Friday, October 19, 2007


i was looking through seth godin's book "small is the new big" and i was struck by the post on 'cogs'. he states, "the end result is that it's essentially impossible to become successful or well-off doing a job that is described and measured by someone else...the only way our country (or your country depending on where you live), your economy, and most of all your family has to get ahead is this: make up new rules".
"People who make up new rules continue to be in very short supply".

seems formal education tends to work in a linear fashion and aids a linear thought process. those most rewarded in life often think in a lateral fashion, making unusual combinations and connections. as more people become formally educated, are education and creativity headed on a collision course?

1 comment:

Chris Stadler said...

First off, great little blog, Dave. I found my way here through Tim Christy's blog.

Here's my thought. I agree that formal education teaches us the time-proven and/or fashionable ways to do things, it can put us in a box. I didn't realize how in-the-box I was until I was talking to a South African friend of mine. I remember saying something about a controversial topic, and he was laughing at my style of speech: "You Americans are so worried about coming across the wrong way."

I realized then that I exist in this coporate-trained attitude that prevents me from pushing the line, because to do so would be "antisocial." Heck, we're not even allowed to share our well-supported opinions on topics that other students or faculty consider off-limits.

I appreciate Tim Christy's attitude that there are no wrong answers. I read recently that teachers in England encourage creativity by recognizing the value in "how" students arrive at a conclusion as well as the quality of the conclusion, itself. This approach seems more conducive to creativity.

One last thought: when an instructor knows a subject thoroughly, he/she can understand approaches from different points of view. I've had a lot of instructors who were so narrow in their understanding that they couldn't see any other approaches to a problem. This became obvious when students would share an unconventional approach and the instructor - obviously missing the point - simply continued on in the same direction he/she was heading, without really acknowledging the student's point.

Consequently, smart students learn quickly not to waste class time with other unconventional approaches.

Love the blog.