Education is about building virtual spaceships
Humans compute and transfer nongenetic information between generations, creating a longitudinal intelligence that is unlike anything else on Earth. The data links that hold the structure together in time swell rhythmically to the frequency of human regeneration. This is education.
He writes, about his father who was a teacher:
Adding to an already rich life, my father decided in middle age to become an elementary-school teacher in a working-class neighborhood in New Mexico…..My father would have been unable to “teach to the test.” He once complained about errors in a sixth-grade math textbook, so he had the class learn math by designing a spaceship. My father would have been spat out by today’s test-driven educational regime…….
Roughly speaking, there are two ways to use computers in the classroom. You can have them measure and represent the students and the teachers, or you can have the class build a virtual spaceship. Right now the first way is ubiquitous, but the virtual spaceships are being built only by tenacious oddballs in unusual circumstances. More spaceships, please
Jaron Lanier in the NYT. Worth a read in full.