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Old 6th September 2019, 06:50   #1
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Default Are schools redundant and obsolete?

Do kids really need to go to school anymore? Have things changed over the last several years making the school system obsolete? Are we just sending them to school because that's what everybody else does and has been doing?

A fairly thought provoking video by New York Times best selling author and successful entrepreneur / CEO Gary Vaynerchuk





And another video conveying the same thoughts although at first it could be construed that this is just a video in a lighter vein.


Last edited by khan_sultan : 6th September 2019 at 09:22. Reason: Edited parts that could be construed as being racist
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Old 6th September 2019, 07:31   #2
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Default Re: Are schools redundant and obsolete?

I have been saying this for over 5+ years. The days is schooling as we know it now would give way to personalised leaning enabled by AI, analytics etc. The old school schooling depends on broadcast and expect students to receive and assimilate. While there are private tuitions, they are, at best, a smaller scale school.

Leaning would soon be something that would be directed at an individual based on the type of learner one is (visual, auditory and reading). With time, the kinesthetic learners would be addressed as well.
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Old 6th September 2019, 07:37   #3
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Default Re: Are schools redundant and obsolete?

Concept of home schooling is on the rise in the US. Conventional schooling has its advantages, but the cost factor has increased exponentially over the years.

On the other hand, home schooling is cost effective, just register in a curriculum and teach kids at home. We can better track what our kids are learning and be sure they don’t acquire bad/unhealthy habits. Also, they may pursue their interests perhaps much earlier than what they would have in a conventional curriculum.

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Old 6th September 2019, 07:38   #4
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Default Re: Are schools redundant and obsolete?

Wish you can say that when one falls seriously ill and say Siri or Alexa I’m seriously ill: Help!! Would you like your doc to refer to Siri/Alexa just before he/she penned your prescription or even better carved you up? Problem is all the comments will come from people who have had a formal education.

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Old 6th September 2019, 07:46   #5
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Default Re: Are schools redundant and obsolete?

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Do kids really need to go to school anymore? Have things changed over the last several years making the school system obsolete? Are we just sending them to school because that's what everybody else does and has been doing?
I thought I learnt languages at school, but really, I started speaking and understanding only when I entered the real world.

I thought I learnt mathematics and accounting in college, when in reality I learnt its practical application and necessity only when working.

I thought I was learning business in "masters" of business, and as proud as I am of that degree, I learnt 99.99% out in the real world which makes books seem like science fiction no less.

Schools are just that.. a simulation training program which teaches 66-75% outdated theories, one-dimensional approach to application and also crushes the creativity, child-like curiosity and uniqueness of every individual who goes into it formless and comes out like a square peg about to enter more square holes. If one can retain the 25-33% useful parts of the school training program and keep his/her creativity and passion intact, it does make a for a bittersweet experience though.

As someone who took a 2 year sabbatical to prepare for entrance exams, I took in stride the entire peer community pressures of having to work simultaneously, some more years down the line I left a steady paycheck for entrepreneurship, and that at an age where some people still do not know the heads or tails of employment. The function of society is to ensure that you fit in to their "ideal" of a citizen/friend/partner/neighbor/spouse, I say do not do it if it doesn't match with your ideals and if your path leads to a success story that is your own, then that same society will celebrate it and call you the new "ideal" of living the dream. When that happens, know that need to change that path as well and throw a curve-ball at them yet again.

Another important 2 bits from my relative "inexperience" - materialism is at the core of education, while materialism can be good slaves, e.g a car to transport you, a home to give shelter and clothes that make you feel good etc, materialism can also be horrible masters if they consume who you are, e.g overreaching aspiration leading to zero peace of mind, peer pressures on what constitutes good and bad etc. Gratitude and contentment should be at the core of living practice on a daily basis.
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Old 6th September 2019, 08:13   #6
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The function of society is to ensure that you fit in to their "ideal" of a citizen/friend/partner/neighbor/spouse , I say do not do it if it doesn't match with your ideals and if your path leads to a success story that is your own, then that same society will celebrate it and call you the new "ideal" of living the dream.
Very well said.

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When that happens, know that need to change that path as well and throw a curve-ball at them yet again.
Couldn't help laughing.

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materialism is at the core of education ... e.g overreaching aspiration leading to zero peace of mind, peer pressures on what constitutes good and bad etc.
True. Materialism combined with the need to keep up with the Joneses is what leads to zero peace of mind.

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Gratitude and contentment should be at the core of living practice on a daily basis.
A simple rule that most folks find difficult to practice.
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Old 6th September 2019, 08:58   #7
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Default Re: Are schools redundant and obsolete?

There is no doubt in my mind that schooling/learning is one of the most important aspect in life. The world over. schooling tends to have a huge impact on one's overall outlook in life, including income and general being, happiness.

