Two From The Blogs

Via NBA forward and former ACC standout Shane Battier (and Michael Lewis) Matt Ladner takes us to white space employees and the opportunities and challenges of rewarding performance in education.

Over at Q & E, using “moral hazards” as an example Kevin Carey notes that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.  In addition to his main point, there is another educational addendum, however, that’s important and relates to this whole “21st Century Skills” debate.  Kevin is right that ideas like moral hazards can be taken to illogical extremes but one of the best ways to avoid that is through teaching people to think critically and systematically about questions they encounter.  David Coleman has characterized this as teaching students to be “little detectives” as they encounter new text and ideas and that’s not a bad way to think about it.   This means teaching students to question assumptions, engage with counter-evidence, and so forth.  For example, most of the more absurd abuses of moral hazard, such as Kevin’s examples, are pretty easily dismissed with a little thought.     These have been valuable skills in any century, of course, and are skills that schools have not been at all intentional about teaching.   They’re also an interelated mix of content and skills but content, especially content that helps students think about the world and how it works, is pretty key.

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