The Great Connections Seminar

The Great Connections Seminar
Discussing ethics

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The essence of leadership

"How great leaders inspire action." Fabulous TED lecture by Simon Sinek - summarizing the fundamental importance for organizations of having a purpose which encapsulates a moral vision.

Hattip Lucy Hair and Eric Rhodes!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The wisdom of the "gap" year

According the the Wall Street Journal's "Delaying college to fill in the gaps," more students are exploring the real world before heading off to college. Good for them! After the long infantilization of most schooling, some real-world experience will help them learn what's possible and good for them.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A reader of this blog asked me about, a start up that seeks to provide an easy way for anyone to offer an online course. What a great idea! It has a vast array of courses offered already. Right off the bat I like the featured course "Ideas come from everywhere." And it's free!

It's an innovative permutation on the autodidact features of the internet, which is a truly liberating development of technology. Now, anyone with even some small access to a computer anywhere in the world has the world's knowledge at his or her fingertips. The market for knowledge is liberated.

With so much information available - and ambitious people around the globe - individuals will be able to bootstrap themselves into some levels of expertise formerly available only through schools.

This means, schools will have to offer something special to be worthwhile. But most are market dinosaurs.

What's going to happen?

Hattip to carterson2

Are Doctoral Degrees Worth It?

Research with some surprises summarized in this article from The Economist "Doctoral degrees: The disposable academic."

Once again, I point a finger at government money which has encouraged a ridiculous amount of degree inflation. Do you ever wonder how Borders, Starbucks, and Whole Foods manage to have so many intelligent and highly educated people working for them?

Hattip to Stephen Hicks.

Friday, December 3, 2010

New thinking on the "problems" of adolescence

A must-read article, "The Myth of the Teen Brain," re-thinking the way we think about adolescence.

I do think that some behavior of adolescents is highly influenced by their growing brains and rapidly fluctuating hormones - and that hotheadedness and foolhardiness has evidence of this since ancient times. But we should use Occam's Razor before proposing that something is "caused" by brain changes.

Maria Montessori thought that adolescents were striving to become adults and needed to do real work while they learned - that's why she thought they should attend high school on a farm that they worked.

The Hershey Montessori Farm School is a model of what she proposed. Students learn subjects like chemistry, physics, geometry, biology and botany while cooking, constructing buildings, and caring for animals and plants. They run a bed and breakfast and a business, selling their produce.

Hattip to Jim Peron.