I have been reading Seth Godin’s manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams and wanted to share what I thought were provocative and meaningful quotes.
Section 3: Large-scale education was not developed to motivate kids or to create scholars. It was invented to churn out adults who worked well within the system.
Section 4: The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake: We spend a fortune teaching trigonometry to kids who don’t understand it, won’t use it, and will spend no more of their lives studying math. We invest thousands of hours exposing millions of students to fiction and literature, but end up training most of them to never again read for fun
As soon as we associate reading a book with taking a test, we’ve missed the point.
Section 6: School reform cannot succeed if it focuses on getting schools to do a better job of what we previously asked them to do.
Section 7: workplace and civil society demand variety, the industrialized school system works to stamp it out.
The normal school (now called a teacher’s college) was developed to indoctrinate teachers into the system of the common school, ensuring that there would be a coherent approach to the processing of students
Section 8: For a long time, there was an overlap between the education that the professions rewarded and the education that we might imagine an educated person would benefit from. Tied up in both paths is the notion that memorizing large amounts of information was essential. In a world where access to data was always limited, the ability to remember what you were taught, without fresh access to all the data, was a critical success factor.
Section 9: By instilling values such as obedience to authority, promptness in attendance, and organizing the time according to bell ringing helped students prepare for future employment.
Section 13: schools remain focused on yesterday’s needs.
Section 14: “What are you doing to fuel my kid’s dreams?”
Section 23: Group projects are the exception in school, but they should be the norm.
Section 24: teachers who care teach students who care.
Section 43, one of my favorites: Teach the history of baseball, beginning with Abner Doubleday and the impact of cricket and imperialism. Have a test.
Starting with the Negro leagues and the early barnstorming teams, assign students to memorize facts and figures about each player. Have a test.
Rank the class on who did well on the first two tests, and allow these students to memorize even more statistics about baseball players. Make sure to give equal time to players in Japan and the Dominican Republic. Send the students whodidn’t do as well to spend time with a lesser teacher, but assign them similar work, just over a longer time frame. Have a test.
Sometime in the future, do a field trip and go to a baseball game. Make sure no one has a good time.If there’s time, let kids throw a baseball around during recess.
Obviously, there are plenty of kids (and adults) who know far more about baseball than anyone could imagine knowing. And none of them learned it this way.
The industrialized, scalable, testable solution is almost never the best way to generate exceptional learning.
Section 44: Teaching is no longer about delivering facts that are unavailable in any other format.
Section 45: We can amplify each kid’s natural inclination to dream, we can inculcate passion in a new generation, and we can give kids the tools to learn more, and faster, in a way that’s never been seen before.