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I think this video had a lot of important ideas that have interesting ramifications for education. First, I thought his observation that the most important thing for young people when they think about their future is happiness was quite timely. The related idea that we often assume happiness in one’s future was also interesting. The main idea of this video was that we should incorporate education on how to be healthy and happy into school curricula.
The speaker’s ability to use a variety of approaches in learning is something I hope to instill in my students. Furthermore, I really liked the idea of encouraging students to find shortcuts to achieve a given result. It reminded me of a quote I’ve heard attributed to Bill Gates: “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” I think lazy isn’t the right word for students, but the idea of rewarding people for finding a way to boil a complicated or labor-intensive process into something simpler and easier for students is one that I think should be encouraged.
That being said, this video did highlight one of the biggest issues I have with modern cutting-edge education: it is overwhelmingly elitist. It’s not something I hold against this speaker as an individual, but whenever I see any of these small-batch solutions for the flaws in our education system, it necessitates the student to be either wealthy enough to finance all of this (not to mention having a family with ample leisure time) or lucky enough to win a lottery to get into a charter school (as shown in the movie Waiting for Superman). It’s easy to see these sorts of things and say “why can’t we do that for all students?” When it comes down to it, until we as a society are willing to put our money where our mouths are we will be unable to bring about any of these changes.
We also must make a point of considering that, while this may work for Logan, it may also not work well for many other students. While we are seeing an awkward adjustment period as we move into Common Core (especially in math), that shift would be catastrophic if we moved fully toward this sort of education system. In the end, it might benefit our school system in the long run, but an entire generation of students would be left in the lurch. This is why, whatever changes we make to schools, going gradually is key, so students can adjust to the new expectations before being blindly thrown in.