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Education Ideas

What would an education system look like where students come to learn and leave when both the student and education provider agree they have learned what they came to learn? What would the business model be? 

More and more I find myself in long conversations about education, how important it is, how fucked up the current model appears to be etc.

One attribute of current education models that has been getting my attention lately is the relationship between time, money and learning.

Currently we pay an education provider to give us the relevant knowledge over a defined period of time e.g. 3 years to obtain some sort of qualification, degree, diploma etc.

This model works well for the institution because time is easy to plan and measure, but I wonder if it actually benefits the student (customer).

If it only takes me 6 months to learn all the information required to obtain what would normally be a 3 year degree, why do I need to wait 3 years? Likewise, what if it takes me longer to learn than other people? What if I need 4 years and 5 months to understand all the content properly?

Should the role of an education provider be to create an environment where a student can be curious and learn at their own pace and then step in to push them out of the nest when they observe they are ready?

• How does an education provider scale ‘knowing when to push someone out of the nest’? It’s a high touch problem.

• If not in ‘time’, how do yo charge a student for their education?


Peter Thiel (PayPal co-foudner) said in this interview (44:30) that the education providers are really insurance salesman and that most people view consciously or not, obtaining a qualification like buying insurance policy, ensuring they can get a job and avoid “falling through the cracks in our society” as Theil puts it. Few actually study because they are interested in learning.

If that is true, and I believe it is, we have a pretty big problem on our hands.




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