Friday, August 24, 2012

Comment on Chris Lehmann's Blog


Here is a comment I posted on Chris Lehmann's inspiring blog post Genius vs Expertise.
I am trying to respond to Chris when he says,

"It can take some really smart people — maybe even geniuses — to innovate. Let’s be sure of that. But the true gift lies not in coming up with the idea, but in developing ways for others to own it. We aren’t going to get four million geniuses to teach in our schools. (I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t want them anyway, the teachers’ lounge would become even more insufferable.) We also have to understand that expertise can become a prison of its own creation if it locks out new ideas and creates a hierarchy of “expert” that causes resentment, stagnation of ideas and entropy. And in the end, what both genius and expertise need is a healthy dose of humility because we should never fall in love with our own ideas, no matter how we came to them."

My comment:

 I think I can see where you synthesis comes from. I would add that geniuses -moments of genius some of us could have- may just as well cause resentment among experts. Experts at their job as a result of having made a sustained effort over a number of years tend to feel slightly threatened by sparks of genius. Yes, I agree we should not fall in love with our ideas. Neither should we fall in love with our sustained effort. So humility does it both ways.

 On a side note, I can’t help enjoying the fact this post is written between two conversations with your f2f friend. I assume, perhaps I’m wrong, that your friend does not read your blog.

 When you friend says “The coming change in this country...”, the deictic “this” points to my own reality in Argentina as I read it. Perhaps we are not that far. East/West could be translated to Capital city and the provinces. I think we need to understand the coming change is unloading our speech from trying to decide which way is best for us, seen from where we come from, and making sure we provide students with a context to decide what is best for themselves, freed from our own dualities because we have solved them before taking action in front of them. If they can come up with dualities of their own making in the future, there’s an interesting change to look forward to.

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