This book has been like Batman for me. In the movie The Dark Knight the Joker tells Batman, "You've changed things. Forever." I know this seems like a bit of melodrama, but it really isn't when it comes to Daniel Pink's book, "A Whole New Mind." This book is in two parts to we'll examine them seperately.
The first part is very scientifically defined. Daniel has his brain scanned and then discusses the results of the scan and how various partf of the brain work. We then look at some of the results of the United State's history and the ending of our age of Industry. Daniel brings in some psychological research to examine various aspects of our need for meaning.
The second part of the book is the truly awesome part. Daniel breaks down the "new mind" into six categories: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, Meaning. Each of these catagories has its own endeavors, but they are all interconnected. Therein lies the beauty of his book. It clearly demonstrated how if we focus on any one of these traits we will inadvertantly touch all six.
As I said, this book has been a game changer. I've always liked the idea of Story and Play within my classroom. I want to focus more on them. If students are having fun, then they will work hard, and not even realize how hard they are working. We have read in previous books how online gaming is changing how students think and interact. They will stay up all night in order to figure out how to complete a level, putting in hours of work, because it is fun.
As educators we need to harnass the fun of learning, and make our lessons meaningful. This will unlock the other traits Pink disucsses.
In my previous post on the book, I was consistently reminded of a book, "Drumming on the Edge of Magic" while reading Pink. "In the begining, there was noise. Noise begat rythm, and rythm begat everything else. We are descendents of the Big Bang, the original downbeat. We are multi-dimensional rythmis machines, vibrations in the collectice cucles and patterns of the universe. The first sound in the universe was pure noise: the big bang. Its reverberations, still ongoing, are the source of cosmic rythm- a dance of particles and atoms spinning out galaxies, stars, and planetary systems-finding its own groove, gradually bringing out order. That order is harmony, incredibly involved and interdependent, like a heavenly clockwork. We've always looked up to the sky and wondered what lies beyond." This is how Drumming on the Edge of Magic begins. It echos Pink's call for meaning in our lives. While Magic sticks with music as meaning, Pink allows us to explore more avenues for meaning.
Hart, Mickey, Jay Stevens, and Fredric Lieberman. Drumming at the Edge of Magic: A Journey into the Spirit of Percussion. San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1990. Print.