[FoRK] Greenspun: let's stop investing in our kids

Corinna Schultz corinna.schultz at gmail.com
Tue Jun 15 16:09:47 PDT 2010

On Sun, Jun 13, 2010 at 6:06 AM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:

> managed to create an education system so expensive and ineffective that
> we’d be better off not sending anyone to school."

So what do you guys think about the chances that reasonable alternatives to
traditional college will be available in the next 10 years?

For certain areas (programming/CS, some kinds of humanities, math perhaps),
you don't necessarily need the "college experience" if you have sufficient
self-motivation. You can, with the help of one or more mentors online, teach
yourself much of what you need to know, at least at the Bachelor's level.
The problem with taking this homeschool/unschool/autodidact approach, is
that afaik, there's no degree at the end of it - no mainstream college will
let you take an exit exam of some sort to prove that you have the right to a
degree, after spending a few years studying.

With the increasing cost of college, doesn't it make sense that there's a
market just waiting to be served in this way? Khan academy is a nice step in
this direction, but it's not systematic, or even trying to be comprehensive.

My husband has faced this problem already - he's got the knowledge, skill,
and raw ability to be a philosophy grad student, from self-study and leading
discussion groups. But who will grant him a degree for this? Or even
fast-track him through a degree program (in case he has some gaps in his
knowledge)? As far as we can find out, colleges simply aren't set up to
handle the autodidact. (If anyone knows differently, please tell me!)

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