During the 19th century in the United States that was a huge influx of people into urban areas in search of jobs and other opportunities. With this change in how people lived, there was a change in the family as well. Before the growth of urban centers, parents and children were all together in a rural setting in a farm-like community and this helped to monitor and control a child’s behavior. Now, parents often would have to leave their children unattended for long periods while they worked. Children who are left unattended tend to get into trouble. Over time and with years of neglect continuing some of these youth became delinquents. Once children began to turn to crime the local government began to step in and try and deal with this problem.
One solution that was tried was developed by a group of juvenile reformers from the Child Saving movement. In this post, we will look at the history and beliefs of the members of this movement.
Child Saving Movement
The Child Saving Movement wanted the government to monitor and control the activities of wayward youth. As mentioned before, this used to be a responsibility of the family but there was a breakdown in the family as a result of living in the new conditions of dense city life.
To help delinquent youths proponents of the Child Saving movement developed the House of Refuge, which was an early form of a reform school. Wayward youth were sent here for status offenses to major crimes. Before this youth were often sent to adult prisons for the offenses they committed.
The House of Refuge was funded primarily privately. However, the irony of the House of Refuge is that funding came from the state of New York, and this funding involved taxes collected from bars, theaters, and even circuses. In other words, venues that contributed to delinquency were used to reform students who were delinquents.
The House of Refuge was opened in 1825 with only 6 youths. Within the first ten years, the facility would serve 1600 youths. Both boys and girls were housed at the facility. Boys were taught blue-collar skills such as skills found in woodshop. Female residents were taught skills related to the home such as cooking and sewing.
The original location of the House of Refuge was in the city. However, with time the facility was moved to a rural location. In all, the House of Refuge would last about 100 years well into the early 20th century. Among the main criticism of this approach was that the facility was trying to play the role of the parent through the use of strict discipline and long work hours.
There are strengths and weaknesses to all forms of reform for young people who become delinquents. There is always something wrong and something that is done well by most movements. What all reform movements have in common is a desire to help young people and to make society safer. Sometimes it might be better to focus on this rather than on the failures of various movements such as the Child Savers.
School failure is a big problem in education today. In addition, school failure has also been examined in the context of delinquency. In this post, we will look at school failure and delinquency.
School failure is the opposite of school success. Essentially, school failure is the inability of a student to have academic success in the classroom. The concern with school failure in this post is that it is often associated with delinquent behavior. In other words, kids who struggle academically are often kids who are struggling behaviorally as well.
There are several ways in which school failure and delinquency are related. For example, school failure may cause delinquency. As a young person becomes frustrated with their school they may choose to become delinquent to win praise and acceptance that they are unable to achieve through academics.
Another view of school failure and delinquency focuses on the emotional aspect. For some kids, school failure causes emotional distress and this may cause delinquency. As the student loses control of their emotions they make poor decisions in terms of behavior.
A final view on school failure point to a cause that is above school failure and delinquency. From this view, the real problem is socioeconomic issues such as poverty, family issues, or some other disruption to the student’s life. These instabilities make it difficult for the youth to function in an academic setting like a school.
Other Variables Associated with School Failure
There are also several other variables and concepts that have been linked with school failure. Tracking involves placing students in classes based on ability or test scores. For example, all of the high achievers are in one class and the struggling kids are in a different class. Such an approach is highly detrimental to the weaker students because they know when they are being tracked and this can lead to self-esteem issues and indifference.
Some students truly do not like school and or their teachers. Alienation is defined as the inability to see the relevance or importance of schools. Education pays dividends over time. For people who have a shorter vision of themselves, spending years in school learning various facts and figures is meaningless. Delinquent behavior provides the immediate results that young people often want.
The consequences of school failure can be tremendous. Dropouts make less money than peers who finish K12 and people who go to college. Furthermore, dropouts are often trapped in the lowest-earning jobs that are available. Therefore, it is not in a child’s best interest to fail in school.
School failure is a sign that a child needs help. The cause could be one that was explained here or a different one. Either way, teachers need to be willing to support students who are struggling academically as this can lead to delinquency.
The General Theory of Crime (GTC) was developed by Gottfredson and Hirschi. This theory attempts to explain criminal or delinquent behavior in terms of criminal offender traits, criminal opportunity, and the act of committing a crime. In this post, we will look at each of these components in terms of how they help to explain delinquent behavior within the context of teaching.
The ideas associated with criminal offenders focus on personality and social connections. Insights into personality play an important part in the GTC framework. Impulse control is one main component of GTC. Impulsive people are often more short-sighted and prone to risk-taking. What this means is that they may be more prone to delinquent behavior because they lack the foresight of the consequences of their actions. Impulsive behavior is also something teachers struggle with when dealing with children who frequently make poor choices due to impulsive actions.
Another component that is highly related to impulsiveness is self-control. In other words, individuals who struggle to control themselves may be more likely to commit a crime. The authors of GTC explain that low self-control can be caused by poor management and or criminal parent(s), lack of supervision, and or self-centeredness. Again, the ideas here are similar to the causes of misbehavior in the classroom. It appears that excellent parenting is a primary tool for alleviating delinquent behavior in the classroom.
Another main cause of low self-control is a weak or a lack of social bonds between a youth and friends and family. When youths are attached and committed to the people around them it discourages poor behavior because people generally don’t want to hurt the people they are close to. The same idea applies in the classroom and is one reason why developing relationships with students and parents is often emphasized. Students with strong relationships often do not want to misbehave.
Criminal opportunity is essentially the openings that a delinquent finds to commit a crime. Often, an individual is more likely to commit a crime when there is a lack of supervision and there are easy targets or potential victims around. Naturally, this is what happens in the classroom when students are always looking for opportunities when the teacher is not looking so they can make poor choices.
What this implies is that students need large amounts of attention to maintain proper behavior. Sadly, many students and delinquents come from homes that lack the one-on-one attention they need.
The criminal act is self-explanatory. Examples of criminal acts can be any action that breaks the law. Unlike adults, there are additional offenses that youths can commit and these are status offenses. Status offenses are acts that are legal for adults but illegal for minors such as smoking and drinking.
All of these criminal acts are the result of a combination of impulse control, self-control, social relationships, and opportunity in the context of GTC.
Of course, no single theory can explain everything about any behavior. There are differences in behavior based on race, gender, and other factors when it comes to crime. Despite this, the GTC provides a simplistic overview into what motives criminal behavior.
Developmental theory was developed by Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck back in the 1930s. With this theory, the authors try to explain the dynamics, in terms of the activity level, of a youth in delinquent behaviors. In other words, developmental theory explains delinquent behavior over time rather than why a youth is misbehaving at a given moment. We will look at the concepts of this theory along with its application in the educational setting.
One of the core tenets of developmental theory is the idea that chaos leads to delinquency. When there is a breakdown in the home through divorce or there is death or loss of a job, any of these adverse childhood experiences can lead to delinquency. Even something as mundane as moving can lead to poor behavioral choices. All of the examples above are examples of problem behavior syndrome which is a term used to describe negative events in a young person’s life.
Naturally, this can spill over into the classroom when students are having negative experiences in their personal life it can lead to behavioral problems in school. One danger to be aware of is antisocial behavior. The danger with antisocial behavior is that it is of link with persistent delinquent behavior.
There are also life experiences that can reduce delinquent behavior. Often these are events associated with maturity such as marriage, having children, starting a career, etc. Essentially what happens is that as the youth matures and becomes invested in something or someone the payoff for delinquent behavior is not worth the risk. Another way to view this is that these life experiences are associated with maturity and impulsive behavior naturally declines with age.
Paths to Delinquency
Developmental theory also addresses various pathways to delinquency. There are at least three and they are authority conflict, covert, and overt. Authority conflict is when a youth defies and avoids authority. Most teachers have dealt with students who simply refuse to comply and or avoid dealing with the teacher altogether. In such instances, the youth is heading towards delinquency through conflict with authority.
The covert pathway involves passive-aggressive behavior that is delinquent in nature. By covert, it includes behavior in which the authority and or the victim is unaware of what happened. For example, a student steals something without the other person being aware. With time, covert actions can lead to more serious offenses like breaking into homes.
The overt pathway is minor aggressions that eventually become violent. For example, a youth starts out by pushing other students which could one day lead to assault.
Types of Delinquents
The overall pattern of delinquency of youth varies. Life course persisters start young and continue into adulthood. Adolescent-limited defenders start young and stop once they mature. Other kids do not begin to misbehave until their teen years and they either stop once they mature or continue with poor behavioral choices.
Teachers have also experienced all of these various types of delinquents. Some kids start young while others do not. Some kids stop while others do not. The age at which a youth begins delinquency and whether or not they stop is at least partially related to the tenets that were discussed above.
As educators, we need to be aware of problem behavior syndrome and the negative experiences that kids are having outside the classroom because this may partially explain their behavior in class. In addition, we also need to be aware of how long the child has been delinquent as this can provide insight into what to do to help them.
Differential association theory was Developed by Edwin Sutherland in the 1930s. This particular theory is a part of the social learning school in which youth learn criminal behavior through interacting with others. A youth’s behavior is based on what they see as right and wrong as determined by the actions of others. In his context the focus was delinquency but some of these ideas apply in the classroom as well.
Sutherland explains his theory through several principles. We will look at each of these core principles and connect them to the classroom when appropriate
Principles of Differential Association Theory
Behavior is Learned
Negative behavior such as behaviors associated with criminal activities are learned just as any other behavior is learned. What this implies is that nobody is naturally a criminal but instead is a victim primarily of what they learn. In terms of nature vs nurture, this principle falls squarely in the camp of nurture.
Sutherland’s principle is not without merit. In most classrooms, students are often imitating the behavior of each other and even the teacher. When this happens it can be beneficial when the example provided is positive but can be detrimental when the example is negative.
Learning Happens through Interaction
People learn through interacting with others. What this means is that behavior, such as delinquency, cannot be learned in isolation it takes the support of others. Of course, this denies a person the ability to learn on their own in a self-directed manner. As individuals are socialized they acquire the ability to obey or break rules and laws.
In the classroom, it is common for students to teach each other things that may not be positive in nature. Youths can acquire questionable abilities through poor peer interactions. Therefore, teachers have to remain aware of the students who provide a poor example to others.
Learning is Personal
The closer a youth is to an individual the stronger the influence that person has on a youth’s delinquent behavior. In other words, a corrupt best friend will have more of an influence on a youth’s behavior for worse than a stranger who is an upstanding citizen. The level of intimacy in a relationship is a predictor of delinquent behavior.
In the classroom, children learn from children but they learn best from friends. What this means for the teacher is that they want students to have strong relationships with kids who act appropriately rather than with kids who are having behavioral issues.
Criminal TechniquesRequire Development
Delinquents are often mentored by a more experienced offender. For example, a youth would need someone to show them how to steal a car or how to sell drugs profitably. In addition, youths need to be socialized into how to deal with the police when interactions occur.
Bad students must also develop skills through mentoring or acceptance. Mentoring can involve how to steal or bully other students without getting caught. Acceptance can involve performing various disruptive behaviors to solicit laughs from other students while in the classroom. For students who need feedback isolation can stifle this process.
Rule Perception and a Child’s Perception
Rule perception is how others view rules. Some people are conscious of rules while others have no respect for rules and have an open disdain for them. For youth, seeing contrasting views on rules can be confusing and lead to internal conflict. The reason for this conflict is that young people haven’t formed their own posirion on following rules and are trying to decide whether or not to follow and take rules seriously.
Children in the classroom face a similar dilemma. They see the teacher stressing obedience, that some of the good kids obey, but that the other kids do not. The final decision a child makes during this conflict can be based on family values and or which peer group the child values more than the other.