There is a direct correlation between the availability of decent education to the general public and how well countries/societies do over a longer period of time.

How you educate / learn / school is something different altogether.

The notion that this can be explained in a three minute Youtube video illustrates the problem. There is nothing wrong with looking for information on Google, YouTube or asking Siri. The problem is a whole generation is being raised as if that is proper research. And taking youtube video like this for granted as if it is true.

For me education is also about creating critical and self propelling minds. Questioning and digging deep into a topic to understand how things work. That does require the ability to search for information beyond a google search, the ability to judge information on its completeness and the ability to actively search for different sources, conflicting points of view etc.

I find that irrespective of the topic at hand, be it politics or a technical topic, people that want to deep dive and have that ability beyond looking at a youtube or a google search tend to have the most interesting and well thought through ideas. Not necessarily ones I agree to, but at least well founded in very fundamental understanding of things.

How they acquire such skills/ability is up for debate.

The American home schooling system is probably just about the worse I can think of. I am reasonably familiar with it. It is a very limiting system. Of course, parents/family play an important role in children's education. But education in my thinking is way more than what your parents can teach you. Again, I believe everybody is entitled and should be exposed to knowledge, insights way beyond your immediate personal (family) circle.

In the USA the home schooling is a pretty sick system. One of the well documented side effects is children's abuse (both physically and mentally).

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Old 6th September 2019, 09:31   #8
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Default Re: Are schools redundant and obsolete?

IMHO, schools are vital as not just learning centres, but as experience centres. When you're trying to experience something, the likelihood of breaking something is high and schools are equipped in dealing with constant learning & experiments that may result in high risk of breakages.

Tech should help complement the form of education system that's been in place for millennia by helping reduce that risk. Schools should be equipped with simulators, but it's necessary & very useful to understand the humane aspects. In such situations, human assistance & supervision is priceless.
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Old 6th September 2019, 09:35   #9
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Two sides of the same coin :

Heads : School is the best part of ones life. You meet people that become part of your whole life. Schools gives you social attitudes. While it can point you in right direction , you need to take the steps towards it yourself. As @dark.knight pointed out, there is a sea of distance between what you learn in books and the real world but at least you get familiar with concepts.

Tails : I once asked my son a simple question ( btw he's in 5th std ) " if for every 100 rs you earn 10 rs as interest a year what do you get in 3 months? ". He thought for full day and got irritated and pointed out that they don't teach these things in school. Schools just prepare you for exams and that should change.

Some wise soul pointed out " we spend a small fortune on getting an education that you can get in a public library" and i agree with that.
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Old 6th September 2019, 09:41   #10
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Formal education is priceless, period. Yes, I agree that the standards of teaching and studies in schools have gone down, and a child might learn/perform better when he/she is home-schooled, but the immense value of the 'education' that formal schooling provides can't be ignored. School is not only about studies. Fourteen years of school life teaches a kid many important life values about friendship, responsibility, maturity etc. I wouldn't have been half the person I am today had it not been for my school. My school gave me countless friends, memories and experiences. School allowed me to venture into the world of inter-school competitions and travel across the country to participate in them. My sense of team-building and partnership came from the various group events we took part in, at inter-school events. As I grew up, I looked forward to going to school, because no matter what worries I had in life, those worries would vanish for those six odd hours that I'd spend at school everyday. School was my cocoon.

Yes, values can be 'taught' at home, but like BHPian dark.knight explained (albeit in a different context), practical implementation of things lead to much better understanding of them. Another BHPian also wrote about how home-schooling can help in monitoring kids better so that they don't pick up any bad/unhealthy habits. Well, being protective of kids is fine, but that same kid will grow up and feel lost in the world later on when he/she won't have the same level of protection from his parents. To be honest, picking up bad habits depends on the child himself. Your kid's peers might egg him on to take a puff of that cigarette, but if your kid continues smoking that cigarette by himself, you can't really blame the others.

To me, the education I received from my school is indispensable, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.
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Old 6th September 2019, 10:21   #11
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Default Re: Are schools redundant and obsolete?

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Fourteen years of school life teaches a kid many important life values about friendship, responsibility, maturity etc. I wouldn't have been half the person I am today had it not been for my school. My school gave me countless friends, memories and experiences. School allowed me to venture into the world of inter-school competitions and travel across the country to participate in them. My sense of team-building and partnership came from the various group events we took part in, at inter-school events. As I grew up, I looked forward to going to school, because no matter what worries I had in life, those worries would vanish for those six odd hours that I'd spend at school everyday. School was my cocoon.
You reflect 90% of people's opinion on school - friends thick as brothers, the cocoon etc. I reflect the other 10%, a nightmare which I had to go to every cold morning, only to be put into a draconian system (I was the teacher's pet to almost all, and yet I say this). I survived it, I do not believe in "friends" just because we are all stuffed together into a room like sardines, I ate home-made lunch mostly alone, well maybe with one dorky girl who was like me and I kept to myself. My cocoon started the minute the bell rung at 3 p.m where I was free to dream and fly and let my creativity run wild. School was my worst nightmare and the day I got the 10th result, I knew I'll bid goodbye to all of it, the "friends" the teachers and the building, never to visit again and I've kept my promise for over 15 years.

