Watching a documentary on education this morning it struck me that I’ve been out of school for 10 years; I matriculated in ’98. Considering that I spent 10 years in “big school” I began to ask myself an interesting question.
Have I learnt more or less in the past 10 years since leaving school than in the 10 years I spent in school.
I guess the answer depends on what your definition of knowledge is. I’m trying to think of things I learnt in school. It’s a pathetic list. Jan Van Riebek in 1652,
Dutch British Settlers 1820. Tightly packed molecules make a solid. Obviously there’s more, but it’s all anecdotal, incomplete or just plain incorrect.
I think the most important thing I’ve learnt since I left school is the joy of learning… That inate part of every human being’s soul that yearns for knowledge… that sponge that your school spent 10 years abusing with limited facts, half truths and parrot fashion learning.
I think I spent the better part of 3 years after I left school learning how awesome learning is again. Getting back that feeling of awesomeness that you had when you learnt a new word at 7 years old. The feeling of completeness that you got when you finished your first “big book”.
Perhaps I learnt everything I needed to know in those first 2 years… A to Z and how they make words. Everything else was so badly taught that I’ve spent the following ten years patching all the holes and erasing all the untruths.
I know one thing for sure: I’m going to teach my kids the stuff they’ll never learn in school, starting with the joy of learning. That, and they’ll have a huge map of the world stuck up on their bedroom wall from the day they are born until the day they leave my house. This planet is a incomprehensibly huge place and the biggest mistake you can make in life is to get too caught up in the insular little envelope that is your school and the 100 or so people who have an influence in your life.