03/13/2012 04:37 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Talking About Education in the Information Age

We had to pick an elementary school for my daughter a few weeks ago. Our town near Stockholm in Sweden has school choice, and, honestly, I wish it didn't, as it was an agonizing, and loaded, one.

But the real problem is that I don't want her going to any regular school. I have bought into the idea that our schools -- both in Sweden and in the US -- are built for an industrial age long past. I do not want her sitting at a desk all day. I do not want her with the same age kids for 13 years. I know she will be fine, but will she be ready to thrive in a digital society?

Why Memorizing is Ineffective: This article takes on the SAT, grades, why we have our kids in school, different types of learning. Even for kids that find school easy, the skills they learn are of little use in the outside world. Yay, I was awesome at multiple choice. Strangely, I have not had many multiple choice exams at my current job ...

Before society can improve the educational system, we need to have an honest discussion about the purpose of education, and whether society is willing to devote the resources necessary to create a 21st century workforce.

Stop Stealing Dreams: This is a self-described "rant" by uber-blogger and author Seth Godin. It's really a short book that he has posted for free and in many forms, trying to create a viral discussion on education. I like this list best as a summary: What kind of qualities do you want from your kids or employees?

Column A



Column B


Mind the gap: Zadie Smith on school reporting without the wonk: All my education worries are very developed world ones, I know. Here Guernica magazine sent some very good writers out in the less developed parts of the world to write subjectively and, with an eye to the human, about education in countries like Bosnia, Pakistan and South Africa. The challenges are different, of course, but the need to redefine what we mean by education in this century is not. The kids in these countries are just starting on a different (not necessarily better or worse) baseline, in terms of becoming well-adjusted, productive adults.

Changing education paradigms: This gets to the exact same points as my first two links. But I still think the illustration and the talk are awesome.