Brains, Body & Mind · Education & School · Interdisciplinary

Seth Godin: “Stop Stealing Dreams”

Author, entrepreneur and speaker Seth Godin pushes the question “what is school for?”, taking the viewer on a quest through past, present and future education systems in search of the answer.

Seth is quotable on the shortcomings of textbooks for creating “fans” of knowledge:

“If you wanted to teach someone how to be a baseball fan, would you start by having them understand the history of baseball  …  Would you say ‘okay there’s a test tomorrow I want you to remember the top 50 batters in order by batting average?’ And then rank the people based on how they do on the test so the ones who do well get to memorize more? Is that how we make baseball fans?

Seth Godin
Seth Godin

Here’s the key distinction: What people do quite naturally is that if it is work, they try to figure out how to do less. And if its art we try to figure out how to do more.”

“And now we’re at a crossroads because as a culture we say the only thing we care about is interesting, is art, is new  … and then we spend all of our money, all of our time teaching people not do that.”

7 things that will change education completely …

  1. “Homework during the day, lectures at night”
  2. “Open book, open note, all the time” (“anything that is worth memorizing is worth looking up”)
  3. “Access to any course, anywhere in the world, anytime you want to take it”
  4. “Precise focused education instead of mass, batched stuff [sic]”
  5. “Teachers role transforms into coach”
  6. “Lifelong learning that starts early”
  7. “The death of the famous college”

Lastly, one enduring quote:

“Fitting in is a short-term strategy that gets you nowhere.  Standing out is a long term strategy that takes guts and produces results.  If you care enough about your work to be willing to be criticized for it than you have done a good days work.”

This talk is given at the Brooklyn Free School’s TEDx event (TEDx@BFS) which I will be mining for other great footage.  Thanks BFS!


3 thoughts on “Seth Godin: “Stop Stealing Dreams”

  1. Homework during the day, lectures at night is such an easily implementable improvement to education. At least it seems like it would be easy to implement. I wonder how many schools have experimented with this and to what level of success.

    1. Yes, Ben, it’s an intriguing idea – it seems to orient everyone’s communal time and energy on “doing” and making content as opposed to merely absorbing. It is definitely part of the solution for a more project-oriented program. I have looked but I can’t find any info on how widespread flipping is. If anyone finds some, let me know!

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