Seth Godin – Stop Stealing Dreams

“What is School For?”

This is an introductory post. Over the next four days I will be reading Seth Godin’s new free book Stop Stealing Dreams (you can download it here.) I invite you to read it with me. I’d love to discuss it via the comments below.

Godin’s blog has been a huge motivation over the past few months. The new title inspired me to review my thoughts on my education history and take action to begin a discussion on my blog.

Seth Godin and Ken Robinson

My Experience

Subtle Unconscious Feelings

As I grew through the school system in Northern Nevada, I had a subtle unconscious feeling that something was awry with the process that I was being subjected to. Though I had a subtle consciousness of the discomfort, I never had the capacity to explain this feeling in a productive way. School was very difficult, not because it was challenging, but because it was often dull and prison like.

I had some fantastic teachers. They left an unforgettable positive effect on me. They were not overly strict, and they were capable of inspiring me to desire development. They focused their efforts on keeping us fascinated with the subjects, rather than in line with regulation.

My worst teachers were always the authoritarian rulers. I have terrible memories of them and I feel like much of my capacity for development was stunted by the experiences they provided.

I graduated from the public school system and found much more success at the University of Nevada. The freedom to select my classes, show up for classes, and the choice of extracurricular activities allowed me to drive my own development. I found this system to be far more productive.

That subtle understanding that the compulsory school system had failed me remained dormant in my mind. I knew it was there, but I couldn’t productively explain it. Somewhere along the line, I watched this video:

You can watch more of Sir Ken Robinson here and here.

This made it all clear. I believe Ken Robinson is right, we need a education revolution.

Exploring this idea inspired me to read Seth Godin’s new book. Please read it over the next few days with me. Please feel free to discuss it below. I imagine a few teachers will read this and I hope that they express their thoughts.

Teachers are the experts and I think their voices on this matter carry more clout.

Thank you for visiting and reading my blog. I look forward to hearing from you.

7 Replies to “Seth Godin – Stop Stealing Dreams”

  1. I have been reading this book, and so far there is a lot that I agree with.  A huge problem is that currently  the “purpose of school (is) to cram as much data/trivia/fact into every student as we possibly could” (46, p69).  I was disappointed when I saw the huge textbooks and lists of facts you were required to use in middle and high school.  In my MA program we learned that to be effective we needed to focus on the most important information, and teach less of it deeply and well.
    I am a bit worried about the idea that teachers should teach the students “how to care” and to persuade the students “to relish the idea of intellectualism”.  This would be a great movement in the right direction, but is not easily done.  The author points out that the choice is made by the individual as whether to pursue intellectualism or entertain oneself “into a stupor” with technology games and such.
    I like the suggestions about reinventing the school, and the responsibility of parents to ask questions about the validity of what is being taught and how it is presented.
    Have you heard o Khan Academy?  Some teachers have suggested their students learn the lessons there, and go to school for help with the homework.  Have you seen “Waiting for  Superman?”  I think it touches on some of these ideas, and also presents some possible solutions.
    I am currently on 64 p. 92.  I will finish reading.

    1.  @sagebrush I haven’t heard of Khan Academy. I’d love to see waiting for superman too.
      I’m, up to section 22 now. I really like hearing what you have to say about the subject. You’re in a unique authority position on the subject.
      I never really thought about the education system until recently. Now I think about those enormous expensive books we carried around and I imagine that those will be things of the past. It really was an incredible waste of energy…
      Thanks for reading this book with me. It’s really great to connect with you like this.
      Love, Ian

  2. I was concerned that when Godin said, “this is more of a rant than a book” (7,p.17) that it would be only a rant.  I was happy to read some good ideas for solutions  (74, p.108).  Again, I think it is challenging to sell students on WHY it is important to become well educated.  Where does motivation to learn and lead come from?

  3. So, I haven’t started reading the book yet, but I just watched Sir Ken Robinson’s video above.  I recently was in a debate group and I hope all of my fellow debaters will join this discussion also.  I have been taking classes lately that have helped me to feel positive that the education system will go through some big changes.  I am going to start the article today and repost soon!

  4.  Michael Hataway , Jonas Ellison , Alex Ellison , Nikki McGuire   Hey friends!  Check out this website and join me in reading the selection and definitely watch the Sir Ken Robinson videos.  I feel like this topic goes in the same direction that we were all debating over the other night at “Impolite Dinner Conversations”.  Can you Ellison’s help me tag the rest of our group to get them in on this also?  Thanks!
    Also, teacher friends, I am curious what you think too and would love if you joined the conversation!  Jessica Hawkins Lara Amie Stickel LizandAlex Lepe Shelace Jarolimek Shoemaker Rachel Miller Shanlee Meyers Shannon Morscheck Alicia Garcia Klaich Jason V Howard Rod Hearn Megan Kelley Lapidus Michelle MacKay Meagan Crowell Bernadette Leonis David Crowther 

  5. Did anyone get to the end?
    If I’m honest, I just got tired of reading. Did I miss anything or am I in the majority?

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