I was totally excited to read this post on ‘Hacking Education’, which I found referenced on Johnnie Moore’s blog while I was catching up with my out-of-control Google Reader subscriptions.
People who know me have heard me rant about education for a while. In summary, I hated school and it wasn’t the right place for me to learn. I did OK at it, but it wasn’t because of school, it was in spite of it. I mean does this look like an inspiring place to learn?
The world of social care is going through some pretty fundamental shifts – one of the coolest things is the idea of personal budgets which allow people to have a bit more control over what care they get. In my view it doesn’t go far enough, but that’s for another day.
What does this have to do with schools? Well, nothing at the moment. But imagine if, instead of being shoved in a school, you had a personal education budget that would give you more control over how you learned. Instead of sitting in maths lessons (my personal nadir) I would have used a bit of cash to go travelling.
That might sound like a bit of a doss but think about the far more useful skills I could have gained at a younger age: Languages and communication skills, resourcefulness, confidence, general knowledge, budgeting – the list goes on.
Backpacking round Europe wouldn’t be for everyone, but the sheer wealth of ways there are to learn should be opened up to young people. Of course, some people love school; it provides structure, routine, discipline, social interaction and much more, so maybe the title of this post is a little bit sensationalist :) Perhaps it would be better to say that everyone should be entitled to the freedom to learn in the way that best suits them.
Sure, the implementation would need a bit of thinking about, but in principle that would be how I would hack education.