96 research outputs found

    “Shut Up and Dribble”

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    The National Basketball Association is first and foremost a company which tries to generate revenue. As such, the NBA is embedded into a system of mass media and thereby influenced by cultural, social, and political events. Simultaneously, the NBA can also (partly) cause such events. Lastly, the NBA (and professional basketball at large) has always featured a racial component. Thereby, the NBA features three key American concepts and/or conflicts (corporate interest, meritocracy, race) and, through critical as well as historically-oriented analysis, allows to grasp the interplay of these concepts, at least in a temporally and spatially defined context. This article discusses three individual cases in which the NBA had to react as a race-related image crisis doomed or, in other words: a representative of corporate America had to react to fractures appearing on its otherwise coherent and shiny outside caused by (implicitly or explicitly) racialized aspects. As such, the NBA can be read as a larger extension of American culture and life. In order to understand these three cases as well as the corporate responses in their specific context, the paper will start by providing an overview of professional basketball’s history with special consideration of racial aspects. This is followed by the illustration and critical discussion of the three cases and results in a short summary. The overarching focus of the paper is the question of what keeps the NBA – as a company plagued by racial fractures – together at heart. It is assumed that the NBA, as a proto-American sports league, is held together by the same unifying moments which keep America (at least partially) intact and running

    La storia problematica dei voti e della valutazione: Una comparazione storica tra Germania e Stati Uniti

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    This article takes a closer look at the coming-into-being of grades and grading as these two can be considered a part of Tyack and Tobin’s “grammar of schooling”. As such, the history of these powerful tools will be explored in two cultural spheres, Germany and the USA. Even though the worked-on entity is pluralistic and messy in nature, this article will show that the educational planners’ motivations have been similar in both cases and—regarding the hexamerous grading scheme—that a connection between Germany and the USA exists. In a second step, these findings will be theorized from a neo-institutionalist’s perspective. The article ends with a reflection on every-day teaching practice regarding grades and grading.Questo articolo esamina la nascita dei voti e della pratica valutativa, entrambe ritenute da Tyack e Tobin alla base della “grammatica della scuola”. Per questa ragione, si conduce un’indagine sull’uso di questi due potenti strumenti in due sfere culturali: quella tedesca e quella statunitense. Sebbene l’oggetto di studio abbia un carattere essenzialmente plurale e multisfaccettato, questo contributo dimostra che le motivazioni di chi si ù occupato di pianificazione scolastica furono simili in entrambi i casi e che, per quel che concerne il sistema esamerico di attribuzione del voto, sussiste un legame tra Germania e Stati Uniti. Successivamente, tali risultati sono sussunti in una prospettiva neo-istituzionalista. L’articolo conclude con una riflessione sulla pratica quotidiana dell’attribuzione di voti in ambito didattico

    «The way to the head must be opened through the heart». Enlightenment and Herzensbildung in Schiller

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    The following paper discusses Schiller’s interpretation of the German concept of Bildung, which appears to be a central term in Germany’s culture, especially (but not limited to) the educational realm. As Bildung underwent massive transformations and has been re-interpreted multiple times throughout German history, this paper will start with a definitory exercise trying to organize the dynamics surrounding the term. Secondly, a two-fold historical context – firstly regarding the wider political and social dynamics of the time and secondly, a more biographical approach focusing on Schiller – will be provided. These contextualizing efforts will be succeeded by elaborations on Schiller’s concept of Herzensbildung. The paper closes with a summary of key insights and further potential endeavors

    Theodor W. Adorno’s Criticism of the German Concept of Bildung

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    The question of how to conduct oneself in the world is arguably as old as mankind itself. Ancient Greek philosophy, namely the sophists, identified a problem which shaped the world since it was first articulated – the negotiation of internal truth and external application. While neither can truly guide one’s way – epistemological relativism and ethical utilitarianism await at the extrema – dialogue of all kinds seems to be a way to prevent the drift and shift towards these extremes. After having framed the philosophical problem, this paper will exemplarily examine Germany’s concept of Bildung with regard to these extremes. The analysis will focus on the end of the 19th century (fin-de-siùcle) as this has been the phase of Bildung which can, at least in part, be held accountable for the horrors of the 20th century. Bildung was and still is a central aspect of German culture and has been the matter of analysis and discussion ever since. One of the most potent criticisms has been uttered by Theodor W. Adorno who analyzed Bildung after the Second World War and exemplarily outlined traits of fascist societies. However, Adorno was also influenced by the zeitgeist and did not grasp the problem at the deepest possible level of analysis. Based on but not limited to the intellectual accounts of Theodor W. Adorno, it will be tried to identify commonalities among totalitarian systems and reconnect these with the aforementioned philosophical problem of ethical utilitarianism and epistemological relativism

    Ontology Pre-training for Poison Prediction

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    Integrating human knowledge into neural networks has the potential to improve their robustness and interpretability. We have developed a novel approach to integrate knowledge from ontologies into the structure of a Transformer network which we call ontology pre-training: we train the network to predict membership in ontology classes as a way to embed the structure of the ontology into the network, and subsequently fine-tune the network for the particular prediction task. We apply this approach to a case study in predicting the potential toxicity of a small molecule based on its molecular structure, a challenging task for machine learning in life sciences chemistry. Our approach improves on the state of the art, and moreover has several additional benefits. First, we are able to show that the model learns to focus attention on more meaningful chemical groups when making predictions with ontology pre-training than without, paving a path towards greater robustness and interpretability. Second, the training time is reduced after ontology pre-training, indicating that the model is better placed to learn what matters for toxicity prediction with the ontology pre-training than without. This strategy has general applicability as a neuro-symbolic approach to embed meaningful semantics into neural networks

    ‘The way to the head must be opened through the heart’: Enlightenment and Herzensbildung in Schiller

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    The following paper discusses Schiller’s interpretation of the German concept of Bildung. Bildung appears to be a central term in Germany’s culture, especially (but not limited to) the educational realm. As Bildung underwent massive transformations and has been re-interpreted multiple times throughout German history, this paper will start with a definitory exercise trying to organize the dynamics surrounding the term. Secondly, a two-fold historical context – firstly regarding the wider political and social dynamics of the time and secondly, a more biographical approach focusing on Schiller – will be provided. These contextualizing efforts will be succeeded by elaborations on Schiller’s concept of Herzensbildung. The paper closes with a summary of key insights and further potential endeavors

    The Concept of German Bildung as a Realization of the Hero Archetype

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    This paper is trying to offer a perspective on why the German concept of Bildung was able to master transitions regarding time, geography, and disciplines. The argument of this paper is that Bildung is a transformative process which greatly resembles the archetypical pattern as identified by Carl Gustav and later refined by Joseph Campbell. In order to argue for this claim, this paper will provide an overview on the idea of the archetype and, in the following, identify aspects of Bildung which follow the archetypical pattern. The paper will focus on the history of the term as well as its origins but also on specific realization of learning processes as suggested by educational psychology as well as educational institutions.Michaela Vogt Michaela Vogt is full professor at Bielefeld University for comparative education. Her research interest are located in the fields of inclusion/ inclusivity, history of education, and educational media. [email protected] Neuhaus Till Neuhaus works and researches at Bielefeld University where he also pursues a Ph.D. degree. His research focuses on special needs assessment procedures which he approaches from a historical perspective. Also, he works on the German concept of Bildung as well as psychological concepts of decision making. [email protected]
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