Home > Uncategorized > A New Approach to the 2-Day Seminar?

A New Approach to the 2-Day Seminar?

The other day, I watched Daniel Pink’s TED talk from 2009.  It’s about motivation, the limits of the “carrot and stick” model, and why, especially in business, it should be replaced by intrinsic motivators.  He identifies autonomy, mastery, and purpose as the key elements in intrinsic motivation, and his example about Atlasian, an Australian software company, intrigued me.  (It occurs about 13.5 min into the talk).  This company apparently developed the idea of “Fedex” days, in which regular work is put aside to give employees 24 hours to work on anything they want.  It sounds as if the whole company does it at once in a kind of giddy rush.  The key to the name is that they all have to present something to each other at the end of this 24 hour period.  In other words, you have to deliver something overnight — Fedex.

I think it would be fun to try this in education. I don’t know if we could do it for 400 students at once, but maybe we could do it with twenty–and give some teachers a chance, too. I’d love to see a self-motivated, curious group of intellectual risk-takers try something new and cool in the school setting. We could invite parents, friends, advisors–anybody–to a sharing session/celebration afterwards.

We have, in my school, a longstanding tradition of a “seminar” once each semester. A teacher organizes two days of field trip, guest speakers, etc around a “hot” topic not in the regular curriculum, and students can apply to participate. I wonder if some version of “Fedex Days” could update this concept.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Bobbie
    October 4, 2010 at 10:46 am

    OK, I absolutely love this idea. Let’s try to make time to talk more about the logistics that would allow the slow-to-warm-up folks an opportunity to chew on the idea. There is GREAT concern about the “improvement” of the calendar, so this is an idea that we need to get into the ideas to consider pile. I am reminded of another TED talk by Chip Conley who asked his top management people to compliment focus on the positive and look for the good work that is done in a division other than the one they administer.

    How might this be connected to identifying excellent ideas/interests that could be shared re International Day or the more exciting global learning concept? I will continue to think on this and get back to you. Bobbie

  2. Bill
    October 5, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    A great idea. You have the school environment and opportunity with the two day seminar next semester. I know you could pull this off. Pick my brain from afar if you wish. Education must be real with real world application. DA provides an excellent learning environment to try something a little different. Plan with the enthusiastic and don’t worry about status-quo folks. Results will speak for themselves. Go for it. Bill

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