This was the barrier that kept me from starting the Real Learning revolution a few nights back. The L-word. Schools brainwashed us so thoroughly that everyone’s immediate association is learning = schooling.
That’s got to stop, for schooling is an increasingly obsolete exercise in rote learning and the world is getting way too complicated to rely on schools and school models (think instructors, courses, schedules, tests, lectures) as the pinnacle learning.
Pssst!: Grades are meaningless outside of the schooling framework. You grubbed for grades, maybe took chances cheating, stayed up half the night, and heavens knows what else in high school and college. Yet grades are totally irrelevant in real life. C students are no happier or wealthier or successful than A students or F students. Can you imagine any other human enterprise getting away with such a bogus measurement system?
Most of us have a sinking feeling when we hear the word “schooling.” In our guts, we know there are better, less demeaning, more personalized ways to learn things.
Even smart people have blinders on. Everybody agrees that learning is important. That’s one of the mantras. But it’s sort of like school… Didn’t work that well. Was coercive, too. Most courses are Fascist. And they turn off to the most important variable in their lives: the ability to learn, adapt, improve, and prosper.
There’s good learning and there’s poor learning. A lot of school involves poor learning. Obsolete requirements. Antique pedagogy. Would that the world were populated with Montesoris.
At the FutureSalon in San Francisco, Mark Finnern noted that I’d attended Harvard. Yes, and my 50th Reunion at Princeton is next year. I tried out for Jeopardy before the Harvard experience and didn’t make the cut. I learned more selling computers, serving as an Army officer, developing curriculum, helping bankers make sound decisions, foreseeing the convergence of learning and the net, writing several books, giving talks, traveling, and challenging convention than earning a Harvard MBA and a Princeton AB in social science.
I learned an incredible amount at St. George’s School in Newport, RI. That made the first year at Princeton a breeze. I never figured out what I wanted to do there so I chose sociology because I mistakenly thought it was sort of group psychology and would help me be one hell of an ad man. Harvard’s program leaves you with the confidence and frameworks to solve any sort of problem that may come along. It can get theoretical: does anyone really do discounted cash flow estimates?
School’s useful. Credentials open doors, whether appropriately or not.
Back to my diatribe. There’s a lot more to learning than schooling. Like it or not, we are each our own instructional designers. Better that we follow models
As usual, I’m in two-birds-with-one-stone-mode. I decided to video an off-the-cuff statement on this. (Learning note: vid skills returned for the most part.)
[this is taking forever; i’l pick it up tomorrow-