Posts Tagged ‘education’

Social factors can have a powerful influence on intelligence.

Source: Intelligence and the Stereotype Threat – The New York Times

Excerpt: “After an early career as a blogger and an author, Finney decided to try her hand at the world of startups. When she joined a New York-based tech incubator in 2006, she remembers a prominent venture capitalist telling her, “You know, I don’t do the black woman thing.” It was the first time, according to Finney, that it seemed like someone didn’t believe she was capable just because of her gender and her race. 


School-Business Partnerships That Work: Success Stories from Schools of All Sizes

– See more at:

Schools and businesses are working together to benefit students, teachers, and entire communities. Successful partnerships can be found across the grades, in schools large and small. Included: Education World’s “Principal Files” principals offer ideas, tips for successful school-business partnerships.

Source: Education World: School-Business Partnerships That Work: Success Stories from Schools of All Sizes

Harvard Crest

As much as we like to believe we have class mobility, higher education is now so expensive that it exacerbates rather than ameliorates income inequality:  that is, you need to be affluent to afford to go to college to, in your life time, earn more money than those who could not afford college.  This is a vicious generational cycle that has been escalated by the fifty-year defunding of higher education.  This process began, for all intents and purposes, with Governor Ronald Reagan systematically cutting state subsidies to the California system of higher education institutions.  More and more of the U.S. tuition burden has passed from society at large to the individual student, ensuring that the most affluent American students (not necessarily the most talented) have a much higher chance of going to college. This is not very forward-thinking in an era of high change, when we need the smartest students to learn to be inventors, creators, innovators in all fields.

Source: The Trouble with Pinker’s Argument about ‘The Trouble With Harvard’ | HASTAC

Source: Affirmative Testing Resources « Annie Murphy Paul

CompetencyWorks is an online resource dedicated to providing information and knowledge about competency education in the K-12 education system. Drawing on lessons learned by innovators and early adopters, CompetencyWorks shares original research, knowledge and a variety of perspectives through an informative blog with practitioner knowledge, policy advancements, papers on emerging issues and a wiki with resources curated from across the field. CompetencyWorks also offers a blog on competency education in higher education so that the sectors can learn from each other and begin to align systems across K-12, higher education and the workplace.

via Competency Works.

The Definition of Insanity is... | Psychology Today

re: The Definition of Insanity is… | Psychology Today.

This Is A Quote People Really Need To Stop Saying

(Even If It Does Make You Sound Worldly and Wise)

by Duane Sharrock

There is a popular Albert Einstein quote: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” At least, it is popularly attributed to The Einstein. However, I’m no longer sure that he spoke this quote at all.  Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP writes “It’s not clear who said it first, but according to at least one blogger (link is external) it’s “the dumbest thing a smart person ever said.” The catchy saying has gathered steam in the past few years (example I(link is external), II(link is external),III(link is external)), and regardless of the source, it’s gotten a lot of mileage.”

The quote doesn’t work for leadership and culture building. Culture building is about instilling attitudes, habits, and protocols. Very often, the principles and theories of culture building are used to change an organization’s culture. An organization’s culture can be changed for better or for worse. Todd McKinnon, CEO of Okta, says leadership is about communication: “Communicate your values and culture explicitly and continuously, both internally and externally. Employees must understand your culture, and why it’s important. Reward employees who advance your culture, and be open and honest with those who don’t.” Repetition of the message is a big part of culture building though. There are slogans you need to repeat to highlight or emphasize the meaning behind rewards, discipline, the value of events, as well as the vision and mission of your organization which leads to the powerful influence of small networks on to the larger networks. Ironically, repetition is also how the quote attributed to Einstein, built up such power. Like in the book Brave New World, we read it in different places enough times, we come to believe it as true.

But let’s return to Dr. Howes’s article. Dr. Howes explores the legal definition of insanity, that the quote doesn’t support how a court would diagnose insanity, but he shares that he also “started hearing people use it in the service of avoidance (link is external), which is a defense mechanism (link is external). Rather than facing their fears, they grab on to this saying for protection against possible failure, pain or rejection.”

