behavior and are very active in knowing what they are good at and what they are not good at. … More often than not, they will come back with a solution, not to the problem that we proposed, but to something that’s adjacent or to something that’s bigger. In my mind, that’s a behavior that we should all encourage.”

In response to a question about online courses, Berry said that the more entrepreneurial people will quickly find the courses and subject matter that they need to learn. They also are quick to suggest to company leaders that the company should invest in these resources. But not many people are trying to supplant traditional education with online courses.

Bergman pointed out that requiring a lot of courses tends to let students relax, learn the material, and take the exams, after which much of the material is quickly forgotten. Putting students to work on problems, even if broadly based, could help them learn to find out things for themselves. Having students write their own research proposals also helps them learn to think independently, he said.

Berry responded that much of education, from kindergarten on, involves listening to a talking head instructor rather than problem solving. “It’s the way that we have learned to learn.” In contrast, educational programs that challenge students to solve problems can engage at least some portion of students much more actively, and the percentage could increase if this approach were more widely used.

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