Archive for June 2006

Dr. Joel Ibrahim Kreps, new book ‘Snakes and Ladders,Aphorisms for Modern Living’

June 14, 2006

Dr. Joel Ibrahim Kreps
Is a psychiatrist in private practice. He has previously taught psychiatry at McGill University's Faculty of Medicine. At the time his particular interests were in Integrative
Psychotherapy (synthesizing the various therapeutic modalities into a common framework) and the Negative Effects of Psychotherapy- a controversial subject even nowadays. Ultimately he left the institutional setting finding it stifling to his own process of discovery.

As well Dr. Joel Kreps has been on the spiritual path for 30 years- beginning with Buddhism but soon after finding his way to Islamic Mysticism(Sufism). He has nevertheless maintained an interest and respect for other spiritual paths including those of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Sikhism. The issue of comparative religion (the place of the different religious practices within the life of man) has remained for him a continuous preoccupation which is evident in much of his writing

December 11 Achievement

Anything of a serious nature that we would like to accomplish in life will
involve overcoming four obstacles

1) fear-there will be multiple sorts of fears-fear of failure,fear of negative
consequences,fear of harm to self or others,fear of poverty and fear of pain
amongst others

2)fatigue-a considerable effort will be necessary which will involve fatigue.
Imagine the Olympic athlete who trains in the early morning and late
afternoon,imagine the soft-ware programmer who has to go through the
night to meet a deadline,imagine the businessman who needs to work seven
days a week in the early days of operations

3)opposition-Any valuable project will meet with opposition. The family of the
artist will warn him that he won't be able to earn his living,the spouse and
children of the new businessperson will tell him to get a regular job as they
need a steady income,and the friends of the aspiring medical student will tell
him/her that it's too hard to get in

4)doubt-there are usually many reasons to doubt the success of the project
and to doubt one's own capacity to realize it.

December 18 Religion and Spirituality

Religion is about developing our love for God.
Spirituality is about realizing God's love for his creation.ich is evident in much of his writing.

Jane M. Healy – Interview AUTHOR OF FAILURE TO CONNECT

June 11, 2006

tECHNOS INTERVIEW II: ON TODAY Jane M. Healy – Interview

WARNING: THE MIND YOU SAVE BY NOT BUYING THAT WHIZ-BANG COMPUTER COULD BE YOUR OWN CHILD'S! THAT IS JANE HEALY'S MESSAGE FOR PARENTS AND EDUCATORS TODAY. SHE IS AN EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST WITH MORE THAN 35 YEARS' EXPERIENCE AS A CLASSROOM TEACHER AND PRINCIPAL, COLLEGE PROFESSOR, AND READING AND LEARNING SPECIALIST. SHE IS ALSO A PARENT AND GRANDPARENT WHO NOT ONLY HAS STUDIED THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN'S MINDS BUT ALSO HAS LIVED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HER OWN CHILDREN'S COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT. DR. HEALY IS THE AUTHOR OF FOUR BOOKS ON THE SUBJECT, THE MOST RECENT OF WHICH IS FAILURE TO CONNECT: HOW COMPUTERS AFFECT OUR CHILDREN'S MINDS — AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT (SIMON & SCHUSTER, 1999, PAPERBACK EDITION). IT IS A CAUTIONARY TALE, WARNING THAT THE RUSH TO COMPUTERS FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD USE IS FOOLHARDY AND DANGEROUS. SHE SAYS TOO MUCH OF THE SOFTWARE BEING DEVELOPED FOR YOUNG CHILDREN IS MERELY "EDUTAINMENT" MASQUERADING AS EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTS — AND IT'S FAR TOO COSTLY.

Do you ever feel like a voice crying in the wilderness when it comes to getting your message across?

I do very often. But it's been extremely interesting and surprising to me that the greatest support for my new book has come from the most technologically sophisticated people with whom I've had contact. I think the reason is that they understand very well the potential of this technology, which is so enormous. But they also know that it isn't a miracle worker, and that it can have a downside, depending on what kinds of applications are used.

You write in Failure to Connect: `Personally, I believe that the most important potential benefit of technology use is to free the power of children's minds.' So, you aren't anti-technology, per se, are you?

Hardly. I love technology and have been very involved in thinking about and watching the development of children using computers for long before it was widely accepted.

You began in 1979 as a teacher-principal getting computers in your school.

