When you have
kids you think, What exactly do I want them to learn? Most of the stuff
they study in school is completely useless. But some incredibly valuable
things you don’t learn until you’re older – yet you could learn them
when you’re younger. And you start to think, What would I do if I set a
curriculum for a school?
God, how exciting that could be! But you can’t do it today. You’d be
crazy to work in a school today. You don’t get to do what you want. You
don’t get to pick your books, your curriculum. You get to teach one
narrow specialization. Who would ever want to do that?
These are the solutions to our problems in education. Unfortunately,
technology isn’t it. You’re not going to solve the problems by putting
all knowledge onto CD-ROMs. We can put a Web site in every school – none
of this is bad. It’s bad only if it lulls us into thinking we’re doing
something to solve the problem with education.
Lincoln did not have a Web site at the log cabin where his parents
home-schooled him, and he turned out pretty interesting. Historical
precedent shows that we can turn out amazing human beings without
technology. Precedent also shows that we can turn out very uninteresting
human beings with technology.
It’s not as simple as you think when you’re in your 20s – that
technology’s going to change the world. In some ways it will, in some
Thanks to 37Signals’ blog for the link.
I’m lucky enough to teach at an amazing place that allows me to do amazing things like pick my curriculum and textbooks and breadth of study (even though it’s technically Physical Science).