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Derek Cabrera

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Derek Cabrera

Derek Cabrera
Born 1970
US
Residence Ithaca, NY, US
Citizenship United States
Fields Organizational learning
Institutions Cabrera Research Lab, Santa Fe Institute, Cornell University
Alma mater Cornell University (Ph.D.)
Known for DSRP theory and method, MetaMaps, ThinkBlocks, VMCL model
Notable awards Association of American Colleges and Universities K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award, National Science Foundation IGERT fellow

Derek Cabrera (born 1970) is an educational theorist, systems thinking expert, inventor, and cognitive scientist. He is best known for formulating the DSRP theory and method of thinking and the invention of MetaMaps and ThinkBlocks.

Biography

Cabrera received a Ph.D. from Cornell University with a dissertation entitled Systems Thinking, a synthesis of his research in complexity science and cognition. It was recognized as an important contribution to several fields. Cabrera focused his work on the importance of the intersection of ontology and epistemology in understanding human thought and our interactions with the world around us. By training an evolutionary epistemologist, Cabrera advances that knowing how we know things is equally important to what we know. He further suggests that all humans build knowledge, not by merely receiving information, but through the interactive, dynamic relationship between information and thinking, which he terms DSRP. His later book, Thinking at Every Desk, expounds upon these ideas[1] and was republished by W.W. Norton.[2]

Cabrera served on the faculty at Cornell, where he designed and taught a graduate-level course on systems thinking. He received a post-doctoral fellowship at Cornell University where he was awarded a large-scale NSF grant to apply his DSRP Theory to the evaluation of large-scale science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs.[3]

He has received several awards and competitive fellowships for his work, including a National Science Foundation IGERT fellowship in nonlinear systems in the Center for Applied Mathematics (CAM) at Cornell University and the Association of American Colleges and Universities K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award.[4][5] He was profiled in a chapter of the book Heroes of Giftedness.[6]

He was a research fellow at the Santa Fe Institute, where he further developed the mathematical basis for DSRP Theory, led a team to create multimedia modules about complexity science and Network theory[7] and also developed a new model that applied systems thinking to the field of evaluation of science programs.

A DSRP), which Cabrera created. In the DSRP method, students are encouraged to explore any given concept by recognizing and explicating the distinctions, systems, relationships, and perspectives that characterize the concept. They then physically model the concept using a tactile manipulative Cabrera invented called ThinkBlocks,[10] or graphically represent the concept in terms of DSRP using DSRP diagrams.[11]

Work

Cabrera pioneered the theory of U.S. patent for "a method of teaching thinking skills and knowledge acquisition" - the Patterns of Thinking, or DSRP method.[13]

On October 26, 2011, Cabrera gave a TEDx talk entitled, “How Thinking Works.” The talk focused on American students’ lack of thinking skills, and how students at all levels of education can benefit from learning how they think - in terms of distinctions, systems, relationships, and perspectives.[14] He gave another TEDx talk in 2012 entitled, A Big Toe (Theory of Everything) which further elaborates on the details and dynamics of DSRP. [15]

In July 2014, Cabrera gave the plenary address for the 58th Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences at the School of Business at George Washington University, Washington DC. [16][17] In July 2014, Cabrera gave the keynote address, with Sir Ken Robinson, at the E3 Conference honoring Cabrera's work in education. [18][19]

Cabrera's work has been profiled in numerous publications including refereed academic journals in several fields[20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28] and popular news articles.

