TGIF – Contrasting Styles Of Learning

February 8, 2013 by Bill Bradley

As the week winds down, we wind down with some tidbits for your information, education, health, and enjoyment.

Quote of the Week: “I spent every night until four in the morning on my dissertation, until I came to the point when I could not write another word, not even the next letter. I went to bed. Eight o’clock the next morning I was up writing again.” Abraham Pais (not a Russian – see below)

Humor Break: The following culminates years of research by a university professor on how to identify a student’s current level of education:

 
“When you walk in and say good morning, and they say good morning back, they are freshmen.
 
When they put their newspapers down and open their books, they are sophomores.
 
When they look up so they can see the instructor over the tops of the newspapers, they are juniors.
 
When they put their feet up on the desks and keep reading, they are seniors.
 
And when you walk in and say good morning and they write it down, they are graduate students.”

Stat of the Week: By now some of you may be tired of me promulgating the virtues of Coursera, the FREE university offered on line.  Well, I am not done yet, but today I would like to contrast the Coursera approach to higher learning with the Russian approach.  Here are this week’s Stats: Approximately 10,000 Ph.D. dissertations are written for pay each year in Russia.  Dissertation writing is a popular occupation, with the pay scale ranging between $900 and $25,000 per dissertation.  There are 169 known companies that offer their educational services.  Want some more stats?  More than 50% of the members of the Duma (national legislative body) hold doctoral degrees.  Any guesses where these important people found time to write a Ph.D. dissertation?  Final stat: It is estimated that 1/3 of the dissertations written each year are written by professional dissertation writers.  Moral of this story – Go to Coursera for an education; go to Russia for a degree.

Action Tip: Ask yourself these two questions: How is my career going?  How is my self-development going?

Self-Development Corner: This week’s Coursera suggestion is for our readers in the medical profession.  The course is Clinical Problem Solving beginning February 11 for six weeks.  You do not have to be a doctor to take this course.  Below is a brief description of the course:

“This course will examine the ways physicians think about clinical problem solving and will help participants develop competence in the building blocks of clinical problem solving. The professor will use cases to illustrate different reasoning strategies and will discuss how both correct and incorrect diagnoses result from these strategies. Participants will use sample clinical cases to practice what they have learned through the lectures. Finally, the professor will discuss strategies to help students and young physicians read textbooks and articles in a way that enhances their ability to use information in the clinical environment.”

Bill Bradley (mostly) retired after 35 years in organizational consulting, training and management development. During those years he worked internally with seven organizations and trained and consulted externally with more than 90 large and small businesses, government agencies, hospitals and schools.

Posted in Leadership Development

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