Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Moving Beyond Education #3 - Sharing Knowledge

Our education system breeds competition through things like relative grading, percentages, rewarding the best, and giving the toppers a chance to get into better institutions. If we look into this system from a Darwinian lens, the individuals best suited to their environments will survive and prosper. The only problem is that this system has a focus on survival rather than knowledge and development. If we study the human history it has evolved from sharing of expertise, knowledge and resources. This evolution wouldn't have happened if the doors of sharing were closed. Our system is competitive. It does not breed an educated individual, rather it breeds dogs and a dog never shares his bone. This system thus can never create true value. In the past century those that have created value are the ones who got a chance to be out of the system or in a system which fostered sharing and a degree of openness. Consider Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Dhirubhai Ambani etc.
Present system is like a race. It fosters competition without openness. If you win, other tends to loose. It creates warriors and warriors can only destroy value. Another factor is art and culture. Evolution of society is closely correlated with it. Present education system like in India has seen a decadence in demand for art and culture courses. Even more disheartening is the fact that the new set of warriors being bred by the present system have simply forgotten to appreciate art. Moreover they are a hindrance as they create norms that act as hurdles for system outcasts. Unless system outcasts work against this army, value creation will remain stagnant at best.Or else we need to radically reform the education system.
Previously
Moving beyond education #2: Luck and Success
Moving beyond education #1: Education and Financial security