Seth’s Blog: Compulsory Education is an oxymoron (back-to-school rant)

Compulsory Education is an oxymoron (back-to-school rant)

Effective education is rarely done TO people. It’s done with them.

I had my first professional teaching gig forty years ago this summer. Since then, I’ve taught at institutions like NYU and Tufts, at community colleges, from the stage, one on one and most of all, on the vanguard of digital media.

As our hemisphere goes back to school this week, I hope you’ll spend a few minutes thinking about who school is for, what it’s for, how it works and how it doesn’t. We’re wasting a huge amount of time and money, bankrupting our children, hindering progress and stultifying growth, all at the same time. Even worse, we’re not even seeing all the things we’re not learning, not engaging with, not creating, because we’re so busy learning like it’s 1904.

Here’s my free book-length manifesto, Stop Stealing Dreams. It’s been shared (in PDF and video form) more than 4,000,000 times. I hope you’ll forward it to parents or learners or people you care about.

Consider the radical shifts being pursued by Acton, by Harlem Village Academy, by Big Picture Learning. Or experiences like Global Citizen Year. Before you go a quarter of a million dollars in debt, it’s worth reading Hackiversity, a new book about re-examining what gets learned in college.

I’ve written a popular Medium post, “Will This be on the Test?,” in which I outline how the altMBA and The Marketing Seminar are pioneering changes in adult education. Digital learning isn’t merely a version of in-person learning, (online).

It’s an entirely different experience, one that can transform people faster and with more impact. The exchanges, the experience and the outputs are all dramatically different.

When you’re in it, it might not feel like a revolution. But it is. One by choice. One that’s urgent. One that’s happening right now.