Sunday, October 31, 2010

Super Summary pages 65-100

A Whole New Mind, by Daniel Pink
Part Two – Introducing the Six Senses and Chapter 4
Pages 65-100
A summary

The author offers six high-concept, high-touch senses for success in Conceptual Age. He denotes them as six essential R-Directed aptitudes to compliment L-Directed reasoning:
1) Design – emotionally engaging, whimsical, and/or beautiful
2) Story – narrative
3) Symphony - synthesis
4) Empathy – caring relationships
5) Play – benefiting health and profession
6) Meaning – purpose

He states, “Anyone can master the six Conceptual Age senses. But those who master them first will have a huge advantage.” (p. 67)

Chapter 4 focuses on the first attribute, Design. The author tells a school story that draws in our audience, teachers. It’s about a Hallmark designer that visits classrooms and asks if there are any artists in the room. He finds, as the students age, their vision of themselves as artists dies. Pink calls it a cautionary tale, because artistic sensibility must be cultivated. In this Conceptual Age we must all be designers for personal fulfillment and professional success. He states three reasons:
1) Due to prosperity and technology, good design is accessible, allowing the public its pleasures and becoming connoisseurs of good design products.
2) It is a means of differentiation and crucial for creating new markets in an age of abundance.
3) Its ultimate purpose is changing the world.

His story continues at CHAD (Charter High School for Architecture and Design – a tuition free Philadelphia public school), with a design-centered curriculum infusing design to teach core academic subjects. They also spend 100 minutes a day in a design studio. Other subjects include architecture, industrial design, color theory, and painting. It is interdisciplinary. The result is producing holistic thinkers that can work with others and inspire others. They have a 95% attendance rate and the only high school in Philadelphia without metal detectors. CHAD is a pioneer but there are others. Miami public schools has Design and Architecture Senior High. New York City has the High School of Art and Design.
Washington, D.C. has Studio School, a charter elementary school. The concept is providing a liberal arts education that enhances student’s ability to solve problems, understand others, and appreciate the world around them.

Pink discusses the economic advantages of design, as the competitive edge over the pricing structure and labor costs of the Far East. “Design’s most potent economic effects is this very capacity to create new markets” (p. 81). He shares more stories reflecting the cause and effect of ‘design’ in various circumstances. He closes with, “Design is a high-concept aptitude that is difficult to outsource or automate – and that increasingly confers a competitive advantage in business.”

The Portfolio for Design is found on pages 87-100. Readers will find exercises, activities, magazines, websites, museums, and books to enhance their R-Directed aptitude of design, and expand their ‘whole new mind’.

Renaissance of the Mind

I chose a renaissance festival because I think A Whole New Mind is a renaissance of the mind. I like the metaphors it represents to me. The castle is the mind. The drawbridge is 'drawing on research from around the advanced world'. The turrets represent the six abilities Pink outlines for professional success and personal fulfillment. The joy shown in the photo, with the subjects of this kingdom, is a personal connection. I feel this book supports what I intuitively know!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Section One Summary

Our summarizer did a great job of summarizing the key components of part one. The scary part of the reading was how things are changing with the outsourcing of jobs, in particular. But change is inevidible as shown in figure 3.2 on page 50. That picture spoke to me as it put in one picture what a thousand words could describe (the picture of the monkey to the artist). I didn't really think the monkey was necessary but maybe the author is trying to get the reader to see how we have "evolved". When I read about all the changes taking place, like machines playing chess better than humans, I'm seeing that educating our students has to change to keep up with the rest of the world. I had this feeling when I was reading that transitions are being made in so many facets in the world, yet we're still teaching a lot like we have been in the past. We are slowly coming to see that we're teaching to a whole new set of kids these days with different needs. My son just took the pre-ACT (the test that Sophomores now take to prepare) and am wondering how long they will continue to judge students by those scores to decide if they make it in to college. I enjoyed the reading and am interested to read the next part.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I chose this as my representation of the book cover because I feel it is very valuable in our understanding of how the human mind works. We must understand which parts control what parts of our thinking so that we can nurture and further develop the two sides working in tandem.

