This article focuses on 'improving' schools in difficult or disadvantaged contexts. It explores the contemporary policy discourse and intervention strategies aimed at improving schools in such circumstances. It argues that contemporary approaches to improvement are unlikely to succeed because the approaches adopted are not sufficiently differentiated or context specific. Drawing on two recent empirical studies, the article offers an alternative perspective on school improvement within this group of schools. It argues against standardised solutions in favour of a differentiated approach to (...) school improvement that recognises and respects the diversity, variability and complexity of schools in difficult contexts. (shrink)
The facial expression of pain is the end product of a complex process that is, in part, emotional. The evolutionary study of facial expression must account for the social nature of human consciousness and should address the questions of why empathy exists, the adaptive importance of empathy, and whether facial expression is a mechanism of empathy and second-person consciousness.
Pain is not a primitive sensory event but rather a complexperception and a process by which a person interacts with theinternal and external environments, constructs meaning, andengages in action. Because folk beliefs are central to meaning,folk concepts of pain play multiple causal roles in a painpatient's interaction with health care providers and others.In every case, the notion of pain is linked to a goal-directedbehavior that is useful to the person. The wide variation inconcepts of pain across individuals suffering with painunderscores (...) the richness and complexity of the pain experience.In some cases involving chronic pain, the patient may form amaladaptive cluster of behaviors around the concept of pain.Patient beliefs and expectations are an important part of manychronic pain syndromes, and patients can benefit fromintervention directed at revising the individual's folk model of pain. Memetics offers a framework for identifying the memesthat patients hold and determining whether patient memes fitor clash with provider memes. (shrink)
Pain is an important focus for consciousness research because it is an avenue for exploring somatic awareness, emotion, and the genesis of subjectivity. In principle, pain is awareness of tissue trauma, but pain can occur in the absence of identifiable injury, and sometimes substantive tissue injury produces no pain. The purpose of this paper is to help bridge pain research and consciousness studies. It reviews the basic sensory neurophysiology associated with tissue injury, including transduction, transmission, modulation, and central representation. In (...) addition, it highlights the central mechanisms for the emotional aspects of pain, demonstrating the physiological link between tissue trauma and mechanisms of emotional arousal. Finally, we discuss several current issues in the field of pain research that bear on central issues in consciousness studies, such as sickness and sense of self. (shrink)