Through the Education Lens

"Thwart Institutional Cowardice"

CJ Westerberg, February 4, 2015 8:10 PM


"The greater risk is that we do nothing."
See trailer below of "Beyond Measure"

DSC_0163-1_2.jpgby C.J. Westerberg

Iconic film director Werner Herzog's pithy and powerful line, "Thwart institutional cowardice," in his much-praised recent book, A Guide for the Perplexed, should not be confused with Silicon Valley's sweeping mantra paraphrased as "disruption at any cost".

There is a difference of purpose.  Herzog is talking about doing the right thing to communicate and to make a difference. The Silicon Valley message has often fallen in love with the idea of disruption for the sake of it.

Institutional cowardice in the education realm is equally destructive. It is holding on to something that may not work or serve students best . . . but does serve the "institution" or some lofty ideal.  How many meetings have you attended - as a parent, Board member, teacher, administrator, or in another capacity -that this primary question drives the priority of the meeting or the initiative? 

What serves the student best? You will note that I do not specify students as opposed to student.  It is intended as singular.  

We are proud to support Vicki Abeles' new film, Beyond Measure - see trailer video below.

- C.J. Westerberg

If you are unfamiliar with Vicki Abeles' first controversial film, Race to Nowhere, you may want to check out one of our original stories from The Daily Riff, The Dark Side of Our Achievement Culture, laden with multiple research links, or just check out Abeles' trailer to Race below:
"The greater risk is that we do nothing."
  • This was an interesting concept to me. Can you please explain how to be the best student in the class? Anyone needs essay writing useful topic or service? You may look at

  • hercules handle

    This is really a great stuff for sharing. Thanks for sharing.

  • This is a must read post and it is true as well. Whenever we do nothing, the greater the risk. So everyone should ready to take risks to make anything possible. Students, in case you are stuck between your assignment writings, had better ask advice from an expert or getting it done by an online writing service is recommendable as well since the assignments like thesis, dissertation etc are challenging. Do not think what will happen in future, but think what should you do in present. When you think about the future you will find excuses, but when you do for the present, you will get experience and learn lessons.

blog comments powered by Disqus



Five-Minute Montessori

02.12.2017 | "Seeing the big picture allows students to take ownership of their learning - a critical element in fostering each child's natural learning desire." Watch Now | Comments


Want your child to have initiative and perseverance?

02.11.2017 | Passion-Based Learning in Action Watch Now | Comments


The Opening Challenge for The New Year

01.11.2017 | "It's hard to find a great dress for this inauguration." - President-elect Donald Trump Watch Now | Comments

michael jordan.jpg

Famous Failures who didn't "make the grade"

11.05.2016 | Wow- such failures! 60 second video - Michael Jordan,Thomas Edison & more surprises Watch Now | Comments


Late Bloomers (Guess what? You didn't peak in high school ;)

06.22.2016 | How 2012 Nobel Prize Winner Dissed by High School Biology Teacher - CJ Westerberg post Watch Now | Comments


"Professors who are good at mentoring will thrive"

03.17.2016 | Joi Ito, Head of MIT Media Lab Watch Now | Comments


NEW POST: The Beauty of Math

12.24.2015 | Beautiful Video Watch Now | Comments


A Response to: Is Your Child a "Warrior" or "Worrier"?

10.22.2015 | Why Some Kids Handle Test Pressure and Others . . . Not. Watch Now | Comments


"Children just don't go out in nature"

10.21.2015 | Children today spend on average spend less than 40 minutes "outside" - Video Doc Watch Now | Comments


What do you remember from high school? (Humor)

10.16.2015 | Week-end Funnies - VIDEO Viral video parody (nudity alert!) Some Study That I Used to Know is already at 1.5 million views. It's another play on Goyte's hugely viral video Watch Now | Comments

michael jordan.jpg
Sparks of Genius. Thirteen Thinking Tools.jpg

How the Arts Prepare for a Life's Work in any Discipline

07.24.2015 | Including Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Watch Now | Comments


"Thwart Institutional Cowardice"

02.04.2015 | Congratulations Vicki Abeles for Raising Funds for next film "Beyond Measure" Watch Now | Comments


Parents: Are we sabotaging our own kids' math "ability"?

01.19.2015 | Many parents in the United States assume that (math ability) is just some kind of aptitude - some kids have it, some kids don't . . . The result is most of our kids (in the U.S.) don't do really well in Math . . ." Watch Now | Comments


Tom Friedman: Think Like an Immigrant

01.13.2015 | Five Ways to Succeed in Life and Work Watch Now | Comments


Is This The Best High School in America?

01.02.2015 | WATCH: How These Six Minutes May Change Your Idea of Innovative Education (dramatically). Phillips Exeter, Harvard Westlake & Lawrenceville may be taking notes from this charter school leading the next wave. Does your High School look anything like it? Watch Now | Comments

Finland. Finnishflag.BobCompton.jpg

The Finland Phenomenon: Inside the World's Most Surprising School System

12.17.2014 | New update December 2, 2013 which includes Yong Zhao link and comments PLUS CNN videos Watch Now | Comments


Ten To-Do's for Young People to Consider

12.16.2014 | #1 - Build a "Personal Board of Directors" Watch Now | Comments


Mind Overload! from Technology & "Societal Exhaustion"

12.16.2014 | Mindfulness: "I've seen it transform classrooms . . . " Watch Now | Comments