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Changing Education Paradigms

by Adam Ayers on October 30th, 2011

Reflecting back on my K-12 Education in Tucson, AZ, my college experience at Arizona State, and my real-world education as an Entrepreneur, and the lessons taught to me by my parents and mentors – I often struggle to pinpoint which of all these educational experiences has shaped me the most.  The video below forced me to seriously question the 13 years I spent in K-12 public school education and consider the alternative things I could have been doing with all that time.  But I think the general public forgets a few basic things about our society:

  • Most parents go to work 8 hours a day and wouldn’t be able to provide for their families if they had to stay home to manage/watch their children.
  • K-12 education helps us build the scholastic fundamentals that shape who we for the rest of our lives.  Yes it does have a way of killing personal creativity but at the same time it is a very structured approach to helping us grow socially and understand who we are among our peers. In-fact my school district had a gifted education problem, where a few select students were pulled out of their homeroom class once a week to be taught lessons and given assignments that pushed us to be creative. Because of this extraordinary K-12 experience I’d say it is safe to say my view on public education is somewhat biased.
  • Public school is Free, it is a government service that takes a very lean approach to delivering an education to the masses, yes we pay taxes which indirectly contribute to the costs but when compared side-by-side to private schools, public schools are awfully efficient (in my opinion). Even my college education, which I feel was pretty good, was rather inexpensive (for my parents), but had I chosen to go to Harvard I would have a debt in the $100K’s, but I would have been studying next to the countries’ most academic elite, and building an impressive professional network.

The point is there are opportunity costs and trade-offs for everything in life but I think the most important thing to be focused on when designing the new education paradigm is a happy balance between educating the scholastic fundamentals and pushing students to innovate and solve real world problems (while still in school).

I plan to discuss some of these topics further here on my blog but for now I’ll leave you with this video – it’s definitely entertaining, enjoy!

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