Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Education Reform

There has been a buzz about online college classes, and the potential for education to be self-directed. I was going to save this post as a draft and continue working on it, but I just saw that Big Beacon is having a twitter discussion about Engineering Education Reform tomorrow June 11, 2014.

I was just listening to episode #54 of Engineering Commons today and the discussion resonated with me. While I did not get to complete my engineering education for financial reasons, I did pursue less expensive options that from my perspective had little to no value for their cost.  I learned more on the job, and by purchasing textbooks and teaching myself, than I ever did in any tech school or college.

Eureka moments and skill mastery have nothing to do with education. To paraphrase, education is just teaching math and theory with no guidance on how to use this information. (I believe he said "Exploration is stifled.")

My initial thoughts as I listened to the podcast were along the lines of 'things you learn in school just don't tie into real life' - theory vs. comprehension. A good direction that came out of the discussion was that perhaps educators need to be more like mentors, and draw the theory courses from online sources where the most highly skilled theorists can sell pre-recorded course lectures, but the in-person professor can be freed up to provide a more relevant guidance model to integrate the student into real work.

More thoughts on this later - wanted to get this out there in time for tomorrow's twitter discussion.

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