If you tend to perform tasks you’ve never performed before, what does this mean for education? Does your school teach you to solve problems, prioritize tasks, and prepare you for non-assembly-line jobs?
“Training a student to be sheepish is a lot easier than the alternative. Teaching to the test, ensuring compliant behavior and using fear as a motivator are the easiest and fastest ways to get a kid through school. So why does it surprise us that we graduate so many sheep?” (Seth Godin in Sheepwalking)
Maybe teachers should ask harder questions — questions they’ve never answered — and allow students to use “real life” tools.
Here’s what just about every exam ought to be: “Use Firefox to find the information you need to answer this question:” And as the internet gets smarter, the questions are going to have to get harder. (Seth Godin in The Wikipedia Gap)
In the past, you had to memorize knowledge because there was a cost to finding it. Now, what can’t you find in 30 seconds or less? We live an open-book-test life that requires a completely different skill set. (Mark Cuban in Time magazine)
I’ve called this intellectual self-sufficiency, the ability to search out answers for yourself.
How about these test questions? (Internet and cell phone allowed.)
- What can you buy with 1 yen, in Japan?
- Find a picture of Rio de Janeiro taken today.
- Who is the most famous author of all time? Defend your answer.
- Your friend is visiting downtown Boston and calls you for help. Help her get to D.C. You’re in Provo, Utah.
The answers don’t really matter, but the process does.