The water we swim in: Robert Pondiscio on culture and school performance

This extract is from is a great Econtalk discussion of How the Other Half Learns. Recommend. Robert Pondiscio: They [Success Academy Charter Schools] require an extraordinary level of parent commitment both in time and responsiveness. And it just seems pointless to deny that for some number of parents, this is simply too much. I want to be clear here that…

Competent

Maybe you think of yourself as competent, or maybe you don’t. Self-talk I tend to say things to myself like: I can do this. I could do that. I could do that, too, if I spent some time learning how. I understand how this works, even if I’m sketchy on the details. I’m not doing this very well in this…

No finish line (2)

“No finish line” applies to most of our work too. There will be tasks to tick off and projects that we complete, but most of the important stuff – helping people who need help, making something important available, working so that things get better rather than worse – doesn’t stop. Won’t stop. This means: That projects and milestones become more…

Recommendation: In Our Time on Alcuin of York

Alcuin (AD735-804) turns out to be the most important Anglo-Saxon (specifically, Northumbrian) you’ve never heard of. A swerve in Western culture He was a crucial educator, preserver and sharer of knowledge at a time when a rich tradition of learning was in danger of being entirely wiped out in Britain (thanks to the Vikings) and in wider western Europe: According…

Resource: Introduction to Economics at Marginal Revolution University

Economics is a critical lens for understanding how change happens, key issues in the politics of justice and equality, and for building effective organisations. If you’re looking for an introduction, these videos from Tyler Cowan’s Marginal Revolution University are a good place to start. And here’s a fun start on globalisation…

Better tools

I’ve been trying to learn to solder – on and off – for something close to 24 years. It never worked for me: the solder didn’t melt, or just rolled off the tip of the soldering iron, which smoked wickedly and occasionally burnt things, but never heated a component and circuit board in such a way as to successfully make…

David Epstein on kind and wicked learning environments

These are terms used by psychologist Robin Hogarth, and what a “kind” learning environment is, is one where patterns recur, ideally a situation is constrained – so a chessboard with very rigid rules and a literal board is very constrained – and importantly, every time you do something you get feedback that is totally obvious, all the information is available,…

Sam Altman on “compounding yourself”

This is from a blog post called “How to Be Successful“, which begins with the observation that (in the startup world) most people start off wanting to make a huge amount of money but end up wanting to create something important. Point one of thirteen is “Compound Yourself” – applying the idea of compound or exponential growth to career development:…

The Toolkit – Part 0: Action. Now. (3) – action, learning and experience

This post is part of the working draft of the DriverlessCrocodile Toolkit (read more here). I’d love comments, links to resources related to the theme, and original contributions. Action is a certain route to failure – and therefore to learning, and to experience. The first step of learning to swim is learning to cope with the feeling of almost-drowning. Theory…

Anders Ericsson on deliberate practice

Repetition is the mother of skill Tony Robins* Tony Robins is mostly right. 10,000 hours You’re probably familiar with the 10,000 hour rule as ‘discovered’ by Anders Ericsson and popularised by Malcolm Gladwell in ‘Outliers‘. If you haven’t heard much about this before, I highly recommend Freakonomics Radio episode 244, “How to Become Great at just about Anything.” It’s a…