College was when I'd come into my own, I took more interest in ex-culs, societies, we had a brotherhood but as I got the results, I've always left everything behind to begin anew.

Education is a perspective, to me the best education I've got is outside the 4 walls with bars in them. I did it because I had to. The classmates, I saw purely as competition and I only looked at the statistics of how I'm better than them, nothing more.
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Old 6th September 2019, 12:10   #12
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Actually our current schooling system was designed to create factory worker.

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The modern education system was designed to teach future factory workers to be “punctual, docile, and sober”

The education system as we know it is only about 200 years old. Before that, formal education was mostly reserved for the elite. But as industrialization changed the way we work, it created the need for universal schooling.

Factory owners required a docile, agreeable workers who would show up on time and do what their managers told them. Sitting in a classroom all day with a teacher was good training for that. Early industrialists were instrumental, then, in creating and promoting universal education. Now that we are moving into a new, post-industrial era, it is worth reflecting on how our education evolved to suit factory work, and if this model still makes sense.

“Factory schools,” as they are now called, originated in early 19th-century Prussia. For the first time, education was provided by the state and learning was regimented. Dozens of students at a time were placed in grades according to their age, and moved through successive grades as they mastered the curriculum. They took an industrialized approach to education: impersonal, efficient, and standardized.

As Northwestern University economist Joel Mokyr explains it (pdf):

Much of this education, however, was not technical in nature but social and moral. Workers who had always spent their working days in a domestic setting, had to be taught to follow orders, to respect the space and property rights of others, be punctual, docile, and sober. The early industrial capitalists spent a great deal of effort and time in the social conditioning of their labor force, especially in Sunday schools which were designed to inculcate middle class values and attitudes, so as to make the workers more susceptible to the incentives that the factory needed.

The industrial revolution created jobs that had ever existed before. For previous generations, Mokyr describes, artisans and farmers mostly worked out of their homes and set their own hours.

The transition to factory work was unpleasant, to put it mildly. The idea that men had to show up and take orders from a boss—someone they were not even related to—was demeaning and emasculating. Factory conditions were often terrible and completely changed how people organized their days. Time was no longer their own.

Economists Oded Galor and Omer Moav argue (pdf) that Prussian factory-style schools caught on across the West as the spread of industrialization created a need for compliant, literate workers. Industrialists led the charge to adopt universal education in the US, UK, and elsewhere in Europe. Factory owners were among the biggest champions for the Elementary Education Act 1870, which made education universally available in England.

In a post-industrial world, education may require an equally bold rethink. It might mean more comprehensive adult education, or regular retraining, to keep skills sharp as old jobs disappear and new ones appear that require vastly different responsibilities. Or it may involve integrating technology to create more personalized learning experiences.

Modern captains of industry take more a hands-off approach to education. They complain about skill shortages, but don’t offer the same leadership and willingness to fight vested interests as their predecessors. Maybe it is time that they did.

Source : https://qz.com/1314814/universal-edu...ctory-workers/
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Old 6th September 2019, 12:22   #13
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Schools have become absolute waste of time, especially in India & the stupid curriculum (CBSE). What they teach in 10 months can be easily covered in 4-5 months. Add to that all the "days", teachers day, independence & republic day, sports day, never miss a festival to work on the talents!!

Otherwise, the 6+ hours spent every 6 days has to be brought down to just 3-4 hours everyday.

The syllabus is absolute joke, with hell a lot of homework & even more media distractions & never ending project works, mandated attendance, system is turning into corporate style.

Atleast in corporate one gets paid to exchange their time, but in here, one has to pay to waste their time!! Govt schools, especially in TN, is more horrifying than pathetic; some jokers think that by opposing they're following Gandhian style of running the show. That's why Navodhaya (atleast a relief on fee) has been put off successfully by them for sometime now.

Want to try home schooling? No school wants to take in the children for attending examinations. Trying to write private? It has got its own perils. As a coincidence, just this morning I was beginning to think, the schools, in future, might arrange for a loan to get the children educated with guaranteed college admission & placement all in one go. Nice business strategy!!

Most children in my children class I know get to sleep only for 6-7 hours a day & everyone expects them to perform better. Less said about the teachers as well!! Teachers encourage only when children live to their standard, all the rest of the time, they're being put down, compared & yelled at. Come home, the scenario at most homes are nearly the same either Parents expect too much from children or busy with gadgets.

