The Lincoln Academy Faculty and Staff met for two days of orientation on August 28 and 29. Two world-class speakers challenged the faculty to think about the future of education in a changing world.
Jim Wilfong gave a talk entitled: “Strategic and Creative Thinking: Entrepreneurial Education for Living in a Dynamic and Complicated World.” His presentation included statistics about how growing population, changing technology, increasing mechanization, and pressure on natural resources will affect our students in the coming decades. How can educators best prepare students for a changing world? How do you train for jobs we have yet to invent?
Mr. Wilfong is no stranger to Lincoln Academy. Last year he taught an evening course on entrepreneurship for Lincoln Academy students, and has plans to do so again this fall. He is an expert in trade, innovation, and the global economy, and has worked in the private sector, the federal government, and education. He grew up in Stow, Maine, where he returned to live after multiple stops around the world. Lincoln Academy is fortunate to have Mr. Wilfong as a regular resource.
Kerem Durdag gave a presentation entitled “Making and Doing Things That Matter,” which focused on engaging students through meaningful, hands-on education. His presentation used cultural references and movie clips with emotional impact to make his point. Mr. Durdag believes that STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) provide the skills to solve the problems of our time, but without the critical thinking learned through liberal arts, these skills lack direction and meaning. He urged teachers to be memorable, have a human impact, use hands-on teaching methods, and create opportunities for students to apprentice with professionals whenever possible.
Mr. Durdag is an engineer, an entrepreneur, and a poet. He was born and raised in Pakistan by Turkish parents, and came to the US for his college and career. He currently lives in Southern Maine, where he is active in inspiring technological innovation through investing, board service, and lectures, as well as his own engineering work.