One of my heroes, Roger Schank, said something like, “education and school aren’t the same thing”. Having been to a school and having learned things I was interested in outside of school, I know this to be true.

For example, I taught myself how to draw on my iPad using Adobe Draw because I was interested in it (and inspired by Austin Kleon I believe). If I had gone to school I’d have to memorise the history of who created the app, in what year that happened and maybe drawing apps in general. Then I’d move on to memorising the app’s features and so on. And that’s all fine, but it’s just memorising facts for a test.

Drawing on the big screen

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The way I learned how to use the Adobe Draw was opening it and using it. I played around for a bit and then I tried to copy how I had seen other people draw on their iPads. After a while I found my own style (which I’m always trying to evolve and improve). Seven years later my iPad and now Apple Pencil are basically an extension of my mind and body.

My point is that all the standardisation and ultimately control that comes along with the kind of school that governments design isn’t the same as education. It’s just memorisation of facts and tests underneath it all. There is no room for trying stuff you’re interested in and practicing skills with examples and guidance from someone more expert than yourself.

Someone who knows way more about this than me is Sir Ken Robinson. Many years ago he gave a TED talk that is so popular you’re probably already seen it. If not, here it is 👇.

I pretty much agree with everything he says because it sounds a lot like the schools I experienced as well as the schools my children are now experiencing.