Education is not a set of tasks and tests that ends when you complete any particular institutions curricula. It is a lifelong pursuit, with the ever unattainable goal being to know it all.
That’s the point of it all really, humans are brilliant at collecting data and gathering knowledge. We have measures for everything, from the decay of atoms to measure time through to the activity of molecules to measure temperature. We have so much data that we actually have problems keeping it all accessible to study. (data from the accelerator at CERN is a good example) we file it, store it, compare and correlate it in an attempt to understand everything… Why? We could just as easily live without all that and be blissfully ignorant. Why then do we search for answers beyond even what the human senses can perceive? Why do we create vast machines who’s only purpose is to collect data and help us gain knowledge?
…Because its exciting, knowledge is like a drug to our brains, we crave it and function at joyful highs when we learn new things. The more we do it the better we get at it. We are capable of devoting our lives to this relentless pursuit that seems never ending, yet we are always hopeful we will eventually know it all.
I love those stories where you see 80 something seniors going to university just cause. They get it. Learning just for the joy of learning.
I love watching TED education animations with my kids and listening to the conversations that happen when they think I’m not there. They get it. Imagining, beyond what is immediately presented into some extended cavity of their brain that adults have lost to paying bills and working stressful jobs.
Craving knowledge is a life long thing, don’t be fooled by tests, peers and those delivering education that it ends when you leave school. That institution can occasionally show you some basics but it is, by no means, the full story.
Living outside that system (in part, whole or whatever format) gives young people the scope to experience education without walls and lets them incorporate that vivid imagination into their learning experiences without limit before they are faced with adult problems. Hell, maybe they can live a life without a few of those issues because of that imaginative ingenuity.
One can only hope…