Section One Summary - A Whole New Mind

A Whole New Mind, by Daniel Pink
Chapters 1, 2 and 3 - A summary

The author begins the book for the reader by giving a personal account of what it was like for him to undergo a series of tests using current technologies to study his own brain. He gives these experiences from the perspective of both patient and researcher.

He provides a history behind the change in thinking about the role that each hemisphere of the brain plays as research was conducted over many years. As far back as Hippocrates, it was thought that the right side of the brain was totally useless. That it was like a piece of the body from the past that we had evolved beyond the need for.

He then gives information as to present research, and current thinking about the role each half of the brain plays:
  • The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body, and the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body.
  • The left hemisphere is sequential, and the right hemisphere is simultaneous.
    • The left hemisphere is good at recognizing serial events such as talking, understanding the speech of other people, reading and writing. The right hemisphere interprets things simultaneously.
    • The right hemisphere is the picture, the left hemisphere is the thousand words.
  • The left hemisphere specializes in text, and the right hemisphere specializes in context.
    • The left hemisphere understands verbal communication, the right understands non-verbal communication. 
    • The left understands what is said, the right understands how it’s said.
  • The left hemisphere analyzes the details, and the right hemisphere synthesizes the big picture.
    • The left participates in the analysis of information, the right is specialized for synthesis – putting isolated elements together to perceive things as a whole.
    • The left hemisphere knows how to handle logic, and the right knows about the world.
 The author goes on to describe what is known as L-Directed thinking and R-Directed thinking. L-Directed thinking is a form of thinking characteristic of the left hemisphere. This type if thinking is sequential, literal, functional, textual, and analytic. R-Directed thinking is a form of thinking directed by the right hemisphere – simultaneous, metaphorical, aesthetic, contextual and synthetic.

It is the author’s view that L-Directed thinking was prevalent in the Information Age, but it is the R-Directed thinker in this Conceptual Age that is, and will continue, to surpass the L-Directed thinker for the dominant highly-prized jobs of current and future.

Jobs, such as programmers, used to be highly prized positions – paying handsomely for the talents of the individual possessing those skills. Now those types of positions have been overtaken by the computers and software themselves that these individuals have created. These L-Directed jobs have also been out-sourced all over the world, employing individuals from other countries to do the same work for far less money.

It is the “Idea Guy/Gal” that holds the purse strings of the current world. The R-Directed thinker who can take seemingly unrelated thoughts, patterns and ideas and put them together to make whole new products, services, plans and approaches. Ingenuity. Entrepreneurship. Creativity. Artistry. These individuals are the ones who are, and will be, in demand by companies and employers.

Leadership roles have also changed. Leaders who inspire through laughter, empathy, kindness, and example. Those that take an active, on-going interest in their employees, thus creating a more “family-feel” to the workplace are those who are more in demand. Thank heavens! Perhaps we are getting beyond the “Divide and Conquer” approach to management. We continue to see that approach epically fail time, and time again.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Tammy's Book Cover

I chose the image of the neon lights around the brain because the Internet, and technology in general, is bringing a new light to human existence.

I did a little editing on the original image from Flikr to complete my cover.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Whole New Mind

I chose this image with the idea that we haven't yet read the book, but am anticipating what the book will be about with the title "A Whole New Mind". This picture shows a cast iron sculpture of a person's head and the brain is glowing as if it is creating, receiving, and processing new information. It's as though the mind never dies and is this wonderful, mystifying part of the human body.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Conni's Book Cover

I selected the picture of a baby's mind. I thought this would be appropriate as I read the title - A Whole New Mind Why Right-Brainers will Rule the Future. Thinking about new minds and future reminded me of children & babies.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Laura's book cover

I chose the caveman because it shows an OLD mind as opposed to a Whole New Mind. This must be how fast brains are changing as we adapt to new technology and new expectations. I never thought I had the caveman mind until I enrolled in this course! very humbling.

Welcome to Literature Circle Four!

Your Super Summarizer schedule is as follows:

Section One--Due October 28, Tamara Jacobi
Section Two--Due November 4, Peggy Roberts-Titze
Section Three--Due November 11, Conni Virtue
Section Four--Due November 18, Jamie Hockenbary
Section Five--Due December 2, Deb Schnell
Section Six--Due December 9, Laura Williams