What Do You Think About Self-Taught?

Discussion in 'Education & Learning' started by Clark Smith, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. Clark Smith

    Clark Smith New Member
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    What do you think about self-taught rather than the normal school system? Is that feasible to you? For me it's not but it's true that we could do a half and a half mixing the two methods in order to boost their independence and the skill of helping yourself. What do you think about this?
     
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  2. Jorge Ruiz

    Jorge Ruiz Member
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    Hey all.

    Yeah, it's been a while again, I work in Agriculture in my day job and I've just finished the high season of combine harvester sales, basically waiting for paperwork to be done by official offices or my solicitor and working, starting today, half days. So that's why I've not been around.

    Self taught, for me, is the best taught. Though I was a teacher for over thirty years and though I recognize the importance for most people to have a teacher, and expert, a mentor, I think a lot of things are just as easily learned if one parks the elbows on the table and does most of the work oneself.

    Even as a teacher, most of my work was first giving then evaluating homework. I was, indeed, an informant, a quick way to get information for my students and even more importantly, a way to quickly get answers to questions and doubts. Internet, though, has changed all that. Anyone who really wishes to inform him/herself or educate him/herself has a vast amount of information available, both text, video, slide-share, free courses, Skype chats and tutoring available.

    I have always been an advocate for the dis-institutionalization of education. Check out information on the history of state education in the US, the reasons it was put into place. Then compare our (50+ folk!) education and the results with today's education and the predictable results. Warning: it can be depressing! Though I was part of the original "standardized testing" schemes in the '60s (my school was one of the experiment schools, we were always taking standardized tests it seemed!), I was never, never taught to the tests. I fear that this is often the case now-a-days.

    We have to encourage both ourselves and our kids to be curious and to find information (weeding through the bunk, which is part of the adventure!) and not simply fall back on getting a grade or a scholarship or a degree. I have an MFA in Theatre Management, Direction and Playwrighting. What did that finally get me? A job selling combine harvesters in the north of Spain. It helped, but one can guess that that MFA didn't contribute all that much to current work (except the management part, as I use all those management skills at work today!).

    So, here's a vote for self-taught. I've picked up a lot that way, from the Spanish language (I now speak fluently) to the guitar (and am trying with the violin). If there is interest there is now a chance for those motivated to follow through.

    peace,
    revel.
     
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  3. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Very Well-Known Member
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    it seems to me both schooling and self taught should work together to educate a man, give him a measure of common sense and to learn one size does not fit all. I think the more we learn we come to realize how little we know. Cheers.
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Several successful people were self-taught, either altogether or in areas where they have achieved success. Alexander Graham Bell was homeschooled by his father, which is not self-taught, and he did attend the first four forms in Royal High School, in Scotland. But he attended no schools of invention yet, at the age of twelve, he invented a dehiscing machine that his father used at his mill. He taught himself to play the piano, learned ventriloquism and, of course, all of his other inventions that were to make him famous.

    The poet, Robert Burns, received very little formal education, but his father taught him reading, writing, arithmetic, geography and history. He learned Latin and French from a family friend, and attended a parish school for only one summer.

    Andrew Carnegie, the industrialist who was to fund libraries throughout the United States, was largely self-schooled. His parents taught him to read and, from there, he learned largely from books, which probably explains his fondness for libraries.

    Charles Dickens was unable to complete his childhood education because he had to go work in the factory while his father was in debtor's prison, which largely influenced his writing. He had no formal education after the age of fifteen.

    Thomas Edison received only three months of official schooling, as he was deemed to be too stupid for education. His mother home schooled him, and he received much of his education from books.

    Walt Disney didn't start school until he was eight, and had to repeat the second grade, receiving very little formal education after that.

    Then of course, when it comes to computers, pretty much everyone who has made computers what they are today was self taught. Although certainly not in the class of many others, I taught myself to use a computer and to program. I didn't even know anyone else who knew how to use a computer and, in the early 1980s, there wasn't much available in the way of commercial software so you had to learn how to program in order to do anything other than play a few games and use the computer as a word processor.

    When I became an EMS instructor, one of the things that I learned was that people learned in different ways.

    When I attended EMT and paramedic classes, the instructor would have us learn countless acronyms that were intended to help us learn principles that we would need in order to pass the certification or licensure exam, and to perform the tasks before us.

    These included the ABC's (airway, breathing, circulation) of life, and the SAMPLE (symptoms, allergies, medications, past medical history, last oral intake, events preceding incident) survey.

    This frustrated me because it took me longer to learn the stupid acronyms than to learn the principles behind them. Others needed them.

    When I was in college, I sometimes had to skip classes in order to prepare myself for a test in the same class that I was skipping, since I could learn the material much easier from the book than from listening to someone lecture about it in class.

    Others learn from listening to knowledgeable people, while still others have to see something done in order for it to make sense to them, and there are those who learn primarily from experience.

    Of course, most people will learn best when all of these methods are used.

    So probably it would be fair to say that some people can be easily self taught, while others may need an instructor, and it's not a matter of intelligence but in the ways in which specific people learn.
     
