Monday, September 21, 2009


There is a story about Mary-Ann Winkelmes, the last of our guests this semester, in the current edition of Inside Illinois. The story will give you a bit of background about her.

Following up on what Dean Hedeman suggested in class today, if you want "the skinny" for why these guests have been invited you probaby need to interview me on that. The information might not otherwise be readily available to you.

At the CHP event last week I spent a good chunk of time talking with Professor Michael Loui of ECE who is doing peer mentoring in a class he teaches. The mentoring sessions, which are voluntary, happen Sunday mornings, so there is ample space for them to occur without conflicting with regular classes. I thought many students leave CU for the weekends but he reported not so in ECE. I'd like your take on that.

While most of the reason for the guests is to help inform the class project, the visit by the College CIOs might help us to think about Drucker. In particular, we might ask about responsibility to College and responsibility to Campus, when those complement each other and when they compete, where does loyalty lie, and what impact is that on management decisions. These are all Drucker like issues. We also want to talk about information networks and how the information that I called "the skinny" above, gets learned. Also how does real info get sorted from rumor. Those topics need to be "drilled down" on quite a bit, to make the conversation interesting. I did want to point out here that Our Drucker discussion on Monday should help with the visit on Wednesday.

Either I should be charging you guys $100/hour because you are using our class discussion as a therapy session about school or we need to figure out how to get the discussion to other examples. Today nobody talked about intuition and motivation when participating in an RSO or in some less formal outside of class activity, or learning while doing an internship, or pleasure reading or anything else. Given the conclusion that to expose structure we need to look at multiple contexts, I'm not getting why we aren't generating those. I could use some help getting us unstuck.

Sticking with the theme of getting unstuck, it is my belief that if you have the compulsion to persist on working through a problem that you current can't solve, the things you try are based on intuition. The process is definitely not trial and error, at least not most of the time. There is an intelligence in selecting the thing to try next. This is definitely true for math problems. I believe it carries over to many other types of problem solving.

I will close with a bit of fun. This was sent to me by somebody I work with who is a native Spanish speaker. The goal is to get the brown frogs on the left and the green frogs on the right. When you do get it, is it because you "see the trick?" That's intuition.


  1. I agree that we need to talk about more than just school (though I realize that I am part of the problem). I don't know why we don't introduce different topics, since this would be more beneficial, and, might I add, a bit more interesting. I suppose now that we all "see" the problem we will be able to address and fix it.

  2. My comment just got eaten! Yaay!

    Anyway, some ideas:

    1. Context, part I: We're in school. In a classroom. Having a class discussion. Thinking of school is natural.
    2. Context, part II: The current readings were on structure/motivation/etc as they applied to education. I know at least that some questions on our lesson plan were very much formulated around some things that Bruner had said about the classroom.
    3. Universal experience: I will bet that we have *all* been in school. And spent a lot more time there than internships or RSOs, or likely even on hobbies.
    4. Ultimate goal: Eventually, we're doing a project in school curriculum. No, that shouldn't be the only thing we're thinking about, yes it's on our minds.
    5. Momentum: When the discussion gets started on school because of 1/2/3/4, it's suddenly a lot easier to think of more school experiences, and a lot harder to break away from that.

    I think it makes sense that we have, and I agree that we need to break away from it, and hopefully if we're a little more conscious of it, we can.