Andy, as I mentioned to you, I’m eternally grateful for the work that you’ve been doing for me personally. At the same time, the more that I see the evolution of the models that you’re creating, the more excited that I get about learning models that I think could be accessible to entrepreneurs and business creators all over the world.
I’d like to get your thinking initially on — when I look at our society, I really get the sense that we’re becoming more of a regressive as opposed to a progressive learning society. I’m curious what you think about our collective learning evolution.
First of all, thanks for the glowing words, that’s always a great way to start. I’m glad to know that I’ve been at least somewhat helpful with the writings and stuff I have produced.
I’m sure your question about where society is headed — it’s a really interesting look because on the one hand, you know there is that wonderful quote by a science fiction author William Gibson who said, The future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed. I think that’s very much the case here. There are some great bright spots.
We’ve got children in school. They’re school age, to see what they are learning with math and science in particular they are learning much more advanced stuff, at much younger ages than we were exposed to when we were growing up. They are being asked to be much more creative and inventive and a lot less leaning towards that sort of just parrot the facts back which was very popular for a very long time. It’s just, memorize all these dates, spit it back at us and that counts as a education. Of course it doesn’t. Creativity and invention are critical to learning and critical to education.
There are certainly some spots where we’re seeing more of that in the educational system and even with adult education and that’s very encouraging. I like to see that. There are dangers as well. There is a dangerous political environment of a kind of aggressive anti-intellectualism that seems to be taking hold.
That’s very frightening because in a lot of subcultures in areas in the country, it’s not cool for kids to be smart. Your peers will ostracize you if you try to be smart or try to be smarter than them and then you see some political figures who are kind of taking this tact too that smart isn’t great. That’s a real danger because that’s the kind of thing that takes you back to the Dark Ages if you let that take hold. So that’s kind of the frightening side.
If you look overall, you know, there are bright spots in education but for the most part, we still don’t really do it as well as we could. There is a lot of research from neuroscience and brain physiology and what not that we know we’re aware of, you know, it’s 10-year-old, 20-year-old research but we don’t take advantage of it.
Some very simple things like they have done studies about teenagers and how the hormones affect their sleep cycles. So the sort of stereotype of teenagers wanting to sleep in late and stay up all night is not just some kind of preference or some kind of thing they’re going through, it’s actually got chemical basis. It’s what their hormones are doing to them.
Teenagers would learn and be much more effective in school if school started later; if it started at 9 or 10 instead of starting at 7 or 8 and went later into the evening. That would match their physical reality much better. But we don’t do that because it’s not convenient.