Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Pondering November

As I was grading papers before the sun came up this morning (I’m not sure it ever did, as we seem to have gone from summer to November by skipping October) I was struck again by Alan November’s comments yesterday.

One of the points he made was how important it is for today’s workforce to be comprised of people who not simply have the knowledge necessary to get the job done, but who also have the skills to perceive what the job really is and to move forward without further supervision towards getting the job done.

He noted that he runs a small educational consulting company, and if he had to decide among two employees who to promote or keep on, and if both employees knew the same amount of knowledge, he’d pick the one who had the highest ability to see through the issues and move forward unsupervised with the work. This ability, known as critical thinking, can be taught to some degree, but for the most part it comes with practice and with deliberately cultivating an enquiring mind, something today’s pop culture and deliberately polarized political culture fail to encourage.


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