Open Thinkering


Tag: Flickr

Seven types of ambiguity and new literacies

Some people talk of ‘learning styles’ but I think that, really, we use each main type of style (kinaesthetic, visual, aural) depending on what it is we’re learning. In fact, as a teacher, I’ve observed this in the classroom.

Those (high-flyers) who have the groundwork understanding to quickly assimilate concepts need merely aural input to learn effectively.

Those (most of the class) who need some consolidation of the groundwork before assimilation need things explained visually.

Those (SEN, etc) who need to re-explain the groundwork completely before moving on need kinaesthetic activities.

Feel free to shoot me down, but that what I’ve observed. And the same is true for my own learning.

At the moment I’m trying to apply Empson’s Seven Types of Ambiguity to my Ed.D. thesis. Specifically, I’m interested in finding out how terms such as ‘digital literacy’ and ‘electracy’ are ambiguous. It’s confusing. So I did my equivalent of breaking out the Duplo:

Empson, the 1st type of ambiguity & literacies

Empson, the 2nd type of ambiguity & literacies

Empson, the 3rd type of ambiguity & literacies

Empson, the 4th type of ambiguity & literacies

Empson, the 5th type of ambiguity & literacies

Empson, the 6th type of ambiguity & literacies

Empson, the 7th type of ambiguity & literacies

Note that this is visual learning for you but kinaesthetic for me – I did something similar when doing my MA.

Thoughts/comments? Do you do something similar? :-p

My favourite proverbs from around the world.

Recently, I joined Newcastle City Library. Back in the day you had to live in Newcastle or the surrounding area (or be a student there) but times have changed. It’s everything a public library should be: light, clean, welcoming and easy-to-use.

I only had a short time to browse, but a book entitled As They Say In Zanzibar: Proverbial Wisdom From Around The World caught my eye. I love stuff like this; a country’s sayings reveal a lot about it’s culture and people.

Here’s some of my favourite from the (literally) thousands in the book:

Don’t put each foot on a different boat. (China)

Heroism consists in hanging on one minute longer. (Norway)

When it rains, fill the jar. (Turkey)

Hunger doesn’t say, ‘Stale bread,’ and cold doesn’t say ‘Old coat.’ (Georgia)

What is said over the dead lion’s body could not be said to him alive. (Republic of Congo)

No matter how long a log floats on the river it will never be a crocodile. (Mali)

Grief and joy are a revolving wheel. (India)

People who do what they say are not cowards. (Nigeria)

When you show the moon to a child, it sees only your finger. (Zambia)

A basket-maker who makes one basket makes a hundred. (Brazil)

Another reason why I like proverbs is because they’re a great example of what Steve Higgins, my Ed.D. thesis supervisor, would call productive ambiguity. They can be applied to many situations beyond the obvious!

I’d love to have the time to match up all of the wonderful proverbs to relevant Flickr pictures. I’ll have to make do with the rather handy Phrasr to semi-automate stuff instead… :-p

What are YOUR favourite proverbs?