Friday, April 15, 2011

Scott Adams on Real Education

Interesting perspective from the creator of Dilbert. He begins with:
I understand why the top students in America study physics, chemistry, calculus and classic literature. The kids in this brainy group are the future professors, scientists, thinkers and engineers who will propel civilization forward. But why do we make B students sit through these same classes? That's like trying to train your cat to do your taxes—a waste of time and money. Wouldn't it make more sense to teach B students something useful, like entrepreneurship?
  And ends with:
Remember, children are our future, and the majority of them are B students. If that doesn't scare you, it probably should. 
In many ways, I think it is a critique of standardized testing (which automatically fosters standardized education).


Raghu said...

I feel that this is something of a cop out. I agree more with Carol Dweck's thesis that this A-student/B-student mindset is what hinders education. Teaching is not taking enough of the blame for this.

Also, if students at school are not exposed to "physics, chemistry, calculus and classic literature" how will anyone ever find out what it is that really excites them. I think it would be an overstatement to say that kids in school are learning too much of these subjects.

Sachin Shanbhag said...

Raghu, I agree - Scott Adams' essay is more autobiography than a serious shot at education reform. Personally, I think you don't need to waste money on a college education to get these "enterpreneurship" skills.

I haven't read Carol Dweck's thesis yet, but plan to do so.