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Gladwell on hiring in sports, education and law

Well, other than “technology,” if I had to choose five tags to describe myself, sports, education and law would be in the top 5.  So, imagine my surprise when I was pointed to this video of a Malcolm Gladwell speech/presentation (what is it that he does exactly?) covering those three areas.  The main topic of his speech is the mismatch problem; the idea that in making hiring decisions employers regularly use metrics that are very poor predictors of success within their particular area of employment.  The substance of the presentation is certainly interesting, but here’s what I want to do with this video:

I want to use it as part of a major project for a doctoral level educational research course.  It’d be like a fact-checking exercise.  Students would have to listen to/watch the segment about hiring teachers and note each claim that Gladwell makes which is presumably research-based (i.e. that reducing class sizes from 22 to 16 will lead to increases in achievement of 5 percentile points).  Then, for each claim, they would have to find the research that either supports or refutes his claim.  The students would synthesize the research and write up their findings.  That would be fun/cool, right?

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