The Problem with Education

Children enrolled in traditional educational systems spend most of their time striving to meet other peoples’ criteria for success, or suffering because they don’t meet those criteria, instead of pursuing their own interests and solving their own problems. They endure a staggering imposition on their time and attention, which distorts their priorities. It diverts them from creating, criticizing, improving, and striving to meet their own criteria for success; it steals their attention away from their own interests and problems, sabotaging their ability to solve those problems and defeating the ostensible purpose of their education: to prepare them for life as autonomous individuals. But it shows that traditional educational systems are optimized for another purpose, one that diminishes the joy of childhood, conflicts with the liberal values of our society, and undermines the long-term dynamism of our economy: instilling obedience.

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