Thursday, May 03, 2007

do you really want to learn?

Robin Hanson asks the question here:
As a researcher at NASA Ames Lab in the late 1980s, I found it easy to sit in on classes at nearby Stanford. I sat in on many classes in many departments, participating often in class discussions. I never applied for admission, or paid tuition, but no one ever complained. One professor even wrote me a letter of recommendation based on my work for his class.

So anyone can learn at the very best schools for free, if they are willing to forego the credential. This free ride would probably stop if more than a few people took advantage of it. But in fact almost no one is actually interested in just learning, without the credential.
This sounds familiar. I started attending a few classes I thought I would enjoy but very quickly stopped. Almost everything is very boring it seems. I guess I just like the idea of going to cool sounding classes.

I wonder how much I actually learn from my travels on the internet...

Anyway, this is probably the biggest problem with my brilliant plan to open a school. Parents are not bothered if their kids actually learn anything, they are more interested in sending their kids to schools that people have heard of (in a good, poncy way) and generating grades that others recognise so they can rank children as better than most other kids.

And here's me, an "educator" who actually want kids to learn; it's very depressing.

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