Monday, August 17, 2009

Why Are Schools So Ineffective?

Schools in general are just not very effective at imparting real learning to their students. If we are looking to create a bunch of good little worker drones for busyness jobs then they doing pretty good, too bad that those kinds of jobs are pretty much gone, exported to India, and China.

Is that was we need? of course not. You look at what Ken Robinson had to say about the effectiveness of schools.

So I was reading up some on the wars that are going on and I run across this critique of the Iraqi Army and I was struck by how much it sounds like our school system.

Loyalty is to one's group, not the nation.
Improvisation and innovation is generally discouraged.
Units are purposely kept from working together or training on a large scale.
Arab officers often do not trust each other.
[V]alue and prestige of an individual is based not on what he can teach, but on what he knows that no one else knows.
Better for everyone to fail together than for competition to be allowed, even if it eventually benefits everyone.
Leadership is given little attention as officers are assumed to know this by virtue of their social status as officers.
Initiative is considered a dangerous trait.

Does that sound at all familiar?

And then I read Seth's take on education,
Imagine a school that's built around free, abundant learning. And compare it to one that's focused on scarce, expensive schooling. Or dream up your own combination.

Schools are all levels are going to change and change a lot. It is also reminiscent of what is happening to newspapers. I hope they don't try following that path.

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