Posts Tagged ‘education’

Two weeks ago I visited my client at Juvenile Hall. After locking my belongings in a locker in the deserted visitors’ waiting area, I was shepherded through four sets of locked doors by a female voice on the intercom. Inside, the voice told me to freeze until the transfer of one of the youths at the far end of the corridor was completed. I caught my first glimpse of Julian in Unit 2, where he was sitting among a group of teens in navy blue uniforms in a small room off of a large, empty central space. I walked toward the room and a man sitting outside it gestured toward one of the tables in the room. Two boys stood, hesitantly. “Julian,” the man said to them a second time, and through the glass wall of the room I saw one of the boys point to himself and mouth, “Me?,” in […]

As a society, we must figure out how to rapidly re-skill a vast number of people on an ongoing basis to both remain relevant globally and to avoid long periods of high unemployment. ~ Harvard Business Review There is a gap between what schools teach and what employers need their employees to know. The highest-growing job sectors –among both white-collar (biochemists, market research analysts) and blue-collar (contractors, electricians) jobs — are those in which extensive preparation and up-to-date skill development is required. Low-skill jobs (postal mail carriers, switchboard operators) are becoming more and more scarce. A study by the Harvard Business Review and Deloitts’s Shift Index found that America is in a “cycle of obsolescence”: what students learn in college is obsolete within a few years. The result is that college graduates can’t find jobs — more than half of those who have received a college degree since 2006 cannot find full-time jobs, according […]

During my last year of law school I learned about tech start-up incubators like Y Combinator – which provides seed money, guidance, and networking opportunities to new start-ups – from my friends in Silicon Valley, and I was intrigued about the potential for using this model to help lawyers who wanted to create their own “start-up” law practice. In late August, I learned about the existence of law school incubators (the first of which was created only two years after Y Combinator) and booked a flight to see one of these incubators in person: the Access to Justice Initiative, affiliated with California Western School of Law. (For background on law school incubators, including the Access to Justice Initiative, see my recent post here.) In the upscale office space that houses the Access to Justice Initiative, looking out over a gorgeous floor-to-ceiling view of airplanes flying low over the city and onto the tarmac […]

In Spiritual Intelligence, The Ultimate Intelligence, Danah Zohar and Ian Marshall, write, “The young son of a Chilean biologist, Umberto Maturana, became unhappy at school because he felt his teachers were making it impossible for him to learn. They wanted to teach him what they knew, rather than drawing out what he needed to learn. As a result Maturana wrote “The Student’s Prayer,” of which this translation is an abridged version. It expresses the spiritually intelligent individual’s response to the conforming pressures of parents, teachers, bosses or the crowd.” A Student’s Prayer Umberto Maturana Don’t impose on me what you know, I want to explore the unknown And be the source of my own discoveries. Let the known be my liberation, not my slavery. The world of your truth can be my limitation; Your wisdom my negation. Don’t instruct me; let’s walk together. Let my richness begin where yours ends. Show me so […]

In his book The Global Achievement Gap, educator Tony Wagner identifies the core competencies everyone should master by the end of high school: Critical thinking and problem solving (the ability to ask the right questions) Collaboration across networks and leading by influence Agility and adaptability Initiative and entrepreneurialism Accessing and analyzing information Effective written and oral communication Curiosity and imagination How to teach these competencies? Perhaps by following the mantra, “First do no harm.” In another book, Creating Innovators, Wagner identifies five ways in which current educational practices actively undermine the development of these competencies: By focusing on individual achievement (e.g., GPA), schools fail to promote collaboration skills. By rewarding specialization, which hinders innovation. Wagner says the director of talent at Google once told him, “If there’s one thing that educators need to understand, it’s that you can neither understand nor solve problems within the context and bright lines of subject content.” By penalizing mistakes, which makes students risk-averse. […]