TED Conversations

Goran Kimovski

Senior Technology Consultant, OperatingDev.com


This conversation is closed.

What is the true value (if any) of organized schooling?

There are so many people suggesting that schools kill creativity, learning is innate & children can learn by themselves, no real life skills are acquired in the current school system, etc. -- the list is really long! If this is all true and we all agree that organized schooling needs big reform, I think we have to step back and ask the ultimate question about the value of organized schooling!

I make a distinction between learning, education and schooling -- with schooling being an attempt to govern/institutionalize education and education representing formalized learning. I think this is important as often people refer to school as the only place where education happens, ignoring programs like the Khan Academy or not to mention the millions of homeschoolers in US alone. They also confuse education with learning, but Sugata Mitra's child-driven education shows that the learning that happens when kids are given tools and left on their own devices is neither formal, nor it can be governed. (He uses the term education tad wrongly, though I suppose with purpose as his is an example of bringing learning and education together.)

I would like to challenge the TED community to think about the value of their own schooling or the value their kids currently in the school system are getting and share their thoughts here!


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Mar 28 2011: It can´t be reasonably argued that traditional schooling has no value. It can´t be reasonably arued that homeschooling or unschooling have no value. We have too many incredible success stories that come from each of the myriad paths. At the very least, the institutions have the key elemnents of space, shelter and resources, not to mention the people who care happen to be in these institutions. It´s a question of evolution, or I should say an answer. Evolving ourselves and allowing our institutions to evolve. There is no good reason why my alma matter can´t instantly and incredibly morph into a learning explosion with the tools we have to offer at hand. Our system is outdated, there is no question and the kids in our schools don´t act the way you, I or their parents want them to. Remember though that the most important thing still exists, and that´s that they do want to go. Even if it´s solely for the company, they still want to go. They just don´t want to go and be force fed. Just like you and me, they (I should say we) want to do what we want to do, and we don´t lke it when we can´t. All it takes is a little breathing room, maybe a little kick from the outside. Maybe a little help from the passionate writers that present here, maybe the right tool? But I think it´s really just a little more room to be who we are.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.