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Published on May 24, 2012
Naveen Jain gave a compelling talk at The Economist's Ideas Economy: Innovation 2012 event in Berkeley, California.
He argued that we need to redesign our education system for the post-industrial era. Here's a summary of Naveen's speech:
How do we change education? Did you know that our children can solve some of the most complex problems---playing World of Warcraft. Why is it that this same child struggles in school? I believe this is because our children are not being taught right. Our brain is optimized for two things—survival and procreation. Our brains are good at pattern matching, multisensory devices, and we have neurochemicals that allow you to learn. They can be controlled by giving them a certain task. So how is it that a kid can play Farmville for hours? Wouldn't it be nice if your child asked you, "can't I do math for just one more hour?" We can improve the brain's learning capacity for better learning and decision-making.
Our education system was designed for the industrial era where you learned certain skills that you used for the rest of your life. Today with exponentially growing technologies, skills you learn become obsolete in ten years. It's not about learning skills, it's about learning to learn. We have to fundamentally change the way we educate.