Hacking Education Begins with Good Habits and Practical Knowledge


I often talk with youth (here and here are some examples) about how what they are doing in high school and/or university may not be giving them everything they need. There are lot of ways, however, that the system can be used to provide opportunities to get the basics that go toward discovering the good life.

Of course, this basically means that you have to develop the incredibly great habit of working for your own welfare even when you are being forced to do what others say is “good” for you. And since not only high school but college is an economic necessity to millennials–you will not find many jobs without a college degree–youth often find themselves doing an incredible amount of busy work on classes that get caught up in mechanical tricks rather than creative reasoning. And then they often go off to work to pay for college and cannot figure out how academics and labor ever are bridged.

In a situation like that, you must learn how to minimize the busy work and find the knowledge you need.

But this–like all good habits–must first bolster itself by gathering practical knowledge… which begins with examining our lives, wondering about the things that are always happening around us, and trying to get a grip on where those situations came from and what structures keep things moving.What is it that a youth today MUST know?

Please note here that any education in practical knowledge that gets youth thinking about what they NEED and how things are going/working around them… necessarily leads to philosophical questions as well as historic, scientific, artistic and even religious research.We just have it all #backasswards…

It is a large part of the violence inherent in our structures of education–the literal oppression of youth by dominating psychological force–that keeps younger people learning to answer test questions, memorizing tricks for solving equations, and any host of other pattern investment rather than learning how to see the patterns in their lives and look for better responses.You know, look for better responses is how we become RESPONSIBLE.

With that in mind, @DavePBrown gives us a couple of videos to kick off some thinking about hacking education. The song for some of my colleagues might seem extreme, but in the pedagogy of the oppressed, you have to get back to the experiences of the people who are being taught. And as the second video shows, there are some places that might want to actually do that.

My own plan going forward is to teach my philosophy classes beginning with asking youth to relate their experiences of life. And then maybe I’ll teach the Declaration of Human Rights along with some basic logic for solving everyday problems before we move into existential philosophy.

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