Originally posted by kinda kurious
Schools teach us how to learn.
So does Google, two brain cells and some curiosity.
This thread prompted me to create an account, as I have a strong opinion about this topic. I am 35 years old and I dropped out of high school after
the 9th grade. I found it to be a waste of time designed to create a mass of unthinking drones -- all with extremely basic knowledge which took
entirely too long to learn. Modern education, especially in the United States, has fallen well below the lowest common denominator. So how well can an
“unschooled” individual like myself do in life? If you listen to the institutions, I put myself at a clear disadvantage.
While many rate a career on earning potential, I do not. My proudest achievement is pursuing a career doing something I enjoy and am passionate about.
I have created and sold companies worth small fortunes. I have also started several companies that have failed. I have held positions ranging from
jr. developer, to vp, coo, and ceo. My highest salaries have been quite substantial. My lowest (numerous times) was zero, while I focused on my next
'big thing'. Within entrepreneurial circles, it is very common to find passionate, driven, successful executives who opted out of traditional,
institution-based schools. By no means are all successful executives “drop outs”, but far more than is commonly assumed based on the statistics.
This topic is very relevant to my family, as I have three school aged children. Many friends believe we are crazy to not have our children enrolled in
public or private school. My oldest, 15, is a 3D animator, programmer and aspiring pilot. He is earning his private pilot’s license and will solo
when he turns 16. I have included him, in programs such as the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) young eagles program. My wife volunteers with
like-minded families who have formed a coop of ‘home schoolers’. We all selected a different path than the one our government has shoved down our
proverbial throat. In this coop, most parents volunteer time to mentor and apprentice children interested in their profession.
Parents who believe the governmental system can provide their children with a better education than they can are usually wrong. The system is
under-funded. Teachers are under-paid, over-worked, under-motivated, and usually do not possess any real-world knowledge in any field other than
institutional education. When science teachers are compensated as well as top industry scientists and music teachers earn as much as a pop-star maybe
the school system will have a leg to stand on.
I have heard it all from proponents of traditional school institutions. I find all of the following myths to ensure conformity:
• You will not be able to land a ‘professional’ job without a high school diploma
• You will not be able to earn as much without a college degree as compared to someone that has one
• You will be able to earn more with a higher degree than a lower degree
• Taking on student loans to ensure you receive a university degree is money well spent (Too many people are paying off loans for unused degrees
decades after they graduate)
• Everyone needs a ‘well rounded’ education.
This last myth, calling for a ‘well rounded’ education, is idealistic at best. Mozart had little need to learn chemistry. A computer engineer has
little use for two years of in a Spanish class. My point is society needs to stop producing an entire population with a leveled, basic education. We
need to focus on encouraging people to be exceptional at their passion instead of ‘well rounded’ and non-exceptional at anything. Life is too
short to be a master of everything. I contend that if Mozart was forced to spend 7-10 hours a day obtain our modern-day, ‘well rounded’ education
he would not have been able to focus on becoming a musical prodigy.