Friday, January 31, 2014

QBE Academy -- an ebook for parents (free, click on the "download" link below)

Here are the chapters of Will Sutherland's ebook about his QBE Academy



Part 1: Skills for a Larger World

Tony Wagner's List of Seven Survival Skills

Initiative: The Overlooked Skill

Part 2: QBE Academy

The QBE Story
(What is “Qualified by Experience”)
Bring the methods and principles of one-on-one education to the confined space of a boat.”

Principles for QBE Academy
Delay rewards
Create planned temporary hardships
Become comfortable with being uncomfortable

What to Expect (a typical three-week program)

Part 3: Inside QBE
Meet the Founder

Thoughts of the Day
by Will Sutherland
(stories that demonstrate Initiative)

The Sweets Seller
The 14-Year-Old Captain
Heading to San Remo

Part 4: The Larger Vision
QBE as a Training Space for Teachers


(1) Who was John Corlette?

(2) What Did John Corlette Offer?
By Wes Green

(3) Building Character and Body: Comment by Noel Thompson

(4) A Program For Any School (or Home)
An Introduction to The John Corlette Society
The Power of Posters

Free Agents, Sales, Motivation and a Whole New Mind:
A Short Course with Dan Pink

A Short List of Books and Videos (compiled by the advisors of QBE School)

DOWNLOAD the ebook here....

Here is a statement by Will Sutherland about QBE

QBE Origins and Principles

A short resume of the QBE Foundation.

Where did QBE come from?

“I am qualified by experience...” was often quoted in the armed services back in the 1970s. The phrase stuck with me because I have never really appreciated the benefit of other people’s inexperience and advice based on theory or lack of facts. Later when I needed to set up my own business I seemed to be dealing with a lot of colleagues who operated on a minimum of facts and experience. I was determined not to be like them. I built a network of people around me who had firsthand knowledge gained through experience and we offered solutions in B2B projects and problems. We called it the “Qualified By Experience Global Network.”

What is QBE?

QBE is a principle founded on the fact that we are all qualified by our experiences and achievements in life. We behave, react and respond in conversation or to relationships, contacts, tasks, challenges, successes, and failures according to our previous experience. Self-confidence, initiative, decision making, and relationships are based on these experiences and our mindset.

What is QBE Education?

We invest in the individual, showing that we care and seek success for each and every one.

This is an education system based on the QBE Principle, and is 

heavily influenced by John Corlette’s Seven Principles for 

Education, Dennis Littky’s Rigor – Relevance - Relationships and 

the values and thinking of Kurt Hann, Dennis Yuzenas, and Dan Pink.

We believe in the opposite to the one-size-fits-all philosophy of large schools and classes. Every individual has their own preferred way of learning and expressing their creative ideas. QBE Education strives to give all students the space, time and guidance, in the right environment, for them to thrive.

We provide environments which develop learning skills and enquiring minds, in both academic and practical environments.

An understanding of the QBE principle and mindset brings us to conclude that there are few if any original ideas, but there are infinite laws and ideas waiting to be discovered. For example, one hundred years ago no one would have thought we would be able to fly across the Atlantic. The laws of aerodynamics always existed, but they had not been discovered.

We encourage our students to take equal responsibility for their mistakes as for their achievements. Mistakes are seen as learning opportunities, not as a baton to beat ourselves up with or to be used to drive others down.

Discovery is the key to motivation, inspiration and creativity. So we create explorers.

We are aiming for Autonomy – Passion – Mastery and Purpose for all our students.

We are in an age of discovery. We are discovering that;
Our economic policies of the 20th Century no longer work;
Our education systems are no longer fit for purpose;
How do we stop the momentum of the monster

Autonomy – Passion – Purpose.

Taking responsibility:

We have to create the “natural” learning environment:
non-physical trait known as ‘grit’ — defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals”

Mastery – we can always get better at it.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The power of asking neutral questions (to build trust and create relationships): What country do you want to visit? What languages do you want to learn to speak?

What is the power of asking neutral questions:  What country do you want to visit?  What language to learn?

