TUFS 2017 Winter Intensive

Lesson 1

  • Welcome and course introduction: official course syllabus..
  • Why are we here and what are we doing?
  • What is this thing called education, and what is it supposed to do?
  • The importance of asking the right question(s).
  • Quick class survey.
  • What do people mean when they talk about the old and new worlds?
  • How to watch TED talks.

Sherry Turkel on "Connected but alone?"

Lesson 2

  • The attention problem. How much do we really see?
  • An eye or brain problem? Sometimes, you just can't stop your brain.
  • What is intelligence and how our ideas about it are changing. They're Made out of Meat.
  • Watch the Ken Robinson talk.

Ken Robinson on "Do schools kill creativity?"

  • Read the article "Creative people’s brains really do work differently".
  • Read the article "What creative people understand about the importance of being alone".
  • Think about the following questions and be prepared to share your answers in class next week.

  • What are the differences between abilities and skills?

  • Based on your own experience in school, how have your teachers supported or not supported creativity in the classroom?

  • Many educators believe in collaborative learning using groups. How do you think this has helped or hindered your ability to be creative in your classes?

  • How have your teachers used technology in your classes? Do you think it helped you learn better?

  • How do you think technology can best be used to enhance learning?

  • What innovations in education do you think have had the biggest impact on your learning and intellectual development?

  • How are learning and understanding different?

  • What can teachers, schools, and parents do to help students develop their creative thinking skills.

Week 2

Lesson 3



Lesson 4

  • Technology and the law of unintended consequences (brainstorming activity).
  • What is AI and why does it matter?

Nick Bostrom on "What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?"


First, read the following articles:

Learn Different

What Jobs Will the Robots Take?

Second, using your notes from the articles and our class discussions, prepare a five to six minute talk about how young people should prepare for a world where many jobs are done by AI and robots. You may use slides if you wish, but you should focus on putting together an organized and detailed talk that will help your classmates understand your ideas.

Week 3

Lesson 5 and 6

Lesson 7
  • Daniel Kahneman on The riddle of experience vs. memory.

Active Learning Assignment

  • The problem with change.
  • Read this article about people being opposed to change. Humans once opposed coffee and refrigeration. Here’s why we often hate new stuff.
  • After reading and thinking about the problem of getting people to accept change, write approximately 200 words about how you would change your education at TUFS, and how you would get your teachers to accept your suggestions. Please format your paper according to the following rules:
  • identifying information in the top left corner
  • use Times New Roman 12
  • use double spacing
  • spell check your paper and make sure there are no typos
  • the deadline is Sunday, February 11 at 23:59:59. By the way, deadline means you're a fish out of water if you miss it.
  • Send your document to me as an email attachment using the email address I gave you in class.
  • Name your file using this order: student numberfirst name2017 WEI AL. Here is an example: 000000000Taro2017 WEI AL.

Asking a favor

If you have time in the next day or so, would you mind using this Google Form to answer 4 questions?

Suggested readings
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins
  • Just Babies by Paul Bloom
  • The Better Angles of Our Nature by Steven Pinker