Learnt a lot this evening with Dr. Lakin
First time in Birmingham, AL. The evening was spent with Dr. Lakin from Univ. of Alabama mostly discussing how our brains learn and business models around how to help teachers. One of the more absorbing discussions was around “fluid” learning versus “crystallized” learning. I, personally, leaned more towards emphasizing fluid learning versus crystalized. Only because most domains in the world are changing fast enough that value of experience is waning (in my view).
Dr. Lakin’s counter example was “Who would you rather do surgery on your child – an experienced doctor who is done it a thousand times in the last 15 years or a younger doctor who has done it 10 times in the last year?” That question becomes more complicated when you add in another variable though. What if you are told that technology and the science (that is taught in medical schools) has undergone quite some advances in the last five years? Then, who would you rather do the surgery?
But of all the things I learnt, the one that blew my mind was the following. I am not sure how our discussions went to this but we were talking of demographic distributions. The question that I completely got wrong was “What percentage of the population in Alabama is black? How about Mississippi? Louisiana? Georgia? Birmingham? Atlanta?”. I was completely off on all of them! The stat on Birmingham blew my mind away! Guess those numbers and then Google them up. How close were you?
Experience is more important not when things go right but when they go wrong. And it is often not how to do but what to do. Taking it away from medical to technical; I might not know how the latest applications are programmed but I can usually see why something is going wrong quickly. It is an interesting discussion between teaching subjects vs teaching thinking.
And as to the guesses on population I was pretty accurate mainly because I grew up in Louisiana
You are good, Robert!! I was totally off..