10 January 2014

Complete Education

Yesterday I watched a superb TED Talk given by 13 year old Logan Laplante on the shortcomings of traditional education, the benefits of homeschooling/hack-schooling, the vital need to create more comprehensive, innovative methods of educating children and what he wants to be when he grows up.

The topics he spoke about really struck a nerve in me.  As someone who, although highly educated, has very little traditional schooling beyond high school (other than a handful of unfinished college degrees in a variety of disciplines), I found his words both credible and inspiring.

My education, from childhood onward, has been almost entirely auto-didactic.  I left high school after my sophomore year and earned my GED when I was 18.  Even though I scored 68 (only 40 points were required to pass), my lack of formal education has been a source of embarrassment and shame throughout most of my adult life.  Not holding a degree and having dropped out of college multiple times has given many people the impression that I'm uneducated and lack a desire to learn, even though I continue to read and study far in excess of most adults, who so often seem to think that education stops once you have a framed piece of paper.

Gradually I have become less ashamed of my lack of certification to prove that I know-what-I-know and Logan's enthusiastic pragmatism has pushed me even further along not only the path of self acceptance, but into the realm of actually being proud of my unique and unconventional education.  I didn't complete classes or earn grades due to the requirements of the public school system or pressure from college professors and my parents.  My love of learning is motivated by my insatiable curiosity and desire to understand the world around me and the wealth of knowledge that we are so fortunate to literally have at our fingertips.

You know what?  I really am proud of myself and my accomplishments.


  1. This is a great perspective on how we define education, and leads one to wonder if our definition is sorely lacking.

  2. A very insightful post. Thank you! I believe traditional education is failing and we need to look at new models that promote critical thinking along with the true joy of learning.