Something new

How often do we actually hear something new? For me, my reading & discussing is most often recycling of stuff I have heard before. In an attempt to counteract this trend, I am going to try to periodically document something that is new to me, or something I have learned or read that took me by surprise. Importantly, these things won’t necessarily be things with which i agree, but just things that maybe inspired a new perspective.

For my first post, I am drawn to Steven Pinker’s book “The Blank Slate”. In the book he argues against the commonly held belief that nurture is more important than nature in development. He does not argue for predestination or that our genes determine our lot in life, but he believes that by ignoring the nature part of mind formation we limit our ability to harness what is known about the brain. I admit i was very much a nurture over nature thinker & still am, but this book gave me some reason to think carefully about how nature might have a role to play in informing my thinking on teaching & learning.

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3 Responses to Something new

  1. Bonitadee says:

    Hii Jerrid,
    Love this idea about recording the “something new”s. I wonder if I can actually pull that off? New blends into old in my mind, and it is difficult for me to recognize it sometimes. Like when I start to write down ideas, I think, ” I am sure I am not the first to think of this . I probably heard it somewhere…” and then I hesitate putting it down. On the brain thing, have you heard the quote from some Nobel laureate when asked about nature and nurture? He said, “We are 100 % nature… And 100% nurture. The two cannot be separated out.”


    • jerridkruse says:

      Yes, I think identifying the “new” will be difficult, but could lead to some interesting insights for me. As far as the 200%, that makes a lot of sense, but sometimes attempting to separate things out purely for thinking/analytic purposes can help get to new ideas.


  2. Kathy Teel says:

    As the parent of both adopted and biological kids, the nature/nurture question is on my mind a lot. The fact is, all of my kids were born who they were, and that was that. But good parenting and a good family and social life have helped them become the good, interesting people they are now. All of them are like my husband and me, and like each other, in some ways, and completely unique in others–we didn’t make them like that, whether they swim in our gene pool or not. I think I agree with that 100/100 stat mentioned in the post above.


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