Rant on Education February 7, 2007Posted by sdpurtill in Education, High School, Rants.
I feel like I am stagnating in my “traditional” education at high school right now.
When I can’t see the current/future value in what I am learning, it becomes completely pointless and irrelevant to me. I understand why they want to teach people in Primary School all the concepts and stuff, but the only way you are going to really learn something is if you go out and learn on your own. When I say “learn on your own”, I am talking about picking up books, or going and doing an internship in a field that you want to be in, or simply Googling a subject and finding out everything there is to know about it. I learned more about Silicon Valley working for MonVia in these last few months than any teacher could have ever taught me.
The best way to learn something is just by going out and doing it; book knowledge is good to an extent. I’m not saying that reading isn’t useful — it definitely helps out a lot. I believe that being able to read and synthesizing valuable tangible information will open up more doors for you than anything else you can do while you still young. But I am tired of “Information Overload“. How is knowing about an Amoeba going to help me when I am out in the real world trying to make a living? Shouldn’t my education be more focused on something tangible? Capitalism? Managing money? How about a course based on Ben Graham’s The Intelligent Investor? At least learning about this stuff will help me put food in my stomach after High School is over.
I am glad for everything I learned up until 8th grade. Then I got into high school and took all these science classes that I could have cared less about (still don’t care for them). I did terribly in all of them (B’s and C’s) because I never saw any value in what I was learning. It was, and still is, useless information to Sam Purtill. I am never going to give a **** about the Periodic Table; it’s not something that I will ever specialize in. I’m sure there are some kids in my school that are fascinated by the Periodic Table and how many electrons are in Plutonium. Great for them, let them take the Science classes (Mrs. Rausch and Mrs. Page are awesome teachers) and let them know that information. When I have a question about Plutonium, I’ll go to them and ask. I don’t need to know everything!!
I am so tired of Information Overload though. It is the result of the internet. I don’t care about EVERYTHING; I’m never going to act like I do.
I do believe there are three things that everyone should be proficient in by the end of High School:
- English – writing and speaking
- Math – up to Algebra 2
- Spanish – this should be taught starting in Kindergarten. Everyone legal US Citizen in California needs to speak Spanish fluently if they want to survive in 15 years
And beyond that, kids should start specializing. They should find something they like and start taking classes in it. I wish there were Java courses. Computer Science courses. Something that I actually care about and would be extremely motivated to do. I garauntee if we had a Computer Science class at my school I would get 100% in it every single semester.
Education needs help: there are three things I want in my education.
- Tangible – the instructor should be able to explain to me why I need to know this crap
- Valuable – this is going to take me farther in life if I learn it
- Relevant – wake up call: this is the 21st century. Would any of this information matter to me now if I went out and got a job?
I don’t like things the way they are.