A $1 million bet on students without teachers
I have a very strong objection to increasing the power of the “educational industrial complex“. I also have a strong objection to the current US paradigm of deliberately destroying our students desire to learn to love to learn (I am hard pressed to think of a less friendly way to turn students into life-long learners; perhaps beat them whenever they have a novel idea?). All the examples I have seen (with the possible exception of home schooling, but that is so dependent on the parents) that claim to remedy the problems with our education system all cost lots more money (which harken back to my complaint in the educational industrial complex above). The idea in this article, though, is amazing to me. While it is said that you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink, perhaps if the horse is thirsty and allowed to seek water itself it will always manage to do so. Using that analogy, we have a world of thirsty children with no water accessible to them without going through gatekeepers (teachers) that, intentionally or otherwise, frustrate many of the children in their thirst to the point the children give up the desire to drink.
Anyway, the idea that kids only need access to knowledge to soak it up is one I have feel strongly about for a long time (I learned to love learning _in spite of_ my educational experience). With the growing ubiquity of the WWW (presuming governments don’t start to shut it down) children can now explore topics as they please to the depth that they please practically for free. Despite that, the cost of education here in the US continues to grow faster than inflation (I believe growing even faster than our health care costs!). It is hard for me not to believe in an oligarchical conspiracy to strip mine education tax dollars, but perhaps it isn’t an _organized_ conspiracy and just the coincidental collision of a bunch of inherited rich people doing what they are trained to do.
Anyway, to try to get back to the point of the article, I think the actual experiments that this guy is running are showing clearly that our current paradigm is a useless waste of money that has the opposite of its intended function (exactly like our health care system, see here for just one example). Too bad these experiments can only be carried out in third-world countries. The rest of the world is too ‘enlightened’ to consider doing so.