As a former teacher I am rather passionate about the value of good education to society. I believe this piece in the New York Times describes well my feelings towards our current dysfunctional system. It is hard to ignore that the innovators and leaders of the new technology economy in this country had to reject traditional schooling and unlearn many the bad lessons they received. We don’t need to be trying to teach everyone multivariate calculus; we need to revive the apprenticeship system.
I think that the Maker Movement has a large role to play in this idea vacuum in educational policy. I firmly believe that no student should be allowed to graduate high school without being able to make something. Be it a chair, a dress, a motor controller, or whatever. The root of success is failure. This needs to be taught in school, where currently teachers embrace mediocrity to avoid confronting failure. There is no shorter path to failure than to try to make something. The maker mentality needs to be incorporated into every student’s curriculum.
Any thoughts on this? http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/technology/at-waldorf-school-in-silicon-valley-technology-can-wait.html
I wouldn’t send my kids to that school. I stared at a lot of pixels growing up. Didn’t hurt me any.
I think perhaps there could be a middle ground. I keep hearing that schools have eliminated shop classes, so kids don’t even learn how to use tools or make physical things in school anymore.