Friday, June 3, 2011

Bitching #3 Self-directed learning

The idea of self-directed learning has always baffled me. If learning is truly self-directed, then why are there physical establishments that dictate your learning schedule and forces specific literature onto you? Why not make everything online, with a test at specific intervals to evaluate your understanding of the material? The answer lies in, shockingly, money. If all universities adopt this business model, the student will be able to save on transportation fees, book fees, hell even the basic money needed to buy pens and paper. The only thing that anyone would need is a computer. Furthermore, there is also an issue with legitimacy. Just like pirating, such curriculums can just be copy-and-pasted to be freely distributed – no one will have to pay for it. So since it’s not a viable option for the evolution of education, why call it self-directed learning since well everything about it is arbitrary and the only real control students have over their curriculum comes down to the basic “do or die”. If you follow everything and do everything as required, you will pass and maybe even excel in it, if you don’t you fail. Self-directed learning, or rather the phrase itself, just seemed like roundabout way of saying “we don’t really know how to teach this subject, so there, if you fail it’s your fault, if you succeed, it’s our meticulous plan to make you want to learn”.

So… If you’re in a position to make changes in the structure of the classes taught in any establishment that passes on knowledge to the paying masses, please consider just spending the time to actually teach, rather than throw useless information at your students and make it sound justifiable.

20 comments:

  1. Money is in everything these days.

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  2. Then again you lose that pleasure of the "college experience" by going online. The partying, the new friends, frats, groups, clubs. Not everyone is social enough to be able to do all this when they have school online.

    Also, a lot of hands-on subjects require more than computers like some forms of engineering and building etc...

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  3. Money is everything. The U.S. government needs less of it.

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  4. I can not count the number of times a lecteur has just read off the slides for two hours...good post.

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  5. agreeing with happyhacker, governments are so corrupt these days..

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  6. How can humanity ever progress when everyone's main going is to acquire as much material objects?

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  7. yeah man learning is always the best part about our life!!!

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  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  9. I mostly agree but you would need more than just a computer. You would also need an internet connection. Small point to disagree on as anyone who can read this doubtlessly has both of those but I feel like sometimes people forget that not everyone has the same resources as them. Also, as a response to this post as a whole, if you dislike the establishments of learning then ditch them and teach yourself. You obviously have a computer and internet access and it isn't hard to find easy free ways to watch documentaries or even scans of books on the web these days. All in all I like where this blog is going so you've earned a follower in me.

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  10. Well said, the last paragraph especially hit home. Keen to see your next post, followed.

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  11. Interesting analysis...money makes the world go round they say. Knowledge is king though.

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  12. Money...Money...Money,the whole worlds problem.

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  13. problems shoul solve themself by bitching

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  14. learning will always be somewhat directed and get things thrown at you..this is how everything works

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