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Grand theory applied to everything
on July 18, 2013
Christensen reminds me of Marx and Engles; having come up with a new perspective on economics they then proceeded to write volumes and volumes applying it to everything and anything. (even astrophysics) Some of their applications were profoundly inciteful and well researched, some of them were more like wishful thinking and some were downright silly. I think Christensen's book the "Innovator's Dilemma" will rank as one of the classics of economic and social theory, on a level with works such as "the Wealth of Nations". In "Disrupting Class", he applies his theory of disruption to the field of education and not only provides an analysis of the field but makes some very strong predictions. However, in the case of education, as opposed to business, the mechanism of social change is not clearly laid out. (This was the problem with all of Marx's grand predictions, as Elster pointed out) Businesses change because old ones go bankrupt and new ones take their place, yet unwieldy bureaucracies can remain that way for hundreds of years (the Vatican). I would like to believe in the future of education in "Disrupting Class" but there is not enough explanation in the book of how this will come about. Still an interesting and thoughtful book, but not his best.