My Scholarly Reflections

This is where I tell what I think, so that I see what I say

Archive for June 2012

Delight or soothe!

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Seth Godin says in his blogpost: “you are far more likely to do your best work if you are willing to delight a few as opposed to soothe the masses”

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Written by Amer Khan

June 27, 2012 at 10:28 pm

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Blogposts/messages like these make me think harder on a decision that I have been contemplating over the last one year: get my kids out of school and make them explore the world (with a little help from us parents)

Bianca Hewes

It’s 1.34am and I am sitting huddled under a blanket with my Mac on my knees. The air-conditioning is high because my eldest son and my husband have high fevers. They’ve got a 48 hour flu thingy. I can’t sleep so I sit and count away the minutes and hours until they are both better … or until I fall down sick too.

It is this recent bout of illness that has forced my hand on the school issue. Looking at my son all small and weak from the fever made me cry. Not a little cry, like a pansy Hollywood nose tear – nope, big gulping ‘I want my Mummy’ sobs that resulted in snot being wiped on my PJs. Here is this small guy (and my other smaller guy beside him) just so visibly vulnerable and needing the love of his mummy or his daddy and it just…

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Written by Amer Khan

June 25, 2012 at 3:29 pm

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Key implication: a business degree is still sought after, despite dumbing down of the curriculum, because the additional learning or human capital development that is perceived to be brought about by that degree, even dumbed down, is stilll highly valued by the employers. Very interesting! Read the original blog to get the full argument.

StrategyProfs.net

By now, you may be getting sick of reading articles and blog posts about the crisis in higher education. This post is different. It proposes an explanation of why students have been willing to pay more and more for undergraduate and professional degrees at the same time that these degrees are becoming both less scarce and more dumbed down. And that explanation rests on a simple and plausible economic hypothesis.

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Written by Amer Khan

June 19, 2012 at 10:10 pm

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Written by Amer Khan

June 13, 2012 at 1:03 pm

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Zombies, kings….and learning

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I love two TV series: Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Game of Thrones is based on fantasy novels of George R. R. Marin (wikipedia entry is here). The Walking Dead is, as you might have guessed it, about a post-apocalyptic zombie infested world (wikipedia entry here). Both are absolutely riveting. Both, although representing totally different fiction genre, have key common themes: complex characters facing morally ambigious situations, situations which throw up uncertainties and delimmas which cannot be solved through simple ‘rules of thumb’, heros turn to villains while villains appear to be the most engaging/attractive. I leave readers to do their own search on the TV series, if they are interested, but suffice to say that the two series model life’s rich complexities and contradictions far better any classroom learning interaction.

The tv programmes grab me through their highly believable ‘world building’, emotional hooks and cliff hangers, their rich rendering of characters and strong narrative arcs. I spend days thinking about scenes from particular episodes and argue with my wife (yes, she is hooked as well!) on the deeper implications of a character’s moves. I am not the only one doing that. The cyberspace is abuz with interactions discussing minute details of the plot and characters of those tv series, discussing implications on morality, leadership, economics etc.

A student in my class needed to discuss teamwork and leadership in one of his assignments. Who did he mention and analyze in detail, as examplars of the two constructs? The main protagonist, Rick Grimes, and his group of survivors in the Zombie apocalypse, from the tv series The Walking Dead…

Written by Amer Khan

June 10, 2012 at 10:35 pm

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This is absolutely fascinating….. food for thought during my evening jogs for many days to come!!!

orgtheory.net

My friend Jason Stanley has a blog post up at the New York Times‘s Opinionator section that might be of interest to you social theorists out there. Jason’s a philosopher of language who teaches at Rutgers. He attacks a distinction which is by now extremely well-entrenched in social theory generally and in specific theories of action in the sociology of culture, the sociology of organizations, and elsewhere—namely, the distinction between theoretical and practical knowledge:

Humans are thinkers, and humans are doers. There is a natural temptation to view these activities as requiring distinct capacities. When we reflect, we are guided by our knowledge of truths about the world. By contrast, when we act, we are guided by our knowledge of how to perform various actions. If these are distinct cognitive capacities, then knowing how to do something is not knowledge of a fact — that is, there is a…

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Written by Amer Khan

June 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm

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