Gary Ackerman Brief CV_web

On Extended Minds

“The extended mind” has focus some of my attention recently. It seems to be one of the basic epistemological assumptions upon which many teaching, learning, and schooling decisions are made. First, the mind. Let’s adopt the materialist view that it exists in the brain. There can be little debate in the central role for that […]

Gary Ackerman Brief CV_web

On Social Cognition

Humans are social creatures. Our brains function differently when we are engaged with others compared to when we are engages alone. We have capacity to solve much more complex problems when working together compared to when we work alone, but we also have greater capacity to deceive ourselves.  This summer, I finally read Edwin Hutchin’s Cognition […]

Gary Ackerman Brief CV_web

Multidimensionality of Learning

The multidimensional nature of human learning can be interpreted differently. In the previous section, I reviewed the multidimensional nature of what humans know. Harris and Williams (2016) claim learning is “a multidimensional process [emphasis added] that causes a change of state in the brain (p. 8).” For those authors, multidimensionality refers to the types of experiences that […]

Gary Ackerman Brief CV_web

Learning… Always Defining Learning

My definition is grounded in three assumptions about learning. First, learning can be inert. Whithead North, introduced this term in to describe the knowledge that can be expressed by learners, but they have no idea what it means or how it should be interpreted or applied. In my experience as a science and math teacher (and also a student […]

Gary Ackerman Brief CV_web

“In Recent Decades…” Observations of Education

What exactly does it mean that “students learn?” For many generations, student learning in classrooms has been focused on their ability to remember information. If students could accurately recall what they were taught for a long time after they were taught it, then we assumed they had learned it well. That concept of learning seems inadequate today.   In recent decades, scholars have detailed the […]

Gary Ackerman Brief CV_web

What Tomassello Wrote About Humans

There can be little question that characteristics of our brains differentiate humans from other creatures. Increasingly, cognitive scientists recognize our brains are designed for the social interactions that have allowed humans to cooperate, and this cooperation has enabled our species to avoid extinction. Cognitive and developmental psychologist Michael Tomassello (2014) described the importance of social […]