Differential Association Varies
Submitting to authority can also depend on the dosage of the relationships a youth has. The dosage of a relationship can be measured in terms of duration, frequency, and intensity. Duration is the length of a relationship. In other words, a long-term friend has more influence on youth than a new friend. Frequency is a measure of how often the youths interact. Someone who sees the youth every day has more influence than someone who sees the youth once a year. Intensity is a measure of the amount of respect the youth has toward the influence. An example would be that a parent has more influence than a friend in most situations.
The same concept mentioned in the previous paragraph applies in the classroom. Long-term friends, who see each other frequently, and with the most respect will shape the behavior of a student the most. Relationships are critical to the formation of positive or negative behaviors.
Lastly, Sutherland claims that good and poor behavior does not have the same source. The only reason for delinquent behavior is what the youth has learned. Being rich or poor doesn’t matter. What really matters is what the youth has learned over time.
Sutherland’s work is highly influential in explaining delinquent behavior. His work provides one viewpoint on the way youth’s go down the wrong path. For teachers, watching the relationships students develop may be key to addressing challenges in the classroom.
Deterrence theory is a theory found within criminology that states that policies that encourage fear, high risk, and punishment will discourage delinquent behavior. Without knowing it, many teachers support this view in their classroom management philosophy.
In this post, we will look at deterrence theory as defined in criminal justice while providing applications of this approach in the classroom with teachers. For our purpose, there is general deterrence, which is the heart of deterrence and then there are several variations of general deterrence.
General deterrence believes that harsh punishment will reduce crime in society or poor behavior in the classroom. Examples of general deterrence would be mandatory sentences, three-strike laws, etc. In schools, it is common to see zero-tolerance policies for specific behaviors such as drug use.
Despite the best efforts of advocates of general deterrence crime and poor behavior persists. This is due in part to the underlying assumption that delinquents and students are rational individuals who weigh the pros and cons of their actions before doing them. Frequently this is not the case students and people frequently do not think things throw before doing them and this is especially the case when emotions are involved or substance abuse.
In addition, people are often convinced that the odds of getting caught are low and thus they can get away with it. Statistical this is correct as the majority of crimes go unsolved. However, in the context of education, it is generally hard to get away with misbehavior because there are usually only 30-40 suspects when something happens in the classroom.
Lastly, general deterrence when it is working well can overwhelm the system as more and more people are arrested and or placed in a facility. As people are caught it simply strains the system rather than stops crime. In the school, if enough students are breaking strict rules it can strain the administration as they try to process all the kids who are causing problems. This simply moves the chaos from the classroom to the office.
Variations of Deterrence
There are several variations of the implementation of deterrence as well. Specific deterrence focuses on making punishment so horrible that the offenders change their behavior. As already mentioned this often does not work and can harden the youth to resist. In addition, if offenders or bad students are labeled because of their mistakes they may commit themselves to live up to the label or reputation that they have now.
Incapacitation is an implementation strategy that focuses on incarcerating delinquents. The thought is that if the youth is locked up they cannot terrorize the community. In schools, this strategy might manifest itself through suspending and or expelling rowdy students. Within the context of juvenile justice, this approach often does not work due to restrictions on resources and the problem that youth who are locked up are often corrupted within the facilities. For schools, students who are removed simply fall behind academically, and when this happens simply will continue to disrupt the learning experience.
Lastly, situational crime prevention involves removing opportunities and increasing the risk of committing a crime. For example, many homes now have cameras which naturally discourage crime because of the threat of being caught. Within schools, the use of cameras has become ubiquitous as well. This approach leads to the protection of potential victims, increases the effort to get away with delinquency, and prevents any excuses because of the silent witness of video recording.
Deterrence is a view that promotes a tough approach to dealing with disobedience. As with any approach, this style works in some cases and not in others. Since there is no single solution to the problem of delinquency deterrence should be viewed as one of many tools that can be used.
This post will look at physical and mental reasons for delinquent behavior. The ideas presented here can be useful for teachers who also deal with youths who participate in delinquent behavior.
The biosocial theory of crime is in many ways a spin on the nature vs nurture debate. Supporters of biosocial theory believe that a combination of personality (nature) and environment (nurture) influence delinquent behavior. Such a premise seems reasonable as people have natural talent but they also develop skills and traits based on the environment in which they grow up as a child and beyond. Teachers are aware of this because of the classroom environment that they establish as they train children.
Concerning nurture, genetics have been studied to understand delinquent behavior. Researchers have found strong relationships between parents and children, twins, and siblings in terms of associating with delinquent behaviors. In other words, crime often runs in the family. Of course, there are many instances of people choosing to take their life in a different direction from the example that was set by relatives. Again, many teachers have seen good kids come from bad families and vice versa. Often it seems there is no way to know how a child will turn out when you meet them.
Several factors are related to biosocial theory in terms of the nurture aspects. For example, there have been biochemical arguments made that state that chemical imbalances brought on by a poor diet can contribute to delinquent behavior. These imbalances can cause hormonal issues as well and this can be critically important due to the natural hormonal changes of teenagers. However, it must be mentioned that many people suffer from biochemical imbalances and never commit crimes. Therefore, there must be something else going on to attribute delinquent behavior to.
Many of the ideas related to diet are also related to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. If students are not getting enough to eat then studying is almost impossible. The need to provide for these biochemical concerns is perhaps one reason for the school meal programs that are ubiquitous today.
One other theory of delinquent behavior is arousal theory. This theory essentially states that some youth commit crimes for thrill-seeking reasons. In other words, they commit crimes for fun. Teenagers often are seeking new experiences as they push the boundaries of what they’re capable of. In addition, this would also help to explain why kids in stable, comfortable homes act out and make poor choices. Most young people want to have fun and the thrill of crime is one avenue for them to achieve this.
Another theory is tied to evolution. The evolutionary theory of delinquency states that impulsive men are often more successful in reproducing with multiple women due in part to their impulsive and often aggressive behavior. As such, these traits of aggression and unpredictability are passed on to the next generation and this process is repeated. Over time, this leads to a population becoming more and more willing to committ acts of violence and crime
The evolutionary theory is interesting but seems difficult to prove conclusively as there may be no known way to test this experimentally. In many ways, this is another variation of focusing on nature as the cause of delinquent behavior
The takeaway for teachers is that there are multiple reasons why a youth may become a delinquent. In addition, given the multitude of explanations, it appears that there is not a great deal of agreement on what motivates youth to participate in delinquent acts.
Behavioral self-modification is about empowering students to understand what their problems are and allowing them to solve them. In the video below, we will look at how to guide students through the process of self-management.
Focal concerns is a theory developed by Walter Miller in the late 1950s that tries to explain cultural deviance among criminals and delinquents. Miller’s work was focused specifically on cultural deviance among the poor. In his work, he found several cultural values of the poor that he believes contribute to violent and illegal behavior. Below is a list of the focal concerns he found
These concerns may not only explain criminal behavior but may be useful in understanding misbehavior in the classroom as well.
According to Miller, among the lower class, the ability to cause and deal with trouble is an important value or focal concern. Drug use, alcohol abuse, and promiscuity are all ways of making trouble. Dealing with trouble is also valued. For example, being able to handle one’s self in a physical altercation or deceive someone are ways of garnering respect.
Within the classroom, there are always students who pride themselves on causing trouble. TO frustrate the teacher and other students is a form of prestige and pride for the problem student. Therefore, what a teacher needs to do is remove the honor of causing trouble for a student who is seeking the prestige of causing trouble. For example, a teacher who does not get upset when a student’s poor behavior is denying that student the prestige of angering the teacher. In the field of behavioral psychology, this is called extinction.
Toughness is focused on physical prowess and emotional control. In general, this focal concern is focused on males. Male members of the lower class who can attain physical strength along with some degree of stoicism garner more respect than males who cannot do this.
The same idea applies in the classroom. At least on the surface, many disruptive male students want to show how strong and un-feminine they are. A student might demonstrate their toughness by how they respond to discipline. By laughing or appearing in different the student is exerting indifference and perhaps flippancy in the face of extreme punishment.
Smartness relates to knowing how to survive on the streets. This is more of a passive-aggressive skill in that it is defined as being able to outsmart or out-con an individual rather than face them head-on in a confrontation. For example, a delinquent might be tough but stupid, and vice versa. Smartness is a skill of deception rather than raw power.
Smartness in the classroom might be a student who is skilled at getting away with something or who knows how to do the minimum while still getting the grades they want. A student with smartness is annoying to a teacher, especially one who wants to teach the student a lesson.
Excitement, according to Miller, is a desire for fun. Excitement is not a focal concern of just the lower class but perhaps of people in general. It seems that everybody wants to have a good time. Perhaps the difference might be in how the lower class has fun compared to other socioeconomic groups.
All kids want to have fun but the difference for the disruptive student is how much fun they want to have. Often difficult students have a higher need for fun compared to other students which are why they are causing problems in the classroom. The problems and fights with the teacher are fun for some students.
Fate is a superstitious view of the world. For example, some are lucky and some are not. There is no rhyme or reason to the world in terms of success. There is little concern for fairness in this supposed fundamental belief of criminals and the poor.
Fate is an idea that students of users when they get caught doing something inappropriate. They will blame their downfall not on the evil act they committed but on the fact that the teacher got lucky when they caught the,. This is a way of excusing poor behavior as acceptable.
Autonomy is not independence from bad luck but rather an independence from those with authority. Autonomy essentially means not having to obey anybody especially individuals outside of the local hierarchy. Therefore, resisting the police is a way to protect one’s autonomy
In the classroom, students are frequently concerned with having some sort of autonomy. When students break rules it is because he or she wants to do something instead of following rules. One strategy to deal with this is to use reverse psychology on the student and respect their autonomy. Autonomy is not bad but misguided. Giving the student choice for good and bad behavior is a way to encourage cooperation while still respecting the need for autonomy.
Miller’s works are considered outdated today. This is because of the push and desire for racial and gender equality and that poverty cannot be attributed to socioeconomic status. Whatever the case focal concerns provide another avenue for encouraging childhood disobedience.
Planning is a critical part of the educational process. Teachers plan every day what they will do. Administrators might actually do more planning than the teachers at times. Due to the nature of their position, leaders need to make many different types of plans to guide their institutions. In this post, we will look at some of the different types of plans that are used by institutions.
Hierarchical plans are plans that have levels to them. There are several types of hierarchical plans. Some of the hierarchical plans include strategic administrative and operating plans. Each of these plans serves a specific purpose within an institution.
Strategic plans explain the general position of the school in terms of mission and vision. The strategic plan may also include a philosophy statement of what the institution is about. This is perhaps the highest level at which planning can take place. In addition, most accreditation agencies expect some sort of mission and vision statement along with evidence of how these statements are communicated to shareholders.
The administrative plan is for determining the allocation of resources within an institution. Another way to see this is the administrative plan explains how resources are distributed for the achievement of the mission and vision statement of the strategic plan. The purpose behind this is that resources must be shared to achieve the mission statement of the institution and thus the strategic plan guides the administrative plan which is focused on implementation.
Lastly, the operating plan deals with the day-to-day running of the institution. After the vision is set, and the resources are distributed, the operating plan uses the resources daily. This can include salaries, lesson plan development, grade submission, activities for students, etc.
Frequency of use plans
There are of course other plans besides the hierarchical plans mentioned above. Another type is frequency of use plans. These are plans that are referred to often in the day-to-day of the institution. Standing plans include the rules, policies, and procedures of an organization. Policies guide decision-making and guide behavior. Examples can include policies and professional development which are often not rigid and can be negotiated with the school or committee in charge of this process.
