Monday, February 22, 2010

When School Gets in the Way of Learning....Drop Out!

"If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow."
- John Dewey


  1. Clearly the young man in this video did not transcend a superficial perspective of higher education as the mindless memorization of facts. To get the most from their education, students must first be willing to work and to learn for the sake of increasing their knowledge and skills, not just to achieve a particular grade or diploma. More mature and serious students realize the ability to learn and retain 'facts' is a valuable skill that is but the very first step of education; one must first have a base of knowledge and understanding to go on to the more advanced levels of education. In addition to accumulating an expanding and ever deepening base of knowledge, concepts, and understanding about a given field or specialty, successful students also develop their ability to think analytically and independently to apply that information to answer different kinds of questions and problems. A college educated person should thus have learned to think and reason at a advanced level, is able to comprehend and master complex ideas and theories in their field, and able to communicate and teach those ideas to others. College should instill or nurture the ability and desire to self-teach and make learning a lifelong pursuit.

  2. Well put, Dan. You've hit the nail on the head. Have you read James Marcus Bach's book: Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar: How Self-Education and the Pursuit of Passion Can Lead to a Lifetime of Success. I think you would like it. He actually dropped out of HS at 16, but went on to be a manager at Apple by age 21.
    I think you embody the skills that the previous commentator attributes to a college-educated person (and I certainly no plenty of college-educated who do NOT seem to have them).
    I work as an education futurist and with your permission, will be sharing this clip with amy folks -- I immediately reposted to my FB page and sent it to a colleague who happens to be an education prof at UNL. She's showing it tonight to her class! I look forward to following you.

  3. Yes, of course, that's "many" not amy. Always good to have at least one mistake to draw off the surface critics (G)

  4. I can't say I disagree with him. I teach in a public high school & there is the constant tension between testing students for facts & developing students to be real people in the real world who know how to learn, how to access information, how to be a person with integrity... we have to train people that can function in the real world while teaching them all this stuff to memorize. It is an uncomfortable position to be in because many students end up learning stuff quickly so it is easier to push them forward as human beings by teaching them to be more self directed, but if people are good at learning stuff the task becomes much larger.... similarly, if they know stuff but can't function as a real person the task is also difficult.... so it is simply a dual between what is valued more, stuff that can be tested or teaching people to function and how to direct themselves. I don't know how to find the balance... it is hard to teach someone to function without them knowing some stuff.... I don't blame him for dropping out... if he had skills to be a student and be self directed... why should he pay someone lots of money to tell him stuff.... however, there is the fact that college professors don't have to take education classes to become professors so I wonder if things would be different if they did? As long as there is ambition to continue bettering yourself school can fit in wherever it fits in... some people need school because they lack some skills that school can provide. I'm not sure what my point is... I suppose that I feel like I say similar things in meetings and they are not things my principal wants to hear so I appreciate what you are doing. I would like to hear some of your ideas about how to accomplish education being more adaptive.

  5. A traditional education is on its way out. Great job Dan!

  6. As Sir Ken points out, creativity is the root that we must nurture. Dan is a great example of a 'creative'. I wish him the best!


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