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1/ Imagine a society where the education system is based on our musical ability. All jobs demand that "basic" qualification and credentials in music are much sought after and are required to train to be doctors, lawyers and engineers.

After all who can be against music?
2/ Someone like me who is "musically challenged" and will struggle in that society. I will have trouble getting the basic qualifications needed to get to the higher credentials needed for most jobs.

The musical meritocracy will deem people like me to be unfit for those jobs.
3/ Here is the sad truth: our present education system works the same way except that instead of musical ability we emphasize "test taking" as the most important skill of all.

Yet test taking does not come naturally to most people.

Tests measure test taking skills well.
4/ Test taking skills do not necessarily reflect how good an engineer or lawyer or surgeon or architect a person is going to be.

Some great test takers become great engineers but many great engineers barely squeaked through tests. I have come across thousands of examples.
5/ What can we do about this? I would focus on teaching concrete skills.

I will introduce abstraction and models only after a concrete skill is mastered.

I will introduce theory after practice is mastered - and only to those who want the theory!
6/ That's the philosophy behind Zoho Schools of Learning.

It avoids what I call the "formalist trap" that education falls into where students learn all about the theory of bicycles and barely get to ride one!

That formalist trap is why so many students are unmotivated.
7/ This is a profound crisis of education. We don't have doctors in villages because most rural kids are deemed unqualified to become one - they failed chemistry in school.

It requires massive abstraction skills to connect chemistry to drugs to health care, especially at 17!
8/ Start at the other end: make someone a paramedic by teaching them how to take the temperature and blood pressure and test for blood sugar, then learn how to inject medicines under a doctor supervision.

Then as they become curious, open up chemistry. Some will want it now!
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