In addition to the avoidance mechanism that I too have observed, I have observed it used as a truism against 19th and 20th century education. Drill and repetition, for example, is said to deaden the mind and kill creativity. This is not the case even in creative work.

In creative work, research suggests that repetition proves it can be a necessary part of creativity, not just for the visual arts, but also in the performing arts. There is an acting method called the Meisner Technique that uses repetition. “Two actors sit opposite each other and respond in the moment with a repeated phrase, breaks down overly structured technique and builds openness, flexibility, and listening skills.” Famous Meisner students include Robert Duvall, Grace Kelly, Gregory Peck, and Diane Keaton.You would never say these actors are not creative. Even if you argued that the artists were creative in spite of the repetition, you have to reject the other belief that repetition “kills” creativity, since the list of Meisner Technique professionals is so long. And yet, some education reform thought leaders would claim that repetition is not useful, and lead the charge to reject drills and repetition.

Repetition is found as part of the preparation of the artist and is part of the novice’s training.

Why am I going to these lengths to fight the rejection of repetition? Why did I indicate the uses of repetition in a number of disciplines as well as in the natural world?

Creativity and leadership are connected. Many of the necessary skills and behaviors, even the attitudes, are common. In transformation leadership, and other types of dynamic or transactional leadership: “Over the years the philosophical terminology of “management” and “leadership” have, in the organizational context, been used both as synonyms and with clearly differentiated meanings. Debate is fairly common about whether the use of these terms should be restricted, and generally reflects an awareness of the distinction made by Burns (1978) between “transactional” leadership (characterized by e.g. emphasis on procedures, contingent reward, management by exception) and “transformational” or “transformative” leadership, which is characterized by charisma, personal relationships, creativity).[47] Leaders need to be brave, need to promote a vision, and and need to inspire. This is true of creatives despite the many domains they master and media that they use.

It is clear that in the uncertainty of the knowledge era, in the digital world, in the information age, lifelong learning is a must. We must keep learning, and finding ways to succeed. Learning, involves a great deal of unlearning. Instead of holding on to the false quote about insanity, this un-truism, we should be looking at repetition for finding insights and mastery. It has its place in sensorimotor activities but has its uses in intellectual and creative activities as well.

“The nations that lead the world into the next century will be those who can shift from being industrial economies based upon the production of manufactured goods to those that possess the capacity to produce and utilize knowledge successfully.”

via School of Education at Johns Hopkins University-Learning, Learning Organizations, and Leadership.

I recognize that this could politicized, and that’s not my intention for sharing this. Educators, after all, work best when they approach educating with an open mind (or open mindset) and flexibility. This is a reason education is both an art and a science. On the other hand, we should be careful about being “early adopters”. We should explore new ideas and tools, but we should approach these explorations with awareness and with special attention to measuring (somewhat objectively) what we hope to achieve against what was actually achieved (somewhat objectively).


The Neurocritic: Against Initiatives: “don’t be taken in by the boondoggle”.


Here’s Professor Leah Krubitzer, who heads theLaboratory of Evolutionary Biology at University of California, Davis:

“From a personal rather than scientific standpoint, the final important thing I’ve learned is don’t be taken in by the boondoggle, don’t get caught up in technology, and be very suspicious of “initiatives.” Science should be driven by questions that are generated by inquiry and in-depth analysis rather than top-down initiatives that dictate scientific directions. I have also learned to be suspicious of labels declaring this the “decade of” anything: The brain, The mind, Consciousness. There should be no time limit on discovery. Does anyone really believe we will solve these complex, nonlinear phenomena in ten years or even one hundred? Tightly bound temporal mandates can undermine the important, incremental, and seemingly small discoveries scientists make every day doing critical, basic, nonmandated research. These basic scientific discoveries have always been the foundation for clinical translation. By all means funding big questions and developing innovative techniques is worthwhile, but scientists and the science should dictate the process.”


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