At Northfield Mount Hermon, the New England boarding school where I teach, we often begin all-school meetings with a few words of reflection or provocation and then a minute of silence to sit with what we’ve heard. At the beginning of each academic year, when the community re-forms anew, we sometimes decide to open the [more…]
Archives for September 2012
I heard several provocative guidelines for excellent design when our Applied Improvisation group toured Stanford’s graduate Institute of Design (d-School). One principle stood in particular contrast with a foundational tenet of improvisational theater. Now, a day later, I still find myself trying to make sense of the tension: should we follow a ‘first idea’ or [more…]
Offering praise for inborn talent feeds a fixed mindset that can create self-doubt, weaken resolve, and reduce resiliency. In short, it can cripple a student’s ability to learn. Does that mean we should never celebrate God-given gifts?
When designing ideal conditions for learning, we do well to consider the case of Goldilocks. If we make a lesson too difficult, our learner may shut down in frustration. Make it too easy and the learner walks away in boredom. In between those two poles lies a “Just Right” moment, a learning location that both fits and stretches.