When we ask a neutral question, we validate and say "YOUR OPINION MATTERS" and we listen.

It is the beginning of building trust.   The students might be giving you their opinoin and they practice sharing their preferences.   It might be the first time that they are honest with their feelings and choices with a school adult.

Click here to get the AUDIO recording
I learned this idea because Dennis Littky in 2005 NPR interview says, "they don't trust, they are bored.  It's the first time anyone has asked them what they want.  they have spent 8 years in school being told what to do."

See Littky's interview by searching "NPR radio Dennis Littky small school"  School features real world learning  transcript

School Features Real-World Learning, No Grades : NPR › News › US › Education
Apr 25, 2005 - April 25, 200512:00 AM ... hide captionMet school director Dennis Littkymeets with students (from left) Kyle Williams, Jesse Jones and Audris ... Dr. Hector Cordero says she knew little when she started interning at his office.

Write to me at and let's improve this technique.  my mobile is  +1 954 646 8246



Let's visit New York
with so many places to visit


I want to visit Taj Majal.
More to do click here



Tell us about France and the red-white-blue of their design

Where do you want to go?  New York

Send your suggestions to

Monday, January 27, 2014

How to make a lecture more engaging...

Here are some tips

If you are a lecturer, here is a check list

Eric Mazur's technique is shown below

  • Eric Mazur shows interactive teaching

    Harvard Physics Professor Eric Mazur demonstrates "Peer Instruction" and "Just-In-Time" teaching techniques. Read more about ...
  • Flipped Learning #53: Peer Instruction with Eric Mazur

    Flipped Learning #52: Peer Instruction with Eric Mazur.
  • Erik Mazur: Confessions of a Converted Lecturer - edited

    Erik Mazur's personal introduction to how he came to develop Peer Instruction, a teaching method that enhances interactive ...

  • Let the students play roles
    Role-play can help students
    clarify a situation.

    Students present a topic using physical items

    how are these captured chickhens related to typical students?

    How to make MATH CLASS interesting...

    Friday, November 16, 2012

    10 Ways To Make Your Math Class More Fun

    1) Mini Lessons:
    Divide the total number of minutes you are in class by 5; this is how many lessons you should aim for. Thus, a 60 minute class should have approximately 12 lessons. with you in the middle. Show them how ½ a circle is different from 1/3, ¼, or 1/5 by standing in the middle and extending two tape measures

    2) Get Them Out Of Their Seat:Sitting for an hour straight is hard 

    3) Art:
    Using art is a great way to illustrate word-problems. 

    4) Legos: 
    Using just a few Lego pieces will allow you to teach almost any concept. 

    5) Posters:
    Got some boring definitions you need your students to learn? Have them create a poster. 

    6) Group Work:
    Group work can be a great learning tool. 

    7) Less Problems & More Mastery:

    Two awesomely thought-out problems are worth more than an entire worksheet of drill. 

    8) Homework Should Be Short and Sweet:

    I hate the idea of homework. I hate the idea of taking time away from family and friends to do busy work.

    9) Use Math Stories, Math Trivia or Riddles

    "Avoid the tyranny of precision" ... a high school teacher asks us to teach science with stories and sex and violence and laughter --- "emotional connection" -- "we have to convince our audience that what we are talking about matters."

    Sometimes you have to lie in order to tell the truth.

    -  Mies van der roe

    Mies van der Rohe Society

    Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
    Mies Mailings. Email Address. Mies Everywhere. 10 W. 35th Street; Suite 1700; Chicago, ... 2012 Mies van der Rohe Society. the Mies van der Rohe society.

    Leave out the jargon

    set aside the seriousness.

    make me laugh

    Let me tell you a story.


