Thinking Critically about Formal Education
NPR featured a story today titled “Skipping Out On College And ‘Hacking Your Education,'” in which they discuss the book Hacking Your Education by Dale Stephens, who also founded the website UnCollege.org.
I felt like I was being a jerk in my head when I first saw the story, because my immediate thought (accompanied by a derisive, subvocal snort) was , “Oh, so dude thinks he’s Will Hunting.” Then I followed the link to UnCollege.org and found, top of the front page, a quote from Good Will Hunting, and then I felt super astute and clever instead of jerkish. (Hey! Maybe his system works after all!)
Because, look: That’s a movie. It’s a movie about a guy who’s a genius, a prodigy, an anomaly, not a film about education or the necessity or value of formal education for everyone. Robin Williams is in it, for chrissake.
I have not read the book or much of the website, so I will withhold further judgment until I have, but I wanted to point readers to the story so you can discuss it, and perhaps discuss the broader ideas of “self-taught” vs. “formal” education systems.