The Patterning Instinct

Now and again a book comes out which seems to put its finger on a central issue regarding the nature of human knowledge and its consequences. Such a book, for me, is The Patterning Instinct by Jeremy Lent (May 2017, Prometheus Books). The book’s subtitle, a cultural history of humanity’s search for meaning, encapsulates its focus, scope and ambitions. It attempts to identify the hidden patterns which have shaped human cultures and how the latter have been expressed in terms ...

Computational Thinking for All Educators

Recently there has been a lot of talk about "coding", and about the difference between "coding" and "programming".  In several of the articles I read discussing these issues, a free Google online course was mentioned:  Computational Thinking for Educators.  So I went to investigate.  The "real time" experience of this course is over, but all the materials are online, and you are welcome to explore it at your leisure as a self-study program.  The course was designed to help Humanities, Math, ...

Topic 3 – Periodicity – Trends in the Atomic Radii

Yesterday I dealt with electronegativity. Once your students are secure in this concept, you will be able to expand upon your teaching of this topic. Section 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 of the syllabus deals specifically with trends both across period 3 and down group 1 and 7. In order to understand the concepts involved, your students will need to be familiar with the electron arrangement in atoms and the concept of shielding (of outer shell electrons by inner shells), as well as the ...