Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Present Education Crisis

The long term future of learning is that students will teach themselves. In the past, they haven't had the tools to access all the information. Learning is not a separate function from living; in fact, one learns to live, and not lives to learn -- and all the specializations and compartmentalizations into all these divisions, turfs, hierarchies and bureaucracies.

People are already doing that now -- especially those who continue to learn beyond their "education," or even begin it after they're finished with school. We no longer need people just to learn everything they can while they are in school, and to stop learning after that -- thinking that what they learned in school, was everything there is to know, and if they want to learn more, they have to sign up for four more years at $100,000 -- or they can't learn anymore.

That's everything that is wrong with the present education system -- and as that cost becomes prohibitive, people have to find a better (cheaper) way. The telling videos of these times, is how the 1 year and the 99 year old, can learn to operate the iPad -- on their own, after a brief demonstration. People instinctively want to learn, but it is the government and trade associations (unions), that distort and pervert all that for their exclusive benefit, which has very little to do with learning anymore, and only about how much more they can get for doing nothing, or as little as possible.

It's also the same with escalating costs and dependency on health care. People learn to take better care of themselves so that they're not totally dependent on the health care "professionals" to keep them alive, tell them what to do and think, and make the decisions they should be making for every individual's own "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (health and well-being)."

These changes don't come easily -- especially for those who make their living profiting on the continuance of the problem -- that students do even worse, because their education is out of date and irrelevant, and only learning for learning's (the educator's) sake -- instead of the freedom to learn, the desire to learn, and without having to ransom one's entire life, fortune and future, so that a few people can retain their positions as gatekeepers and toll collectors for the rest of society as their hostages.

It's becoming increasingly obvious that that's not how the future is going to play out -- because they just can't continue in that manner, because of the cost, but also because there are much better ways to perform those functions that were not possible to do before because the tools were not available.

As for the "social contact" that is surrendered in moving away from the traditional classrooms, we don't need to reinforce the teacher as necessary authorities and authoritarians -- which is destructive to the whole purpose of learning -- which is that there shouldn't be any coercion, fear, conformity, intimidation, tradition, convention biasing the choices we make, as the best that can be made -- and not the traditional indoctrination of the union president doing all the thinking and talking for everybody else -- on down.

So the present crisis is also the opportunity -- or one can be dragged kicking and screaming into the future
because we haven't done it that way before. But that would require real thinking and learning -- which is not what they are teaching in the (government) schools.


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