It is natural to be curious and want to learn. Oddly enough given this predisposition, I would liken the education provided by conventional schooling to torture. There are many problems with conventional ways of learning:
Problems with books:
- The subject of the book may require auxillary subjects to be pounded out; yet the subjects are auxillary and the author treats them as such often providing only cursory explanations. Instead, for auxillary subjects, the reader ought to be directed to a work who's primary subject is the former's auxillary subject. This is not usually the case, and when it is so, such direction is often not taken as it would require a significant amount of time taken to precure the referenced work. This is largely solved with wikis, where auxillary topics are simply linked to and the precurement of the referenced work can be done through a mouse click
- Books often try to appeal to a wide audience. As such, they often go over topics that are elementary and waste the time of those who are more familiar with the topic, or they go over topics which are more advanced and incomprehensible to those less familiar to the topic
- Often, books will use text where an image would serve better. Video clips in books are non existant. Writing a book about engine repair without images and videos is relying heavily on a reader's knowledge of part names; and if the person does not have such knowledge, the book would probably be a waste of the reader's time
- Books often have a lot of fluff material. I would describe such material as any material that does not meed the motive of the person reading the book. For instance, if I wanted to learn how to implement technology X, then content about the history of technology X in a book about implementing technology X is probably fluff material. It appears that either such is added to make the book larger or to make it less dense. Often, fluff data is mixed in with necessary material, making it difficult to avoid the fluff.
Problems with wikipedia:
- Explains things of little or no relevance to the reader. Often the core concept of an entry comes after some side note content.
- Explains with higher or equal level concepts.
- Has cyclical explanations
- Often uses words where a picture would server better
Problems with school:
- Often, courses are fix paced which means that for a number of students the course is either too slow or too fast
- Course material can be irrelevant to the student. The student might just want to know about one specific aspect and might not care about other topics in the course. The course might focus heavily on one subtopic while only briefly going over another topic, and so the course is subject to what the teacher thinks is important, not want is important to the student
- Courses often have a fixed learning method which might not be optimal to the students. And given that students have different optimal learning methods, a course with only one learning method could never be optimal for all students
- Subject qualifcation. A teacher makes tests which tend to give more importance to testing one subject over another. Thus, satisfactory completion of a course does not mean the student would pass that same course under another teacher. Essays are another subjective measure of qualification
- The course is limited by the teacher. If the teacher lacks knowledge in certain areas, those areas will be avoided. If the teacher is horrible at communicating, the students suffer. If the teachers is not good at determining the qualifications of the students, then passing the course or not passing the course may mean little
- Non educational concerns divert students' attentions. Peer socialization, teacher relations, grade concerns, traveling, etc; all these serve to distract students from actual learning.