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Posts Tagged ‘leading

Do leading questions (like the one below) already provide answers?

Leading question.

If so, what is the purpose of such questions? Why not make strong statements instead?

Why ask questions when you do not need to? Why not ask better questions?

Some journalists ask leading questions, but does that mean that you have to? Since you have more bandwidth and seek to generate discussion, why not stop asking leading questions?

Over the last three days of the June school vacation, my son returned to school for a leadership camp. A vendor conducted the event and gave it a theme: “Eagles leading the way”.

Surely that sounds good and I should have nothing to complain about. If you think that, you do not know me very well.

Eagle species tend to be solitary creatures. You are unlikely to see one eagle leading other eagles in some flight formation. You definitely will not see eagles leading other birds. The only time and place you might see eagles leading might be in a cartoon.

I kid you not; I am taking this seriously. As an analogy, the theme was not just inappropriate, it was inaccurate and irresponsible.

Gimme a V by hjhipster, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  hjhipster 

A more accurate bird example might be geese. But a theme like “Taking turns to lead the way like geese” is not catchy or glamorous.

Nonetheless, that is what all the kids attending the camp were learning to do: To become better leaders by taking turns to lead depending on what they were good at and what their responsibilities were. This was a collaborative form of leadership.

The vendor could have come up with a better theme or analogy. It had the responsibility to do so.

My beef is not just the poorly selected theme. It is the frivolity with which people who think they are educators or para-educators approach their work. They might not realize that if we want want holistically-developed children, we need teachers who teach holistically first.

The eagle analogy reeked of lazy thinking. I would describe that sort of modelling or teaching as hole-istic. It is incomplete and easy to see through.

I am not saying teachers should be perfect in every way. But they must realize that they teach more than content. They also model values and thinking. If they are not sure about a some piece of information, a value, or a way of thinking, they should not fake it. Such weaknesses are more easily caught by their learners than they are taught.

It is Friday. Time for something light.

The semester I declare war on giving talks is the semester I am invited to give the most number of talks.

In addition to two conference presentations, a couple of consulting gigs, a handful of professional development and pro bono sessions, I have also volunteered to share Leading by Listening and Learning over Lunch.

Here is the title slide.

I follow iWise on Twitter because I like quotable quotes. Here is a tweet from yesterday:

I respond to the light because I do not like jumping in the heat. Unfortunately, responding to the light often means generating a fair bit of heat for others in my wake.

The best way to respond to the light and not feel the heat is to learn constantly. The process might feel like you are trying to develop attention deficit disorder, but important themes do emerge if you stop and reflect on some of that light.


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