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The Future of Education is Chaotic, Fun and Unevenly Distributed

After I wrote “The future of education is chaotic and fun“, I came across “The Montessori Mafia” about the unusual levels of successfulness that Montessori produces.

In my post, I opened discussing how our current system of funding education in the US is to force everything through a government department. That department is constrained by a number of things, including “regulatory” capture by those parents with the time, inclination and skills to engage with the bureaucratic system. It’s also constrained by federal, state and probably municipal laws about what it can teach.

It’s also constrained by an instinctual conservativeness in parents, who think that they turned out ok, and so what worked for them will work for their kids.

But as the Montessori research demonstrates, all of those levels of conservativeness add up to a remarkable degree of sclerosis for the educational system. Now it may be that there’s good reasons to not adopt Montessori ideas for the general schools, just like there may be good reasons to not adopt Khan’s idea’s. But we’ve had a long time to study Montessori, and it seems to produce students who do well in life.

It’s not financial; the methods are old enough that anyone can use them, even if the early writings are probably still copyrighted.

So why aren’t its methods better distributed?

One comment on "The Future of Education is Chaotic, Fun and Unevenly Distributed"

  • nick says:

    Well, isn’t it financial? Most of the money for eduction comes from taxes, which puts into the political machine.

    I would also say that it is very expensive and probably risky to start a school. So, it is not a dynamic market.

    In Georgia, and some other states, tax payers can get a tax credit for donations to scholarship funds that are targeted to specific schools. I call it a back-door voucher program. It should be interesting to see the impact. But, it will also be a long time.

    The goal for most parents is to get their children into a good college so they can get a good job and be financially secure. It seems to me to be setting them up for failing. At Waldorf schools, there is no real homework until 3rd grade and even then it is limited. I think that scares a lot of parents, who constantly hear about foreign children doing algebra at age 7. (There’s my FUD analogy.)

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