Resistance to Learning: Overcoming the Desire Not to Know in by Marshall Wise Alcorn Jr. (auth.)

By Marshall Wise Alcorn Jr. (auth.)

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By Marshall Wise Alcorn Jr. (auth.)

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Extra resources for Resistance to Learning: Overcoming the Desire Not to Know in Classroom Teaching

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Ramachandran suggests that a good dose of cold water injected at the right time in human ears might solve many problems. This is not practical, but there are realistic responses to denial that do Emotional Demands / 35 not involve injections of cold water. I will propose a spectrum of practices that work as pedagogical equivalents to Ramachandran’s adjusting contextual beliefs and REM triggering. A literal understanding of this research suggests that human beings can “dream” their way into new relations with new information.

Equally often, though, we continue to reason with this person past a point where we feel utility in our reasoning. Our reasonableness then turns to irritation. We seem to experience a moral shortcoming in this person, a “bullheadedness” that seems determined to do something wrong or harmful. Some people, perhaps, feel that anger can be a cause for increasing the capacities for rationality in another. To be angry with such a mind is like kicking a car for not starting. You may experience satisfaction by releasing your frustration, but you do nothing to improve the mechanical condition of the car.

This example supports Damasio’s claim that reason relies upon emotion to determine what kinds of “representations” can be entertained and worked with. Ramachandran’s most interesting remedy for the denial of paralysis remains the work done by REM. This was a remedy that survived subsequent re-denials and did not require lying. It is both the most interesting remedy and the most difficult to understand. Ramachandran notes that his use of cold water to recover knowledge of disability was something long known to medical doctors, but largely neglected.

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