Rules are stricter than policies and remove the interpretation that can happen under policies. For example, it might be a rule that teachers can only spend a certain amount of money on travel per year. Lastly, Procedures specify steps to take to complete a task, such as logging into the institution’s email system.
Some plans might only be used once. These can include budgets that are used once a year and then updated. Other examples can be plans for a project which has a specific start and end date. Once the project is over the plan will probably not be reused again.
There are also several other miscellaneous plans. Time-frame plans are plans based on the duration of the plan. Short plans are less than a year and an example would be most lesson planning. Medium plans last up to five years and are generally institutional-level plans to meet accreditation expectations. Lastly, long-term plans are over five years in length and are generally long-term development plans for an institution.
Plans can also be focused within a specific scope of the institution. There could be specific plans for various departments within a school. In addition, plans might only involve specific stakeholders. For example, there might be plans that only affect teachers or only affects students. Lastly, there are also contingency plans which are plans that usually deal with emergencies such as fires or natural disasters.
Planning is always going to be a major responsibility of institutions as they look for ways to support their stakeholders. The examples shared here are probably plans that many have made before but may not know the exact terminology involved. Therefore, hopefully, what was shared here is insightful.
Writing a research paper is an extremely challenging experience. The beginning in particular is perhaps the most difficult part as it is unclear what to do. The video below provides an overview of the different components of the introduction of a research paper.
Today there is a huge industry that looks to support children from unfortunate backgrounds. These can be kids who come from broken homes, have learning disabilities, and or from a generally poor background. Whatever the case, these problems have been around in one way or another for a long time. In this post, we will look at how such unfortunate were supported in the past.
During the Middle Ages, families in Europe were primarily patriarchal in nature. The father had a great degree of authority over his family. Among the poor, most children had to endure harsh discipline and no real sense of childhood. As soon as possible a child was expected to work and help the family. Boys would learn blue-collar skills such as farming or blacksmith while girls would learn domestic skills such as cooking and caring for children.
Among the wealthy things were slightly better. Wealthy children received a superior education being able to study such things as the classics and Latin. Boys of the upper class would focus on warfare while girls would continue to develop domestic skills. One thing the rich had in common with the poor was harsh discipline.
Things Begin to Change
During the Enlightenment, there are some changes to the structure of the family. The extended family gave way to the nuclear family. Schools become more common and even higher education becomes something that the middle class can take advantage of.
Various thought leaders (could philosophers in those days) began to share new views on child-rearing. Rousseau, Lock, and Voltaire all spoke of “childhood” as a unique part of life and how there should be more leniency in disciplining children. The ideas of childhood being a separate part of life and the need for different methods of disciplining children would influence reforms in juvenile justice.
Supporting Unfortunate Children
During this same time of the Enlightenment, there were several efforts to support poor or disadvantaged children. England had poor laws which allowed a family to care for a neglected child and teach them a trade. The neglected child had no choice and had to work for this family. An entire industry sprang up to identify children who were neglected. Naturally, there were times when this system was abused by the family and even by the children at times.
Another similar way of supporting children was apprenticeships. It’s hard to tell the difference between poor laws and apprenticeships. The main difference may be that apprenticeships were available to anybody and not just poor children.
Both poor laws and apprenticeships were used in Europe and the USA. Such a system helps to keep kids off the street and gives them a skill by which they can support themselves and maybe a family one day. Eventually, this system of supporting young people would give way as many master craftsmen were put out of business by the rise of factories which negated the need for an apprentice. Children could skip this process and go straight to the factories to work and this is what happen for several decades before laws were passed to require school attendance.
Children will always make mistakes and challenge authority. However, the blatant disrespect of today was not found in the past. The harsh discipline that children experienced during the Middle Ages helped to temper disrespectful behavior. Of course, children were still found to commit crimes and hurt each other but the contempt for authority was not as strong as is found today.
In the video below is a brief explanation of the various parts of an academic research paper. The main thrust was to show how these different parts work together to share the learning experience of the authors.
In this post, we will look at planning from the perspective of business managers. The five-step process below explains how managers plan. While considering this we will look at how teachers address planning in a slightly different way.
Developing Awareness of Current Situation
Before plans can be made a manager must be aware of the current state of the context. Developing this knowledge of the current state of the situation is called developing awareness. It is hard to plan when one does not know what is already going on. Within education, a needs assessment is sometimes used to develop a map of the current challenges the institution is facing
Once a manager has an idea of what is going on within the setting for which they are needed for decision making they can now move to actually develop a plan.
2. Establishing Outcome(s)
Step two involves making outcome statements. Outcome statements explain where the team is trying to go or is heading. These statements are end statements that indicate how things should be different once the plan is over. An example of an outcome statement would be “improving customer retention by ten percent.” This statement clearly has something that can be measured and thus can be used as an outcome.
In education, it is common for teachers to have goals and objectives. Goals tend to be broader and unmeasurable but still serve the function of guiding a teacher. A simple example of a goal would be “be the best.” On the surface, this statement does not have meaning have much meaning but it does establish a general sense of direction. Objectives are much more narrow but easily measured. An example of an objective would be “after training, the salesmen in appliances will boost sales of appliances by 10% within 6 months. In this example, everything seems to be laid out. When planning is focused on goals and action it is called goal planning.
Premising involves analyzing the assumptions that managers have about the current plan. In addition, premising can be used to determine what resources and materials are needed to complete the plan.
For example, a manager is planning to place their kitchen supplies on sale. Obviously, the manager is assuming they have enough supply of kitchen supplies that a sale is warranted. In addition, the manager is also assuming they can advertise on the days they want. These assumptions need to be checked because assuming them could be disastrous.
In education premising is not as common in the middle of the context as it is in the very first step.
4. Course of Action
In step 4, a manager starts to determine how to move their team from the current state to the outcome state. This can involve creating action statements which are statements that indicate the way a goal will be achieved. For example, if an organization is trying to boost sales an action statement might involve sending people for training in new products. In other words, product training is the action for achieving the outcome of increased sales.
The ideas in this process are highly similar to what is done in education. Instead of an action statement. The main difference is terminology in which education is focused on objectives while management is focused on action statements.
5. Supportive Plans
Supportive plans are additional plans that help to achieve a larger plan. For example, it was mentioned how workers might need training to boost sales. Boosting sales is the main plan but it might be needed to make a supportive plan to get workers trained on new products.
Teachers might make supportive plans on accident and probably don’t see or consider them as supportive plans. For example, if a teacher is teaching math that is too difficult for the students, the teacher might make a supportive plan to provide remedial reteaching to help catch the students up.
Planning is a critical part of management. Teaching involves extensive planning. The goal here was simply to show a different way of planning as derived from the business world. The ideas presented here may be useful for some.
In this post, we will examine the juvenile court process. This process is involved when young people commit crimes and they have to experience “the system” while legal experts try to work out what is best for those involved.
There are different ways to split up the process and explain it. However, for our purposes, we will divide the process into the following steps
Adujdication and diposition
Each of the above bullets are explained below.
When a youth is accused of committing a crime and is detained by police one of the first questions to answer is where to keep them. The answer to this question is the first step in the juvenile court process and is called detention.
Essentially there are two choices, the youth stays in a government facility, which is called custody, or they stay at home. Approximately 1/4 of delinquents stay in custody and the rest and sent home. The decision for detention is the equivalent of a bail decision for an adult.
The people in charge of determining the type of detention are the probation officer and or prosecutors and the decision is made at a detention hearing. If a child is detained it is the equivalent of being sent to jail. Initially, the child will probably be kept in a county-run facility and this will change when the legal process is complete.
Once in detention, there are two common types and these are secure and non-secure. A secure facility is again more akin to jail. A non-secure facility is similar to a group home. There are no locks and the youth could run away with ease if they desired. Where a child is placed depends on the severity of the crime they are accused of.
Once a child is placed in a facility state governments usually offer some sort of treatment while sorting out the legal process. Examples include behavior modification, working towards a GED, and or vocational training. Any or all of these may be available in addition to other forms of treatment not mentioned.
Once the detention decision is made the next step in the process is called the intake decision. At this stage, the probation officer and or prosecutors decide if they will file a petition, which is the equivalent of pressing charges. Whether a petition is filed or not depends on the amount of evidence and consideration of what is best for all parties involved.
If a crime is serious enough it can be transferred or waived to adult court. The criteria for sending a youth to adult court varies from state to state but most if not all states have a process for doing this. Normally, only serious crimes are moved to adult court such as murder.
A child may not face a petition if the probation officer and or prosecutors choose a different route to complete the legal process. Another way to complete this process is called an informal adjustment. An informal adjustment is dealing with the accusations against the youth without a petition. For example, if a kid is caught making graffiti an informal adjustment may be that the child agrees to pay for the damages and repaint the wall.
Adjudication & Disposition
Once the court proceedings are complete the petition is found to be true or not true, which is the equivalent of guilty or not guilty. When the petition is found to be true another term for this is adjudicated.
Once adjudicated the youth then faces a disposition, which is the equivalent of sentencing. At this step of the process, the youth receives their “punishment.” The child could be committed to a state-run facility which is essentially prison, they could be placed on probation or a host of other options.
An interesting note, Plea bargains are also common among juveniles accused of crimes but jury trials are not. The reason for this is philosophical as many believe that juvenile court should be different from adult court due to the accused individual’s age.
The juvenile court process is unique. Hopefully, a young person never has to be involved in this system. However, for those who do make mistakes, this system is in place to try and help those involved.
Students and delinquents have many things in common. One thing they have in common is making poor decisions. This post will examine some theories of how youth and delinquents make choices. In particular, we will look at two theories found in the field of criminology and apply them to the classroom these theories are
A theory on explaining poor decision-making is explained from the routine activities perspective. This theory states that it is normal behavior that contrivutes to criminal behavior for delinquents and perhaps bad behavior in the classroom.
According to this theory, several criteria help to predict a youth’s actions and they are.
The quality of the target- An easier target is more inviting than a difficult one
Level of motivation-If a youth is looking for trouble they can generally find it
Lack of supervision-If there are no authority figures nearby making a poor choice is easier.
In the classroom, these dynamics interact frequently. Disruptive students will look for other students who are easy to sway to join them and or are easy to pick on which is an example of quality. In terms of motivation, most teachers would agree a child can find a way to get into trouble if this is what they desire. Lastly, supervision is one of the main components of difficult behavior in the classroom. Some kids are impulsive and the level of supervision makes no difference. However, many kids will wait for when they believe they can get away with what they want to do.
The natural extension of routine activities perspective in terms of preventing poor behavior is to neutralize the three criteria listed above. For example, if a disruptive student cannot find quality targets it may help to eliminate poor behavior. One way teachers do this is by moving a difficult student to another part of the classroom or outside the class. When targets are gone behavior should hopefully be appropriate.
Motivation is the second criterion and this can be neutralized through appropriate disci[pline. For example, a behavioral approach would provide the appropriate reinforcement and punishment that will modify the behavior and or the motivation. When there is no longer a desire to act inappropriately because the stimulus is negative the poor actions of the youth may cease.
The last criterion was supervision. It is difficult to always have eyes on students. However, it is often more beneficial for students to think that the teacher is watching them at all times. The technical term for this is withitness which is an awareness of what is happening in the classroom at all times. Developing this ability takes experience but a teacher can never get into the “zone” when teaching because the students will notice the absentmindedness and move to make poor choices.
