Monday, May 16, 2011

Steve Wozniak says to pull your children from public schools

My old jogging partner forwarded a link to ‘Woz’ says schools, corporations ‘tamp down creativity’.  This is pretty hard hitting against government schools:

Steve Wozniak, one of the original co-founders of Apple, turned a “fireside chat” at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) here Tuesday (May 3) into a spontaneous – and sometimes contradictory – critique of education, particularly math, science and engineering education, even suggesting that the American public schools have outgrown their usefulness.

Wozniak, now chief scientist at Fusion-io, described American education as stagnant, obsessed with testing and destructive of creativity. He said children in American schools, crowded into large classes, where they are pressured to complete each inflexible unit in a prescribed time and measured by statewide and national standardized tests. “They’re not allowed different ways to think” and kids grow swiftly discouraged.

Wozniak, who confessed that he spent some eight years in mid-career “secretly” teaching at the middle and high schools levels, said, “By third grade, teachers can pretty much spot the kids who’ve given up on education, for life.”

Although Wozniak noted that his children had attended public schools, he said, “I actually think home-schooling is very, very good as an alternative.” He encouraged middle-class parents – an accurate characterization of his standing-room audience at ESC – to send their children to private schools because “every year, it seems like it’s getting worse.”

Steve Wozniak is right.  One of the things I've noticed about children who have been homeschooled is they are more flexible and don't give in to peer pressure.  They can step back and really think about a problem rather than going with the flow.  They are more creative.

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