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From the Editors Cutting Classes When a friend asked if I wanted to sign up for a "knife skills" class at a local culinary institute, I hesitated. I've been using knives for years, and I still have all my fingers. As far as I was concerned, I was a pro. Still, I eventually found myself at a table with 15 other knife skills aspirants. We looked expectantly at the instructor, a knife sales- man with wisdom to impart and horror stories to tell. Before the class ended, the instructor had us cutting like chefs. He taught us the proper three-point chopping technique and how to cut a loaf of bread with- out smashing it. We learned how to carve a turkey into symmetrical slices, create tomato rosettes, and cut basil into decorative spirals (roll the leaves into tubes first, then chop). I hadn't known there were so many ways to improve upon my slicing and dicing skills. In the days folowing the class, I began to think of new ways to cut other foods. My epiphany occurred with a red bell pepper. Instead of cutting it into my usual awk- ward chunks, I realized I could cut the top off cleanly, remove the innards in one swoop, and cut the pepper into elegant rings. Better yet, it took me half the time. That's when teachers can know their lessons have long-term impact—when their students not only learn a new skill, but take what they've learned and use it in new ways. Business faculty, too, are developing more effective and engaging ways to teach long-lasting lessons on a larger scale. In this issue's article "Teaching Outside the Box," we've spoken to four professors who are finding new ways to spark learning, using everything from technology to philanthropy to community outreach. For Deborah Streeter, the Bruce F. Failing Senior Professor of Personal Enterprise at Cornell University, the best business classes are filled with "teachable moments"—moments that open students' minds to new modes of thinking. When I say a teacher taught me "cutting-edge skills," I mean it quite literally. Professors like Streeter, however, want to teach their students cutting-edge skills of a different sort. These professors, like so many others, measure their success not just by what students learn today, but by how well students use these lessons to adapt to what business throws at them tomorrow. ■ z 6 BizEd JULY/AUGUST 2007 BILL BASCOM

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