November 18, 2013 Leave a comment
If you haven’t seen them, I’ve got two new articles floating around the internet. The first, at Pacific Standard, looks at new research on economic performance and risk aversion that suggests most Congressmen will get reelected even though American’s say they hate Congress.
The implication is somewhat depressing. If politicians allow the economy to deteriorate, the resulting increase in risk aversion could make many voters more likely to support delinquent incumbents. That’s not to say sabotage is a good electoral strategy. Job and income growth will always be the most important factors. But it would seem that regardless of performance, the economy mitigates its own impact on the election by altering the level of risk aversion in society. When the economy is strong, lower risk aversion harms incumbents. When the economy is weak, higher risk aversion helps incumbents. Given that we’re still waiting for a true economic recovery, incumbents ought to get another boost in 2014.
Read the whole thing!
The second article is on new research that suggests personalizing questions based on student interest can have a positive impact.
The study dovetails nicely with work done by Na’ilah Suad Nasir and Carol Lee on the importance of embedding learning in culturally relevant contexts. The type of personalization in Walkington’s experiment was rudimentary compared to that found in the work of Nasir–who examined mathematical thinking during games of dominoes–and Lee–who investigated the impact of culturally relevant literature on literacy. Still, Walkington’s findings support the idea that there’s more to learning than the bare bones structure of a lesson, and perhaps more importantly, that technology can be used as a means to add on to that structure.