Rational Choice Theory
Rational choice theory is another view on decision-making. In this theory, delinquents decide to commit crimes based on opportunity and reward vs cost. These two criteria sound similar to the routine activities approach. However, rational choice theory takes into account that delinquents do not always plan their behavior carefully and that sometimes they are spontaneous in what they do. In other words, to assume completely random behavior and totally well-thought-out behavior from youth is unreasonable. Rather youths actions are somewhere between the two extremes of impulsiveness and calculation
In the classroom, this has played out before. Disruptive students look for opportunities and may consider the risk-reward factor. However, just as rational choice states students will not consider all the consequences of their actions.
What these two theories have in common is opportunity. Movement is one way opportunity arises. For example, if the teacher moves to the other side of the room it will provide an opportunity for a student to cause problems. The same if a victim walks into the wrong part of town. As people move around it provides and removes opportunities for criminal behavior or poor behavior in the classroom.
Off course, no single theory or several theories can explain everything about a phenomenon. The same idea applies in this context of trying to understand why youth and delinquents make poor choices.
This post will look at a theory on development that is not often covered in teacher preparation courses. The theory we will look at is called Interpersonal Maturity levels and was developed in 1957 by Sullivan, Grant, and Grant in 1957. This continuum of maturity was developed primarily to explain delinquency. We will look at this theory within the context of delinquency and extend its use to the classroom.
Defining Interpersonal MAturity LEvels
Level 1-A persons can discriminate between themselves and someone else
Level 2-A person separates between persons and objects
Level 3-Begin to learn rules and move within an environment
Level 4-Begin to see things from another person’s perspective
Level 5-Begins to notice patterns in behavior and roles in a society
Level 6-Learn the difference between who they are and the function(s) they play
Level 7-Learns and implements various methods for dealing with the world
Levels 1-3 are often related to babies and small children and don’t apply to delinquents. Delinquents are often found to be somewhere between levels 2 through 4. Level 4 is especially telling because it indicates a lack of empathy for others. Another important point is that youths who commit crimes are unsurprisingly not fully developed regarding their understanding of interpersonal relationships. They do not see how their actions are detrimental to other people.
Teachers may encounter these various levels of interpersonal maturity as well. Students who only care about themselves and their own pleasure are probably at lower levels of interpersonal maturity. Students struggling with their various societal roles and overcoming these challenges are probably at a higher level. Teachers need to be able to support students at different levels of interpersonal maturity to the benefit of the student and other students in the classroom.
Lower-level students will need to develop an awareness of the perspective of others. This could be achieved by asking them questions about how others perceive their actions. In addition, asking them reflective questions about their impulsive actions could help them become more mindful of the people around them.
Students who are more mature in terms of interpersonal relations need more help finding practical answer’s to life’s problems. Perhaps for them, modeling could be a good tool. Given that teachers are usually older and have more experience than their students, the teacher can offer life advice and share with the students how they faced similar life challenges at their age.
No theory explains everything about a phenomenon. INterpersonal maturity plays a role in delinquent behavior. The ideas presented here help people to understand why young people choose to disobey. Since teachers deal with delinquent young people, it is possible that this theory’s ideas can help them understand we kids disobey in the classroom.
Studies of the demographics of convicted criminals have led to several insights into traits that put a person at a higher risk of committing crimes. IN this post, we will look at various demographic traits that put a young person at risk of committing crimes.
Young adults ages 18-21 are leaders statistically in acts of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Since people have a tendency to commit crimes against peers, teenagers and Young adults are victims of crimes at a disproportionate rate. People ages 12-24 make up 22% of the population yet commit 35% of the murders and 49% of all victims of serious violent crimes. In other words, not only are young people generally more dangerous, but they are also at a higher risk of suffering from a violent crime.
There has been speculation as to why young people are more prone to criminal behavior. Among some of the ideas are the lack of experience and the inability to weigh the consequences of poor choices. In addition, young people often have the freedom of adulthood without the corresponding responsibilities such as career and family. Lastly, given their inexperience, young adults are still determining their own limits and the limits of the society in which they live.
The reason for this difference is not clear. Traditionally, men have been more physically aggressive and less risk-averse than women. In addition, there are known hormonal differences between men and women as well when examining things such as testosterone and estrogen. For students, this implies that a young person is likelier to be without a father than a mother. This can have consequences regarding behavior and a general need for attention.
An individual’s economic situation is yet another factor in criminal behavior. About 76% of men and 85% of women in prison made less than $38000 per year before being sent to prison. Anything below $32000 is considered poor. Keep in mind that it is difficult to track the income of criminals and that the cutoff is being pulled to the right by the occasional drug kingpin and white-collar crook.
The poor are also victims of crime at a higher rate, with about 63% of violent crimes being perpetrated against poor and low-income people. A tanking economy and job loss can sometimes motivate undesirable behavior that could also have legal ramifications for people. This is important because adult criminals often have children who go through the school system without parental support.
Race is another controversial factor in terms of criminal behavior. Among juveniles, blacks comprise 34% of all arrests. Half of all violent crimes are committed by blacks, even though blacks make up about 12% of the population.
Many contests such numbers and blame such behavior as racial profiling by the police. However, explaining any behavior or number with one factor is never simple or easy. AS such, it is not completely clear why there is such a disparity in criminal behavior based on race. Relating this to students may imply that students of color may need more assistance from teachers as they are more likely to have committed or know somebody who has committed a crime.
For students, opening their eyes to the benefits of education can keep them off the streets. In addition, some young people may be at a higher risk if they come from a home that does not value education.
Lastly, religion plays a role in preventing crime. Adolescents who attend a religious service weekly have lower rates of shoplifting, assault, and theft when compared to students who never attend a religious service. With religious activity comes a decrease in criminal activity.
One theory behind this is the hellfire hypothesis which implies that people avoid various criminal activities for fear of angering whatever higher power they follow. IT should also be noted that many religions discourage criminal behavior while encouraging respect for local authorities.
The traits shared here are not self-fulfilling prophecies. Young people do not have to commit crimes, nor do men or people who did not attend college. On the other hand, being older, female, or religious does not mean that a person is not capable of breaking the law. Trends found in data are different from individual choice.
Property crimes are a common form of delinquency among young people. Theft, in general, leads to over 80,000 arrests each year. Theft can cover many crimes such as car stealing or taking items from another person’s home. In this post, we will examine some common ways young people are involved in property crimes.
Shoplifting is a common crime among youth but not as common as one would think. Approximately 25% of all shoplifters are juveniles, meaning most shoplifters are not children. However, about 47% of high school students have admitted to shoplifting something within the past year. This implies that juveniles are not caught at the same rate at which they steal and that juveniles are better at getting away with shoplifting than adults. Shoplifters are rarely caught, with only 5-10% being apprehended.
When people, including juveniles, are caught shoplifting, they often share such excuses as “it was an accident” or “the item is actually mine.” Of course, this doesn’t work, and now the youth is facing some consequences. Usually, the punishment is not that serious. In some states, small-time shoplifting is not enforced. In other states, the penalty can be a fine and or time spent in jail.
Stealing cars is another common property theft crime for youths. In 2019, about 13,000 juveniles were arrested for auto theft. Juvenile often steals cars for rather superficial reasons. For example, it is common for young people to steal cars for the adrenaline rush of committing a crime. Another common reason is just for a joy ride. In other words, young people often steal cars for fun.
This is not to say that there is never a financial motivation for stealing cars. Adults often steal cars for momentary gain through selling the car and or the parts that make up the car. For whatever reason, the penalties for auto theft can range from up to two years in prison and or up to $10,000 in fines.
In 2019, 31,000 juveniles committed vandalism. Unlike the other examples of property crimes mentioned earlier, there appears to be no financial motivation for committing vandalism. Youths often vandalize property to express themselves, boredom, as a form of expression, and to join a gang or peer pressure.
Vandalism can lead to fines and or up to one year in jail. Vandalism can be classified as a felony if the act is serious enough.
General causes of property crime
The root causes of property crime are often the same as the root cause of most problems. Family issues are one of the main factors for crime. Youths from broken homes are missing the care and attention they need to make wise choices.
Another common cause of property crime is drug use. For example, a young person may turn to theft to fund a drug habit. In either case, there are motivating factors for the poor decision-making of many youth offenders.
Property crimes are one of many crimes that plague society today. People have their motivation for doing this even if committing propriety crimes is not the best decision. The unfortunate consequences can and do, at times, complicate a person’s life going forward.
It is not a secret that sometimes youths make poor decisions, leading to them committing acts of violence. According to the CDC, acts of violence committed by youth cost over $100 billion annually. One example of violence committed by youth is simple assault which makes up over 40% of crimes committed by juveniles. Other crimes committed by young people include larceny, aggravated assault, vandalism, robbery, motor vehicle theft, and homicide. Given the nature of these crimes, we will look at some of the causes of youth violence.
A major factor in youth violence is drugs. Approximately 80% of minors in the juvenile justice system in the US committed their crime while under the influence of drugs or admitted to having a drug problem. In addition, between 1.9 and 2.4 million minors in the juvenile justice system have a drug problem.
Experts call this relationship between drugs and crime a psychopharmacological relationship because drug use was a factor in criminal behavior. Other crimes associated with drugs include:
The manufacturing of drugs.
Theft of drugs.
Disputes over drugs.
The use of illegal drugs.
Among the legal charges, a youth can face from drugs includes drug possession, drug trafficking, and drug manufacturing. If they remain on a young person’s record, any of these charges can have long-term implications for education and job opportunities in the future. This all assumes that a juvenile does not lose their life from an overdose or experience related to drug behavior.
Problems within the family can also lead to youth violence. Today, many homes no longer fit a traditional pattern of married biological parents supporting children. In addition, sexual abuse to about 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls in the USA. Furthermore, 90% of the victims experience this trauma at the hand of someone they knew.
The signs of sexual abuse are difficult to tell among teenagers as they vary wildly at this age. However, some things to look for are changes in behavior and emotions. The trauma they have experienced in their personal life could lead to poor choices in behavior outside of the home.
Of course, the concepts influence each other. Drug abuse can lead to mental health issues, and mental health issues can lead to drug use. Crime can lead to drug use and or mental health issues and vice versa. Sexual abuse can lead to drug use and or health issues. These ideas are interconnected, but you have to decide what you are looking for when developing a model.
Young people face many challenges today. From broken homes to threats to their physical being to challenges with mental health, young people have to be vigilant. If a youth goes down the path of violence, it is always important to see what factors lead to such a faithful decision.
Dorfman et al. did a study back in 2004 in which they looked at how people from different cultures rated leadership. The team broke leadership down into six components listed below.
Charismatic-The ability to motivate and inspire others.
Team orientation-The ability to develop a highly functioning team.
Participative-The ability to get others included in the decision-making.
Humane-oriented-The ability to show empathy and compassion,
Autonomous-The ability to be independent and reflect this to the team
Self-protective-The tendency of the leader to use face-saving approaches
Naturally, different countries identified differently with each of these components. For example, Asian countries considered self-protective skills highly important, while participation wasn’t as important. Western English-speaking countries were the opposite. The point is not to dwell on the details of the research but to point out that if countries have various skills they find important in leaders, it is not unreasonable that students at an individual level are going to want specific skills in teachers who are leaders of classrooms.
For the teacher, some students are going to want a charismatic teacher, while other students may want a teacher who is human-oriented. The teacher may naturally tend to emphasize autonomy in their leadership approach. The point is not to condemn one approach over the other but rather that the teacher must be aware of what the students are looking for in a teacher while also being aware of their own natural tendency as a teacher.
Suppose a teacher tends to be participative in their approach, but this is not working with students. In that case, a teacher needs to look for ways to overcome this situation. Perhaps a more authoritative approach is appropriate in particular situations. This often goes against what one is taught when becoming a teacher, but the most important tenet of education is helping students to be successful. Helping students be successful may involve ignoring other tenets of education, such as developing a participative classroom environment.
