Monday, June 22, 2009

"There is no PURE intelligence" (Day 1, ICOT)

Some points from the sessions I attended (about all I can recall for now):
  • Giving standard tests and examinations, whilst seemingly the fairest way to assess pupils, may in fact be un-fair because it ignores the different kinds of intelligence of the students
  • Intelligence is always contextual; there is no 'pure' intelligence
  • Multi-tasking is a myth
  • Photographic memory is a myth (the savant who could draw out the exact details of Rome as he flew in a helicopter over the city notwithstanding)
  • Character is indispensable for education; the 'best and the brightest' of America were the ones who started the Vietnam war
  • Teaching knowledge is less effective than teaching concepts
  • The best way to win in Monopoly is to buy as much as you can, not just Mayfair and Park Lane!
  • Learning increases when our hormones are tensed or fired up (e.g. driving!)
  • 55% of Australian workers wouldn't mind taking a pay-cut for a more fun work environment

Funniest Moments:

  • Rosmah Mansor (Malaysia's First Lady) speaking about the baby who was in her 'stomach' - twice
  • The VC of UPM being unable to pronounce Mikhail Csikszentmihalyi and giving up (with Howard Gardner helping him out later)
  • The facilitator saying that the First Lady had 'made history' with her speech (I can't recall for what, but something tells me my eyes will roll if I found out...)

Nice Moments:

  • The coffee (very creamy and nice) and free Internet kiosks (which don't require you to stand, like in Changi)
  • The roast lamb, steam fish and pasta at lunch
  • Shaking hands with Kirpal Singh who remembered me from the MindMap conference two years back
  • Skipping the opening ceremony (and its dozen anti-insomnic speeches!)
  • David Koutsoukis telling jokes, giving fun tips and cool acroyms (e.g. "ABCD" = "Above and Beyond the Call of Duty", "SANTA" = "Saving ANother Teammate's Ass"!)

Not-so-nice Moments:

  • Waiting 20 minutes for the First Lady to arrive then having to sit through another 10 minutes of a Permata promo ad
  • Howard Gardner's very wordy slides
  • The First Lady reading out her presentation and having no slides!
  • The banquet tables at lunch which made it awkward to sit down once people were on the table; better, IMO, to use long-tables or standing tables as they did at Norrkoping and Melbourne respectively
  • Some lady talking on the phone for almost 30 minutes at the Koutsoukis presentation
  • The lack of forks at the buffet!

Lau. Out.

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