“We all have a built-in, natural learning capability that is actually disrupted by instruction. If a coach can help … to remove or reduce internal obstacles … an unexpected natural ability to learn and to perform will occur”
-John Whitmore — Coaching for Performance
Many students have a qualitative sense that school has failed them, but we often don’t know what to do about it. When I was 15 I made the conscious decision to leave high school. I immediately began taking classes at a local college and had received two bachelor’s degrees by the time I was 23. Then, 3 years into a PhD I realized that I didn’t want to be a neuroscientist, so I published a master’s thesis and left the program. Both of these “drop out” decisions have led to the most motivating and fulfilling periods in my life. Rigid educational structures may work for some, but to mandate them to everyone is bound to fail.
There are certainly effective schools out their, but they are in the minority. Despite the increasing costs of school, decreasing job prospects for degree holders, and the stifling of creativity in our education system, there is hope. I want to share with you the power of autodidactism, otherwise known as unschooling. It doesn’t matter if you’re still in school, graduated long ago, or never even attended in the first place — now is the best time to fill your role as your own teacher and student.