What is The Owl Factor about after all?
In my first book, The Owl Factor: Reframing your Teaching Philosophy, I discuss the thought that education – including teaching and learning – is built around the idea of exchange and resources. There are two agents, teacher and students, and they use a multitude of resources to exchange something. Resources here can be understood not simply as digital technology or infrastructure. Space and time are resources. Our voice is a resource and so is an analogy.
What is exchanged in this educational setting can be narrowed down to KNOW. When teacher and students meet, they come to KNOW something. They might know something about each other, about the content that is being shared, about the most effective ways to teach that content. But for either agent to KNOW what the other one does, they have to SHOW something. They also need resources to SHOW. We can speak, demonstrate, present, write, etc. When this exchange takes place, both teacher and students GROW in the process. They leave the classroom with something extra, a new knowledge, a new feeling, a new desire to do something.
I got inspired by Western philosophy and storytelling and used the owl as a symbol of wisdom and dilemmas. You’ll find 5 fables throughout the book in which the owl is the main character. These fables are meant to have you reflect on the lessons we can learn from ancient wisdom. You’ll also find a section with the main elements of each stage (KNOW, SHOW, GROW) and which resources you can use to promote them. I suppose it wouldn’t be me if there was no section with some of the contributions of science. You’ll find that as well. I think it’s a thought-provoking book and certainly an interesting read. Hopefully, you’ll find it worthy of attention.
Here’s a section of the Foreword by Rodolfo Mattiello:
André Hedlund is known for trying to bridge the gap between classroom practices and the neuropsychological aspects of learning, as well as fighting off the so-called ‘neuromyths’. However, in ‘The Owl Factor’ he goes beyond. He doesn’t just inform us about learning from daily situations to help us review our practices and adopt more effective approaches and methods based on science. André enters the realm of logic and cleverly uses lessons from philosophy and storytelling, particularly fables and dialogues, to question the very essence of the teaching/learning enterprise.
The Owl Factor proposes a philosophical stance about learning, its purpose, knowledge exchange, methods, and growth. It questions the readers’ assumptions and helps them rethink and rebuild their own professional persona. The analogies and approach to topics such as ‘method’ and ‘knowledge’ – otherwise disconnected from schools’ reality – present in this book are finally quite relatable. Moreover, the use of visuals and real-life classroom examples facilitates and demonstrates that it is possible to update our own approaches by revisiting our practice and learning theories. Thus, ‘The Owl Factor’ is a groundbreaking book that every teacher from any subject area needs to read so that they can reframe their teaching philosophy, question their beliefs, and strive to reach more efficient learning outcomes for our students.
Here are two reviews:
You can now purchase it through Amazon: