Thursday, August 16, 2012

How useful has your education been?

Make a list of all the knowledge and skills that you've learned in your education, but only those that have proofed to be really useful in your life. Now compare this to the entirety of things you've been taught in education. For most people I've talked to the comparison is pretty devastating. Some say 20% of their education was useful, some say 10%. The longer people think about it, the lower the percentage usually gets as they remember more useless things they've learned during their education.

The single most useful element of an education is usually a printed sheet of paper that states that you have completed the education. It's useful because it might get you your job interview. But it's almost useless once you have the job. What if you could get your job interview without that printed sheet of paper? Then your whole education would be a giant waste of time. Because without this paper, all that is left from your education is the 10% useful stuff, that you could learn in a different way much easier and faster.

As I have a 10-year-old son, I'm most concerned about school education. School curricula are designed by central government planning. With central government planning failing in so many areas, is it any wonder that usefulness of school education is around 10%? Most private schools are not much better, as they largely teach the same curriculum as public schools - only teaching it slightly more efficient.

Imagine an education with an 80% usefulness for your later life. An education that proudly could wear the title "useful education". Creating such an education is the mission of

What are some of the core elements to achieve 80% usefulness?

  • Making a long list of potentially useful knowledge and skills. Useful for professional and/or personal life.
  • All potentially useful knowledge pieces and skills have to be checked ruthlessly on their likelihood to be useful in later life. Knowing how to calculate with irrational numbers has a very small likelihood to be useful in one's life. Learning blind typing has a very high likelihood to be useful during one's professional and/or private life.
  • For each education piece the most efficient learning method (based on the available resources) needs to be identified and used.
  • The education needs to document it's achievements and make it likely to get that job interview.

Follow the journey of that started in May 2012 when my son skipped a week of school to test drive a more useful kind of education.

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