Re: Order of courses

Fri, 18 Nov 94 12:20:37 pst

Andrew - I took the approach of forest first and then trees. (But then my degree
is in adult education, it may not work the same). It made the forest class so
much harder. But all those "trees" were a lot easier to understand. I would do
it again if I had the choice. But I am by nature something of a systems thinker
and this is my preferred learning approach. Consider your own preferences before
jumping in. How do you generally try to learn something? Learn the details and
then try to fit them together? Or learn something about the system, then the

If you go along with what your gut feelings tell you (BTW, as an educator I
strongly encourage you to go with your instincts, they are the best indicator of
your true preference) be aware of what that means. The first course may be more
difficult for you and you should expect it to require an extra effort. Be
prepared for it and look forward to the challenge, the payoff is more than worth
it, IMO.

I am very serious about being prepared to work extra hard for that one class.
Nearly half the people in that "forest" class FAILED. (For which the professor
was almost fired.) Given that I had 9 more core classes which were all made far
easier by my understanding of the "profound knowledge" of the field gained in
that first class, I think I saved myself a great deal of work and I know I
learned far more than I would have if I'd taken the other route. BTW, those who
passed that first class ALL wound up graduating "summa cum laude." Even some of
those who failed but made the tough decision to repeat the course after
completing the other 9 core courses grudgingly admitted that it helped them a
great deal.

Sean Gawne,


I know most of you seasoned experts probably don't care much about
little points like this, but I was wondering about some stuff.

I've got to take 9 modules for this MBA program. I can take any one
I want to first. The school and prospectus recommends that strategic
planning be taken last.

I just bought and read The Fifth Discipline last night and I figured
that I'd be better off taking strategic planning first and then take
economics, finance, marketing etc. later. I think this would give me a
cross-functional approach. This is the exact opposite of what the
school recommends.

So in a nutshell, is a cross-functional approach effective if the
re isn't proficiency in the component parts or functions? I'm
guessing that seeing the forest before I see the trees will help me
see and understand each tree because it will provide a larger context.

Does not understanding each tree first affect my ability to see the

Gee, I gotta work on my critical thinking skills.