, and relevant to the recent advances in the fields of artificial intelligence, such as the recent match of Go.

A quote from the book that particularly struck me was the following:

… it is clear that probability theory is telling us something about the way our own minds operate when we form intuitive judgments, of which we may not have been consciously aware. Some may feel uncomfortable at these revelations; others may see in them useful tools for psychological, sociological, or legal research.

Thought of the Day: Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write.

As part of my data science self-study, I was reading Flaws and Fallacies in Statistical Thinking, and ran across the quote by H.G. Wells: “Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write.”  Since I know many quotes (even those in textbooks) are at least partially apocryphal, I searched, and found the original quote to be:

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Thought of the Day: Charter Schools… operate free from the traditional bureaucratic and regulatory red tape that hog-ties public schools.

Charter schools are independent public schools, designed and operated by educators, parents, community leaders, educational entrepreneurs, and others. They are sponsored in California by school districts and county boards of education that monitor their quality and integrity but allow them to operate free from the traditional bureaucratic and regulatory red tape that hog-ties public schools. Freed from such micro management, charter schools design and deliver programs tailored to educational excellence and community needs. – Kimberly B. Born, California Department of Education

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Thought of the Day: “Being challenged, but not punished if incorrect.”

One of my students was sharing at the end of their Excel course that learning was best when they were “Being challenged but not punished if incorrect.”  I think there is a lot of value in this feeling, and it shows a problem with how traditional assessment/evaluation/grading systems work.  In this quarter, I had several students tell me how great of a teacher I was, but I also know I had far more students fail my course than pass it, and I wonder how I could have helped those students more.  I believe part of the answer lies in having assignments that are challenging, and then having an assessment & evaluation system or work that doesn’t punish students, but has built-in methods of encouraging students to try again so they can succeed.  This is what video games do very well, and it is amazing to me that we haven’t gamified higher education (or even primary and secondary education) to a greater degree.

Thought of the Day: “I ask you to consider the principle of Subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is the idea that a central authority should only perform those tasks which cannot be performed at a more immediate or local level… Subsidiarity is offended when distant authorities prescribe in minute detail what is taught, how it is taught and how it is to be measured.”

This year, as you consider new education laws, I ask you to consider the principle of Subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is the idea that a central authority should only perform those tasks which cannot be performed at a more immediate or local level. In other words, higher or more remote levels of government, like the state, should render assistance to local school districts, but always respect their primary jurisdiction and the dignity and freedom of teachers and students.

Subsidiarity is offended when distant authorities prescribe in minute detail what is taught, how it is
taught and how it is to be measured. I would prefer to trust our teachers who are in the classroom each
day, doing the real work–lighting fires in young minds

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Thought of the Day: “As teachers, we must continue to re-engineer our curriculum, experiment with new and different methods of delivering course content, and bring emerging technologies into our classrooms.”

As teachers, we must continue to re-engineer our curriculum, experiment with new and different methods of delivering course content, and bring emerging technologies into our classrooms.

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Thought of the Day: “A Straight-A Student has straight A’s not because of teachers, but in spite of teachers”

Also consider that if you [have] a straight-A student in your class, that student has straight A’s not because of teachers, but in spite of teachers. That’s what having straight-A means. It means you do well, no matter the teaching talent of the teacher. That’s what straight A’s mean. So if you’re a teacher and you put forth your straight-A student as though you had something to do with it, you are deluding yourself.

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