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Dale Farnan

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What changes would you make to education?

I am a 16 year old high school student who is somewhat dissatisfied with education in general in today's society. Too much emphasis is placed on memorization as opposed to creativity. Many students are more concerned about getting good grades than actually learning. The focus on not making mistakes discourages innovative solutions to problems.

What I ask you is: If you had complete control, what changes would you make to the education system? Should fine arts be taught more? Should math and science? Should we have a class in logic or creativity or kindness? Should the teacher to student ratio be raised and how would this help? How can we make better use of available technology to help students learn? How can we promote creative thinking?

What practical ideas can you suggest to improve education?

Topics: education
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    Jun 14 2013: As a politically offensive thought experiment - get rid of schools entirely.

    The purpose of schooling is to prepare students for the world as it exists today, not as it existed yesterday. Contrasting the speed with which knowledge, information, and ideas can spread across the world today with the old schooling model, any rigid institutional framework will always be several steps behind the real world.

    Instead, let children live in the real world. This is how they will best learn to live in the real world.

    We will still need a flexible occupational licensing system, in which people demonstrate their competence via examinations, projects, interviews, internships, whatever. This is the major role society has to play in educating youth, i.e., verifying that they are educated to certain standards.

    But we do not need schools or teachers to force feed information to students anymore. We only need to give them the curriculum and the criteria they have to meet in order to obtain the credential.

    For credentialing or citizenship, all students need is A) a curriculum laid out beforehand, which gives them exposure to the things they don't know they don't know, and B) rigorous methods of verifying their competence. Once they have their curriculum laid out, that competence is best obtained in the real world and via the Internet.

    Everything else is political, for the benefit of teachers, politicians, administrators, and professionals who want to limit entry into their professions.

    But for the students? Give them the entire curriculum beforehand, give them Internet access, give them internships and access to the real world, give them projects that matter to the real world, and give them examinations for social credentialing purposes, but that is all they need.

    There is another TED talk about motivation by Dan Pink - the keys to motivation were Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose. Currently schools provide none of these.

    Schooling /= education

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