ATP mentor training/Mentoring for the 22nd century

From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search
  Men have long had some intimation of the extent to which education may be consciously used to eliminate obvious social evils through starting the young on paths which shall not produce these ills, and some idea of the extent in which education may be made an instrument of realizing the better hopes of men. But we are doubtless far from realizing the potential efficacy of education as a constructive agency of improving society, from realizing that it represents not only a development of children and youth but also of the future society of which they will be the constituents.  
  Any education given by a group tends to socialize its members, but the quality and value of the socialization depends upon the habits and aims of the group. Hence, once more, the need of a measure for the worth of any given mode of social life. In seeking this measure, we have to avoid two extremes. We cannot set up, out of our heads, something we regard as an ideal society.
We must base our conception upon societies which actually exist, in order to have any assurance that our ideal is a practicable one. But, as we have just seen, the ideal cannot simply repeat the traits which are actually found. The problem is to extract the desirable traits of forms of community life which actually exist, and employ them to criticize undesirable features and suggest improvement.  

Democracy and Education, John Dewey

Mentoring for the 22nd century[edit | edit source]

  You should support Wesley, but allow him to develop uninfluenced. 

Where No One Has Gone Before (Star Trek), The Traveller to Captain Picard about mentoring, but not necessarily giving the best advice (possibly in an attempt to state that Picard is not a mentor)

This learning trail is meant for an audience interested in science fiction, computers and futurology. The "22nd century" in the title is meant as a reference to futurology and science fiction but can also be interpreted as the view that the audience may require some forecast and understanding for issues of the future on the side of the mentor. Science fiction, computers and futurology are, of course, a general category that may not fit every protégé who is interested in one of the topics and the mentor should pay attention to personal interests of the protégé. An audience with a strong bias towards technology could be seen to require motivation to take an interest in social and interpersonal issues, which mentoring should help to provide. Science fiction can even help to provide some motivation. Science fiction can also refer to philosophical issues with funny remarks or questions, as for instance:

Q: Why does Captain Kirk jump into hyperspace only for short periods of time?
A: That might follow from the Prime Directive: He only gets a tourist visa (which logically do not exist).

Digital natives[edit | edit source]

A digital native is a person who has grown up with digital technology such as computers, the Internet, mobile phones and MP3.

  • Protégés should devise their own policies and code of conduct for attention economy and media literacy. The rationale is that policies determined by the protégé himself are much more likely to be taken seriously.
  • Protégés with insufficient space may listen to music in order to tune out background noise, which can have detrimental effects. A learning retreat and/or library is the better solution, at least for homework. (Exaggerated enjoyment of music, Lack of seclusion)
  • Protégés should be able to discuss effects of modern media.
    • What are possible psychological effects of information overload, sensory overload and assigning too much value to news?
    • What are possible psychological effects of a strong logic bias on human psychology?
  • Protégés who do enjoyable work with computers may experience a state of flow that may frequently require conscious interruption and consequently requires self-control and adequate self-regulation skills. As an example people doing office work or homework could decide to have a (typing) break every hour and to practice easy gymnastics, thus consciously interrupting the task perceived as more relevant for a minor health issue that may appear as irrelevant.

The 23rd century: Star Trek[edit | edit source]

The Star Trek universe is a fictional universe that has not been designed to be educational (at least not very) and should not be seen as educational as such. A mentor with an interest in Star Trek may seem dubious. On the other hand a mentor can be a junior high school or high school pupil and high school pupils can take an interest in Star Trek. Protégés are allowed to take an interest in Star Trek anyway. The philosophy of the Wikiversity assistant teacher program is to see the office of mentor as desirable education for the mentor and consequently it makes sense to tolerate interests of teenagers that are not opposed to the goals of the program in order to promote that education. The goal of this section is certainly not to promote interest in Star Trek but to harness interest in science fiction to motivate educational goals of mentor and protégé.

We don't have money in the 23rd century.

James T. Kirk about the economy of the 23rd century

The setting of the Star Trek fictional universe is the 23rd and 24th century. Some aspects of the Star Trek universe are actually very interesting as food for thought. According to Captain James T. Kirk the economy of the 23rd century doesn't have money. Imagining an economy without money is an utopia project: How does the economy work? How can it build a spaceship like the Enterprise, which supposedly has been built, not replicated in a replicator. How much work would it be to build something like that and what could motivate people to do so?

