Who needs an education?

Before I get too far ahead of myself I would like to pull in some concepts that I talked about last week, reiterate what I said yesterday, and then go from there.

Last week I made 4 major points that set the foundation for talking about education this week. They were:

  1. Productivity is Pointless without Passion. School has taught us well how to be productive members of society. Yet it can be pretty pointless if it’s not built on a base of what your calling in life is.
  2. Information is endless. Anyone younger than me (a.k.a. the Y Generation) came of age after the internet came of age. There was no world before the web for them. We must understand and embrace this fact.
  3. Meaning is found by looking for it. We have a free will. And we use that free will to choose what we will become.
  4. We are not entitled to anything in life. Anything we hope to gain or enjoy will come from the work we put into it. Essentially, what we put in we get out. Yet, older generations have taught many of the younger generations that they can expect handouts (a.k.a. entitlements).

With that foundation I began to talk about the point of education. Or what I believe the point of education to be. Kids need a direction and a purpose. They need help finding it. For whatever reason, schools have not made enough effort to teach kids more real world skills. In essence, they have not helped kids practice living as much as they could.

The point of education is to give kids the skills, tools, and abilities to lead happy productive lives. Although they succeed at the productive part, they fail at the happy part. And the happy part is what will make our society more productive than we could have ever imagined.

So who needs an education? Everyone! Including those out of school. Many people are in need of a re-education.

I have spent most of my life unlearning things that were proved not to be true” – Buckminster Fuller

Education consists mainly in what we have unlearned” – Mark Twain

The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn” – Gloria Steinem

The problem that can be stated over and over again, is that we have gotten really good at being productive in the wrong things.

For instance, look at how good some people get at video games. They are really productive at beating those games, but it creates not a single constructive thing in the world. Its only for pleasure.

Imagine what would happen if all that effort was directed to working on something constructive. Something that adds value to the world. I think we would all be amazed at the output!

You see, when you are passionate about something it really brings a lot out of you. I know people that will play video games all day, or all night, without sleeping, eating, or going to the bathroom. It’s simply amazing. Imagine if you treated your start-up business the same way!

Just imagine a world where people were really that productive at things they love to do. I can imagine a world where everyone does work for free and we don’t need money anymore. It’s a radical idea, but I think its in the realm of possibility.

You see, we all need an education in life. Mostly we get that education from life itself. Through the many trials we go through. Experiential learning. The school of hard knocks. Street smarts. Call it what you will, life has every ability to teach us all about itself.

So who needs an education, as in a school education? I’m tempted to say no one does. For the simple reason that life is the best teacher. But, what if schools could help students along? Become a catalyst for them? Push them a little further ahead in life?

The simple answer is that it wouldn’t take us so many years to learn by trial and error. If teachers could instill a love of learning. And if we became committed learners. Well, everything would be in our grasp.

The problem is that we wouldn’t have a basis for choosing which path to pursue! As I argued before, schools are “overly equipped”, yet lacking “structure.” They are lacking the structure to give kids a good structure to make good decisions in life.

What is needed is a better plan to provide everyone with a better foundation to build a meaningful, productive, happy life off of…

This week is dedicated to talking about education. The goal is to get people thinking about education and to create a discussion about how we can improve it. Please leave your thoughts in the comment section and also subcribe using the link below so you won’t miss a thing. ;-)

3 thoughts on “Who needs an education?”

  1. Hi Jeremy – I was amazed to learn that video gaming is a sought after skill in certain military circles. The latest technology is used in precision-based ops that are directed extremely off site, thus exposing boots on the ground to smaller risk, providing back-up for them, or even not requiring soldiers/marines on ground mission at all. Lots of video proof out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Committed learners are made by good teachers, and, I suspect, is the ideal with which most new teachers start their careers. The truly gifted ones are those who ignite the spark toward curiosity and passion in students. Unfortunately, the weighty structure of schools, built with governmental mandates and community expectations, often precludes the ignition.

    Pete and I have tried to convince our children of the importance of education. We have one PhD candidate, one Associates Degree from a specialty school, another technician in the making who wants to get her DVM and is using a pragmatic pathway, and two who aren’t in school at all. Our argument is they should be, if only to be exposed to more subject matter and perhaps discover their passion. But, as children grow into young adults, these become their choices to make, too. I think you have to get to them when they’re younger. It also helps to have a consistent message among all their influencers – including extended family and peers.

    What you had to say about not needing money is interesting. I think more likely valuation itself may change. Just as we used to value tangible products for exchange, we have moved into information exchange and monetized/valued it. I think we’re evolving away from that right now with the emphasis on networking and developing connections/community. So, we appear to be using technology to recreate the close-knit experiences that were the norm prior to technology in a way, while at the same time, we are using technology to depersonalize some of the things we wish we didn’t have to do (warfare). Interesting, eh? Thanks.

    Betsy Wuebker’s last blog post..WHAT ARE YOU MADE OF?

  2. Hi Jeremy,

    My girlfriend who is a teacher had her son playing with a video game when he was 3.This developed his motor skills greatly.

    When I watched him one afternoon.He insisted on setting the game up and rather liked playing the game alone but giving me a play by play of his beating Sonic.
    I thought this was pretty cool.
    Still,we need to get back to the basics.Reading and encouraging them to becoming individuals make decisions and take responsibility for them.
    A child has to know they don’t need to be a follower but to make their on trail.
    Yes – leading up to a quote.
    “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Bunny got Blog’s last blog post..Agreeing To Disagree

  3. Pingback: Still thinking about education. | Insight Writer

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