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  5. Clark Smith

    Clark Smith New Member
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    Interesting points over there that you spotted. By the way I was not saying that education is in some way better than self-thaught just exposed my thought about putting them together in order to achive a better understanding about the an idea.
     
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  6. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I understood that. For those who are able to be self-taught, the greatest advantage of a formal education is the documentation that it provides. More so than at any time, we have information available to use today, largely free, upon which we could learn pretty much anything, I suspect, so it's a matter of being willing to put in the time to learn for the sake of knowing, rather than for a degree.
     
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  7. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens Active Member
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    In many areas I think that self-taught can do a really good job, but not all of them. I'd never trust a doctor who didn't receive a formal education. Then again I don't trust too many doctors anyway.
     
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  8. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    Self taught is the only thing that'll stick with me. I'm self taught in sign language (well, the basics anyway), and morse code. The little bit of work Ive done on a car, and knitting are self taught. If its something I'm interested in and someone is going to teach me, they move too slow. I need to able to set my own pace. This is true in training for my job, back in school, hobbies, you name it! And i understand they can't go faster than the slowest student.
     
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  9. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    There's a lot to be said for going into (formal) further education later in life. For one reason and another, I started my degree course at the age of 33 and I'm certain that I did a lot better at that age than I would if I had been 18. Of course, it wouldn't work for everyone and it's not the way that society likes us to operate. People that don't fit into neat pigeonholes are too awkward to cope with!
     
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  10. Ruth Belena

    Ruth Belena Active Member
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    I had a good education, but there is at least one thing in which I am entirely self taught, because there were no computers in schools when I was being educated.

    I was never shown how to use a computer. I ordered my first one by mail order and I set it up myself. I had previously used a word processor and had accessed the Internet on a games console, but had not even used a mouse before.

    I soon got into computing and even taught myself how to use html and other aspects of website creation. I set up several blogs and a couple of websites and became an early user of Twitter. I think my technical ability is now somewhat behind the times, but fifteen years ago I was well ahead in my knowledge of computers.
     
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  11. Clark Smith

    Clark Smith New Member
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    That's pretty much what happend to all the people that grown up before the computer mass diffusion. By the way I think that for a self-thaught person learning a computer isn't that hard right? I mean it's quite intuitive.
     
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  12. Ruth Belena

    Ruth Belena Active Member
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    While it is true for many of us, I do know people of my age with a fear of using computers and I've heard that many of the older generation think it is beyond their capabilities, and as a result are missing out on price deals and online banking etc.

    I also know people of my age who love their computer but have no idea how to do a lot of things. While they panic when something simple appears to go wrong, I have always been able to sort out technical errors for myself.
     
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  13. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    I feel that a person can gain from both formal schooling and self taught information. I have over the years taught myself many subjects needed to move forward in my career including computers. One of my grandson's has learned a lot from youtube about computers. Minecraft is a great game for teaching kids about computers and other subjects like working and creating projects.
     
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  14. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    This is what makes sense for me as well. The idea of school should not be to teach us everything; but, instead, to teach us to learn.
    When you read a book about doing something, you might have all the facts about how it is done; but until you have actually tried doing it yourself, you have not really learned it; so self-teaching and book-teaching should go hand in hand.
    When you are a car mechanic (back in the good old days when cars could be worked on in the back yard), and something needed to be fixed on your car; you would get out the Motor Manual or the Chilton's and study how to repair or replace the broken part.
    Then, you had to actually crawl under the car, or maybe into the engine, and DO the work. After that, you actually knew a lot more about fixing that particular problem with a vehicle.

    As a senior, I feel that there are still a lot of things that I am interested in knowing more about, so I read, or sometimes watch a youtube video about whatever it is that i want to learn about. So, we still have teachers, just not in the classroom.
     
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  15. Carlota Clemens

    Carlota Clemens Well-Known Member
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    Home schooling is an option to educate your children much in the way you think is the correct way, of course, backed up by an educational authority, but still way too much better than sending your children to school where they may find maniac assassins rather than true learning.

    I don't have children, but have friends with children that complain about education not just in the United States, but all over the world. Oneself can confirm this by listening to any person younger than us. They younger is the person in question, bigger the chances that they don't know as much as we know, and yet we might not have received a better education than our parents, who knows.

    The fact is that in example my sister, who is five years younger than I, she was taught in secondary school what I was thought in elementary school, while for her children the same teaching was taught at high school or college. Even worst, for a teenager of today the basics we learned attending elementary school are kind of Chinese language he will never learn because he won't be taught any time through his professional formation.

    I sincerely believe that home schooling is a better option to teach children than sending them to schools, as I'm convinced that self-teaching, which is kind of empirical or autodidact formation, can be easily attained at any stage in someone's formation, but particularly for us in adulthood.

    I can design a modern website, coding a dynamic PHP or ASP script, or set up a distro and server configuration from scratch, and I have never attended any school to learn this, but it was all about being self-taught.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2015
  16. Avigail David

    Avigail David Well-Known Member
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    I think of self-teaching and learning as a welcome endeavor to me. I have a very full life with several loved people in my life. Doing further studies on my part has to be done online-- Certificate and Diploma. Within the comfort of my home-- but not necessarily quiet and ideally conducive for much desired study and writing time for me.
     
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