Thoughts on Life and Education

What would an education system look like that maximized the potential of all students?

Pictured: a typical classroom setting with group instruction and limited Q&A
  • Fixed-duration classes: a class is defined as the teaching of a subject for a certain number of in-room sessions per week over a period of a number of weeks. At the end of the class, the instruction is deemed complete. Students have a final exam where their completeness and correctness of understanding is evaluated as a written test.
  • Multiple classes per unit time: students are typically taking 3–6 different subjects, different in nature, contemporaneously.
  • Group, lecture-based instruction: a qualified teacher orally presents material to a group of 20–30 students in a lecture hall or online, using multimedia aids such as a chalkboard, whiteboard, or prepared slides.
  • Homework: students are assigned reading and exercises to perform on their own at home, typically several hours’ worth per day. These exercises are intended to solidify understanding from lecture as well as to grade progress. Little 1:1 instruction or assistance with homework is given (with the exception of TA sessions in college) — if students require extra help understanding or mastering the material they are expected to find such help on their own (from parents, tutors, etc).
  • Instructor-driven grading: the instructor is also generally the person responsible for grading a student’s homework and exams. In subject matters where subjective scoring has a component, a teacher’s subjective impression of a student may influence grades given. Independent evaluators or examiners are rarely used; intervention by outside forces such as a principal, school board, or district, happen only in extreme, unusual, and Bad cases.
  • Early start: instruction typically begins early in the morning, typically 7 or 8am.

Mastery Learning

Focused Learning

Spaced Repetition

Teach to Know

Tutelage

Scaling Instruction

Age-Appropriate Instructional Hours

Oral Exams

Approach

Toroidal Learning

The Real World

Summary

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David E. Weekly

Founder+CEO: Medcorder, ex-GOOG, FB. Started: Drone.VC, Mexican.VC, Neuron.VC, PBwiki, DevHouse, and Hacker Dojo. Startup advisor. Chopper pilot. Dad. ❤