Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Third Teacher

This is a really interesting site recommended by Liz in my class -
It's a collaborative project between Bruce Mao Design, VS America and OWP/P Cannon Design. The project is base on the Reggio Emilia Approach - an educational philosophy focused on preschool and primary education. It was started by Loris Malaguzzi and the parents of the villages around Reggio Emilia in Italy after World War II. The destruction from the war, parents believed, necessitated a new, quick approach to learning. It puts the natural development of children as well as the close relationships that they share with their environment at the center of its philosophy, and has the following guiding principles:
Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and
Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.

The Third Teacher Project is focused on the role of the environment, and deals with design (though I haven't read it in its entirety, though Liz showed her book to me and I'm intrigued).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A professor gives an email lecture...

This is from Gilded Limits; not sure if it's an urban legend, but I find it quite it rational, rude, or discriminating against the informal register?

FYI Scott Galloway is the founder of He was on the New York Times board of directors before resigning last week. He has a reputation for being a “self-important jackass” ( according to A.J. Daulerio via

Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 7:15:11 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Brand Strategy Feedback

Prof. Galloway,

I would like to discuss a matter with you that bothered me. Yesterday evening I entered your 6pm Brand Strategy class approximately 1 hour late. As I entered the room, you quickly dismissed me, saying that I would need to leave and come back to the next class. After speaking with several students who are taking your class, they explained that you have a policy stating that students who arrive more than 15 minutes late will not be admitted to class.

As of yesterday evening, I was interested in three different Monday night classes that all occurred simultaneously. In order to decide which class to select, my plan for the evening was to sample all three and see which one I like most. Since I had never taken your class, I was unaware of your class policy. I was disappointed that you dismissed me from class considering (1) there is no way I could have been aware of your policy and (2) considering that it was the first day of evening classes and I arrived 1 hour late (not a few minutes), it was more probable that my tardiness was due to my desire to sample different classes rather than sheer complacency.

I have already registered for another class but I just wanted to be open and provide my opinion on the matter.


MBA 2010 Candidate
NYU Stern School of Business

The Reply:

—— Forwarded Message ——-
To: “xxxx”
Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 9:34:02 PM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: Re: Brand Strategy Feedback


Thanks for the feedback. I, too, would like to offer some feedback.

Just so I’ve got this straight…you started in one class, left 15-20 minutes into it (stood up, walked out mid-lecture), went to another class (walked in 20 minutes late), left that class (again, presumably, in the middle of the lecture), and then came to my class. At that point (walking in an hour late) I asked you to come to the next class which “bothered” you.


You state that, having not taken my class, it would be impossible to know our policy of not allowing people to walk in an hour late. Most risk analysis offers that in the face of substantial uncertainty, you opt for the more conservative path or hedge your bet (e.g., do not show up an hour late until you know the professor has an explicit policy for tolerating disrespectful behavior, check with the TA before class, etc.). I hope the lottery winner that is your recently crowned Monday evening Professor is teaching Judgement and Decision Making or Critical Thinking.

In addition, your logic effectively means you cannot be held accountable for any code of conduct before taking a class. For the record, we also have no stated policy against bursting into show tunes in the middle of class, urinating on desks or taking that revolutionary hair removal system for a spin. However, xxxx, there is a baseline level of decorum (i.e., manners) that we expect of grown men and women who the admissions department have deemed tomorrow’s business leaders.

xxxx, let me be more serious for a moment. I do not know you, will not know you and have no real affinity or animosity for you. You are an anonymous student who is now regretting the send button on his laptop. It’s with this context I hope you register pause…REAL pause xxxx and take to heart what I am about to tell you:

xxxx, get your shit together.

Getting a good job, working long hours, keeping your skills relevant, navigating the politics of an organization, finding a live/work balance…these are all really hard, xxxx. In contrast, respecting institutions, having manners, demonstrating a level of humility…these are all (relatively) easy. Get the easy stuff right xxxx. In and of themselves they will not make you successful. However, not possessing them will hold you back and you will not achieve your potential which, by virtue of you being admitted to Stern, you must have in spades. It’s not too late xxxx…

Again, thanks for the feedback.

Professor Galloway

Saturday, December 11, 2010

CEA - material for educators

The Canadian Education Association has some great research, blogs and other materials

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Trouble With Billionaires

Here's an interesting new book by Linda McQuaig - has class warfare hit the popular media? At any rate, I like that she calls society out for pretending to be a meritocracy, when really it's not.

And an excerpt at

Friday, December 3, 2010

"Teaching against idiocy"

This is a really interesting article! Teaching Against Idiocy, Phi Delta Kappa, 2005, by Walter C. Parker
Link to MS Word version

He writes, among other things..
Idiocy shares with idiom and idiosyncratic the root idios, which means private, separate, self-centered -- selfish... When a person's behavior became idiotic -- concerned myopically with private things and unmindful of common things -- then the person was believed to be like a rudderless ship, without consequence save for the danger it posed to others. This meaning of idiocy achieves its force when contrasted with polites (citizen) or public. Here we have a powerful opposition: the private individual versus the public citizen...An idiot is one whose self-centeredness undermines his or her citizen identity, causing it to wither or never to take root in the first place. Private gain is the goal, and the community had better not get in the way.