Yes, well, it was about 1980, and we started with the old Apple Classic, which was a fascinating bit of equipment! I was intrigued by them, and I thought that the potential there for freeing children's minds was terrific. This was, of course, Seymour Papert's vision in those days, when he first wrote his book Mindstorms. Unfortunately, what has happened is that because of the rapid commercialization of this field — and that certainly includes educational applications, not to mention what manufacturers are trying to peddle to parents — this potential has been almost completely diverted into getting kids to think inside the box instead of outside. And by that I mean, it's turned into a very reductive technology because the software, generally speaking, has one way that the child can work through it or maybe a set pattern of ways. There isn't much freeing up of children's minds, and I actually see it as limiting for them. I also have serious concerns about the mental habits that some of the most popular children's software is encouraging. That's extremely important, because at the age when these children are using the technology, the brain is very malleable, and the kinds of activities that the child engages in will make a significant difference in the kinds of mental skills they develop. This includes such things as internally generated motivation, and the habits that they're training their minds for, whether they're looking for a quick visual fix by punching buttons and clicking on a mouse or whether they're actually using their minds in reflective, creative, and deep ways — which children are very much capable of doing. But I'm afraid much of the software diverts them from that.

I was fascinated by that discussion in your book and the idea that if preschoolers and even toddlers use certain types of software, their brains would develop possibly in a different way than they were meant to evolve.

We don't have good research to answer that question, so it is currently a hypothesis. We do know that the brain at that age is very susceptible to different kinds of stimuli, and we know that there are sensitive periods when children need exposure to such things as direct human contact, language, behavioral habits, such as motivation and perhaps attention, not to mention just a basic sense of who you are as a human being and what the world is all about. The way that children gather these learnings is through their senses, through their bodies, through three-dimensional experience, not through a one-dimensional, symbolic excursion that ends up being someone else's symbols and images, and someone else's program.

Preface by Syed Ali Ashraf to; Aims and Objectives of Islamic Education

June 6, 2006

The aim and objectives of education can be stated after defining, the difference between education and instruction. Education helps in the complete growth of the individuals personality whereas instruction mainly trains an individual or a group to do some task efficiently. A man may be a great general, an efficient carpenter or a first class pilot, a lawyer, a mechanic or a pathologist, a renowned doctor, a chemical engineer or a chartered accountant, but still remains a semi educated ill-mannered, immoral, unrighteous or unjust man. Similarly a man may be a very fine painter, a good poet, or his love of beauty may be highly delicate and sensitive e, but he may, at the same time, be cruel or brutal or untruthful, unsocial individual. He could be highly selfish and deliberately ignore his duty towards his neighbours or even towards his wife and children. We can say that people have specialized in certain educational fields are well-instructed persons but we cannot necessarily regard them as truly educated. On the other hand, a man who knows and performs his duty towards himself, his family, his neighbours and humanity, and at the same time he has acquired a basic knowledge about how to earn his livelihood honestly and live a decent life, should be called an educated person. He may have not specialized in a particular field of knowledge but lack of expertise does not automatically prevent him from being recognized as a good man.
to be conti…..

 A good man is not necessarily a complete man. No one can be regarded as a complete man because there is no end to the growth of human personality. A wide knowledge of many subjects helps in the growth of personality provided a man knows how to adjust to knowledge to behaviour, and how knowledge and action are integrated into a broad, total framework of life. The outlook of the educated man is not static but is modified and mellowed as he applied principles to practice and his outlook is enriched by experience.

In order to achieve such integration a man needs some basic values and the society in which he lives needs some basic unquestioned assumptions. Man is both an individual and a member of a community. One cannot be separated from the other without destroying something valid in both. The individualism that stresses complete freedom from any kind of social control, is a practical impossibility because it leads to the disintegration of the society and gives complete licence to the individual to break or make social institutions at will, overthrow ideals and value-assumptions of society according to whatever individual whims dictate. Similarly complete social control that represses the creative and critical urge of the individual, cripples man and leads society to either degeneration and stagnation or sudden and violent social upheaval. Education preserves the basic structure of society by conserving all that is worthwhile in basic values and institutions, by transmitting them to the next generation and by renewing culture afresh whenever degeneration, stagnation or loss of values occurs. At the same time, the job of education is, to use the words of professor Jeffrey’s, ‘the nurture of personal growth’. It is through this nurture of the individual and the preservation and transmission of culture that both the individual and society attain a ‘quality of life’. Education conveys this sense of quality to pupils, the quality that has an objective status beyond any subjective assumptions and assertions, but which requires individual cognition if individuals are to grow as full men and women.