What's Missing from Education - Grabbed the excerpts below from an excellent article by Peter Sims, What Bill Gates Could Learn from Chris Rock. The point is that currently we focus on spoon feeding existing knowledge and call that education. Yet what leads to success in life, to progress is new ideas from creativity and innovation.

How do people generate new ideas? What skills or activities do the utilize? My answer to that question is also a favorite word: tinker. It's a less scary or daunting assignment than "be creative" or "let's innovate", or even "do an experiment".

The skill that's missing from education (but perhaps more focused on in video games?) is tinkering. Playing with existing ideas to create new ones. The concept of "failure", which may lead to giving up, is re-labeled "feedback," which is less emotionally charged and, if anything, a stimulant for trying something different—for tinkering.

Below are excerpts from Peter Sims excellent article in Techcrunch. Highlighting is mine

What Bill Gates Could Learn from Chris Rock
Jeff Bezos, for example, find his ability to ask why not? or what if? as much as why? to be one of his most advantageous qualities.That's why, borrowing a phrase from Ryan Jacoby, an associate partner at IDEO: questions are the new answers.

When Barbara Walters interviewed Larry Page and Sergei Brin, rather than crediting their computer science degrees as the driving factor behind their success, they pointed to their early Montessori education. (The Montessori learning method, founded by Maria Montessori, emphasizes self-directed learning, tinkering, and discovery, particularly for young children.) We both went to Montessori school, Page said, And I think it was part of that training of not following rules and orders, and being self-motivated, questioning what's going on in the world, doing things a little bit differently.

They found several discovery skills that distinguished the innovators from the non-innovators, including experimenting, observing, questioning, and networking with people from diverse backgrounds. As Gregersen summed up their findings: You might summarize all of the skills we've noted in one word: ˜inquisitiveness.

We are given very little opportunity, for instance, to perform our own original experiments, and there is also little or no margin for failure or mistakes. We are judged primarily on getting answers right. There is much less emphasis on developing our creative thinking abilities, our abilities to let our minds run imaginatively and to discover things on our own.

But while investment in STEM is critical, it alone neglects the development of the types of skills that actually lead to discovery, creativity, and innovation.

So, for instance, when comedian Chris Rock performs on HBO, the work is widely considered brilliantly creative, yet his routines, as with all stand-up comedians, are the output of what he has learned from thousands of little bets in small clubs, nearly all of which initially fail. (As Stanford Professor Bob Sutton notes, writers for The Onion, known for its hilarious headlines, propose roughly six hundred possibilities for eighteen headlines each week, a 3 percent success rate.) Rock must persistently tinker using an iterative approach to discover and develop fresh material. And the cycle repeats, day in, day out.

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