Important things such as Scouts & Guides have taken back seat because of lack of proper staffs. Library has become a controlled activity, no lending of books & all the book procured in the year 1997 are still preserved & I'm sure they will be preserved even till 2097 as well!!

Co-curricular activities, shabba!! less said is better!! This year, for a 5th grade student, some of the paid activities are - Radio Jockeying, Photography, Film Dancing!! Yes, they do have Keyboard, Drawing, Clay work & even Karate, but the first 3, that too for a 5th grader!! God save this country!! BTW, a proper indoor Badminton court is nearly abandoned!!

Yes, there're other better schools where printed books gets imprinted to brain or the coined term - activity based learning, self proclaiming schools that yield 100% results in 10th & 12th, they're all either too far, or very difficult to get admission even as Parents or exorbitant fee.

Sometimes I think, instead of paying these jokers 1.5 Lakh a year, we could probably invest this money for next 12 years into some business. By the time the kid is 20, he/she would have the absolutely necessary education to live in the society (and may even know how to live), but with so much money that most 20 year old wouldn't have

Having ranted all over, let me end with some positive notes...
- Although too many, quite some activities bring out leadership, team effort exercises, despite they're all being controlled activities created out of competition
- School Radio - Only specific children get some 5 minutes of time everyday to talk through it where the contents can be easily judged. Either it's whatsoever day or one English/Hindi word a day or something to with India's pride, mostly ISRO takes the lead here
- Children get to meet other kids from different walks of life, get to know how others are treated in their families. I guess I'm sold on this one point where I think my children are happy to be among other kids of same age

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Schools are just that.. a simulation training program which teaches 66-75% outdated theories
Boss!! You're being too generous!! It should be close to 90% Children are still studying about micro computer while Quantum computers are on the rise. Micro computers from the age of 1st standard until 7th grade!!

Last edited by aargee : 6th September 2019 at 12:25.
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Old 6th September 2019, 13:02   #14
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Have a very close relative who works at Apple headquarters in Cupertino. She's been at Apple for 8 years and currently works in the Siri wing. She continuously runs into a lot of problems at work and is always calling me to provide bail out suggestions. The main reason she got into Apple and still survives is because she is a non conformist which is also the reason for her problems and which even though her colleagues and immediate superiors may have an issue with, the top management do not and instead apparently appreciate.

One reason for this school of thought (pun unintended) by the top could be that they do think that it is those who don't conform who really are the original thinkers (out of the box, thought leadership, whatever) and can contribute to doing business differently.

But what is probably important is that what she's studied and what she does now have no connection at all and by the looks of it she's doing quite well. Apple didn't look at her school and college certification because if that was their selection criteria she may not have even got the job.

There was a time when the means to a job were your certificates from school, college and after. It was thus dinned into kids that education was the only means to this end. Now if a company needs to look at your certificates it's more of a red flag about the company than anything else.

It's too early for any part of this discussion to even become a reality, it may happen 30 or even 50 years down the line. As is always the case with new thinking, it's difficult for most folks to comprehend this concept let alone accept it as a possible reality which is not really their fault in the absence of clearly defined alternatives that provide an equivalent or better solution.

But just as ICE will in the not too distant future sing its swan song, schools may also soon see the writing on the wall.

I leave you with the lyrics to Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" . The only number one hit of this hugely popular progressive rock group and is based on Roger Waters' real life experience.

"We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey, teachers, leave them kids alone
All in all it's just another brick in the wall
All in all you're just another brick in the wall

We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave those kids alone
Hey teachers, leave those kids alone
All in all you're just another brick in the wall
All in all you're just another brick in the wall

"Wrong, do it again! Wrong, do it again!"
"If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding
How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?"
"You, yes, you behind the bike sheds, stand still, laddy"

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Old 6th September 2019, 13:05   #15
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College was when I'd come into my own, I took more interest in ex-culs, societies, we had a brotherhood but as I got the results, I've always left everything behind to begin anew.

Education is a perspective, to me the best education I've got is outside the 4 walls with bars in them. I did it because I had to. The classmates, I saw purely as competition and I only looked at the statistics of how I'm better than them, nothing more.
Hey, I understand what you're talking about. I feel we have had the exact same experiences, but at the exactly opposite places. I felt at home in school, took part in most extracurriculars, was assigned many responsibilities, and I loved most of my teachers.

In college however, I've given up everything. I attend classes and return home. In my batch of 2000+ people, I communicate with only 3 other people. College for me is just a medium to get a degree, and the only thing I do there is study. So, the way you felt about school, I feel the same way about college.

Also, college education is worthless, I feel. My course is still milking the material from my class 12 ISC textbooks. I'm in my final year and I still haven't learnt anything new. Can't wait to leave.
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