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KwHayes comments on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2012) - Less Wrong

25 Post author: orthonormal 26 December 2011 10:57PM

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Comment author: KwHayes 27 December 2011 01:17:10AM *  13 points [-]

Hello! I'm male, 20-something, educator, living in Alberta, Canada. I came across LessWrong via some comments left on a Skepchick article.

My choice to become an educator is founded upon my passion for rational inquiry. I work in the younger grades, where teaching is less about presenting and organizing knowledge and more about the fundamental, formative development of the human brain. Because of this, I am interested in exploring the mental faculties that produce "curiosity behaviors" and the relationship between these behaviors and motivation.

I'm a constructivist at heart; I help guide my students to become masterful thinkers and doers by modifying environmental variables around them. Essentially, I trick them into achieving curriculum-mandated success by 'exploiting' their mental processes. In order to do this effectively, I need to understand as best I can the processes that guide human thoughts and behaviors. This is something I have been interested in since I was young - I am fortunate to have found a career that allows me to explore these interests and use my understanding to better my students'.

I've considered myself to be a rationalist since i was 16 or so, and it's hard to trace my motivations to anything declarative. I have always been a disassembler; As a child, I would take things apart and explore them, but I would rarely put anything back together. Instead, I would use my energy to create new things for myself. This probably alludes to something meaningful about my own brain, but I am so far unable to fully illuminate it.

My goal here is to explore the thoughts and ideas of others and construct enduring understandings for myself. It would be great if these understandings can be applied to education, but satisfying and reinforcing my own curiosity will suffice :). My background is weakly academic; I do not have formal experience with many of the theoretical frameworks that I've seen used here, but I feel that my knowledge and experience will allow me to add some value. I'm a debater, a discusser, and a collaborator, so I think I will fit in pretty well. I'm also excited at the prospect of meeting individuals with whom my interests overlap - so far, the chances seem pretty good!

In short: I am an educator, interested in the way that environment and media interact with the human faculties of inquiry and curiosity. My goal is to understand how these faculties influence motivation, and eventually learning. I am also concerned with the ways that we define all of the above words, and especially what teachers sometimes thoughtlessly call "intelligence." I hope to one day develop a more clear framework of learning as it relates to cognitive processes.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 27 December 2011 01:30:44AM 5 points [-]

Welcome! I hope you'll post about some of the specific methods you're used with your students.

Comment author: cousin_it 27 December 2011 01:07:41PM *  3 points [-]

I am interested in exploring the mental faculties that produce "curiosity behaviors" and the relationship between these behaviors and motivation.

This interests me because my small experience with teaching kids suggests that curiosity is indeed the bottleneck resource. Please post about your experiments and conclusions.

Comment author: Curiouskid 02 January 2012 12:15:24AM 0 points [-]

You should talk to daenerys she's also an educator of the young.