The Other Lobe

A blog about experiential education, social media, and the brain

co-authored blog posts

Higher Education Cost – make it more worthwhile by adding experience to the academic curriculum

Higher Education Cost – make it more worthwhile by adding experience to the academic curriculum Allyson Savin and Jim Stellar We started talking about writing this post at the end of June 2014 when there was a burst of media … Continued

Education that Works and the Brain

by Jim Stellar

A book based with the tentative title “Education that Works and the Brain” is now forthcoming in the fall from IdeaPress.  The book is based on the ideas discussed by so many of us in this blog. When it becomes available, a link will be provided here.

guest papers by students, staff, and faculty (edited by JS)

Diversity is Experiential Education

Diversity is Experiential Education By Chloe’ Skye Weiser QC’14,   To begin with a personal note, I did not have a diverse upbringing. Until I came to Queens College, a university setting that strikingly hosts students from 120 countries speaking … Continued


Who we are


who we are and what we do

The blog began as a partnership between an older (Jim Stellar) and a younger (Shwen Gwee) guy. Then when Jim began doing research for the book, he was helped by one of the first blog co-authors (Adrienne Dooley) who became a project manager for a team of researchers, ranging from students to professionals who worked to develop the book. Now, the three of us have added a third section of short papers that examine topics in greater depth than possible in a blog.

The whole idea of the website is to discuss experiential education programs and  learning with a focus on what can be taken from neuroscience, cognitive, and social science research.  We believe that this research is showing that the brain is built to operate and make decisions in two ways - in conscious rational decision-making mode and in unconscious instinctive decision-making mode. We think that this dual view, which applies to economics, also applies to higher education.  It suggests important and natural ways that learning from direct experience can powerfully complement the classical classroom-based curriculum to improve student outcomes in and after college.

For more, click on the About link at the top