Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

The Professorial Life

Question: Beyond a simple title, how would you describe what you do?

Harris-Lacewell: When people ask I say, “Well I teach at a little school in New Jersey.” (Chuckles)  So what I do for a living is that . . .  You know in other words the thing that if I did only that I’d still get a check from Princeton University is, you know, I teach their students, right?  So I spend time in the classroom prepping and preparing ideas, spiting them back out, and assessing students on the quality of the ability to tell me what they’ve learned.  At the most basic level I’m a teacher.  I really am a teacher.  And if I did nothing else but that for the rest of my life, apparently because of tenure I’d keep getting a check.  So just for a living I do that, but that’s my . . . that’s my . . . that’s my vocation.  That’s the thing that I have to do.  The joy, or the pleasure, or all of the other things (11:50) that I do come from the fact that I have that particular stability in my job.  So I’m able to say at my most fundamental level I’m a teacher.  I’m a classroom teacher.  But on a much broader level I’m a much bigger kind of teacher.  So in other words I see my research, my scholarship, and my public intellectual engagement as all being about teaching, but the best kind of teaching; teaching that is not just about regurgitation of ideas, but teaching which is about engagement in dialogues and discussions with a whole population of people who are my students, and who are also teaching me back.  So when I write a book, the amazing thing about books is that they go out there into the world without you.  I don’t get to stand there with it and explain, “Well what I mean on page 10 was . . .”  It goes out there and it does all kind of teaching for me.  It says things that maybe I mean it to say, and some things that I didn’t mean it to say, and that are unexpected what people find in it.  But it’s a tool and a method for me to be engaged in conversation with folks beyond sort of who I’m able to stand in front of a classroom with.  And then I spend a lot of time on the Internet talking to journalists; spending time, you know, on television.  And when I’m doing that, again I’m engaged in teaching – oftentimes teaching the journalists, because there’s a great deal of teaching of the journalists that goes on.  You may get one quote or one line in the New York Times, but you spent an hour with a reporter kind of helping them think through the central issues.  Or when I get, again, an opportunity, for example, to blog, or to appear on television, I always try to see that as an opportunity for teaching and engagement; to bring some of what we know from the academy out into the public view.

"I teach at a little school in New Jersey."

Live on Tuesday | Personal finance in the COVID-19 era

Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.

Bubonic plague case reported in China

Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.

(Photo by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Getty Images)
Coronavirus
  • The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
  • Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
  • Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Keep reading Show less

Education vs. learning: How semantics can trigger a mind shift

The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.

Future of Learning
  • The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
  • Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
  • Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Keep reading Show less

How DNA revealed the woolly mammoth's fate – and what it teaches us today

Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Surprising Science

Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.

Keep reading Show less

Why is everyone so selfish? Science explains

The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.

Credit: Adobe Stock, Olivier Le Moal.
Personal Growth
  • Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
  • New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
  • Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast