Current Top Picks – N° 6
In my Top Picks post N° 4 I had already praised my newest discovery, The Harvard Gazette. In this interview with Harvard Professor of education Jal Mehta, he elaborates on his research findings around the topic of "deep learning" in the context of American high schools. In order to conduct a study on the quality of deep learning among U.S. high schools, he and his colleague interviewed and studied 30 innovative public high schools across the country. The results are staggering, as Mehta describes, but to some extent quite intuitive looking at the history of the American secondary education system.
Mehta defines the term “deep learning” in simplified terms as the “understanding of not just the surface features of a subject or discipline, but the underlying structures or ideas”. He goes on to give practical examples of how this deep learning can be found and developed in classrooms. In my view, the article touches on a subject of upmost importance, since in all the discussions around higher (tertiary) education systems and institutions both in the U.S. and Europe, the basis for this – that is, excellent and well-rounded primary and secondary education – has been partly neglected in the public debate. Improving learning experiences for young students as well as sufficiently developing and fostering the skills that will be needed in the next decades in order for them to thrive in our digital society should always remain on the top of the agenda for government institutions in charge of the school education system, for parents and in public debates of all sorts.
Harvard Business Review; September–October ’19 Issue / from the Spotlight Series Power Couples: “How Dual-Career Couples Make it Work” (by Jennifer Petriglieri)
The author of this piece in the upcoming HBR issue, Jennifer Petriglieri, is Assistant Professor at one of the world’s leading business schools, the INSEAD located in France. She shares insights from her research on so-called “power couples” where both partners pursue demanding and commitment-intensive careers which usually entail managerial positions early on that require above-average personal sacrifices– in terms of limited time spent outside of work, high travel activities or necessary relocation for projects. This naturally poses a challenge for relationships and family life even if only one partner is highly career-oriented. Needless to say that with both of the couple pursuing these kinds of trajectories, according to Petriglieri prominent issues not only intensify – moreover, this dynamic invites a whole new set of challenges, restrictions, decisions, but also more opportunities for personal and interrelational growth, for satisfaction both in their profession and personal lives as well as potential career or lifestyle re-adjustments.
By illustrating her findings with various stories from the couples she studied intensely, Petriglieri gives great and striking insight into what the challenges and natural evolutions of these paths specifically entail, and more importantly, shares her recommendations on how to navigate the different stages and developments, both as individuals and as a couple or family.
In an era where more and more women are gaining access to higher education and seek fulfilling careers beyond mere financial independence, and the increasingly widespread model of dual-career relationships resulting from it, this topic is more relevant today than ever. Tackling it from a scientific angle and opening this narrative up for various mediums is a great way to raise awareness of the challenges these families face and could help many couples of the next generations lead content and committed lives, and possibly encourage more people to strive professionally without fear of neglecting or harming their personal lives.
The New York Times; 8/25/19: "Sunday Reading: The Power of Investigative Journalism" (by Erin Overbey)
This is a compilation of important stories that emerged from high-quality investigative journalism. As journalists have been under increasing scrutiny in recent years, even in Western democracies that praise the basic human right of free speech and freedom of press by constitution, this serves as an important reminder of the work, risks and sacrifices these professionals take on in the name of truth-seeking and the ethics of journalism.