Order of learning

Posted by – October 13, 2017

It seems wildly inefficient for all higher education to begin at the same age. Serious education in mathematics should ideally start way before 18, whereas almost everyone is too young to start studying philosophy at 18.

Perhaps the whole idea of everyone learning a bit of everything until they leave school is wrong, and it should be more concentrated by topic. Languages and mathematics earlier, natural sciences later, composition and history later, psychology even later, philosophy should perhaps not even be a school subject.

It is well known that mathematically oriented kids are capable of learning the entire math curriculum in a few months at the right age, given the chance, and that language learning in a school setting is extremely slow compared to an immersion setting. Taking advantage of that is unusual. The norm is to waste years in drudgery, developing an aversion to learning.

Probably the current push for interdisciplinary projects for young children is just a mistake. As is “phenomenon-based learning”, where 10-year -olds learn about climate change at an extremely superficial level. Any activity that children end up just faking through is not only pointless but potentially damaging.

On the flipside, it’s another huge waste that adults are too busy to go on learning. For many, by the time they’ve developed the intellectual maturity to really understand topics in social sciences or philosophy, they’ve closed that door. They may even wrongly think they do understand those topics and have opinions about them on the basis of whatever they heard when they were 15-25.

1 Comment on Order of learning

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  1. sam says:

    Facebook comment by Riku Tiikasalo: I wonder how many people in uni feel like they’re just faking through it… This however might be more of a pedagogical problem, not connected to age as such.