I was asked, somewhat out of the blue, what I wish I’d learned in school, and I thought it an interesting question. I also thought it worth putting out to a slightly broader audience.
So, here’re some off-the-cuff thoughts about what I wish I’d learned in school:
- meta-cognitive and meta-learning skills (e.g. the SCANS competencies beyond the basic skills)
- that it is ok to fail, and that persistence and effort is as much a part of learning as achievement
- that your epistemological beliefs – what you believe learning is – affect your outcomes
- how to work in groups on projects
- about design, and the value of feedback and revision
- how reflection on process is as important as reflection on product
These are just a few thoughts, but it’s a start. And let me ask what you wish you’d learned in school?
Rob Moser says
Ooh, good one.
Do you include university in “school”? Does it have to be things you didn’t learn, or can it include things you did learn, or perhaps wish you’d learned better.
(I wish I’d learned to just answer the question, instead of nit-picking the parameters…)
Rob, or learned to answer however best accomplishes whatever goals you might have around an opportunity?
Mark Britz says
hear hear! On how to work in groups on projects. Less Competition. More Cooperation
Rob Moser says
No I was always pretty good at that in school; don’t give the correct answer, give the answer that the guy who wrote the test is looking for. Because everyone knows the goal of school is to pass tests, not learn things.
Peter Condon says
That it’s okay to be an introvert. Too many schools push students to be extroverts without considering their natural character.
Matthew MacDonald says
How to fix my roof or change the oil in my car might have been handy…
I’d wish I’d learn to write about your findings, still have a hard time with writing reports etc. I wish I had a better math teacher.
Added to that the points Clark mentioned, that it is ok to fail and that persistance and effort is all part of the process.
Valerie Taylor says
World of Warcraft – both my kids, now graduate Engineers, learned and practiced pretty much all of the SCANS skills while they spent way toooo much time playing WoW instead of working on yet another problem set for Fluid Mechanics.
Both had to do a reset – cut back on something they found so intellectually challenging and personally gratifying to just do what was asked and provide enough right answers to graduate.
I wish I had learned the basics of philosophy which would have led me to the world of reason or reasoning – the ‘whys’ to my actions and reactions. It would have taught me earlier in life that time spent in reflection is productive. Understanding the reasons why we did things or why some things occurred can allow us to avoid these scenarios in the future, again allowing us to accept that it is ok to fail, but try to learn from that failure. anyway, back to work!!