Learning Versus Thinking
Editor’s Pick. Written by Darci Walker.
Last night I watched a Ted talk by Jacob Barnett, a 13-year-old genius with Asperger’s. His message? “Forget what you know.” “Stop learning and start thinking.” And, while Jacob’s story begins with how the educational and diagnostic systems that we have in our society were not able to meet his needs because he was working on quantum physics at the age of 3, his message still settled with me as, well, nothing short of genius.
The system didn’t work for him because he didn’t think like the system thinks. The system teaches us to learn things, in a certain way, for a certain goal, so that we can produce certain behaviors or outcomes and we can obtain a certain set of already agreed upon facts. Learning is prescribed and our measurement of learning is limited to what we think we want our children to do.