Of Note: A Healthy Dose of Scientific Optimism

Submitted By:
Daniel J. Goduti, The Haverford School, Haverford, PA

Third Millennium Thinking: Creating Sense in a World of Nonsense by Saul Perlmutter, John Campbell, Robert MacCoun
Little, Brown Spark Hachette Book Group, March 26, 2024

Although many have found themselves in conversations about 21st-century skills in schools, Third Millennium Thinking: Creating Sense in a World of Nonsense offers a fresh perspective on the strategies students and faculty need to thrive in an increasingly complex world. The authors, physicist Saul Perlmutter, philosopher John Campbell, and psychologist Robert MacCoun, combine their scholarship and experience to offer guidance on ways of knowing, tools for thinking, and habits of mind that are rooted in scientific practices and can help solve the problems that plague society. It is easy to imagine how engaging students with ideas from the book, such as probabilistic thinking, uncertainty, and cognitive biases, will serve them well throughout school and beyond. Additionally, the authors’ exploration of scientific optimism – the idea that any problem can be solved with enough effort and time – is a useful mindset for students to adopt. Indeed, faculty and school leaders will find the strategies outlined in Third Millennium Thinking compelling as they seek to develop a common vocabulary and understanding of how to move the work of our schools forward. Full of anecdotes, examples, and broad insights for teaching and learning, this is an engaging and useful resource.

Leadership Practice
Science of Learning
Teaching Practice