School’s Out is a book I read several years ago about just in time learning. More thought provoking ideas about educational reform…
“Learning was an activity thought to be confined to the box of a school classroom. Now learning permeates every form of social activity-work, entertainment, home life-outside of school. For what piano lessons cost, you can now buy an electronic piano that will teach you to play it…the fastest growing cable networks- The Discovery Channel and the Learning Channel- are devoted to learning. Of the more than sixty million Americans who learned how to use personal computers since 1980, most learned from vendors, books, other users, and the computers themselves, not in school.
Raw nostalgia for schooling as a cultural ritual, as a rite of passage, as a way of life, is as understandable as it is costly. Many of us justly have rich memories of school as a positive force for our development, maturity, and fulfillment-shared experiences with lifelong friends, the exhilaration and hoopla of athletic triumphs, dating rituals and first-time benchmarks in sexual coming of age, and even the occasional special teacher or coach who befriended us and piloted us past the reefs of adolescence toward a voyage of achievement.
But what we commonly overlook or misremember is what Star Wars guru Obiwan Kenobi called “the Dark Side of The Force”. Every yin has its yang. If we look honestly at what scientific study reveals about the dark side of schooling’s “socialization” we could conclude that the benefits can be obtained in other ways that are far less costly.”