Back in high school I was a big computer nerd.
I played those massive multiplayer online games, hung out in forums, built my own computers, and even used them to teach myself new skills like how to sing and play guitar.
Eventually, my school district even paid me to skip class for two hours a day and drive around fixing their computers.
And while I otherwise struggled in high school — skipping classes, causing trouble, and getting bad grades.
I was fairly competent in managing my own self-directed education.
Looking back, this never really made sense to me until I stumbled upon an interesting experiment performed by education firm science director, Sugata Mitra, in 1999.
Sugata placed a computer in a poor and underprivileged neighborhood in India where most families had never even seen one before.
In addition, he placed a hidden surveillance camera to monitor the results.
Without any further instruction, he told the group of children aged 7 to 13 who had gathered around him that they could go ahead and play with it.
And what happened in the three months that followed will shock you.
Children who couldn’t previously, began learning to read.
They downloaded articles that interested them and implemented new knowledge from their studies into their day-to-day lives.
They made art, played music, and by the end of the experiment, over 300 children had become computer literate while sharing a single computer.
And that’s because our modern framework of education has it all backwards.
We don’t educate children by forcing them to memorize what we think they need to know.
Children educate themselves through observation.
By following their natural curiosities.
Through their innate drive to play and explore.
And their insatiable desire to socialize.
They investigate, experiment, and share their results.
If left to play, groups of age mixed children are very effective at educating themselves.
And so it seems to me, that now, even as an adult.
Your experience is research.
And insights gained through exploring your natural curiosities…
Are a far better indicator of passionate commitment to the field than any compulsory credentials designed to reward memorization.
That’s it for today.
Lot’s of love,