Traits and Behaviors of Leaders
Den Hertog et al. did a study in 1999 looking for traits and behaviors that people admire in leaders and people in general. The positive traits are listed below.
trustworthy, smart, honest, planning, encouraging, positive, dynamic motivator, confidence builder, dependable, decisive, bargained, problem solver, administrator, communicator, informed, team builder
These traits mean that if people see them in an individual, such as a person who is in authority, they will admire these traits in that person. The study was worldwide, so these are traits that may be universal. What is also important to point out is these are traits that students like to see in teachers. Students want a teacher they can trust, who solves problems, is positive, and can plan, among other things. If such traits are missing, the students may conclude that the teacher is bad.
On the flip side, these traits listed above are traits teachers like to see in their students. Many teachers would love to have students who are dependable, honest, informed, etc. When students lack these traits, many teachers can identify them as bad students. Teachers need to develop these positive traits to inspire students who may lack these traits while also being able to meet the definition of a good teacher.
In the study, there was also a list of negative traits are listed below
For students and teachers, the list above are traits to avoid. Teachers who are dictatorial and unclear (inexplicit) will be seen as bad teachers. Students who are loners, antisocial, and uncooperative will be viewed as bad students. The benefit of this list is that it allows a teacher to clearly articulate and define desirable and undesirable traits in a student. This also applies to administrators who are assessing teachers and teachers trying to explain the quality of leadership they are under.
Everybody is going to possess good and bad traits in different combinations. The point is not to criticize the weaknesses we all possess in our characters. Rather it is better to be aware of one’s weaknesses to make adjustments to help those who are around them.
Young people sometimes make mistakes and violate the laws of a country. Natural, this leads to consequences that vary based on the transgression. This post will look at various categories and types of laws.
Categories of Criminal Behavior
There are two broad categories where we can place crimes that young people commit. These categories are
Mala in see
Malum in prohibitum
Mala in se is Latin for “wrong by itself,” and these are crimes that people instinctively know are wrong. Examples are robbery, murder, and other acts viewed as heinous. However, people’s views on morality vary widely. Therefore, one basis for what is considered “instinctively wrong” is English and US Common Law.
Common law was developed through decisions made in the court system over hundreds of years. The opinions of judges became precedent for future decisions. Through this process, an idea of what and wrong has been developed, which is used now to determine when crimes fall in the category of mala in se.
The second category of crimes is malum in prohibitum, which translates from the Latin as “wrong when prohibited.” These crimes are not necessarily morally evil but are actions that need to be regulated. Examples of laws that fall within malum in prohibitum include laws related to various licenses people may need (driving, fishing, hunting, etc.), gambling, alcohol, and drug use. Again, many may disagree if these crimes are less harmful, but this is the example given.
Students have and will commit both categories of crime in the examples above. Students will willfully commit crimes obviously while also breaking laws that regulate less offensive behavior.
Types of Laws
After categories, laws are sometimes classified by type. Civil laws include property laws, contract laws, tort laws, and more. Civil laws often involve private parties, do not include the loss of freedom for the defendant, involve the defendant paying money if they lose in many situations, and do not have the same constitutional protections found in criminal cases.
On the other hand, criminal cases usually involve the government bringing formal charges against someone. There is a risk of the defendant losing their from if they lose, and the defendant has certain constitutional rights protecting them. Criminal law also requires actions and behaviors. In other words, the accused must be accused of doing something and not just thinking about it. For example, suppose a person sneezes while driving and someone is hurt in the accident. In that case, there is a chance that the sneezer will not be guilty of a crime because it is impossible to control when you sneeze.
Quality of Mind
The state of mind is also another significant factor in determining an individual’s guilt. There are four ways a person can commit a crime: intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, and negligently. AN intentional act means somebody committed a crime on purpose. Knowingly is obvious and states that a person was aware that what they were doing was a crime, such as breaking into a house and making jewelry.
Recklessness involves a person acting in such a way that is an obvious danger and a disregard for acceptable standards. For example, many people define driving 100 mph in a school zone as reckless. Lastly, negligence is when someone ignores an obvious danger when performing a certain activity, such as driving 100 mph and then hitting and killing someone.
Young people can be found in any state of mind mentioned above. Youths can be international, or they can be reckless or negligent, etc. We all make mistakes, but the stakes are much higher at the criminal level.
Young people will continue to make decisions that strongly impact their lives. Committing crimes is one thing that can have a lasting impact. Youths and teachers need to work together for the young people to develop decision-making skills that will allow them to avoid criminal acts.
The Three Cue method is a long-established yet increasingly controversial approach to teaching reading. We will look at the background and philosophy of this reading method in this post.
According to Ken Goodman, there are three cues people use to read, and they are listed below
Graphic cues: Examining the letters to determine the word
Syntactic cues: Guessing what kind of word it might be, such as an adjective or verb
Semantic cues: Guessing the word based on the context or what makes sense.
Goodman also made some conclusions based on his observational research of children learning to read.
Reading is not about precision but accurate first guesses
as the child improves in their reading, they use fewer graphic cues
Detailed perception of letters and words is not necessary
Before Goodman’s bombshell in the 1960s, reading was taught one of two ways. The whole word approach relied on repetition and the use of pictures. A classical example of this approach to teaching reading is the”Dick and Jane” reading series from the 1930s. The assumption is that if a child sees a word often enough, they will learn how to read it.
The other major way of teaching reading has been the phonics approach, which involves learning the sounds associated with letters. One example of this approach is the McGuffey readers of the 1800s
Goodman took a different approach compared to whole words and phonics. If a student is struggling with reading, the teacher can have the child think (guess) a word that would work in a sentence they are struggling with. For example, suppose a student sees the word “horse” and uses the word “pony” instead. In that case, this is considered acceptable when employing this method. Even though the child never learned how to read the word “horse.”
This approach to reading allowed students to guess their way through a text. If students had an intuitive sense of what works, they could look like they were reading without developing the needed comprehension. This happens because they are not processing words, but rather, they are processing their guesses about words. With time, criticism began to arise towards the THree Cue method.
By the 1970s, people were already beginning to find that Goodman’s method was as great as believed. REsearch at this time was finding that skilled readers could recognize words without relying on the context. Students were able to read without looking at the words! In other words, students were making up their own story guessing their way through a text without mastery.
Students would skip the arduous process of sounding out words to guess. These habits would become bad habits, and children would struggle with reading for a long time and, in some cases, would never really master it. In addition, some students learn to read no matter how they are taught. In other words, no single system can claim to be the answer all the time for learning to read.
Despite this evidence, the Three Cueing Method was highly popular. Most teachers are familiar with this method and maybe learned to read this way. The problem is not Goodman’s method. Rather the problem is relying exclusively on one method to teach anything. Different students learn in different ways, and there will always be a place where Goodman’s ideas will benefit someone.
Phonics does not work for every student, nor does the whole word. It is naive to think that Goodman’s way is the only way. A balanced approach that incorporates various reading methods is one way to reach students. After a teacher gets a sense of what works best for their students, they can focus on one particular approach and occasionally use other strategies to develop weaknesses in students.
When the flaws in a theory are pointed out, it is always tempting to throw them out. However, there is probably always a context or situation in which a theory will work. Goodman’s three cue method doesn’t work all the time. Yet there is evidence that this approach has helped for some of the time.
Analyzing data can be extremely challenging. It is often common to not know where to begin. Perhaps you know some basic ways of analyzing data, but it is unclear what should be done first and what should follow.
This is where a data analysis framework can come in handy. Having a basic step-by-step process, you always follow can make it much easier to start and complete a project. One example of a data analysis framework is the OSEMN model. The OSEMN model is an acronym that defines each step of the data analysis process. The steps are as follows
We will now go through each of these steps.
The first step of this model is obtaining data. Depending on the context, this can be done for you because the stakeholders have already provided data for analysis. In other situations, you have to find the data you need to answer whatever questions you are looking for insights into.
Data can be found anywhere, so the obtained data must help achieve the goals. It is also necessary to have the skills or connections to get the data. For example, data may have to be scraped from the web, pulled from a database, or even collected through the development of surveys. Each of these examples requires specific skills needed for success.
Once data is obtained, it must be scrubbed or cleaned. Completing these tasks requires several things. Duplicates need to be removed, missing data must be addressed, outlier considered, the shape of the data addressed, among other tasks. In addition, it is often useful to look at descriptive statistics and visualizations to identify potential problems. Lastly, you often need to clean categories within a variable if they are misspelled or involve other errors such as punctuation and converting numbers.
The concepts mentioned above are just some of the steps that need to be taken to clean data. Dirty will lead to bad insights. Therefore, this must be done well.
Exploring data and scrubbing data will often happen at the same time. With exploration, you are looking for insights into your data. One of the easiest ways to do this is to drill down as far as possible into your continuous variables by segmenting with the categorical variables.
For example, you might look at average scores by gender, then you look at average scores by gender and major, then you might look at average scores by gender, major, and class. Each time you find slightly different patterns that may be useful or not. Another approach would be to look at scatterplots that consider different combinations of categorical variables.
If the objectives are clear, it can help you focus your exploration on reducing the chance of presenting non-relevant information to your stakeholders. Suppose the stakeholders want to know the average scores of women. In that case, there is maybe no benefit to knowing the average score of male music majors.
Modeling involves regression/classification in the case of supervised learning or segmentation in the case of unsupervised learning. Modeling in the context of supervised learning helps in predicting future values, while segmentation helps develop insights into groups within a dataset that have similar traits.
Once again, the objectives of the analysis shape what tool to use in this context. If you want to predict enrollment, then regression tools may be appropriate. If you want what car a person will buy, then classification may help. If, on the other hand, you want to know what are some of the traits of high-performing students, then unsupervised approaches may be the best option.
Interpreting involves sharing what does all this stuff means. It is truly difficult to explain the intricacies of data analysis to a layman. Therefore, this involves not just analytical techniques but communication skills. Breaking down the complex analysis so that people can understand it is difficult. As such, ideas around storytelling have been developed to help data analysis connect the code with the audience.
The framework provided here is not the only way to approach data analysis. Furthermore, as you become more comfortable with analyzing data, you do not have to limit yourself to the steps or order in which they are performed. Frameworks are intended for getting people started in the creative process of whatever task they are trying to achieve.
Frederick Taylor (1856-1915) developed his management principles in response to the problems he was seeing in the workplace. IN this post, we will look at these principles and the backdrop to their origins.
Industrial Revolutions and its Problems
The Industrial Revolution led to major changes in the production of goods. Items went from being produced at home to being produced in factories. The work went from families working as a team to individuals working away from home. Natural these changes had pros and also cons.
The main pro has already been mentioned and involves the boost in productivity. However, among the cons was a lack of motivation, issues with determining how much to produce with workers and managers manipulating each other, and a general lack of standardization. Lastly, workers were concerned with wages, working conditions, and justice.
Life of Fredrick Taylor
In this context, Fredrick Taylor (1856-1915) emerges. Unable to go to college due to an injury, Taylor went to work in a factory and saw workers destroy tools to prevent overproduction, which they believed could threaten their employment. Witnessing this, Taylor decided to take an empirical approach to this problem.
Taylor applied several different methodologies to examine production, such as time series, standardization, division of labor, time management, and incentives in such context as piecework production. He was also a huge proponent of finding the right person for the job and moving people as necessary to achieve this benefit to the person and the employer.
Four Principles of Management
Below are the four principles of management according to Taylor
Managers should use science for each aspect of a job.
Select and train workers scientifically.
