Education

I have a few negative thoughts about my experience with education in life thus far.

I have never been a good student both in school nor in university. And there are many reasons for that. But one of the major reasons is that I thought that in many ways education was not efficient enough for me. I often lost interest and most professors/teachers didn't engage me in way for me to be fascinated about what it is I am learning.

For example, in school, learning about math was quite a chore. I looked into text books and never did my homework. Simply because I did not like math. I looked at math as learning a bunch of rules and then trying to use these rules I have learned hoping I have not forgotten anything. And that's not fun.

And I actually went to a good high school where my math teacher did try to derive these rules. But even then, I still looked at math as learning about rules and how to apply them. And that's no fun.

Instead I wish I was actually shown math. Like this. I wish I could play with math, like here. I wish I could discover math and actually be willing to discover and fail at things. And the only way to get a kid like me excited about learning is showing that math is playful and that is is not about learning and applying the rules you learn in class and your text book.

Same story goes for physics, literature, history and language. That is not to say that most teachers are bad at their job but just to point out that education can be done differently. It's often hard to show how playful and engaging learning new things can be. And words and talking often don't convey this.

However I believe we are genuinely entering a new era of learning. Where the showing part is as easy as opening a website. Where the playing part is as easy as playing with the interactive game or visualisation of some idea or concept. Where engaging means getting enough interest to find out more about what you have just learned. All of this makes learning as was done previously very inefficient and in many ways kills the passion to learn new things.

Learning is a process of self discovery. You are learning more about yourself as you learn about your surroundings. You learn about how complex some things are and how limiting our own brains are. How you are not really in control of your thoughts and how curiosity and imagination can produce wonderful things.

In essence, though, I just wish every person on this planet could get the same level of education as everyone else. And I hope to do my part in making that wish a reality with Learn Anything.

Notes

  • Try to get learning working in multiple aspects of your brain at once. One of the best "learn about learning" lessons I ever had was studying jazz theory. My teacher used a four-way method of learning chords - say the name of the chord, visualize it on the keyboard, feel the shape your hands make to play the chord, and listen to the sound of the chord. I've applied this sort of approach to all sorts of skills since then.

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