When you question everything you think you know

Once in a while, something comes along that can make you think deeply about everything you have held to be true.  This is not one of those times, but it does support a lot of things I’ve believed to be true, even though I was in the minority in thinking so. So, there is a similar elation to being vindicated.

Warning: You’re going to have to watch an 18-minute video to put this in context.

You may already know Malcolm Gladwell.  He’s an interesting guy, and he makes his points by telling good narratives, which makes him a great teacher.

In this one video, he addresses several things people in higher education, and, to a lesser extent, society in general tend to debate:

  • The choice of “big fish, small pond” vs. “small fish, big pond.”
  • The wisdom of admissions officers trying to figure out how much of a break to give to a kid from a “good school.”
  • The self-image people develop based on their surroundings, in the context of “Relative Deprivation Theory.  (This also may explain why students write about community service as such a profound experience.)
  • Why firms that hire only from the “best schools” are probably making a huge mistake.

Watch, and prepare to get astonished.


By Jon Boeckenstedt

I am currently the Vice Provost of Enrollment Management at Oregon State University; what you see here is solely my opinion, and does not necessarily represent the viewpoint of anyone at OSU.

One reply on “When you question everything you think you know”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s