Jack Uldrich
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Unlearning and the MBA

Posted in Business, Business School, Kindergarten, Quotes

"If Indian engineers find out an executive has an MBA, they will say, 'unlearn and observe." I love this quote is from Wim Elfrink, Cisco's chief globalization that appeared in this article. It also brings to mind this outstanding video from David Heinemeier Hansson entitled Unlearn Your MBA. Of course rather than unlearning your MBA,…

Unlearn Your Mind-Set and Adopt a Mind-Flex

Posted in Business, Creativity, Culture, Curiosity, Education, Future, Imagination, Innovation, Kindergarten, Metaphor, New Cards, One minute unlearning, Paradox, Unlearn Strategy

I have read that when we are born our brains contain somewhere near one hundred billion neurons, and it can make a nearly infinite variety of possible connections–or neural pathways. As we grow older, however, we "pave" over many (or "hard-wire" if you will) of these neural pathways because they are so critical to our…

Teaching Kids to Live in a Multiple Answer World

Posted in Assumptions, Children, Creativity, Education, Future, Intelligence, Kindergarten, Parenting, TED

Ken Robinson (the presenter of one of the best TED talks I have ever seen) has, with the help of the fine folks at RSA Animate, produced another short video on the importance of rethinking–or unlearning–how we educate our children. I highly recommend it.  

The Most Important Thing: Questions

Posted in Creativity, Curiosity, Education, Innovation, Kindergarten, Parenting

"[Children don't] stop asking questions because they have lost interest: it's the other way around. They lost interest because they stopped asking questions." This simple and yet profound statement rests at the heart of a very serious problem facing America and, to varying degrees, the rest of the world: Our children are becoming less creative….

Bad Advice on Unlearning?

Posted in Education, Kindergarten, Parenting, Unlearn Strategy

There is a quote on unlearning that reads: "We should teach our children nothing which they shall ever need to unlearn." I think (but I don't know for sure) that I understand the sentiment behind the quote. Still, I fear the idea is badly misplaced. Rather than assuming we can know in advance all the…

First Year Disorientation

Posted in Ambiguity, College, Culture, Education, Innovation, Kindergarten, Unlearn Strategy

The New York Times recently published this article A Campus Where Unlearning is First discussing how the American University in Cairo is trying to encourage students to think for themselves. The university doesn't approach the concept of unlearning as I do in my many unlearning strategies but I love the president's idea of replacing a first-year orientation…

5 Ways to Make the Familiar Strange

Posted in General, Illusion, Innovation, Kindergarten, Paradigm, Theatre, Unlearn Strategy

One method of unlearning is to make the familiar strange. It's not as paradoxical as it may seem. Here are simple five ways to do it: 1. Turn a familiar object upside down. Remember the opposite may also be true. 2. View an object from a different perspective. (Look at picture to the right. Now…

A Bold Experiment in Unlearning

Posted in Books, Kindergarten, Parenting, Science

An interesting and fascinating study in the potential value of unlearning our association between money and motivation: A father is going to pay his children to play video games in an attempt to get them to play fewer video games. Will this counter-intuitive approach work? (If you want to understand the father’s logic either watch…

The Wisdom of The Phantom Tollbooth

Posted in Books, Education, Kindergarten, Parenting, Quotes, Stories, Wisdom

 I have just finished reading Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth with my eight-year-old son and have decided that along with Shel Silverstein’s poem “Smart,” it should be required reading for any young person interested in unlearning. Below are a few of my favorite passages: At one point Alec hands Milo a special telescope as a…

10 “Whys” About Education

Posted in Education, Kindergarten, Questions

"In all affairs, it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on things you have long taken for granted."   I love the above quote from Bertrand Russel. In its spirit, here then are ten questions for our educational establishment: 1. Why should school begin at the age of 5? 2. Why…


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