Continuing a discussion on Systems Thinking World, responding to a question from Chad Green.
“If we wish to avoid overwhelming students with information, why not help them to synthesize the processes that generate content in the first place?”
Good question. Walter’s system could help here — though, I must admit, I still find it a bit overelaborate. Off the top of my head, for what it is worth, I envision a three-stage curriculum: (1) Rapid learning —how to scan and extract what you need quickly; (2) Digging deep — exploring impressions from rapid learning in greater depth; and (3) Quality control — critically examining new information for relevance, accuracy, and validity. Students with these skill sets could then be encouraged to move on to (4) Getting creative — breaking established frames and rules to see what happens and returning recursively to (1),(2), and (3) to extract innovation from the crap in which it is always buried. (4) is the step at which you recognize that what you need is a better hole instead of a better bit.
The last “bit” alludes to a parable that pops up now and again in marketing literature:
There once was a company that made the world’s finest drill bits. It worked hard to improve its bits and make sure that its offerings were, indeed, the best drill bits in the world.
It was put out of business by a laser company. What the customers wanted wasn’t drill bits. What the customers wanted was holes.