Lifelong learning – Day 87/139

I was recently interviewed about education and need for professional courses in my business activities. I think I gave all the wrong answers.

In a short period of time my respect for extensive education has collapsed.

I used to believe that education and especially university-level education are the solution to success in our society. Most people still believe that the education you get will predestinate the success for the rest of your life. On average this is true.

But is the success actually caused by the education or could it be that the people who complete their education had been successful regardless of their education?

I will argue that people will learn anyway what they consider inspiring. School works for people who don’t have the passion and motivation to learn stuff themselves.

So, when I was asked what kind of professional courses I would like to have to help my business, I couldn’t think of anything. Even the best people giving courses are seldom passionate about what their students do. In contrast, if there was a person who was both knowledgeable and passionate about their subject and could provide their skills for the students to use, that would be a completely different thing.

The importance of learning cannot be denied.

But everyone should stop and ask why they are learning stuff the way they’re doing it. Are they learning for themselves or for the system? And if the answer is for themselves then why do it as inefficiently as the school system tends to do it. Ask why and try to understand the answer. For example:

Ask your mother why she made you do your homework.


4 responses to “Lifelong learning – Day 87/139

  1. Petteri, I couldn’t agree more with you. It’s not about education but about the person and he’s skills. It doesn’t matter where or how you´ve gathered your skills and wisdom. School is just one way mostly not even the best place to do it.

  2. So true. I’ve been thinking about the same thing.. The little idealist inside me keeps dreaming of a mentor. But that can’t be organized from above by some central authority. It has to be organic in order to bear fruit.
    “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”

  3. I agree whole-heartedly. What is the system for? Is it geared towards bringing the potential in each of us to the fullest? I´d like to share a TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson about the subject;

  4. Like all systems, schools and society to which it is bound, have a tendency to try to sustain their being. It’s pretty obvious that services provided by society are tooled to benefit society. Schools are there to create more workers for different fields, and emphasis is put on subjects that are at any given time the ones that seem the most important. As the lovely Sir Ken Robinson points out, it’s in the benefit of society to really mix up how we teach and what we teach. Most of the time a fulfilled human being will be of much greater use to society than one who feels inadequate and unhappy.

    Creativity is the only tool that creates progress in any system, and the more complex these systems become the more we need to value creativity.

    I agree that schools are not the only way, and in no way a perfect way to educate and create happy individuals. I do think, that they are still a very much needed component in society to keep it running. Schools are not there just for information, they’re also there to teach us how to work together, how to learn and provide a differing viewpoint from the one we receive from home.

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