Sunday, 15 March 2015

Caught, not Taught

Habits have always intrigued me. How do they form? What effects do they have? Can people break or acquire them?

Mr. Jeninga has advised to reflect on habits and then keep the good ones while trying to weed out the bad ones. It's helpful advice.

I like the saying, "Caught more then taught." It captures a truth that is difficult to recognize--sometimes we unintentionally learn things (ideas, habits, attitudes) just from being involved with certain people or situations. We've discussed this concept in Bible courses.

Pierre Bourdieu was a French sociologist who articulated a complex idea about culture, habits, and attitudes called habitus. Habitus is an attempt to explain how forms and structures in our lives influence us. For example, how does the culture around us shape our individual and collective sense of beauty and attractiveness. How much are we as individuals really in control of what we find beautiful?

I'm interested in this idea as a teacher, as a Christian, as a father, and more because I'd like to be more aware and have a greater influence on the structures, the habitus that shape us. I'm hoping that greater awareness will lead to greater and more effective teaching, learning, and living.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Using Google Search

This week I learned about several Google search techniques, including operators. Search operators are placed in a search window as part of a search in order to filter results. For example, the operator site: limits results to the domain name. If you type, " organic gardening" into the google search box, the results returned will be limited to

This can be helpful for research in school. Searching in general for "medical marijuana" while researching for a class debate will give you many results (26.2 million) with a wide variety of quality and usefulness. Using the operator site: to search " medical marijuana" will return a smaller number of results (121, 000) and they will all be from government websites which will likely be better sources for your debate or research projects.

NOTE* Do not use a space after the colon when using the operator, or it will not work.