Monday, October 17, 2011

A "big picture" book worth re-reading

Almost 2 years ago I posted about how much I liked the book Five Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner. That post enunciated how his "5 Minds" relate to development of a research career. I also later mentioned how the book is helpful for thinking through what the goal of a physics undergraduate education might be. I am now reading the book with my son to help him think through how do get the most of his undergraduate education which he starts next year. It is one of those books that I find that each reading is like the first one because each reading produces new insights and understanding.

If when teaching you struggle with filling out a "Course profile" which requests information about "Learning goals" and "Graduate attributes" you may also find the book helpful. These can be an exercise in "mumbo jumbo". I used to think they were a complete  waste of time. But, if done thoughtfully and in a concrete manner I believe that they can be helpful to both students and teacher. The book helped me see the value of these exercises and how to do them in a more effective manner.

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