Workers and management should work together to make sure work is done according to principles of management
Responsibility and work should be divided equally between workers and managers
Managers need to make sure science is the tool used for making decisions. Science relies on and observation and analysis of data. Using a scientific process is considered superior to making intuition or gut decisions. When science is used, employees may not agree, but they can see the thought process behind the decision. The principle of data-driven decision is a foundational concept in data science today.
Workers should also be trained and selected scientifically. Again this gives the impression of objectivity and fairness in the decision-making process. Using intuition or other means makes management decision-making questionable.
The third principle emphasizes that everyone should work together from a scientific perspective. Through a united worldview, the assumption is to improve cooperation. The enemy appears to be subjectivity, and both workers and management should avoid this.
The final principle speaks to how management and workers must have a joint interest in responsibilities. The motivation behind this idea is to reduce the hostility that can sometimes arise in the workplace. Suppose everyone is a part of the decision-making. In that case, everyone should have a vested interest in the endeavor’s success.
Taylor and the Classroom
It is hard to see how Taylor’s principles apply in the classroom at the surface level. However, two ideas that come out of Taylor’s principles for teachers are the idea of fairness and dialog. A teacher must demonstrate fairness through the decisions that they make. Students will not agree with a decision at times made by a teacher, but it is important to know that the decisions teachers make are not arbitrary and capricious.
Dialog is also important. Students need to raise concerns openly even if their commands are not implemented. When people are allowed to share, they are often invested in the achievement, which is the same for many students.
Taylor’s principles of management were groundbreaking for them. Even after almost a century, the ideas laid down here inspire managers and leaders in various fields.
Decisions are a critical part of the life of people, whether teachers or leaders. Even though this is an important skill, many people struggle with making decisions about important and even mundane matters. In this post, we will look at several challenges to making decisions.
There are times when a decision is made, and after some time, all parties involved begin to realize it was a bad decision. The challenge in this context is that since time and resources have already been devoted to this bad choice, maybe if everyone is patient, things will begin to work out. Generally, this is not the case.
Organizations and schools make this kind of mistake all the time. For example, a new curriculum or technology is adopted by the school. It is clear that this software or tech is not working, but a commitment has already been made. Such a situation can lead to a great deal of frustration among faculty and staff.
Nobody can predict the future. When it is unclear in terms of what to expect, it can lead to analysis paralysis, which essentially means that leadership or the teacher tries not to make a decision until new evidence arises. Unfortunately, new evidence is normally not forthcoming except that there is now less time to decide, and options begin to disappear because of lost time.
Since there is no way to be 100% sure of anything, the next best approach may be to make small incremental decisions and or take a step forward and be bold and see what happens. Neither of these alternatives is attractive, but there are times when a decision must be made.
Due to procrastination, there are times when there is not enough time to decide. Again, some teachers and leaders what as long as possible and then go with the only viable option when they are forced to decide. When this happens, the teacher can blame the context for what happened when the reality is that they did not want to make a decision. There is no better excuse than a lack of time in many situations.
Time can be an ally in decision-making if used for thinking rather than for avoiding making a decision. Too often, people fall for the temptation of letting circumstances dictate their choices.
Limits of Reasoning
While thinking is good, there are limits to what reasoning can accomplish. There is no way to collect all data and process all possibilities when it is time to decide. Eventually, there comes the point where a teacher has thought enough about a decision and must make a decision. However, not too many people fall for the trap of limited reasoning as reasoning is not generally encouraged in this day and age.
People are often more comfortable with situations in which their own ideas and beliefs agree with the decision to be made. For example, a group of teachers may agree on something because they share similar backgrounds and thus have a similar perspective on a matter. This is an example of confirmation bias in which a person looks for information in agreement with their own position. Such examples can include people who agree with you or information that supports your position.
Bias is not always bad. If a decision needs to be made quicker, then a group of people with similar views can agree fast. However, suppose the goal is a creative or innovative solution. In that case, a diverse group is more likely to challenge and stretch each other to a novel idea.
The final barrier to decision-making is conflict. Most people want to avoid conflict as it can lead to disharmony and other problems. However, people will not agree in the decision-making process, and they often like their idea at the expense of other people’s ideas.
There are two forms of conflict. Process conflict is disagreements about doing something and is not about an individual. Relationship conflict is personal and involves attacks on the person rather than the process or idea. Process conflict can lead to better processes, but once it becomes personal, it can collapse the decision-making process. It is difficult for many people to separate themselves from their shared ideas, but learning to do this is highly beneficial for the decision-making experience.
Decisions need to be made alone and in groups. Whatever the case may be, there are impediments to the decision-making process that people need to be aware of. The ideas presented here are just some of the challenges awaiting people who need to make up their minds about something.
People have tried to explain population growth and decline for centuries. A major topic of controversy today is how to deal with an ever-increasing population. This post will look at several theories that try to address population growth.
Thomas Malthus is famous for claiming that the Earth would lose its ability to sustain an ever-growing population. In his theory, Malthus claims three factors would limit the growth of humans on Earth. These three factors are war, famine, and disease. Malthus defined these three factors as “positive checks” because they increase mortality.
Malthus also defined “preventive checks” or factors that reduced fertility. These factors were birth control and celibacy. As resources were depleted, Malthus theorized that they would begin to fight wars, generally leading to famine and disease. As the fighting over resources continued, people would limit the children they have or even forgo marriage and having children together.
Malthus’s predictions turned out to be incorrect. There have been technological improvements that he could never have foreseen. These improvements in technology have not only increased food production but have also included treatments for diseases that used to kill.
However, Malthus was correct about preventive checks. In the western world and some parts of Asia (Japan, China, Singapore, and Thailand). Fertility rates have plummeted as people focus on careers and other things rather than raising a family. The general trend of the world is an increase in people, but this may change with time.
Zero Population Growth
A variation on Malthus theory was developed by Paul Ehrlich. Ehrlich states that the environment and not food supply is the factor that determines the planet’s population. As more and more people abuse the environment, it endangers the human population.
Ehrlich’s solution to this problem is zero population growth which, as its name implies, that the number of births equals the number of deaths. No practical way has been found to do this, but this demographic theory is often associated with conspiracy theories of how the elite wants to limit population growth.
The opposite of Malthus and Ehrlich’s position would be cornucopian theory. This theory posits that human ingenuity can resolve whatever problems humans face. It is possible to cite human ingenuity examples that develop after a crisis, such as vaccinations. However, often by the time the breakthrough is implemented, the catastrophe has already done significant damage has already been done.
Not even the Black Death of the medieval period completely wiped out humanity. The cornucopian theory is always correct until something happens on Earth that wipes out human existence.
Demographic Transition Theory
Demographic transition theory takes a modeling approach to demographic change. Population growth follows four predictable stages in this theory, as explained below.
Stage 1: Births, deaths, and infant mortality are high with low life expectancy.
Stage 2: Birth rates are high while infant mortality and death drops with an increase in life expectancy
Stage 3: Birthrates decline for the first time while death rates continue their decline, life expectancy continues to increase
Stage 4: Birth and death rates keep falling, life expectancy peaks, the population stabilizes, and may start to decline.
These stages are often associated with industrialization. Many countries enter stage 2 when they begin to industrialize. A fully developed country is often found in stage 3, while a post-industrial country could be found in stage 4.
The question that perhaps everyone is wondering is perhaps how much more can the population grow on this planet? It may be impossible to know for sure. Every time it appears the Earth has reached its limit, new resources are discovered, and there is a boost in technology that makes it easier to continue life with whatever resources are available. A question such as this is one that experts will wrestle with for a long time.
In this post, we will look at different types of government.
Anarchy is defined as an absence of government. In practice, anarchies are for the short-term because eventually, from the chaos of a lack of government comes some sort of structure, whether it’s a dictator or king or some other form of government. There is always some ambitious, strong man looking to fill a power vacuum in a place of chaos.
Often after revolutions, there is a state of anarchy. The French Revolution was one example of chaos being the order until Robespierre came to power. The Russian Revolution of the early 20th century is yet another example. In both examples, there was a short period of chaos followed by a strong totalitarian reaction.
Monarchy is a government in which one person is in charge until they die or give up power. Often, the role of a monarch is hereditary but necessarily always. There is also a common claim of divine or supernatural approval. This was often the case in Europe, where monarchs frequently courted papal approval of their rule.
There are generally two types of monarchs. Absolute monarchs have complete power to do as they see fit. This still of government is rare because people generally do not appreciate being under the whim of anybody to such a degree. Many kings from medieval Europe were absolute monarchs.
The challenge of being an absolute monarch is not when things are going well. When there is peace and everybody is happy, the monarch gets all the credit because they are absolutely in charge. However, when things fall apart, the monarch also gets all the blame because they are absolutely in charge.
In addition, people, whether a monarch or not, can be capricious and unpredictable. If the monarch shows inconsistencies or weaknesses, people may try to remove them to protect themselves and their gains within the country. For example, Henry VI of England was removed several times because of the weakness of his character and mental instability. In other words, having this level of power is not as great as it seems.
Another form of monarchy is a constitutional monarchy. In this form of government, the monarch’s power is limited by the constitution. You would think that having a constitution limiting a monarch’s power would irritate them, and it has in some instances. However, the benefit of a constitution is that giving up some power can help a monarch stay in the position of privilege that they have because everything that goes wrong is not completely their fault. Many monarchies today are constitutional monarchies such as Great Britain, and often these monarchs are above politics, which makes it difficult to complain about them as they stay out of governmental decision-making for the most part.
However, even giving up power can lead to a monarchy being removed. Louis XVI of France and Czar Nicholas II of Russia both made reforms before being overthrown. On the other hand, the British monarchy has been stable for decades. therefore, there is no single strategy that can protect a government
Oligarch is government by a small elite. OFten these elites are rather sneaky and work behind the scenes. One reason for this is they do not want to be held responsible if something goes wrong. AS such, it is hard to tell when a country’s government is an oligarchy.
Members of an oligarchy tend to excel at one aspect of society or another. For example, they may be wealthy businessmen, military strongmen, or clergy members. Due to its mysterious nature, it is difficult for others to rise to membership in this exclusive and secretive club.
Dictatorship is power held by a single person. A dictator is different from a monarch because their power is not hereditary, and dictators often arise from a revolution to overthrow another government, so they avoid the word king even if they have the same powers. In other words, they are a king, but that word is not socially acceptable.
Dictators are normally charismatic leaders who rise to power on the back of the people. Once in place, they are looking to find ways to stay in power and are often worst than the people they overthrew. Pol pot of Cambodia killed millions of his own people, Hitler of Germany killed millions of Jews, Idi Amin ran his country into the ground. Each of these totalitarian dictators sought to control as much of the lives of the people under them as they could.
The most popular form of government is democracy. Democracy involves giving all citizens an equal voice in the government. These citizens then elect leaders to represent their interest in the government. In practice, this sounds great, but sometimes it can be frustrating.
People looking for a positi0n of power know that perception is more important than truth. As a result, it is common for politicians in democracies to try and find ways to manipulate their constituencies. Outlandish claims are made in the media; overt and covert lying occurs. All this is done in the name of democracy.
However, this only happens because the citizens often neglect to educate themselves about what is going on. Therefore, people cast votes for controversial topics they have not thoroughly investigated. The point here is not to criticize any position but to wonder if people have really thought about the position they support instead of the one they do not support.
Every form of government has its strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, there is no real benefit in raising one form over another. This is because governments are built upon people. If the people or not good, it doesn’t matter how good the government is.
In this post we will have a brief introduction to moles in chemistry. This fundamental concepts is a part of Stoichiometry which is another important aspect of chemistry.
