Monday, March 13, 2006

High Concept, High Touch

A Whole New Age
Agricultural (Farmers) to Industrial (Factory Workers) to Information (Knowledge Workers)to

Conceptual (Creators & Empathizers)

To survive in the Conceptual Age you need to answer these
1) Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
2) Can a computer do it faster?
3) Is what I'm offereing in demand in a age of abundance?

The key charateristics needed as we move from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age are:
Patterns & Relationships
Story Telling

Human Interaction

MFAs are replacing MBAs

IQ impacts only the professions open to you
Within a profession IQ has only 4 - 10% impact
EQ accounts for the rest.

Meaning is the new money

Pick one topic from Chapter 3 outlined above and give an example of how you have witnessed or experienced this directly.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Chapter Two - Abundance, Asia, and Automation

L-Directed thinking is no longer enough? R-Directed thinking will determine who gets ahead? Is this just wishful thinking, or did Pink offer compelling evidence?

From chapter two, "Abundance, Asia, and Automation," Pink offers what I believe is the thesis of his book. He presents a cause and effect on page 30.

"The effect: the diminished relative importance of L-Directed Thinking and corresponding increased importance of R-Directed Thinking. The causes: Abundance, Asia, and Automation."

- What are you thoughts on abundance?
- What conversations have you had with family members or friends, prompted by the facts presented by Pink? (I couldn't believe that Americans spend more on garbage bags than some countries spend on everything!)

- Did the section on Asia remind you of Freidman's book, The World is Flat?
- Does this section scare only "L-Directed white-collar workers," or everyone?
- Should we be frightened by this, or look forward to new challenges? (How many parents of college-age kids have shared these facts with their children - especially those still choosing their major?)

- How is automation affecting you and your work?
- How about the work of a friend or family member?
- What did you think of Pink's storytelling in this section?
- Does his presentation of John Henry, and the story of Garry Kasparov help you relate to the emotion of these
effects? (What are today's "teachers?" With whom, or what, do we educators compete?)

Post a comment (or two or three) and watch for others' comments. Comment on their comments!

I'll echo Glenn's recent posting and encourage you to spend time checking out the links to the right. Take time to read Pink's blog. He's got a lot to offer!

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Pink Links

The Pink Links on the right side of this page are intended to enhance your reading of "The Whole New Mind".

Pink Blog - Dan Pink has his own blog and he periodically posts interesting support for his assertions in his book. He has also highlighted the work that we are doing in Puyallup twice in his blog. Read through and see if you can find his mention of us.

Pink Webcast - Dan Pink did a 68 minute audio presention with Dan's powerpoint. Brian and I watched this one together and it was well worth it. Here Dan talks about:
  • What careers and professions will be most needed in the conceptual age
  • What the future holds for a more liberal education
  • Which of the six key abilities for the conceptual age are most important for young people to learn
  • What can schools do to teach the six key abilities in the age of No Child Left Behind
  • Whether colleges are sensitive to the ‘right brain’ skills required for the conceptual age
Pink Interview - NPR On Point radio show "The Dawning Age of the Right Brain" is Dan Pink's interview with Tom Ashbrook. Well worth your time to grasp a deeper knowledge of Dan's intent of the book.

Pink Mind Map - Great interactive Java visual outline of the core messages in the book. Click on the buttons to explore unopened content. Also check this recent mind map with a bit more detail.

Pink Links - At the end of each chapter Dan has included a Portfolio to highlight ways to improve the 6 right brain skills mentioned in the book. He includes weblinks to many of these resources. With these links you won't need to type a single URL, just click the button and you'll see the links that Dan suggests.

Welcome Dan! Watch this blog for comments from Dan Pink himself. He has agreed to make an online appearance when possible. Ask him a question, ask for clarity, get involved in the conversation.

Here's the email he sent in response to my request for him to join us:
Hey Glenn,

Thanks for the note. Thanks, too, for recommending the book to your director of student learning. He's obviously a wise man to heed your sage advice!

On the blog, I'm pretty bombed with deadlines and travel for the next six weeks. But, sure, I can try to check in. Alas, I'm on an airplane now -- so I can't look at the site. But would you mind pinging me when the books have been distributed and the e-conversation is underway? I'll try to check in then. Sounds fun.

Many thanks again for helping spread the word.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Whole Brain at WMEA

It's been a long weekend. It began in Yakima, where I was attending the Washington Music Educators Association annual conference. What a fabulous event! Puyallup was well represented:
Two performances by special invitation
Hall of Fame induction
Educator of the year
All-State Elementary Honors Choir Manager
Six presentators, numerous presiders
We were EVERYWHERE! among hundreds of attendees!

The Puyallup School District has a strong reputation for its Fine and Performing Arts programs. This weekend was a wonderful celebration of music education and student achievement. It was a wonderful celebration of people using their WHOLE brain!

Musicians are perfect examples of effective use of both sides of the brain. To study the lyrics of a song and "read" the music on the staff is clearly a "left-brain" function. To "add" all the fractions of quarter notes, eighth notes, whole rests, etc and form "measures" combined to form phrases, all working within a determined "time signature" requires excellent mathematical (left brain) thinking. Language skills, math skills, simply moving from left to right across the page - these are all left brain activities. However, to apply emotion, dynamics, interpretation and improvisation is right brain activity at its finest. Music educators serve the whole brain of each student, and should consciously teach with this in mind.

"Music researchers are finding correlations between music making and some of the deepest workings of the human brain. Research has linked active music making with increased language discrimination and development, math ability, improved school grades, better-adjusted social behavior, and improvements in 'spatial-temporal reasoning,' - a cornerstone for problem solving." This message, taken from the American Music Conference website, introduces readers to a collection of research you can read for yourself. Take a look, click here.

Congratulations PSD music teachers! You continue to serve the "whole child" by activating the "whole brain."

Monday, February 13, 2006

3 Brain tips are Better than 1

Brian and I have committed to posting a new topic every Monday.

It's my turn, here you go.

Brian has not handed out all of his books yet so instead of jumping right to chapter 2 I'll give you some more brain "stuff" to think about and ponder.

1) Using the Right Brain for Innovation
I spent last week at the NCCE conference in Portland, Oregon and among the presenters was Dr. John Bransford from the University of Washington. He's an internationally renowned scholar in cognition and technology and he gave a very interesting keynote that focused on LIFE (Learning in Informal and Formal Environments).

His work on implicit learning and the brain advocates "life-wide and life long learning" for education and favors preparation for future learning over "sequestered problem solving" skills.

The most direct connection to Pink's book was his reference to the work of Hatano showing that Efficiency and Innovation together produce an "adaptive expert."2) What does Research say about the Right Brain?
I also found this great link to brain research from the Eide Neurolearning Blog by Drs. Fernette and Brock Eide in Edmonds. I enjoy their simple approach to understanding the brain.

3) Use your Right & Left Brain to solve puzzles
And finally check out this great site for brain fun. Think Again offers seductive math problems for the modern mind.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Chapter One - Right Brain Rising

As far as I am concerned, we could park right here and spend lots of time on "brain research" - particularly as it relates to education and learning. I really enjoy learning about the functions of various parts of the brain. I remember being facinated by Betty Edwards's book years ago (like 21 years ago) and using her work to teach 6th graders in Eatonville how to draw. That was back when brain research was brand new to me, and I think fairly new to the world of educators.

What are your thoughts and experiences with Pink's identification of "four key differences" between the right and left hemispheres of our brain?
1. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body;
the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body.
2. The left hemisphere is sequential;
the right hemisphere is simultaneous.
3. The left hemisphere specializes in text;
the right hemisphere specializes in context.
4. The left hemisphere analyzes the details;
the right hemisphere synthesizes the big picture.
At our last Elementary Arts Network meeting, folks were sharing some of their behaviors (quirks maybe) which demonstrated a preferred, or dominant "R-Directed" line of thinking versus a preferred, or dominant "L-Directed" line of thinking. Anyone willing to share some of their own behaviors (or those of an un-named student, spouse or significant other) which exemplifies an "attitude of life that is characteristic" of one side of the brain?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Welcome new readers!

In the last 24 hours, ten readers of A Whole New Mind have agreed to participate in an on-line book study!

At the meeting of our PSD Elementary Arts Network, where representatives from 4 elementary schools, and guests from Aylen JH and Rogers HS gathered to share stories and lesson ideas, the following people agreed to participate in the Orange-Pink book:

Erin Cline - Karshner Elementary
Ginger Liebl - Riverside Elementary
Debbie Munson - Rogers High School
Cathy Piotrowski - Aylen Junior High School
Jo Ann Noel - Spinning Elementary
Wendy Brown - Zeiger Elementary

This morning I had some wonderful conversation about music instruction in our elementary schools. By the time we were done there were two more "Pink Bloggers:"

Nancy Nole - General Music, Fruitland Elementary
Lisa Berry - Principal, Fruitland Elementary

My friend, Glenn Malone introduced me to the book a few months ago. Having developed an interest in brain research and learning long ago, I jumped all over the opportunity to study Daniel Pink's book. I'm glad I did. This is good stuff! I'm looking forward to all the postings and commentary.

Here's how it will work: to begin with, Glenn and I will post comments on this site. Readers can then "comment" by clicking on the comment link at the bottom of each posting. I think this will organize our thoughts and keep readers focused. I'm sure you'll be reading far ahead once you get your hands on the book - and that's OK. However, to accomodate new-comers (I still have 40 books to hand out!) our postings this week will generally be focused upon the Introduction and chapter one: "Right Brain Rising."

Wecome new readers!