Exercises for the protégé:

  • Modify and amend the view of the 23rd century. Which important facts are unlikely, inconsistent or missing? What would be more likely?
  • Consider education and especially mentoring in the Starfleet Academy. What is bound to be better in the 23rd century than today? Is it possible today?

  La Forge: I told the Captain I would have this diagnostic done in an hour.
Scotty: And how long will it really take you?
La Forge: An hour!
Scotty: Oh, you didn't tell him how long it would really take, did you?
La Forge: Of course I did.
Scotty: Oh, laddie, you have a lot to learn if you want people to think of you as a miracle worker. 

Relics (Star Trek), Commander La Forge and Captain Montgomery Scott
about time management

What is future compatible?[edit | edit source]

Any assumption, philosophy or behavior that is tolerable from the perspective of a future society could be seen as future compatible. Mentoring, for instance, could be seen as very future compatible. Another sensible assumption about the future is that a vegetarian diet may prevail, but probably primarily for personal health reasons, not to protect pigs or cows, as some religions do imply.

Education[edit | edit source]

Besides mentoring reasonable expectations about "future compatible" education are lifelong learning and general willingness to educate others in so far as it is reasonable and responsible.

Constitutional democracy[edit | edit source]

All I require is a desk and a bed.

Tuvok about post-materialism

A "future compatible" constitutional society (Rechtsstaat) may have to fulfill certain requirements. Mentoring and liquid democracy appear to be reasonable expectations. It also seems reasonable to assume that voters in a liquid democracy may have to reach certain formal qualification levels in order to be able to vote or even to act as proxys for other voters (possibly also to directly own corporate shares or to manage a company, which could be seen to entail similar responsibilities).

In contrast a society that arbitrarily "places people under disability" through misinformation and without sufficient motivation to qualify could be seen to be in violation of basic rights.

Ethics[edit | edit source]

Trivially the future needs very high ethical standards. If your technology allows you to build nuclear devices (or much worse), genetic diseases and self-replicating nanobots and you are able to travel to exoplanets, which may be inhabited, then it follows that very high ethical standards are required in relation to technology assessment, use of technology, technology transfer, intercultural competence and adult education in general.

Alien ecology of extraterrestrial behavior patterns[edit | edit source]

An alien ecology of extraterrestrial behavior patterns is bound to be interesting for teenagers interested in science fiction and futurology. The topic is dealt with in the Parent Education Course Writer's Guide and The Parents, Teachers, Friends Testing Guide for Dummies:

Treating your own planet like an exoplanet[edit | edit source]

What you want to do is irrelevant,
what you decided to do is what matters.

Spock about higher-order volitions [1]

What is means:

  • Do not expect to understand all environmental issues, prefer to err on the side of caution.
  • Be prepared to treat unknown species as semi-intelligent aliens (e.g. parrots speak, orcas teach).
  • Analyze local cultures, every group may have its own idiocultures.
  • Aim for good relations, for locals you could be the alien.
  • Make measurements and form theories when you don't know enough about an observed phenomenon; dont forget to bring your tricorder.
  • Read up on a documented location before visiting it.
  • Try to be able to communicate in local languages wherever you go.
  • Don't do something just because everybody else seems to be doing it, it may still be an alien goal.
  • Communicate and document all relevant findings.
  • Don't believe everything an alien says on TV or online.
  • Verify the nutritional value of all unknown foods thoroughly (an unknown food is one whose nutritional value is unknown).
  • Verify local standards and compatibility issues before purchasing technical products; rely on expert opinions for verification of standards.
  • Be prepared to repair technology you own; if assistance is required rely on known experts.

It means not:

  • This is not my planet, it's just another planet. There are many and they are large enough, so personal activities hardly matter.

Individual Curriculum[edit | edit source]

Recommendations for an individual curriculum for a protégé who is interested in science and technology:

To balance the curriculum one could, for instance, add participation in a theater group, health care or soft skills.

Todo[edit | edit source]

Resources from the main trail that need references:

Questionnaire[edit | edit source]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. The context of the quote may be somewhat difficult to explain: Spock tells his protégé that she must shootπ him if she decided to be an insurrectionist. (Star Trek VI)