See also

Select Publications

  • Cabrera, D. and Colosi, L. (2012) Thinking at Every Desk: Four Simple Skills to Transform Your Classroom. New York, NY: W.W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-70756-4
  • Cabrera, D. and Colosi, L. (2010) The World at Our Fingertips: The Connection Between Touch and Learning. Scientific American Mind, 21, 36-41. DOI: 10.1038/scientificamericanmind0910-36
  • Cabrera, D. and Colosi, L. (2009) Thinking at Every Desk: How Four Simple Thinking Skills Will Transform Your Teaching, Classroom, School, and District. Ithaca, NY: The Research Institute for Thinking in Education. ISBN 978-0979430831
  • Cabrera, D. (2009) Systems Thinking: Four Universal Patterns of Thinking. VDM Verlag. ISBN 978-3639156737
  • Cabrera, D., Mandel, J., Andras, J., et al. (2008) What is the Crisis? Defining and Prioritizing the World’s Most Pressing Problems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 6 (9), 469-475. DOI: 10.1890/070185
  • Cabrera, D., Colosi, L., & Lobdell, C. (2008) Systems thinking. Evaluation and Program Planning, 31(3), 299-310. DOI:10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2007.12.001
  • Cabrera, D. and Colosi, L. (2008) Distinctions, systems, relationships, and perspectives (DSRP): A theory of thinking and of things. Evaluation and Program Planning, 31(3), 311-317. DOI: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2008.04.001
  • Cabrera, D. (2006) Doctoral Dissertation: Systems Thinking: Four Universal Patterns of Thinking. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University. OCLC 303117195
  • Cabrera, D., et al. (2007) “Systems Thinking: The Potential to Revolutionize Tobacco Control.” Monograph 20: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Trochim, W., & Cabrera, D. (2007) “How We Organize: Purposeful Adaptive Organizations.” Monograph 20: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007.
  • Cabrera, D., & Arnold, L. (2007) Lessons in Network Theory 1: Introduction to Networks. Santa Fe Institute Curricula in Complexity. [Video Documentary]
  • Cabrera, D., & Arnold, L. (2007) Lessons in Network Theory 2: Static Models of Networks. Santa Fe Institute Curricula in Complexity. [Video Documentary]
  • Cabrera, D., & Arnold, L. (2007) Lessons in Network Theory 3: Generative Models of Networks. Santa Fe Institute Curricula in Complexity. [Video Documentary]
  • Cabrera, D., & Arnold, L. (2007) Lessons in Network Theory 4: Processes on Networks. Santa Fe Institute Curricula in Complexity. [Video Documentary]
  • Trochim, W., Cabrera, D., Milstein, B., Gallagher, R. S., & Leischow, S. J. (2006) “Practical Challenges of Systems Thinking and Modeling in Public Health.” American Journal of Public Health 96, no. 3 (2006), 1-9.
  • Cabrera, D. (2001) Remedial Genius: Thinking and Learning Using the Patterns of Knowledge. Loveland, CO: Project N Press. ISBN 978-0970804501