In chemistry an atomic mass unit (amu) is the mass of a proton or neutron in an atom. This number has been calculated to be.
1.66 X 10-24 g
Knowing this number we can calculate how much a single atom weighs. For example, if we want to calculate the weight in grams of oxygen, we know know that helium has an atomic weight of 4. This means that
The amu cancel each other. This number becomes important because if we take the amu of 1 atom of helium (or any element) in grams and divide by the mass of one atom in grams we get the following number no mattter which element we use.
This number above is how many atoms in 4 grams of helium. This number is called Avogadro’s constant but it also referred to as a mole. Knowing this value, it is possible to calculate the mass of single mole of a molecule. For example, if we want to know the mass of a single mole of glucose we would calculate the amu as shown below.
The mass is as follows
# of Atoms
This output tell us that one mole of glucose is 180.18 grams. We can use this information in other ways such as determining how many moles are in a certain number of grams of a substance. If we have 15 grams of magnesium chloride MgCl2. We can calculate how many moles are in this substance as shown below
Step 1 Calculate the amu of the molecule
Mass of MgCl2 = 24.31 amu + 2 * (35.45 amu) = 95.21 amu
Step 2 Determine Conversion Reltionship
1 Mole of MgCl2 = 95.21 grams MgCl2
Step 3 Convert from grams to Moles
We now know that there are about 0.158 moles in 15 grams of magnesium chloride. But we could take this a step further by determining how many molecules are in 15 grams of magnesium chloride as shown below
0.158 * 6.02 * 1023 = 9.84 * 1022
The first number is the number of moles in 15 grams of magnesium chloride and and the second number is one mole.
There are many variations on the calculations that were done here but this is enough to serve as an introduction.
Chemical reactions involves the rearrangement of atoms to beget new chemicals. Often these reactions are captured succinctly in what is called a chemical equation. For example, if we want to show how carbon reacts with oxygen to make carbon dioxide we would write the follow chemical equation.
The plus sign means “reacts with” and the arrow means “to make”. Therefore, we can write this chemical equation in English by saying
Carbon reacts with oxygen to make carbon dioxide
Chemical equations need to balance. If you look at the example above, there are the same number of atoms for each element on each side. The example above is rather simple, however, sometimes it is a little trickeier to tell if an chemical equation is balanced.
In the reaction above we have to look carefully to see if the chemical equation is balanced. Starting on the left we have 1 carbon and 4 hydrogens. Next, there is a 2 which means that we multipl everything by 2 that is next to it. In other words, we do not have 2 oxygen atoms but rather 4 (2 x 2 = 4). After the arrow, we have 1 carbon and 2 oxygen atoms and after the plus sign we have 4 hydrogen atoms (2 x 2 = 4) and 2 oxygen (2 x 1 = 2). If we line everything up you can see that this equation is balanced.
1 x 1 = 1
1 x 1 = 1
4 x 1 = 4
2 x 2 = 4
2 x 2 = 4
2 + (2 x 1) = 4
There are times when you need to balance a chemical equation. This can get really challlenging but we will do a simple example below.
The chemical equation above is not balance as you can see below
1 x 2 = 2
1 x 1 = 1
1 x 2 = 2
1 x 1 = 1
The table above is one process in balancing an equation. We need both sides to equal each other and the simplest way to do this is to multiple the right side by two and we get the following table.
1 x 2 = 2
2 x 1 = 2
1 x 2 = 2
2 x 1 = 2
Below is what our balanced chemical equation looks like.
As mentioned previous, placing the 2 in front of the molecule means multiply everything by 2. Such an example like this is really simple but provides a basic understanding of this process.
Chemical equations can be really fun to deal with once you understand how this works. In the beginning, it can be truly frustrating but perseverance will make the difference.
In this post, we will focus most of our attention on physical changes in chemistry with a brief look at chemical changes.
Physical change is a change to a substance that does not alter the chemical composition. For example, boiling water is a physical change. Generally, physical changes are easy to reverse, such as when steam is cooled to become liquid water.
Chemical change is a change that alters the chemical composition of a substance. An example would be various forms of cooking, such as frying potatoes to make french fries. Unlike physical changes, chemical changes are much harder to reverse. Just as it is impossible to turn french fries back into raw potatoes.
A specific type of physical change is called phase change. There are several different types of phase changes, as listed below.
Many of these are obvious, but they will be explained for clarity. Melting involves a substance moving from a solid to a liquid. Vaporizing takes place as a substance moves from liquid to gas. A substance that moves from a gas to a liquid is called condensing. Freezing is the process of a liquid becoming a solid. Sublimation is a solid moving straight to a gas.
The first four-phase changes are commonly seen in water. Ice melts to become liquid water, water boils/evaporates (vaporizes) to become steam. Water freezes to become ice; in the early morning, it is common in many places to see water on plants due to condensation. Sublimation is tricker to see on a day-to-day basis. The most common example involves carbon dioxide, aka dry ice, which is a favorite tool for Halloween. Other substances that sublimate include arsenic, iodine, and naphthalene (used for mothballs).
Phase changes are related to the kinetic theory of matter, which we will now turn our attention to.
Kinetic Theory of Matter
The kinetic theory of matter states that Molceults have space between them and are in constant random motion. We can say that the more heat, the faster the motion because more energy is present. For solid, the molecules can vibrate, but that is essentially it. All solids are vibrating, such as tables, chairs, desks, etc. However, the vibration is random, and thus the vibrations cancel each other.
Liquids can clearly move about, and this is why they cannot keep a single shape but is formed by their circumstances. This also applies to gasses. The real difference between the various phases is the space around molecules and the speed at which they are moving. When energy is added, molecules move apart and move faster. This explains a solid becoming a liquid and a liquid a gas.
Water breaks many rules in relation to the Kinetic theory of matter. When water freezes, instead of the molecules getting closer together, they actually push out and are thus less dense than water. This is one reason why ice floats and why you would find frozen ice on the top of a lake. The ice floats to the top, and by being on top, it insulates the animals inside the lake from the cold above.
Physical changes play a major role in all of our lives. The phase changes of water are used for various purposes in everyday life. It is beneficial to understand these concepts as they are so commonly encountered.
John Dalton was an 18th-century scientist who made several significant contributions to his field. One of his most prominent works was his Atomic theory. Dalton’s Atomic theory is a major concept in the study of chemistry. In this post, we will look at this theory and share some of the misunderstandings that Dalton had at his time.
Dalton’s Atomic Theory has four propositions to it.
All matter is made of atoms that cannot be divided or destroyed
All atoms of an element are identical in all their properties
Compounds are formed by a combo of two or more different kinds of atoms
A chemical reaction is a rearrangement of the atoms in the substance
There is little to explain here. Part one states that atoms cannot be divided or destroyed. In other words, the atom is the fundamental unit of the universe. Part 2 states that all atoms are identical in their properties, which implies that every atom of an element has the same number of protons, neutrons, and electrons.
The third component states that compounds are formed by two or more different atoms. For example, one compound would be H2O which is water. Since there are two elements in H2O, it meets the definition of a compound. We also call such a compound a molecule. Component four states that a chemical reaction is a rearrangement of the atoms in the substance. An example of this would be digestion which involves significant chemical changes to the food.
Problems with Dalton’s Theory
Despite the brilliance of Dalton’s theory, several problems have arisen as researchers have continued to explore the mysteries of chemistry. For example, the first proposition of Dalton states that atoms cannot be divided or destroyed. Both of these claims are false. We now know that atoms are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons. In addition, atoms can be destroyed, which happens at any nuclear power plant through fission. Nuclear fission involves neutrons hitting atoms which causes them to split.
Dalton was also incorrect regarding his second proposition about the same atoms having the same properties. With the discovery of the neutron, it became clear that atoms may have the same chemical properties but not the same physical properties. The reason for this is that having a different number of neutrons affects the atom’s weight. When atoms of the same element have different neutrons, we call these isotopes.
Dalton’s work in the study of atoms is something to be praised. It is understandable that perhaps he got some things wrong. The purpose of science is to grow and improve over time, and this means that sometimes great scientists are right, but they must also be wrong.
Matter is the physical stuff that everything around us is generally made of. Trees, birds, water, etc., are all examples of matter. Since almost everything is considered matter, scientists have naturally found ways to classify matter to better understand it.
Types of Matter
One way matter is classified whether it is a pure substance or a mixture. A pure substance is a substance that has the same properties throughout out it. An example of a pure substance would be salt or sugar. Both of the substances are only made of salt or sugar, and the properties of these two substances are the same if you have one or the other in a sample.
On the other hand, a mixture is a combination of two or more substances. For example, if you have salt and pepper inside the same shaker, this is a mixture. This is because separating the salt and the pepper from each other is possible. Separating pure substances is generally not possible physically. However, pure substances can further be broken down into elements and compounds.
Elements are fundamental substances that cannot be broken down into simpler substances. The periodic table contains all known elements. Examples include oxygen, sodium, carbon, etc. Compounds are pure substances that are made of two or more elements. Compound examples include salt, sugar, carbon dioxide, etc.
More on Mixtures
Returning to mixtures, there are two types of mixtures: homogenous and heterogeneous. Homogenous mixtures have the same composition throughout the sample. Examples include milk and sugar water. In both of these examples, the substances that make up the mixture are evenly spread throughout the sample.
Heterogeneous mixtures have different compositions in parts of the sample. A classic example of this is salad dressing. When salad dressing is allowed to sit, it separates clearly into the various substances/homogenous mixture that it is made up of. This is why salad dressing must be shaken before it is enjoyed.
Law of mass conservation
Antoine Lauren de Lavoisier developed the law of mass conservation, which states that in any chemical or physical process, the total mass of everything involved must remain the same. This means that if you start with 5 kg of wood and burn it, there will still be 5kg of matter in a different form. You might see a pile of ashes that weighs less but what happens is that some of the matter was converted to gases and smoke in the burning process. Essentially, matter can be created or destroyed but can only be converted or broken down.
No pun intended, but matter matters. For students, it is important to develop an understanding of concepts related to chemistry. Doing so may help at least some of them prepare for whatever occupation they may have in the future.
When it comes to measurement in research. There are some rules and concepts a student needs to be aware of that are not difficult to master but can be tricky. Measurement can be conducted at different levels. The two main levels are categorical and continuous.
Categorical measurement involves counting discrete values. An example of something measured at the categorical level is the cellphone brand. A cellphone can be Apple or Samsung, but it cannot be both. In other words, there is no phone out there that is half Samsung and half Apple. Being an Apple or Samsung phone is mutually exclusive, and no phone can have both qualities simultaneously. Therefore, categorical measurement deals with whole numbers, and generally, there are no additional rules to keep in mind.
However, with continuous measurement, things become more complicated. Continuous measurement involves an infinite number of potential values. For example, distance and weight can be measured continuously. A distance can be 1 km or 1.24 km, or 1.234. It all depends on the precision of the measurement tool. The point to remember now is that categorical measurement often has limit values that can be used while continuous has an almost limitless set of values that can be used.
Since the continuous measurement is so limitless, there are several additional concepts that a student needs to mastery. One, the units involved must always be included. At least one reason for this is that it is common to convert units from one to the other. However, with categorical data, you generally will not convert phone units to some other unit.
A second concern is to be aware of the precision and accuracy of your measurement. Precision has to do with how fine the measurement is. For example, you can measure something the to the tenth, the hundredth, the thousandth, etc. As you add decimals, you are improving the precision. Accuracy is how correct the measurement is. If a person’s weight is 80kg, but your measurement is 63.456789kg, this is an example of high precision with low accuracy.
