Michael W. Connell, Ed.D., holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Doctorate in Education from Harvard University. He has been a Software Design Engineer at Microsoft Corporation, Sunburst Communications, Inc., and Lexia Learning Systems, Inc.; an Instructor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education; a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Educational Neuroscience program at Dartmouth College; and an educational consultant to schools, non-profit organizations, the federal government, and corporations. In his research and consulting, Dr. Connell focuses primarily on methods for translating insights from brain and cognitive science into useable knowledge for educators while preserving scientific validity. He has applied insights from his theoretical research to develop applications in a variety of domains, including adult learning, intelligence analysis, the psychology of storytelling, museum exhibit design, teacher professional development, management and leadership training, and intelligent tutoring systems for K-12 classrooms. Representative publications include “On Abilities & Domains” (in The Psychology of Abilities, Competencies & Expertise, co-authored with Kim Sheridan and Howard Gardner); “Individual Cognitive Factors, Part I” (draft submitted for limited dissemination in the intelligence community); "Two Motivational Systems that Shape Development" (with Kurt Fischer, 2003).
Defining Wisdom Project
This research was conducted in response to Baltes’ call to study “wisdom-in-action,” and integrating models of wisdom related to individual competency, social interaction, and systems dynamics. In the course of this research, a computer simulator was built to study how individuals interact with data and with other individuals to make decisions within a complex situation. Mathematical equations were developed that represent the quantitative level of wisdom in the system, both instantaneously and long-term. These equations operationalize important issues in wisdom traditions and research, including the tension between collaboration and competition; long-term sustainability and short-term gains; and an individual’s versus the common good (fairness or distributive justice).