References

  1. ^ a b Cabrera, D. and Colosi, L. (2009) Thinking at Every Desk: How Four Simple Thinking Skills Will Transform Your Teaching, Classroom, School, and District. Ithaca, NY: The Research Institute for Thinking in Education. ISBN 978-0979430831
  2. ^ Cabrera, D. and Colosi, L. (2012) Thinking at Every Desk: Four Simple Skills to Transform Your Classroom. New York, NY: W.W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-70756-4
  3. ^ Steele, Bill. (2006) Did outreach really work? Cornell team will develop tools to evaluate science and technology education. Cornell Chronicle Online. [1]
  4. ^ http://www.igert.org/projects/51
  5. ^ http://www.aacu.org/about/cross_award.cfm
  6. ^ Walters, M. and Roman, H. (2009). Heroes of Giftedness: An Inspirational Guide for Gifted Students and Their Teachers: Presenting the Personal Heroes of Twelve Experts on Gifted Education. Gifted Education Press. ISBN 9780910609586
  7. ^ Stites, Janet. (2007) Complexity for the World. SFI Bulletin, 22(1), 50-51.[2]
  8. ^ Crawford, Franklin. (2005) Local tsunami relief effort is close to home for Cornell grad student. Cornell Chronicle [3]
  9. ^ Frisinger, Kerrie. (2006) Cornell Students Fight Poverty. Ithaca Journal [4]
  10. ^ Lang, Susan (2007). Thinking outside the block: Two alumni launch toy to foster abstract thinking in kids and adults alike. Cornell Chronicle: October 17, 2007. Accessed: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Oct07/thinking.toy.ssl.html
  11. ^ Orr, Jennifer. (2011) Thinking About Thinking Skills: Not How, But What. Elementary My Dear, Or Far From It. [5]
  12. ^ Cabrera, D. and Colosi, L. (2008) Distinctions, systems, relationships, and perspectives (DSRP): A theory of thinking and of things.
  13. ^ http://www.google.com/patents?id=2LGsAAAAEBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=derek+cabrera&hl=en&sa=X&ei=KVIjT_zAMNPq0QHFuemyDg&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA
  14. ^ TEDxWilliamsport - Dr. Derek Cabrera - How Thinking Works. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUqRTWCdXt4&feature=youtube_gdata_player
  15. ^ TEDxWilliamsport - Dr. Derek Cabrera - How Thinking Works. (2011). Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/91506133
  16. ^ http://isss.org/world/ISSS_2014_Conference
  17. ^ Plenary address for the 58th Meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences at the School of Business at George Washington University, Washington DC Retrieved from http://www.cabreraresearch.org/blogs/dr-derek-cabrera-s-plenary-for-58th-meeting-of-the-international-society-for-the-systems-sciences-at-the-school-of-business-at-george-washington-university-washington-dc
  18. ^ E3 Conference News Release Ithaca City School District (2014). Retrieved from https://www.ithacacityschools.org/index.cfm/news.details?newsID=1237
  19. ^ Transcript of Dr. Cabrera's E3 Keynote address retrieved from http://www.cabreraresearch.org/blogs/keynote-for-the-e3-education-conference
  20. ^ Rogers, Patricia J. (2008). Response to paper “Systems thinking” by D. Cabrera et al.: Is it systems thinking or just good practice in evaluation? Evaluation and Program Planning, Volume 31, Issue 3, August 2008, Pages 325-326
  21. ^ Wasserman, Deborah L. (2008). A Response to paper “Systems Thinking” by D. Cabrera et al.: Next steps, a human service program system exemplarEvaluation and Program Planning, Volume 31, Issue 3, August 2008, Pages 327-329
  22. ^ Nowell, Branda (2008). Response to paper “Systems Thinking” by D. Cabrera et al.: Conceptualizing systems thinking in evaluation Evaluation and Program Planning, Volume 31, Issue 3, August 2008, Pages 329-331
  23. ^ Gerald Midgley (2008). Response to paper “Systems thinking” by D. Cabrera et al.:: The unification of systems thinking: Is there gold at the end of the rainbow? Evaluation and Program Planning, Volume 31, Issue 3, August 2008, Pages 317-321
  24. ^ Datta, Lois-ellin (2008). Response to paper “Systems Thinking” by D. Cabrera et al.: Systems thinking: An evaluation practitioner's perspective Evaluation and Program Planning, Volume 31, Issue 3, August 2008, Pages 321-322
  25. ^ Forrest, Jay (2008). A Response to paper “Systems Thinking” by D. Cabrera et al.: Additional thoughts on systems thinking Evaluation and Program Planning, Volume 31, Issue 3, August 2008, Pages 333-334
  26. ^ Reynolds, Martin (2008) Response to paper “Systems Thinking” by D. Cabrera et al.: Systems thinking from a critical systems perspective Evaluation and Program Planning, Volume 31, Issue 3, August 2008, Pages 323-325
  27. ^ Hummelbrunner , Richard (2008). Response to paper “Systems Thinking” by D. Cabrera et al.: A tool for implementing DSRP in programme evaluation Evaluation and Program Planning, Volume 31, Issue 3, August 2008, Pages 331-333
  28. ^ Cabrera, D. & Colosi, L. (2008). Distinctions, systems, relationships, and perspectives (DSRP): A theory of thinking and of things Evaluation and Program Planning, Volume 31, Issue 3, August 2008, Pages 311-317

External links

  • Website for Cabrera Research Lab
  • The Facebook page for Cabrera Research Lab
  • Review of Cabrera's contributions to systems thinking
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