One Is an Accident, Two Is a Trend…

Just in case you thought it was just us…

Two of the most respected minds in the corporate and higher education realms Thursday addressed Harper’s board of trustees and educational foundation on how to go about improving the skills of America’s workers.

Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown, whose company’s world headquarters sit about a mile east of the Palatine campus, joined Walter Bumphus, president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges, for a panel discussion and what amounted to a brainstorming session.

“I’m a believer that the way we solve problems is local and neighbor up, not federal and macro down,” Brown said. “At the end of the day, we need to lock arms locally.”

The most effective way to do that, the pair agreed, is to create partnerships between employers and community colleges.

The rest is HERE.

Intellectual Development and Jobs

PEARL has an interesting piece about a perceived push to turn community colleges into job training centers; if you haven’t seen it, you should check it out.

It made me think, admittedly tangentially, of this essay from Inside Higher Ed, which positions the job question as one that is best answered by a, “Yes, but…” rather than a “This not that” kind of response.

As here:

Without the college classroom there is little refuge for these discussions. I can understand that many of my students are focused on jobs, and of course universities should teach the skills necessary for obtaining them, but I ask my students to also try to remain open to those learning clichés of a diverse core curriculum: to broaden one’s mind, to question and to grow intellectually. To find what the heck one enjoys doing, and then doing it well. Those skills, along with the skills attained in their major, will prepare students for beyond a job, for the myriad things that they will encounter in their future.

Read the rest HERE.

I Want To See This Contest on YouTube

Every semester, I have a couple students who say, “Oh, I’m terrible at memorizing things.” The next time it happens, I’m going to require the whole class to read this article.

You will never think about memorization in the same way again, and it just might help you learn those student names a little faster.

I asked Ed Cooke, a competitor from England — he was 24 at the time and was attending the U.S. event to train for that summer’s World Memory Championships — when he first realized he was a savant.

“Oh, I’m not a savant,” he said, chuckling.

“Photographic memory?” I asked.

He chuckled again. “Photographic memory is a detestable myth. Doesn’t exist. In fact, my memory is quite average. All of us here have average memories.”

That seemed hard to square with the fact that he knew huge chunks of “Paradise Lost” by heart. Earlier I watched him recite a list of 252 random digits as effortlessly as if it were his telephone number.

“What you have to understand is that even average memories are remarkably powerful if used properly,” Cooke said. He explained to me that mnemonic competitors saw themselves as “participants in an amateur research program” whose aim is to rescue a long-lost tradition of memory training.

Read the whole thing here.


Some People Think It’s a Good Idea “to Post Information All Over the Internet”

I missed the first part of yesterday’s meeting, so I’m not sure if Phil mentioned this at our Union meeting or not. (I’d also be interested in knowing if people at the other campuses heard about this from their Chapter Chairs.)

CCCTU will be holding its annual fall 2010 Conference on Saturday, October 23 at 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m., at the Illinois Federation of Teachers, Westmont facility. The Conference will be divided into three parts based on this summer’s planning retreat.

Grievance Procedure

1. Redesigning and updating of our current Grievance procedure. We will be discussing ways to make the process more efficient and effective.

This section will be of particular interest to Grievance Chairs & Chapter Chairs.

Contract Negotiation & Maintenance

2. Putting together a handbook and timeline for contract negotiations. Finding the right mix for your negotiation’s team. Building an archive of model contracts. Putting together an effective survey of your members.

CCCTU Future Planning & Training

3. Planning new ways to train our membership. Assessing training needs for Local 1600. Designing training program to take “on the road.” Train the trainers; developing training programs for Locals.

As you can see at the bottom of the letter, Chapter Chairs were asked to submit the names of members interested in attending to Jenn Visk. I don’t know who she is or how to contact her, but I’m sure that Phil will forward your name if you are interested. Or you can write (or call) Perry Buckley, I’m sure, to get on the list.

I’m particularly interested in #2, but I won’t be able to attend–I have plans with my nephew, who is flying in from Pittsburgh, that day. I do hope that somebody goes, especially anyone who is thinking about running for a leadership position in March. It seems like a good opportunity to see what it’s all about and meet some other leaders from other places and see how they do things.

Tell them you read it on the Lounge…

Smart Classroom Training

From Ewa, by email, in case you missed it and want access to a new-fangled fancy room:

OIT offers one-hour Smart Classroom and Smart Board training on the following dates:
Wednesday August 25th    at 11:00 and 3:30
Thursday    August 26th    at 2:30
Monday       August 30       at 3:30 and 5:00
Tuesday      August 31       at 10:30 and 3:30
Wednesday  September 1  at 12:00
All sessions will take place in room 1046.
Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this schedule.
Thank you
Ewa Bejnarowicz
Asst Dean of OIT
Harold Washington College
office 312-553-3191

National Interest in Building Better Teachers

Apparently this little item from the upcoming New York Times Sunday Magazine has garnered quite a bit of interest, given that it became the “Most Emailed Article” from the Times’ site on Friday afternoon–two days before being “officially” out.

A taste:

But what makes a good teacher? There have been many quests for the one essential trait, and they have all come up empty-handed. Among the factors that do not predict whether a teacher will succeed: a graduate-school degree, a high score on the SAT, an extroverted personality, politeness, confidence, warmth, enthusiasm and having passed the teacher-certification exam on the first try. When Bill Gates announced recently that his foundation was investing millions in a project to improve teaching quality in the United States, he added a rueful caveat. “Unfortunately, it seems the field doesn’t have a clear view of what characterizes good teaching,” Gates said. “I’m personally very curious.”

When Doug Lemov conducted his own search for those magical ingredients, he noticed something about most successful teachers that he hadn’t expected to find: what looked like natural-born genius was often deliberate technique in disguise. “Stand still when you’re giving directions,” a teacher at a Boston school told him. In other words, don’t do two things at once. Lemov tried it, and suddenly, he had to ask students to take out their homework only once.

It was the tiniest decision, but what was teaching if not a series of bite-size moves just like that?

It’s long, but it has quite a bit of Chicago in it, too..

Check it out…

Or, better, print it out and take it to a park to read it while soaking in Vitamin D…