The Abilene Paradox: Why Schools Do Things Nobody Actually Wants

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On an indecently hot day in Texas, professor Jerry B. Harvey was visiting his wife’s family when his father-in-law suggested they visit a new restaurant in the town of Abilene to which his wife exclaimed “sounds like a great idea.” Harvey had reservations about this however, as a 53 mile trip in a car with no air-conditioning sounded terrible to him, but not wanting to rock the boat he also proclaimed this a good idea and asked his mother in law if she wanted to go. As she was now the only one in the group who had not yet expressed agreement with this “great idea,” she also said they should go, and so they began their journey to Abilene. However, as Harvey explains, the trip was not a success:

My predictions were fulfilled. The heat was brutal. Perspiration had cemented a fine layer of dust to our skin by…

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About Carl Hendrick

Head of Learning and Research at @WellingtonUK Completing PhD at King's College. English teacher. https://twitter.com/C_Hendrick
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