Welcome to Heads Up, a blogging experiment that aims to:
- connect the people, parts, and principles of Durham Academy;
- share ideas about learning and human development;
- spotlight a few of the many wondrous things I get to see every day at Durham Academy.
Thanks for reading the posts below — and sending news, links and ideas worth sharing.
Michael Ulku-Steiner, Head of School
How to succeed in business? Follow Socrates' advice
Aneil Mishra (DA parent and NCCU School of Business's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) tweeted an interesting article - one that refers explicitly to MBA programs but may have something to say to us K-12 educators as well.
The article, published by Poets and Quants, describes emergent themes from 90 interviews with executives in North America and Asia. Many execs expressed frustration with the lack of contextual knowledge and collaborative skill they see in recent MBA graduates. A few examples:
“I’m amazed at the lack of sophistication that so many MBAs show about globalization and dealing in an increasingly global economy…They have no concept about the changes that are underway with a billion people here or there consuming and investing in ways that they didn’t in the past. They may understand the numbers, but they sure don’t have an anthropological lens on these issues.”
“Business is more of a group or team endeavor than an individual one. I know that some schools are trying to do something about teaching MBAs how to work in teams, but I don’t think they are really doing it, or at least they’re not doing it very well. I just don’t find very much about team building or team participation in the general management theory. I figure that academically inclined professors aren’t teaching it.”
“Students look at data and don’t ask, ‘What’s it telling me; what does it really mean?’ They know the mechanics but not what it really means, or the context.”
The surveyed executives value these skills the most:
Cross-Cultural Competency (57%)
Team Skills (49%)
Critical Thinking (48%)
Comfort with Ambiguity and Uncertainty (41%)
In and out of our academic program (from our Responsive Classroom rituals in the Lower School to the advisory programs in the Middle School to the Magnificent Seven in the Upper School) we work hard to nurture these traits and skills at DA. Do we succeed? Only time - and the paths of our graduates - will tell.
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