Educational deficiencies

Many people these days are aware of problems with schools.  It’s an extremely complex issue with no easy answer.  So I’m not proposing anything or trying to make any kind of grand sweeping generalization, or claiming I know how to fix the problems.  But I want to share with you a personal example of a deficiency in my education (through no fault of my own).

I always paid attention in history class (or at the very least read all the assigned reading and did all the assigned work).  So while I may not be a history whiz, I should at least know some of the basics, right?

Today I was on wikipedia reading about the Industrial Revolution.  I’ve heard the term before, but we never covered it in school.  Someone may have mentioned it in passing, but I really knew nothing about it until I started reading about it today.  In the opening paragraph, it states “Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of the Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants.”

As I learned more about the Industrial Revolution, I began to see that this statement about the importance of the Industrial Revolution is not an exaggeration.  Every single one of us lives the way we do because of what happened during the Industrial Revolution.  I learned about economic growth.  Mechanization.  Worker exploitation.  Labor unions.  Collective bargaining.  These things are huge.  They matter, in a very direct and real sense.  I’ve only skimmed the surface but now I at least have a foundation of knowledge about that subject.  So many things in our every day lives are a direct result of global changes that took place during the Industrial Revolution, and having now learned the basics of it, I have a much better understanding of the world.

So what’s my point?  Well, we’ve already talked about how we’re autodidacts. I just want to continue the conversation.  There is so much to learn out there about the universe we live in.  The more you learn, the more pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that comprises our reality fit into place.  Let your curiosity guide you.  And know that there’s always so much more to be learned.  You just have to teach it to yourself.  It’s empowering.

 

EDIT 2011-10-16: The following videos about the future of education and how it can be changed for the better are both inspiring and jarring:

Both videos are TED talks regarding the current state of and the future of the educational system.  In the first video, Salman Kahn (of Kahn Academy fame) talks about how he has begun working with schools to revolutionize teaching.  The second video, which is a bit more bleak, has Bill Gates (of Microsoft fame) talking about the consequences of the budget cuts to education as well as the possibilities for fixing the problems.

 

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  1. Your Bitch
    2011-04-02 at 17:12:21 | #1

    School is the biggest waste of time. Most knowledge is gained through on-the-job training, real life experiences, and self-education, not listening to some professor/teacher lecture about some useless topic. There are very few innovations brought about specifically because of school. What’s worse is that in almost every school they teach about economics (the most important subject of our time) completely wrong. School tells us government spending, welfare, and intervention in the free markets is what stimulates job growth and innovation. These bonehead Keynesians influence students who later in life vote for or become dumb-ass politicians and supporters of Keynesianism, which in turn leads to poverty, hungry, and socio-economic strife.

  2. Ryan
    2011-04-03 at 08:59:33 | #2

    “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

    Keep stretching!

  3. 2011-04-10 at 14:10:58 | #3

    Word. To both comments.

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