    Now, the story that I start telling my kids, it starts out like a horror story. Once upon a time there's this happy little bacterium. Don't get too attached to him. Maybe he's floating around in your stomach or in some spoiled food somewhere, and all of a sudden he starts to not feel so good. Maybe he ate something bad for lunch, and then things get really horrible, as his skin rips apart, and he sees a virus coming out from his insides. And then it gets horrible when he bursts open and an army of viruses floods out from his insides. If -- Ouch is right! -- If you see this, and you're a bacterium, this is like your worst nightmare. But if you're a virus and you see this, you cross those little legs of yours and you think, "We rock." Because it took a lot of crafty work to infect this bacterium. Here's what had to happen. A virus grabbed onto a bacterium and it slipped its DNA into it. The next thing is, that virus DNA made stuff that chopped up the bacteria DNA. And now that we've gotten rid of the bacteria DNA, the virus DNA takes control of the cell and it tells it to start making more viruses. Because, you see, DNA is like a blueprint that tells living things what to make. So this is kind of like going into a car factory and replacing the blueprints with blueprints for killer robots. The workers still come the next day, they do their job, but they're following different instructions. So replacing the bacteria DNA with virus DNA turns the bacteria into a factory for making viruses -- that is, until it's so filled with viruses that it bursts. But that's not the only way that viruses infect bacteria. Some are much more crafty.When a secret agent virus infects a bacterium, they do a little espionage. Here, this cloaked, secret agent virus is slipping his DNA into the bacterial cell, but here's the kicker: It doesn't do anything harmful -- not at first. Instead, it silently slips into the bacteria's own DNA, and it just stays there like a terrorist sleeper cell, waiting for instructions. And what's interesting about this is now whenever this bacteria has babies, the babies also have the virus DNA in them. So now we have a whole extended bacteria family, filled with virus sleeper cells. They're just happily living together until a signal happens and -- BAM! -- all of the DNA pops out. It takes control of these cells, turns them into virus-making factories,and they all burst, a huge, extended bacteria family, all dying with viruses spilling out of their guts, the viruses taking over the bacterium. So now you understand how viruses can attack cells. There are two ways: On the left is what we call the lytic way, where the viruses go right in and take over the cells. On the [right] is the lysogenic way that uses secret agent viruses.
    But here's the thing. There are plenty of people in science education who would look at this and say there's no way that we could ever give that to students, because it contains some language that isn't completely accurate. For example, I told you that viruses have DNA.Well, a very tiny fraction of them don't. They have something called RNA instead. So a professional science writer would circle that and say, "That has to go. We have to change it to something much more technical." And after a team of professional science editors went over this really simple explanation, they'd find fault with almost every word I've used, and they'd have to change anything that wasn't serious enough, and they'd have to change everything that wasn't 100 percent perfect. Then it would be accurate, but it would be completely impossible to understand. This is horrifying.
    You know, I keep talking about this idea of telling a story, and it's like science communication has taken on this idea of what I call the tyranny of precision, where you can't just tell a story. It's like science has become that horrible storyteller that we all know, who gives us all the details nobody cares about, where you're like, "Oh, I met my friend for lunch the other day, and she was wearing these ugly jeans. I mean, they weren't really jeans, they were more kind of, like, leggings, but, like, I guess they're actually kind of more like jeggings, like, but I think — " and you're just like, "Oh my God. What is the point?" Or even worse, science education is becoming like that guy who always says, "Actually."Right? You want to be like, "Oh, dude, we had to get up in the middle of the night and drive a hundred miles in total darkness." And that guy's like, "Actually, it was 87.3 miles." And you're like, "Actually, shut up! I'm just trying to tell a story."
    This needs to stop, and I wish that the change could come from the institutions at the top that are perpetuating these problems, and I beg them, I beseech them to just stop it. But I think that's unlikely. So we are so lucky that we have resources like the Internet, where we can circumvent these institutions from the bottom up. There's a growing number of online resources that are dedicated to just explaining science in simple, understandable ways. I dream of a Wikipedia-like website that would explain any scientific concept you can think ofin simple language any middle schooler can understand. And I myself spend most of my free time making these science videos that I put on YouTube. I explain chemical equilibrium using analogies to awkward middle school dances, and I talk about fuel cells with stories about boys and girls at a summer camp. The feedback that I get is sometimes misspelled and it's often written in LOLcats, but nonetheless it's so appreciative, so thankful that I know this is the right way we should be communicating science.


    Here is an example of sex and chemistry