Thursday, July 20, 2006

Toyota, Greenspan and a Teacher

So, let me tell you about an exchange that I had in Torrance, California. I was having dinner at the Toyota Motor Sales, USA offices and struck up a conversation with James E. Lentz (Group Vice President & General Manger, Toyota Division) while on the Toyota International Teacher Program. Why was this interesting? Well, Mr. Lentz was saying that at lunch the day before, Alan Greenspan...

Wait did he say Alan Greenspan?
I have never been involved in a conversation like this before!
Back to the story.

Anyway, Mr. Lentz asked Mr. Greenspan "What keeps you awake at night now that you are retired?" The response is what I found interesting.

Mr. Grenspan's response was that he worries about the kids in school who are not being built into thinkers. They are do'ers who can fill rolls where there is little creative/independant thought taking place. Students need to be working in the math, science and engineering fields. The US needs people to fill rolls that are going to open soon.

After hearing about this conversation I am again left wondering if we are doing the best that we can to get studnets interested in the fields like math and science or are we turning them off? I cannot wait to try some of the new things that are coming to our school this year. I hope that this is a question that we as a group of teachers continue to ask. These are not the kind of conversations that teachers find themselves in all the time and I think that there was a lot of value in being a part of it. What will the flat world have in-store for my kids?

1 comment:

Karl Fisch said...

Interesting. I'm wondering if in a year or two Mr. Lentz will be talking with Alan Greenspan and mention that he had lunch with Brian Hatak and Greenspan thinks "Wait. Did he say Brian Hatak?"

I agree, between Friedman's World is Flat and Pink's A Whole New Mind, we really need to think carefully about preparation of creative thinkers in all fields, including - but not limited to - math and science.