What is school for?


Seth Godin’s speaking is one way of summarizing all we’ve discussed through this course. Students need to be taught how to connect dots, not to collect dots; in other words we should teach them how to think not what to think. Although I agree with Seth Godin on most things, I don’t agree all “eight things that he thinks are going to change completely”.

  1. Homework by day, lectures by night.
  2. No memorization.
  3. No predetermined course order.
  4. Precise, focused education.
  5. Experience based.
  6. Coach not teacher.
  7. Lifelong learning.
  8. No brand name colleges.

Especially one reply of the TED talk said that “How can you . . . . you who attended Tufts and Stanford. . . . . . that college did not help. YOU are the ultimate beneficiary of a college education. It is highly unlikely you would be in the position that you are in, without this. Rather hypocritical here. (David Orman).” I agree with the comment. This comment leads me to think of this in a different way than what Godin mentioned. Simply, we are able to have a chance think this type of issue with all resources because we are here at VT and especially we are taking this course. The brand name and raking of institute mean a lot in many different ways for students and society. The reputation of an institution is not only one of academic motivation to the students, also it symbolizes its contribution of intellectual part in its society.  Also, the reputation/brand of institute is the system we’ve created through industrialization; there have been numerous educational systems in different shapes through human history. I believe the problem is not brand name but the ranking system to order all institutions in one way of evaluation.