Education solutions for people that don’t like school
I was briefly a high school math teacher. There is a huge class of people that don't like school and don't do well. Some kids have highly chaotic home lives with drug using parents or family members involved in crime or in jail. They will frequently drop out: the high school where I worked had a 25% dropout rate.
Some of these people find success anyway but many others become part of the multi generational underclass that survives on government assistance, low levels of employment and crime.
Most of the people that speak publicly on improving schools loved school and learning and frequently were very successful in school. Their own children are likely to thrive in self directed utopias of self expression.
How can people in the first group be helped? How can they lead productive and satisfying lives? Maybe school is not appropriate for everyone?
1. Self directed learning
I wrote about this in "Self-directed Learning" but it bears repeating.
2. Mastery Learning
There are many good ideas on how to learn effectively. Mastery learning is one of them.
3. Problem based learning
In problem based learning, students form teams and solve real world problems that they find interesting. This was the method used at the Stanford d.school (which I co-founded).
4. The right teacher for the right student at the right time with the right lesson plan.
A good teacher would know which students need to be taught what, when, and why.
5. A more diverse curriculum that includes everything from history to science to art to entrepreneurship to chess to writing fiction or poetry or screenwriting or comedy or design or improvisational comedy or whatever interests a particular
And perhaps a particular student might not be interested in any of these things but it doesn't matter because all of these subjects can teach other things as well
For instance, history can teach us about psychology and sociology as well as how people behave under pressure and how societies evolve over time so we can predict future trends better
Or how history is often cyclical so you might learn something about business cycles by studying history even if you aren't interested in history per se but want an edge in business forecasting
6. An apprenticeship model where someone who has done what you want to do teaches you some of the skills needed for that field and then you apply those skills while getting further lessons from others on other aspects of that field
7. Finding your own problems
either real world problems or theoretical problems
solving them, writing down your solutions, sharing them with others who have solved similar problems, being mentored by others who have solved similar problems
finding a problem worth solving, figuring out if there is money in it (or other benefits), figuring out if it's possible (i
, don't start a company trying to make flying cars if you don't think it's possible), finding customers for those products/services that solve that problem, raising money if necessary, building a team around you who share your values and vision, executing on the vision until either (a) you succeed or (b) failure becomes inevitable