I’ve just finished listening to two audiobooks (via iTunes): Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and The Element by Ken Robinson – one right after the other. They went really well together. Not only a good combination of compatible ideas, but each book also had something important to say that the other book didn’t quite capture.
Outliers shows us how good timing, opportunity to practice and hard work are often the most common characteristics of the most successful people. The Element shows how successful individuals are successful usually in spite of their education, a system that often focuses too much on curriculum planning and assessment and too little on nurturing human talent.
The example of the Beatles came up in both books. Gladwell cites how the Beatles had the opportunity to hone their live act, musicianship and song writing through hours of live playing on the Hamburg club scene (at least 10,000 hours is the magic number Gladwell cites). Robinson talks about Paul McCartney’s bad music teacher, and how he and John Lennon would instead mentor each other in their musical development. Robinson focuses on the diversity of talent, engagement, circles of influence and other social phenomena and inner reserves that support creativity and get people into their ‘element’. Gladwell focuses on the timing of opportunities and the advantage we get from being able to make the most of these opportunities.
All in all, a satisfying combination of books that I highly recommend.
A few weeks ago I went to the Chinese New Year annual Yu Sheng Lo Hei at the Straits Knowledge office in Singapore. I saw a big pile of freshly printed books, and in a quiet moment, I picked one up. It was ‘KM Approaches Methods & Tools – A Guidebook’. It looked great, so I bought one.
Since then I’ve dipped into it and I must say that it’s the best compendium of KM tools I’ve seen. The tips for facilitation are particularly useful. So here’s the pdf version for download. But really, you should buy it. It works better in book-form. It’s on my desk at work and is great to dip into. Patrick, Edgar and Wai Kong have done an excellent job in making the book, so it’s worth buying, really. Get it here.
Posted in KM
at February 27th, 2009.
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Ewan McIntosh nails it when he writes about Ken Robinson’s new book The Element. It’s a great blog post. Ewan reminds us
It’s not curriculum, class sizes (though smaller class sizes make the teacher’s life easier) or even assessment. This is something I’ve been reporting back from research for two years (and which I’ve been blown out on more times than I can count). It’s not about letting students lead the way with technology and “show us teachers” how it’s done. Students are generally quite narrow in their knowledge of how to harness technology or creative venture.
No, it’s how teachers and parents teach that is important. It is, to use a piece of edu-jargon, pedagogy, both at school and at home.
Great stuff. One of those blog posts that really hits the spot.
Posted in what is ... ?
at February 13th, 2009.
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