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10 ways the educational system has failed us

10 ways the educational system has failed us

    1. You are veered into professional fields rather then trades

    The general push for students is into professional fields or office work.

    Students are given little encouragement to pursue trades even though it could earn them a good living and is generally stable.

    There is a prevailing sentiment that blue-collar jobs will be automated out of existence. Ironically, automation targets white-collar jobs: back office and middle office.

    I doubt you're going to see robotic plumbers any time soon.

    2. Lack of Application

    Classwork is generally theory and has little application outside of a few confined exercises and examples.

    In university, I was lost in my computer networking class. I didn't know the difference between a router, switch or hub. It just seemed abstract to me. It wasn't until I built my own home network that I understood networking. Then I could backtrack and understand more abstract concepts like the OSI model.

    Application solidifies learning.

    3. Limited Learning Styles

    Humans are visual creatures with very limited attention spans. How is it that a movie can hold your attention for two hours but your eyes glaze over during an hour lecture 15 mins in?

    Ray Dalio's 15 min YouTube video on economics does a better job explaining economics than any text I have read on the topic.

    4. Chronotypes

    In the book "When" by Daniel Pink - the author explains that our learning styles are governed by our own internal clocks called chronotypes: Early risers (larks), night people (night owls) and normal chronotypes.

    Education does little to design around optimal learning times for larks and night owls.

    5. Multiple Choice Test can be gamed by strategic guessing

    It seems that humans build tests on predictable patterns. In the book "Rock Break Scissors," the author lays out several strategies to guess at multiple quizzes. Here are a few examples:

    • Multiple choice. When two of the four options are opposites, pick one of those two as the best guess. B, C, and D answers are best in five-answer multiple-choice questions.
    • Avoid pairs. If question 28 is known to be B, avoid guessing B in 27 or 29.
    • Non-answers ("Zero," "None of the above") are usually poor guesses.
    • In questions asking for the most or the least, pick the answer next to the most or the least. (Most: 5 8 9 15 30)
    • "All of the above" is generally a good guess.

    6. Teachers do a poor job of explaining things

    I found that I had to sift through multiple books to understand a concept taught in class. After enough digging, I could find one author who would explain the concept well using a clever analogy or a clear illustration.

    Math is taught in abstract terms and little in the way of direction in day-to-day application. I could not wrap my head around linear regression until I built a model using what I learned in Data Science class on a work project.

    7. Poor grades discourage exploration and cause fear

    8. Obsolete Knowledge

    Most of the knowledge is old and has little relevance in the world today.

    9. Independent thought is discouraged

    Most ideas and independent thoughts are shot down because they don't conform to tried and true applications. But all significant innovations are built around challenging those norms and creating new models.

    10. Key life skills that are not taught in school

    Things you will not teach in a school that are incredibly important in real life

    • Critical Thinking
    • Negotiation/Persuasion/Influence
    • Conflict Resolutions
    • Conversations and Networking
    • Social Media Marketing
    • How to start a business or Buy a Business
    • Persuasive Writing
    • Handle tough questions post-presentation
    • Office Politics and Organization Psychology
    • Humour
    • Resilience
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