The Other Lobe

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

co-authored blog posts

The Trolley Problem in Philosophy, In- vs. Out-groups, and Experiential Education

The Trolley Problem in Philosophy, In- vs. Out-groups, and Experiential Education     Anna Wilga QC ‘15 and Jim Stellar   This story begins with the trolley dilemma from modern philosophy.  The trolley dilemma today is a two-part thought experiment, … 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)

Experiential learning builds social capital: Here’s how

Experiential learning builds social capital: Here’s how by Anna Luerssen Assistant Professor of Psychology, Lehman College, CUNY   Introduction Although the classroom is the epicenter of learning in the American education system, much can be gained by students if they … 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