Our Teach Different Spotlight this month is on Ozan Varol, rocket-scientist, author and law professor from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
Ozan blends psychology, philosophy and unorthodox thinking to push against the status quo, which is exactly what Teach Different is all about.
A few of his recent blog titles reflect his dynamic approach.
Notice how each title provokes us into a new way of thinking, and in some cases coaxes us to view a very common sense view of the world in a radically different way. All of these posts could be fantastic conversation starters in the classroom and generate some great essential questions using the 3-Step Process.
We asked Ozan Why is being a contrarian the way to go?
Here’s his response:
At its core, a contrarian is someone who looks at conventional wisdom and asks “Why?” And “Is there a better way?” The ability to disrupt established methods and find new ways of looking at old ideas is one of the most sought-after qualifications in all fields. It’s a super-power that allows you to see things that others miss. Yet this super power is rare. We’ve been brainwashed from an early age to toe the line, use # 2 pencils, and color between the lines.
We carry that conditioning into our adult lives. We copy the “proven” strategies of our competitors. Businesses plant their lightning rod where lightning struck last and wait for it to strike again. This can work in the short-term, but it’s a recipe for long-term disaster. Just ask Kodak, Blackberry, and Blockbuster.
The low-hanging fruit has already been picked. You can’t beat a stronger competitor by copying them. But you can beat them by doing the opposite of what they’re doing.
We encourage you to check out his website and explore his amazing resources.