Force Multiplier #10: Over The Shoulder

Some stuff and some things

I have long believed that the best model for learning is the apprenticeship model. A look over the shoulder as a master of craft performs that craft in real-world conditions. There is value in the classroom environment, but it's limited. I share my gripes with the classroom here:

Part of my gripe with the classroom is my problem, not theirs. I don't fit into the system. I'm an iterator.

What's an iterator? Think of that friend of yours that is such a perfectionist they never actually do anything. If they do try something, they're scarred for life when it ends up being less than perfect. They're afraid to do anything because it won't be perfect.

I am the opposite of that.

I have a tremendous appreciation for what I call "contact with reality". It's the scientific method for real life. The scientific method is not about perfection. It's understanding that there are many possible outcomes, many of which we could not expect. That's why the method exists. Oversimplified, it looks like this:

Step One: Form a hypothesis. A hypothesis is not dogmatic. It's not a statement or expectation of certainties or absolutes. Instead, it's a belief in probabilities and risk. "Given what I know, this is what I think will probably happen"

Step Two: Test it against reality. Do the thing and see what happens.

Step Three: Note the outcome. It will almost never be what you expected, which is great because it leads us to better questions.

Step Four: Form a new hypothesis based on step three.

Rinse and repeat.

The outcome is not perfection. The outcome is an ever-narrowing gap between expectation and reality.

I prefer the scientific method because things are always changing, evolving, and improving. Even if perfection was possible, what is "perfect" would change tomorrow.

While I am not a "master of craft", below is an over-the-shoulder look. There are some iterations, realizations, and adjustments from the last week.

Emergent Properties

I wrote about my "aha" moment about going exponential and the concept of emergent properties as soon as it hit me:

Over the following days, I realized that there are other emergent properties baked into The Guardian Academy. I never made it explicit that they were emergent. Members may still be looking for something that can't be found, it has to be "created out of thin air" through a process.

If the nature of these properties was better understood, members may be more focused on creating them instead of trying to find them. I always realized that it's my responsibility to make them easier to understand. This is part of the process.

So, I made a video explaining the other emergent properties and where they emerge from. It also explains how to use a system to tease them out:

It's not perfect. It never will be. I expect to have to make many more videos, articles, and worksheets. As I said, I'm an iterator.

The Structure (and emerging properties)

Learning and Intelligence

Watching a video of a college university QnA session I was reminded that people often mistake knowing about things for learning things. A few moments later I wrote this:

Watching a video of a University Q&A, I was reminded that people mistake knowing things for learning things. A few moments later I wrote this:

I spent the following 24 hours in a state of introspection...

"How many of our students are making this mistake?"

"Have we really done as much as we can to facilitate learning over "knowing stuff?"

Any time you have to ask yourself that question, the answer is no.

So, I went through The Guardian Academy material with fresh eyes and realized a few things:

  • We had never defined learning

  • We had never defined intelligence

  • There are tools that can be created to help people turn "knowing stuff" into learning. First, they would have to have to understand the Guardian Academy's working definitions.

This morning, the team started creating workbooks and worksheets while I filmed this:Learning and Intelligence

Am I missing something?


I'll come back to this over and over again.

Let me know if you find it helpful. If so, I'm happy to share the thought process behind why Im building, rebuilding, or iterating.


PS. The last thing we added was a workshop structure to help people implement the basics. If you watch the video on emergent properties, you'll understand why. The first one is today, you are welcome to come hang out. Details here:

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