Some villages in Mexico have found that what their children learn at school is not beneficial (does not prepare them for life) for their community and well being. They don’t find the teacher and student model effective, ie. learn now, and apply later.
So they dropped out of school and created their own apprenticeship university, where you learn as you do. As mentioned before in this blog post, the best transfer of know-how happens when learning and work is happening at the same time.
The article is also honing on learning stuff that is relevant to the well being of your community.
From the article:
“As soon as the young people arrive at Unitierra, they start to work as apprentices. They discover that they need specific skills to do what they want to do. Most of the time, they get those skills by practicing the trade, with or without their mentors. They may choose to attend specific workshops, to shorten the time needed to get those skills.
One of the most important conclusions of our conversation was the explicit recognition that we learn better when nobody is teaching us. We can observe this in every baby and in our own experience. Our vital competence comes from learning by doing, without any kind of teaching.
The most dramatic lesson we derived from the exercise was to discover what we were really missing in the urban setting: conditions for apprenticeship. When we all request education and institutions where our children and young people can stay and learn, we close our eyes to the tragic social desert in which we live. They have no access to real opportunities to learn in freedom. In many cases, they can no longer learn with parents, uncles, grandparents—just talking to them, listening to their stories or observing them in their daily trade. Everybody is busy, going from one place to another. No one seems to have the patience any more to share with the new generation the wisdom accumulated in a culture. Instead of education, what we really need is conditions for decent living, a community.”
Also check out Kevin Jones’s presentation on training vs informal learning.
[via Nancy White]