As a refresher, this reflection is about Seth Godin’s book Stop Stealing Dreams: What is School for? for my Learning and Technology Class.
Once I skimmed this whole article, and realized there were 132 sections, I decided it would be best to summarize ending thoughts here, as this is my last book review. As I realized in the end of this book with Godin quoting James Murphy and saying “The best way to complain is to make things” I think I understand why Godin came off as such a complainer to me. He was making a point. So to Godin, good job!
To reflect on and summarize on the remainder of the book, I have highlighted sections I found interesting below.
Godin makes a solid point noting that school is training for jobs, but makes you learn you may not necessarily need. He also highlights the importance of basic arithmetic and reading and writing to be successful. I believe he is on to something, and I can say that while I don’t feel much of my time was wasted learning things I did not need in high school, I can think of a few classes I had the option of enrolling in that would have been a complete waste of time. Like high-level poetry classes. Not interested, not using high-level poetry now.
Godin discusses prepackaged LEGO kits and how they are synonyms with the change in education. He states that kids used to buy LEGOS and build whatever, then they started buying kits and building what the box said, so there was a right answer. His point on this resonated with me, as that is how I feel about many of my math classes. I want the kids to explore answers and understand WHY addition and subtraction are related, and WHY multiplication and division are related, and not just tell them. The exploration for learning is, in my opinion, the best way to learn. This seems to me in line with the change to Common Core Math.
Also, on a personal level, I disliked prepackaged LEGOS as a child because one of my siblings would always take a piece from my kit to annoy me. Like the person who takes the last piece of the puzzle. I will never understand it.
This section was about the emotional labor in the work of teachers, and is something I feel passionate about. To quote Godin “every great teacher you have ever had the good luck of learning from is doing the irreplaceable labor of real teaching”. I absolutely agree, and thank my lucky stars that I have had great teachers (and other role models) open the gates of my learning potential and helped shape me to become an educator. I can only dream of being as successful and life enriching as they have been.
Aside from those specific sections, the rest of the reading can be summarized into Godin discussing the problems with school, and noting that he does not know how to fix them. He discusses the needs of learners and that education needs to change (quickly) with our changing world, which I do agree is a valid argument. Overall, I feel that this book was an interesting and eye opening read, with solid points and opinions.