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I really enjoy reading Andy's ideas on education--alongside Peter Gray (a psychologist who emphasizes the importance of play for education, and Piotr Wozniak (invented SuperMemo,, he has really shaped my perspective on learning. I actually built a last-minute YOLO application to YC on an extremely similar idea--I figure that modern LLMs are capable enough to offload most of the metacognitive aspects of learning onto. Learn drive (a Wozniak term: your natural curiosity) can take you pretty far in a subject, but it's often frustrating to find the right order to learn concepts based on your current understanding and the subject matter. I've previously scoured syllabi on the internet for this, but often what I want to learn isn't really codified in a single course.

I started building a prototype of this idea that I've been very slowly working on in my free time that indexes and uses my notes in emacs for RAG against a locally running LLM. I do think these kinds of learning LLMs have to be run locally, though I've recently gotten a little frustrated because I cannot run a capable open model without my machine's fans turning on.

spodek · 2019-08-19 · Original thread
I recommend to any parent Peter Gray's column in Psychology Today, Freedom to Learn

and his book Freed to Learn

He writes about how kids learn on their own if we don't straightjacket them too much and how we're straightjacketing them.

Also Lenore Skenazy's Let Grow:, a program to help restore childhood. She was called the worst mom in America after she wrote how she let her 9-year-old take the subway home, embraced the title, and started the free range kid movement.

ismail · 2019-01-10 · Original thread

1. Anyone considering or practicing unschooling/self directed education [0] for your children?

2. Were you home schooled/unschooled/practiced self directed education ?

What’s your story?

I am Considering this approach. Just finished reading free to learn [1] and Peter gray makes a compelling case for this approach. Also the documentary “schooling the world” covers some of the chilling effects of compulsory schooling. [2] it has made me seriously question our current education system.





tharibo · 2018-05-09 · Original thread
Ok, time to link a book : Free to learn by Peter Gray

Or how and why parents and adults should really stop trying to control their children.

· 2017-01-19 · Original thread
_0w8t · 2017-01-15 · Original thread
It may seem that US educational system favour individualism, but there are no indications that it has any significant consequences. Google failed to find correlations between performance at college and performance at work [1].

Also there are schools where children are free to do anything during school time including entering/leaving any lecture or activity at will at any moment. Yet there are no indications that on average it makes those that attend such schools any worse in a later life [2]



kirsebaer · 2015-05-16 · Original thread
Very sad, but typical story.

> “What’s a bad day?” I ask the class, when I’m done reading. “A school day,” Lea... says. Lea has always seemed perky and upbeat. I start to laugh as if Lea’s comment is a joke, but no one else does. Her eyes look watery. The boy beside her nods. I ask Lea why, and she tells me she is stressed out and unhappy, “every single day” during the week.

The principal of the school would like to eliminate homework, but the parents demand that their children are "challenged". There is no evidence that this pressure and forced study actually benefits children.

What about letting kids find out what they want to do for themselves? Try things out, feel free to fail without an adult standing over and judging them.

There is a totally different style of education called "democratic free schools" or "Sudbury schools" where children are free to do as they like (within democratically made rules), no curriculm, no mandatory exams or meetings, no book reports, no required English or math. In follow-up surveys, graduates are happy, well-adjusted, and successful.

Here is a 9 min intro video about the original Sudbury Valley School:

And here is a book "Free to Learn":

kirsebaer · 2015-04-03 · Original thread
In democratic free schools, like Sudbury Valley School, students are free to follow their interests without any compulsory courses or exams. In follow-up studies, former students are happy and successful even though they were never formally "taught" to read, do math, or write a "book report".

The typical school model was designed to control students, it is unnecessary and even harmful to real education. Non-compulsory education is not just for smart kids, all children have a natural inclination to learn.

There is a really good book that came out last year called Free to Learn [1]. The Sudbury Valley School model comes up frequently in the book. If it's something you're interested in, definitely check it out.


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