Another important concept when dealing with continuous measurement is understanding how many significant figures are involved. The ideas of significant figures are explored below.
Significant figures are digit that contributes to the precision of a measurement. This term is not related to significance as defined in statistics related to hypothesis testing.
An example of significant figures is as follows. If you have a scale that measures to the thousandth of a kg, you must report measurements to the thousandths of a kg. For example, 2 kg is not how you would report this based on the precision of your tool. Rather, you would report 2.000kg. This implies that the weight is somewhere between 1.995 and 2.004 kg. This is really important if you are conducting measurements in the scientific domain.
There are also several rules in regards to determining the number of significant figures, and they are explained below
All non zeros are significant
Example-123 are all non-zeros and thus are all significant in this case
A zero is significant if it is between two significant numbers
example-1023. The 0 is in between 1 and 2 and is thus significant
Zeros are significant if it is at the end of a number and to the right of the decimal
Example 2.00: Here, the 0’s are to the right of the decimal, which makes them significant
Each of the examples discussed so far has been individual examples. However, what happens when numbers are added or multiplied. The next section covers this in detail
Significant Figures in Math
When adding and subtracting measurements, you must report the measurement results with the less precise measurement.
115kg – 16.234kg = 98.766kg, but the least precise measurement is 115kg, so we round the answer to 99 kg. This is because our precision is limited to one’s place.
When multiply or dividing measurements report results with the same number of significant figures as the measurement with the fewest significant figures
16.423 m / 101 m = 0.16260396 m
This number is too long. The second number, 101, has three significant figures, so our answer will have 3 significant figures, 0.163m. The zero to the left of the decimal is insignificant and does not count in the total.
8.0 cm * 3.208 = 25.664 cm2 or 26cm2 the first number has two significant digits, so the answer can only have two significant figures, which leads to an answer of 26cm2.
Finally, there are rules for converting units as well. To convert units, you must know the relationship that the two units have. For example, there are 2.54 cms per inch. Often this information is provided for you, and simply apply it. Once the relationship between units is known, it is common to use the factor label method for conversion. Below is an example.
To solve this problem, it is simply a matter of canceling the numerator of one fraction and the denominator of another fraction because, in this example, they are the same. This is shown below.
Essentially there was no calculation involved. Understanding shortcuts like this saves a tremendous amount of time. What is really important is that this idea applies to units as well. Below is an example.
In the example above, we are converting inches to meters. We know that there is 2.54cm in 1 inch. We set up our fractions as shown above. The inches cancel because they are in the numerator of one fraction and the denominator of another. The only unit left is cm. We multiply across and get our answer. Since 24.0cm has the fewest number of significant figures are the answer will also have three significant figures, and that is why its 61.0cm
There can be problems with following the rules of significant figures. For example, if you want to convert meters to centimeters. There can be a problem.
The answer should only have three significant figures, but our answer has one significant figure. We need to move two zeros to the right of the decimal.
This is done with scientific notation as shown vbelow.
This simple trick allows us to keep the number of signifcant figures that we need without hhanging the value of then umber.
Below is an example of how to do this with a really small number that is a decimal.
This post explains some of the rules involved with numbers in scientific measurement. These rules are critical in terms of meeting expectations for communicating quantitative results.
This post will look at society and terms related to it as defined from two schools of thought in society. This viewpoints are functionalism and conflict theory.
There are several terms used in the functionalist school for describing societies. For example, collective conscience is the beliefs that constitute a society. An example from the United States would be an emphasis on individualism and capitalism. These beliefs are a part of most Americans’ lives and serve as a common worldview for people from this country.
Social integration is the strength of the ties within a society or a social group. Some societies have stronger ties than others. Many factors can affect social integration, such as the size, similarities of the members, etc. For example, social integration is generally a problem in the US as there is a lot of infighting and discord that is not found in other societies.
There is also a concept called solidarity. Solidarity is a continuum with mechanical solidarity on one side and organic solidarity on the other. Mechanical solidarity has such characteristics as a strong collective conscience, high social integration, and a dedication to doing things the way they are for traditional reasons. This form of solidarity is common in pre-industrial societies where there is a low division of labor.
Organic solidarity is the opposite of mechanical. This means there is a low collective conscience and low social integration. This form of solidarity is common in industrial societies with a high degree of specialized labor. At extreme levels, organic solidarity can be a place for anomie or lawlessness. Anomie involves the rejection of societal norms, which leads to a loss of identity for members of that society.
Norms are often developed and encouraged through habitulization and institutionalization. Habitulization is learning norms through habit development through friends and family. Instititunilization is learning norms through the workplace or school. These norm-forming places are often attacked in societies that have organic solidarity.
Conflict theory views society as a place of alienation. Different people define Marx’s alineation in different ways. Some have called it a separation from what one does. Others have said that alineation is a lack of individual development. Karl Marx’s in his Communist Manifesto indicates that alienation can happen in several different ways.
One way alienation happens is through alienation from the product of one’s labor. A second is through the process of one’s labor. THird is from others, and the fourth is from self. All of these various forms of alienation happen in a factory setting for the most part and are found in an industrial society. In other words, alienation is similar to the traits found in an organic solidarity context.
To stop alienation, Marx essentially encourages revolution to overturn the bourgeoisie and their money so that the means of production belong to the people. People who did not agree with this position were accused of having a false consciousness or beliefs, not in their best interest. IN other words, proponents of Conflict theory imply that they know what is best for people.
Different experts choose to look at society using different viewpoints. Functionalist and conflict theorists have different opinions over the structure of societies. Agreeing is not the point but rather understanding how there is more than one way to see anything.
Ionia was a Greek colony in western Turkey founded around 3000 years ago by people looking for land and trading opportunities. This colony of several Greek cities has played a pivotal role in history in several ways. Not only is Ionia famous for rebelling against the Persians, but foundational ideas of science were formed in this place as well. In particular, a man named Thales played a critical part in the development of science.
Role of Greek gods
To understand the influence of Ionia and Thales, it is important to look at the worldview of these people. During this time, religion played a major role in the life of Greeks. The problem with this was not that it wasn’t scientific. The other problem was the erratic and licentious behavior of the Greek gods. Below are just a few examples from Greek mythology demonstrating the vengeful and wild behavior of Greek gods.
Zeus could not control his behavior around women and was notorious for his unfaithfulness to his wife, Hera.
Hera would often attack the women with whom Zeus was unfaithful by causing the death of the woman involved or persecuting the children of these adulterous relationships such as Heracles.
Poseidon, the god of the sea, raped a woman in Athena’s temple. The victim was then turned into the hideous Medusa by Athena for desecrating her temple.
Behind the scenes of the Trojan war, the gods were at work, not to mention in the many poems of Homer.
This list could go on for pages. The gods were crazy, to say the least. People tried to appease the gods through sacrifices and works. This was not always successful, and people were always looking for ways to obtain security from this.
Looking Towards Nature
Due to the perceived inconsistent behavior of the Greek gods, people began to look to other ways to understand the world, leading them to seek answers in nature. Nature, in comparison to the Greek gods, was somewhat regular in its behavior.
A major proponent of examining nature over mythology was Thales, a sixth-century Ionian who was one of the first philosopher-scientist. Thales looked at facts and observations to understand the world. He believed in trusting his senses rather than the supernatural explanations of his time. This could almost be viewed as a form of atheism. Thales was a well-traveled individual who was also one of the first to take credit for his ideas by writing his name on them. Thereby demonstrates an example of individualism, which was unusual at that time.
However, Thales was not just talk. He backed his position with several major innovations. For example, Thales accomplished several mathematical/scientific feats. Such as the following.
He predicted a solar eclipse in 585 BC. This was important because ancient Greeks viewed solar eclipses as a sign of supernatural abandonment by their unpredictable gods. For Thales to predict such a sign was utterly unbelievable and showed a regularity to nature that the gods never showed.
Using what would later become Geometry, Thales determined the height of buildings such as pyramids by measuring their shadows on the ground. This, of course, was revolutionary at the time.
Thales also used Geometry to calculate how far a ship was from shore. This was a groundbreaking discovery as such knowledge was important for ships always concerned with running aground.
Thales was also one of the first observed static electricity. He didn’t discover it, but he was one of the first to examine it scientifically.
The volume of work by this pre-Socratic philosopher was hard for people to ignore. His work encourages others to look beyond the supernatural to understand the world around them.
The Greek colony of Ionia was a place that contributed to modern scientific thought. In this colony, Thales began to look beyond the gods for answers and instead looked to nature. By doing so, not only did he make several major discoveries, but he also set an influential example of how people should learn about the world.
We are going to take a look at Altair which is a data visulization library for Python. What is unique abiut Altair compared to other packages experienced on this blog is that it allows for interactions.
If Altair is not already install on your computer you can do so with the following code
Which one of the lines above you use will depend on the type of Python installation you have.
We are going to make some simple visualizations using the “Duncan” dataset from the pydataset library using Altair. If you do not have pydataset install on your ocmputer you can use the code listed above to install it. Simple replace “altair vega_datasets” with “pydataset.” Below is the initial code followed by the output
import pandas as pd
from pydataset import data
In the code above, we load pandas and import “data” from the “pydataset” library. Next, we load the “Duncan” dataset as the object “df”. Lastly, we use the .head() function to take a look at the dataset. You can see in the imagine above what variables are available.
Our first visualization is a simple bar graph. The code is below followed by the visualization.
import altair as alt
y = "prestige"
In the code above we did the following,
Line one loads the altair library.
Line 2 uses several functions together to make the bar graph. .Chart(df) loads the data for the plot. .mark_bar() assigns the geomtric shape for the plot which in this case is bars. Lastly, the .encode() function contains the information for the variables that will be assigned to the x and y axes. In this case we are looking at job type and prestige.
The three dots in the upper right provide options for saving or editing the plot. We will learn more about saving plots later. In addition, Altair follows the grammar of graphics for creating plots. This has been discussed in another post but a summary of the components are below.
We will not deal with all of these but we have dealt with the following
Data as .Chart()
Aesthetics and Geometric object as .mark_bar()
coordinate system as .encode()
In our second example, we will make a scatterplot. The code and output are below.
y = "prestige"
The code is mostly the same. We simple use .mark_circle() as to indicate the type of geometric object. For .encode() we made sure to use two continuous variables.
In the next plot, we add a categorical variable to the scatterplot by manipulating the color.
y = "prestige",
The only change is the addition of the “color”argument which is set to the categorical vareiable of “type.”
It is also possible to use bubbles to indicate size. In the plot below we can add the income varibale to the plot using bubbles.
y = "prestige",
The latest argument that was added was the “size” argument which was used to map income to the plot.
You can also facet data by piping. The code below makes two plots and saving them as objects. Then you print both by typing the name of the objects while separated by the pipe symbol (|) which you can find above the enter key on your keyboard. Below you will find two different plots created through this piping process.
y = "prestige",
y = "prestige",
educationPlot | incomePlot
With this code you can make multiple plots. Simply keep adding pipes to make more plots.
Interactionand Saving Plots
It is also possible to move plots interactive. In the code below we add the command called tool tip. This allows us to add an additional variable called “income” to the chart. When the mouse hoovers over a data-point the income will display.
However, since we are in a browser right now this will not work unless w save the chart as an html file. The last line of code saves the plot as an html file and renders it using svg. We also remove the three dots in the upper left corner by adding the ‘actions’:False. Below is the code and the plot once the html was loaded to this blog.
y = "prestige",
I’ve made a lot of visuals in the past and never has it been this simple
Altair is another tool for visualizations. This may be the easiest way to make complex and interactive charts that I have seen. As such, this is a great way to achieve goals if visualizing data is something that needs to be done.