Friday, June 26, 2015

Education : When simplistic models go against reality

Some exchanges over ways to teach students about trade and money, have
brought up a classical dilemma that I'm sure has been faced by a lot
of educators.

Our simplistic models we use to teach go completely against reality.
And reality is way too difficult for us to teach : we simply cannot
decide where to begin!

So we pick the easier route, and assume that censoring reality is a
good pedagogical strategy to teach students about real-life things as
critical as the money system. What evidence do we have of that? Will
doing so not make them as susceptible to the same issues of regular
economic meltdowns, unpayable debt, consumerism, infinite growth etc
that the current generation faces? Isn't there some possibility that
it was these unreal simplistic teachings that created these problems
to begin with?

What if by being exposed to reality instead, they'll get a far better
understanding of trade and money than the current generation has? What
if they'll become better at handling the next economic recession, if
they know that it's not an unexpected random event but a fundamental
property of the system? What if they'll avoid getting into the
consumerism paradigm and get a lot better at managing their needs and
not become a drain on their or their parents' finances? What if
they'll get better at seeing through things?

Worth a thought, eh? At least, that's how things have been for me.
What I needed was an exposure to various contradictory perspectives,
and the freedom to choose which one to take. Not teaching.

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