The Escape Committee

How to escape?

This is the most difficult feat in thinking–how to escape from your CVS (Current View of the Situation). SOT’s First Ten Lessons are designed to help you to ESCAPE with the help of the virtual SOT Escape Committee. The SOT Escape Committee consists of myself and the following teachers:

Leonardo Da Vinci
Albert Einstein
Elizabeth Spelke
Douglas Adams
Irshad Manji
Maria Spiropulu
Richard Hoggart
Edward de Bono and
Sir Ken Robinson.

Enrol and start your training today!

VELS Thinking to be taught in Persian Gulf

The Victorian International School of Sharjah opens in September.

With classes taught in English, the school will cater for both local and expatriate children and will initially take students from kindergarten to year 9 before expanding into year 10 to 12 in 2008.

Both the VCE and Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) will be offered at the coeducational school, which will eventually cater for 2600 students.

Artist's impression of the school.

Michael and General Cosgrove next weekend at Coolum …

Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, Peter Cosgrove, John Tickell and other leading Australian speakers will work with more than 200 of Australia’s business people and thought-leaders at a unique workshop on the Gold Coast next weekend.

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Your Business Success Seminar
Sheraton Mirage, Gold Coast
Friday 3 August — Sunday 5 August 2007

“In the twenty years I have been in the corporate speakers business I have never seen a seminar post a line-up as strong as this.” Barry Markoff, CEO – ICMI Speakers & Entertainers

BOOK RESERVATIONS HERE: The Your Business Success program on Channel 9 has seen many struggling businesses and sometimes the only reason they are not succeeding is due to the mindset of the operator.

“Before I could put my name to this seminar I needed to be convinced it offered substance and the right ingredients to allow all attendees to receive real take home benefits for their business.” Andrew Vincent, Executive Producer – Your Business Success, Channel 9, every Sunday.

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Your Brain Has A Mind of Its Own

Meet distinguished neuroscientist, Cordelia Fine. Dr Fine is a research fellow at the centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the Australian National University. I’ve recently read her book, A Mind of Its Own, which is both witty and insightful. I highly recommend it.

mind_UK.jpg In her article on page 28 of the HIGHER EDUCATION of today’s THE AUSTRALIAN, entitled Boys set adrift by dud science, Dr Fine is drawing attention to those greedy reductionists who use science to “explain” brain and cognitive functions and related matters.

The article discusses how many commentators present research in a way that is “shockingly careless, tendentious and even dishonest. Their over-interpretation of scientific research is so extreme that it becomes a form of fabrication”.

In her article Dr Fine says, “Recently, for example, well-known Australian child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg claimed emotion and language parts of the brain that are one and the same in girls are completely different in boys. According to Carr-Gregg, this “fact” about boy and girl brain structure “explains so much”, including, apparently, why girls like pink and cuddle trucks and boys rip the heads off Barbies.”

She goes on to say that not only do claims like this make no sense but “saddest of all … these crowd-pleasing neuroscientific explanations can also subtly change the way we see our own nature … and may result in doing boys and men a great disservice”.

Positive Thinking makes you happier

Dr Martin Seligman is Director and founder of the Positive Psychology Center at University of Pennsylvania.

This is a new branch of psychology which focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions.

His research has demonstrated that it is possible to be happier – to feel more satisfied, to be more engaged with life, find more meaning, have higher hopes, and probably even laugh and smile more, regardless of one’s circumstances.

Positive psychology interventions can also lastingly decrease depression symptoms. The research underlying these rigorously tested interventions is presented in the July/August edition of the American Psychologist, the journal of the American Psychology Association.


There are some useful resources here including the Signature Strengths Questionnaire …

2007 is the Year of the Idea

The Year of the Idea aims to shine the spotlight on ‘ideas’ as the first step towards innovation.

The initiative is being driven by the Australian Institute for Commercialisation (AIC) and was launched on Australia Day 2007.

A range of initiatives are planned throughout the year with the support of individuals and organisations such as former Australian of the Year Professor Ian Frazer who want to:

    • create a national push to change our ideas culture, to take ideas seriously
    • recognise Australian innovations that have changed our lives, and their origins as an idea
    • motivate Australians to appreciate the value of ideas and their effect on their everyday lives
    • encourage individuals, industry, research institutions and governments to turn their ideas into action
    • inspire collaboration towards the development of solutions to local, national and global challenges.

Celebrities in Cognitive Science

What is Cognitive Science?

Wikipedia: Cognitive science is a rapidly evolving field that deals with complex cognitive processes, intelligent systems, and the emergent behavior of large-scale real-world computational systems. It is an interdisciplinary study. It draws from converging evidence and methodology of diverse fields, including psychology, physics, neuroscience, philosophy, information science, computer science, anthropology and linguistics.

The term cognitive science was coined by Christopher Longuet-Higgins in 1973.

Rendering of human brain

Who are the Celebrities in Cognitive Science?

Here are writings by and about leading thinkers in cognitive science, and critics and observers of the philosophy of mind.

Some of the great thinkers in this field are:

Charles Babbage

Noam Chomsky

Antonio Damasio

Daniel Dennett

Howard Gardner

Douglas Hofstadter

Marvin Minsky

Seymour Papert

Alan Turing

SEEKING: Director of VELS Thinking

SOTfavicon.ico is seeking to appoint a Director of VELS Thinking.

This unique appointment requires an outstanding leader who will be trained and then responsible for setting learning standards and achieving learning results in:

– Reasoning
– Processing
– Inquiry
– Creativity
– Reflection
– Evaluation
– Metacognition.

You will direct the delivery of VELS Thinking domain services that include:

• articulating the learning that students need to focus on for VELS Thinking
• monitoring their progress in the domain
• achieving the standards at the 6 different VELS Thinking levels
• coaching and providing other teachers with relevant teaching tools, learning activities and materials.

The Director of VELS Thinking will be an on-campus member of the faculty of a pre-eminent Melbourne learning centre. Your performance will be measured against SOT and VELS standards:

• defining what students need know and can do at different levels
• measuring their progress and growth
• assessing the needs of the program
• reporting on student achievement.

Remuneration Package: $90 to 100k range negotiable plus professional development training. Twelve month renewable contract.

NOTE: Successful applicant will be trained to meet SOT & VELS Standards.

To apply in writing, email your application and include two references to:
The Principal, School of Thinkingfavicon.ico