Cram-sorption Learning & Intelligence Testing - What's the Connection?

Cram-sorption Learning & Intelligence Testing - What's the Connection?
By J.T. O'Donnell

I just read a short, funny post by Dan Reich, a blogger for in which he explains why he plans to start the University of Nothing. In college, Reich says he was forced to use ‘cram-sorption learning.’ This is a study technique that required him to memorize information just to pass a test and get a good grade, but that also made him promptly forget what he learned. At his new university, he’s planning on implementing ‘discovery learning’ - where students are given an objective without instructions, and then encouraged to use any and all resources to achieve the objective. Reich believes the process of discovery will help students internalize and commit to memory what is learned while trying to meet the objective (a.k.a. learning by doing).

It was ironic to read this post because I’d just finished reading Sir Ken Robinson’s new book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. In it, Robinson also outlines problems affecting our education system today. In particular, he discusses the varying forms of intelligence and how our schools don’t cater to the development of all types of intelligence. He also explains the history of intelligence testing and how it is flawed. To support his claims, Robinson gives incredible stories of professional success about famous people who, as children, were labeled anything but intelligent. He shows how their ability to ignore society’s definitions of ‘smart’ and its repeated efforts to assert limitations on them actually pushed these individuals to prove society wrong and find professional success on their own terms. Robinson goes on to discuss the importance of recognizing not ‘if’ you are intelligent, but ‘how’ you are intelligent in order to identify career paths that will leverage your strengths and increase your professional satisfaction. (If you are interested, here's a video of a speech he did on the subject.)

As I contemplated what these two men had written, I saw an interesting connection between them…as well as an important lesson for job seekers.

As the New Year approaches, thousands, no actually, millions of Americans will claim a ‘new career in the new year’ as their 2009 resolution. Over 2M college grads alone will enter the job market with this goal in 2009, right as the unemployment rate is expected to reach 9% and the number of jobs for entry-level grads is expected to drop over 8%. Not to mention, the average job seeker is under-educated when it comes to knowing how to look for work effectively. Talk about rough odds! In short, many of these resolutions won’t come true. However, I put my money on those who understand the simple truth to getting on track professionally: a discovery learning approach to finding a career that leverages a person’s own unique intelligence is the best way to find what they’re looking for. When put together, Reich’s and Robinson’s thoughts on learning and intelligence unlock the secret to finding professional success.

And now that you know the connection, the questions remains - “How can I apply this to my job search efforts?” Well, here's the answer...

For years now, I’ve taught those who are looking for greater career satisfaction how to leverage the following equation: Experience = Learn = Grow

It’s a fact - those who approach job search and career development as a growth process consistently see better results. If you would like to learn how to implement this into your career strategy, join me at CAREEREALISM TV for a live broadcast on Sunday, January 4th, from 12-1pm EST. I will be outlining the best approach for advancing your career in today’s economy. Sign-up by e-mail on this page (we won’t spam you, it’s just so we can send you the information for watching and participating in the program on the internet) and you’ll get instructions for attending and a reminder notice the day before the event.


So, if you want to make your resolution a reality, then mark your calendar and come ready to take action. I’ll see you there!

Man on laptop enjoys summer while working full time

There you are: sitting on the beach, covered in sunscreen, reading your favorite book, drinking your favorite drink under the cool shade of an umbrella. Life doesn't get any better than this. Suddenly, a door slams, a phone rings, a printer turns on. You jolt back into consciousness. You're at work, sitting in your cubicle, without even a hint of sunshine streaming in from outside.

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