Education: The Bell Curve


The Brain: Flow

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more about “Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on Flow“, posted with vodpod

This is a topic I have thought about quite a bit. I find that I am a focused person and upon achieving flow either at work or in my own study I will not allow that state to be interrupted until the product of my flow is completed. This does not correspond to the work habits of the status quo. It is not nine to five behavior. Consequently, my employers are continually at odds with performance and attendance. My experience of flow is generally not a team experience and I will not interrupt it to accommodate a team experience of flow. I will simply produce my deliverable and go and get some sleep.

Discrimination Destroys Performance

I just read an article in the Economist “From He That Hath Not” that discusses Cognitive Disenhancement research. Subjects were told to think of Empowering or Disempowering experiences and their cognitive performance was tested. People who thought of disempowering experiences performed more poorly. However, I think this research was nothing compared to the work of a third grade school teacher in a small all white Iowa town, Jane Elliott.

Jane Elliott separated her class by eye color and discrimated against the brown eyed students for a day and then against blue eyed students for a day. The students who had been performing well as a whole suddenly showed a marked difference. The students discriminated against performed considerably poorer. When asked why they performed more poorly, the students discriminated against explained that they were preoccupied by the discrimination against them and could not concentrate. Afterward, having learned the effects of discrimination the students’ performance as a whole actually improved overall.

Jane was asked to perform the same experiment with adults and the same results were found.

Discrimination robs people of achieving their full potential in any pursuit.

Here is the Frontline video, “A Class Divided(55 min)

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more about “A Classroom Divided“, posted with vodpod

The book “A Class Divided” can be found here.