Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
It looks like you're new. Click here to learn more.

Tagged education

How to have better conversations by asking better questions

starwars

I whole heartily agree with Confucius when he said, “The man who asks a question is a fool for a minute; the man who does not ask is a fool for life.”

Because of this, I’m always asking new questions of everyone I encounter in an effort to learn from them. Long-time family and friends. Acquaintances. Complete strangers. Everybody!

When it comes to getting better answers (i.e. more lively conversations), there are few better ice-breaker questions than these:

  1. What do you like to do? (more fun than the default and boring “What do you do for work?”)
  2. What is it like to live there? (asked as as a follow up to “Where are you from?”)
  3. What are your favorite websites, hobbies, and topics? What cheers you up?

To adopt for people you now, just add “now” to the above and voila! Instant learning. When you feel ready, you can really dig deep with, “What are your guiding beliefs?”

Hat tip, Ahmed Arshad

Getting smarter: The myth of STEM shortages and world education rankings

wikimedia commons

wikimedia commons

To improve the future of education, America must focus on science, technology, engineering, and math fields (aka STEM). We must also meet, if not exceed, international test scores.

Or should we?

Said focus has increasingly been criticized in recent years—ironically due to a lack of scientific evidence. After researching “hundreds” of reports from the past six decades, for instance, Robert Charette of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers said the so-called STEM shortage “is a myth.”

Continue reading…

Comments Off on Getting smarter: The myth of STEM shortages and world education rankings (0)

Things dance class taught me: Gender roles, body talking, and the Cypress Hill two-step

Snow Family

Snow Family

My wife—hi, hot stuff!—bought me ballroom dance lessons for Christmas. Even though I can cut rug freestyle, I was really excited about taking formal instruction. After finishing the eight week course last week, I am pleased to report it did not disappoint.

I fully expected to learn some new moves, but I didn’t expect the class to broaden my worldview and deepen my appreciation for music. But it did. Here’s what ballroom dance lessons taught me:  Continue reading…

Click this: Links of recent interest

linkscolor

Dungeons & Dragons

Click: A few of my favorite links this month

link

In an effort to reduce the spam I email to friends and family, take this:

How Children Succeed: 5 things to know

urlBuild character, not intelligence. That’s the gist of what parents, educators, and society should do to help children succeed, argues Paul Tough in his new book.

Many of Tough’s “findings” are obvious, mind you. More scientific validation of common sense than childrearing enlightenment, at least for balanced parents.

Nevertheless, Tough succeeds in synthesizing some important focal points for raising upstanding kids. Here they are, with my added commentary:

  1. Let children fail. It’s tempting to want to force a child to learn from yours and other’s mistakes. Life doesn’t work that way. You should certainly own up to your mistakes while showing them others’ and hope the child listens. But you must respect a child’s right to fail. It’s the only way they’ll feel the full experience of life. Let them own their failures as much as society lets them own (if not coddles) their victories. And let them know that failure is not who they are, it’s just something they do en route to winning.  Continue reading…

Isn’t it exhilarating the first time you realize your kids know more than you do?

I know because it happened to me this week.

I was in the living room. My five year old was sitting beside her mother on the sofa. All of the sudden, I hear the former speaking in this foreign language. Not an idiom. Music notation! She was reading aloud music! Passing off her piano homework to her mother!

“My kid knows how to read music!!” I thought to myself. “Even I don’t know how to do that!!” (Yes, there were exclamation points after all of these sentences.)

I can only imagine what other things she’ll learn as she grows older — things I never did.

You have no idea how proud this makes me as a father. It makes me want to sing “We are the world” or something. What an awesome feeling.

MLIA