Education: it's about the best you can achieve, not the minimum to succeed

By | January 29, 2012
Education: it's about the best you can achieve, not the minimum to succeed

See, we live in a society where people with passion are the ones who succeed at standing out from the crowd. The game at stake is no longer equality, but rather specialization and collaboration. Industry knows this, educators not. Unfortunately, today's education system focuses on knowledge, not collaboration, and focuses either on broad education or deep specialization in one area. That poses two problems:

1. One specialization is very arbitrary and not helpful. I'm not saying everyone needs an interdiciplinary education. But I am saying that if you have passion for two or more niche subjects, that mix is what is going to define your reputation and later success.

2. Knowledge is not collaboration. This is a problem because accessing specialized information is no longer the limiting success factor – technology and the internet have taken care of this. What is a limiting factor is the ability to collaborate successfully with teammates and strangers out of another niche area. Moving the center of the model from access to knowledge to gaining community leaders / collaboration leaders, as Stanford and MIT are starting to experiment with in their online offerings, is a sign that the paradigm change is coming close.

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3 thoughts on “Education: it's about the best you can achieve, not the minimum to succeed

  1. Oliver Hoffmann

    You have a point. But: There is a difference between children and adults. Children focus on what they don't know. Adults focus on what they know. You cannot deepen your knowledge on something you never heard about. The question is not: General education or specialized skills. But: At what age to phase out general education and to focus on personal skills and personal interests.


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