THE STUDENTS are the most important reason for the School of Thinking. The SOT Experience is their training and certification and that’s the quintessential benefit of being an SOT student. Every day the school receives comments and detailed feedback from thousands of SOT students around the world in many different locations, enterprises, cultures and mindsets.
On campus SOT offers three levels of student training and three levels of SOT certification:
FACULTYÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â DFQs
COMMENTSÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â STUDENTS
Since 1995, a unique innovation of the online School of Thinking is that the students–as individuals and as a campus body–are also part of the faculty.
In response to the SOT daily feedback questions (DFQs) students around the world voluntarily contribute many thousands of comments on the SOT lessons and articles. Many insights, edits, suggestions, corrections and improvements result from this ongoing interactive and daily collaborative effort.
SOT students range widely from farmers, truck-drivers and retirees to young school students, teachers, parents, scholars and Nobel scientists to knowledge-workers in media, business, sport, politics and the arts, and from more than 50 countries worldwide.
As a result of all this collaborative work over the past 18 years, the SOT instruction model has evolved to become a very robust and effective training method for transferring metacognitive skills online, and at a distance.
Later, in 2001, Wikipedia launched a similar model of an online encyclopedia where the readers also become the writers. This is also an example of a voluntary and collaborative online model which has proven to be very effective.
Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously.
Cognitive dissonance theory is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.
Dissonance normally occurs when a person perceives a logical inconsistency among his or her cognitions. This happens when one idea implies the opposite of another.
The Funny Feeling Inside Your Head …
Wikipedia: Cognitive dissonance is a psychological state that describes the uncomfortable feeling between what one holds to be true and what one knows to be true. Cognitive dissonance theory is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.
Similar to ambivalence, the term cognitive dissonance describes conflicting thoughts or beliefs (cognitions) that occur:
– at the same time, or
– when engaged in behaviors that conflict with one’s beliefs.
In academic literature, the term refers to attempts to reduce the discomfort of conflicting thoughts, by performing actions that are opposite to one’s beliefs.
Smokers tend to experience cognitive dissonance because it is widely accepted that cigarettes cause lung cancer, yet virtually everyone wants to live a long and healthy life. In terms of the theory, the desire to live a long life is dissonant with the activity of doing something that will most likely shorten one’s life.
The tension produced by these contradictory ideas can be reduced by quitting smoking, denying the evidence of lung cancer, or justifying one’s smoking. For example, a smoker could rationalize his or her behavior by concluding that everyone dies and so cigarettes do not actually change anything. Or a person could believe that smoking keeps one from gaining weight, which would also be unhealthy.
In his recent New York Review of Books essay, legendary neurologist Oliver Sacks tackles precisely that, exposing the remarkable mechanisms by which we fabricate our memories, involuntarily blurring the line between the experienced and the assimilated:
It is startling to realize that some of our most cherished memories may never have happened – or may have happened to someone else. I suspect that many of my enthusiasms and impulses, which seem entirely my own, have arisen from others’ suggestions, which have powerfully influenced me, consciously or unconsciously, and then been forgotten.
One phenomenon Sacks argues is particularly common – if not adaptive – in the creative mind is that of autoplagiarism:
Sometimes these forgettings extend to autoplagiarism, where I find myself reproducing entire phrases or sentences as if new, and this may be compounded, sometimes, by a genuine forgetfulness. Looking back through my old notebooks, I find that many of the thoughts sketched in them are forgotten for years, and then revived and reworked as new. I suspect that such forgettings occur for everyone, and they may be especially common in those who write or paint or compose, for creativity may require such forgettings, in order that one’s memories and ideas can be born again and seen in new contexts and perspectives.
Strategic Advisor Retainer
The opportunity exists for a very small number of CEOs to retain an intimate one-to-one strategic advisory relationship with the SOT Principal, Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson.
Jack Welch of GE once described the success of such a relationship by writing: “Michael, you are a friend of our company!”