"I love my three young children immensely. So it's hard for me to be fully rational about them. Of course they are the smartest, the best looking, and the most athletic. I'm not alone — all parents are irrational."
"Irrationality can be a strong asset. Sure, a vast majority of new businesses fail, so a fairly rational person could easily justify maintaining the status quo. But our world is — unquestionably — a better place because people take risks that don't quite make logical sense. Of course, irrationality presents challenges too. It can blind innovators to real problems and to important signals telling them to do something different. Yes, perseverance may be an underappreciated skill, but when paired with passion, it often leads to fanaticism.
So how can you toe the line between irrationality and fanaticism without pursuing a doomed idea?"
Kentucky Virtual Library has creared a visual tool to help students do research. This is an excellent model of how to present a step by step approach in a visual way that includes a set of tasks that students can follow in conducting research. The basic steps are:
"What extraordinary energy we expend, as a culture and a civilization, on trying to understand where good ideas come from, how creativity works, its secrets, its origins, its mechanisms, and the five-step action plan for coaxing it into manifestation. And little compares to the anguish that comes with the blockage of creative flow.
In 2010, designer and musician Alex Cornell found himself stumped by a creative block while trying to write an article about creative block. Deterred neither by the block nor by the irony, he reached out to some of his favorite artists and asked them for their copying strategies in such an event. The response was overwhelming in both volume and depth, inspiring Cornell to put together a collection on the subject. The result is Breakthrough!: 90 Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination (public library) — a small but potent compendium of field-tested, life-approved insight on optimizing the creative process from some of today’s most exciting artists, designers, illustrators, writers, and thinkers. From the many specific strategies — walks in nature, porn, destruction of technology, weeping — a few powerful universals emerge, including the role of procrastination, the importance of a gestation period for ideas, and, above all, the reminder that the “creative block” befalls everyone indiscriminately."
"Anything we’re trying to make happen as a leader involves other people, and the fact is, most people don’t have to follow us. They don’t have to believe in our great ideas, buy our great products, or do what we want them to do. Even when we have authority—as parents of teenagers will tell you—our power doesn’t go very far without others believing that what we want them to do is in their best interests. The pull of connecting to others and their interests is far more powerful than the push of control, especially when we find the intersection between their interests and our goals. How do we know what’s truly in someone else’s interests?
“Become the other person and go from there.” It’s the best piece of coaching advice I ever received, coming from Tanouye Roshi, and it applies equally to influence, negotiation, conflict, sales, teaching, and communication of all kinds. To become the other person is to listen so deeply that our own mind chatter stops; to listen with every pore on our body until we can sense how the other’s mind works. To become the other person is to feel into her emotional state, see through her eyes, think like she thinks, and see how she views us, our proposition, and the situation at hand. To write it out or read it in serial fashion makes it sound like a lengthy, time-consuming process, but in fact, deep empathy conveys its insights in a flash, and our ability to empathize deepens with practice, as we learn to quiet our own inner state."
"All great teachers do great work. And not only that, but they also do different work. Great teachers are always looking to improve practice, steal ideas and try new things -- all in order to meet the needs of their students. PBL teachers are no exception. Any teacher who is truly doing PBL would also agree that it's different. There is something about being a PBL teacher that requires different work, and work that is especially capitalized when implementing a PBL project. Because I work with so many PBL teachers, I feel there are some things that PBL teachers should specifically be proud of. I present them in these six affirmations."
"Stephen Lazar describes how teachers can impart both critical thinking skills and cultural literacy through the use of historical documents and strategic questioning.
One of the great challenges of teaching high school history is negotiating two competing charges.
We must equip students with a degree of cultural literacy by exposing them to America's past and humanity's shared heritage. In states like New York and Virginia (where I have spent my teaching career), students must be able to demonstrate this content knowledge when they take high-stakes history exams.
But we must also ensure that our high school students gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be critical thinkers and citizens in our democracy. Our world is saturated with media, and students need to learn how to evaluate the information they encounter, based on where it comes from, who is producing it and when, its use of evidence, and its intended audience.
I have found that teaching history through inquiry provides a model to serve both these masters, simultaneously. Here are some tips on how to do that:"
In a world of consumerism and instant gratification, what if one slows down to ask the bigger questions in life? Can one find the time to ask these questions in a fast-paced world while at the same time not get sucked in to the abyss?