The art of possibility


Here is a reminder for why we teach….. just in case you need to re-visit it for the new year!

Benjamin Zander is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and on the faculty of the New England Conservatory. “Zander is a prophet of human potential…Watch as he helps unlock the boundless potential of a 15 year old cellist and teaches the entire…audience what it means to live in a world of possibility” (Source: Pop! Tech).

This is quite long…. but I promise you it is worth watching……

I picked up some things about the presentation which challenged me. I would love to hear from others who might have found some challenges too! Some of the things I liked were that:

  • His message is clear and powerful.
  • His ‘downward spiral’ analogy
  • “Michelangelo…said in each piece of marble there is a beautiful statue. All you need is a hammer and a chisel just to get rid of the stone that is in the way of that beautiful statue. That is a theory of education! It’s not the one we use. The one we use is where the teacher is up here and the student is down there and they are trying to get up there………”
  • That people are hindered in their learning by the feeling that they are competing with others.
  • I like his suggestion about how we should react to mistakes.
  • His statement: negative comments are not statements of circumstances but rather a reflection of one’s attitude.
  • I like the notion of learning contracts, or personal learning plans (as a means of students taking responsibility for their learning, setting their own goals and producing their own evidence of competence).
  • The idea of transformation onto one buttock (you need to watch it to understand that one!).
  • Next time I make a mistake I am going to exclaim ‘how fascinating!’, with my hands in the air
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Filed under Other, Teaching and learning tips

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