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If I asked: “What Did You Learn In 2020?” what might be your reply?

A headlong dive in the standard of education has given rise to a form of educative myopia where, despite the speed of information and instant global interconnection of devices, we know very little about what’s really going on in the world.

In short, education has become a casualty.

Scientists concur that we are born creative geniuses and that this natural ability is stifled from the time we are born. 

They gave a test to 1,600 children between the ages of 4 and 5 and the results shocked them.

The test looked at the children’s ability to come up with new, different and innovative ideas to problems. 

What percentage of those children do you think fell in the genius category of imagination?

A staggering 98 percent!

Clearly I’m not referring to people who make it onto the hardest pub quiz of all, University Challenge.

Nor am I writing about knowing who the winner of the most recent X Factor or Big Brother is, but of information that might make a difference to their lives if they became aware of it.

What Did You Learn In 2020?

Let’s take a realistic example. If you’re about to apply for a mortgage, do you know what factors influence the lending rate over the next 25 years, or if rates are likely to rise even before you commit to borrowing?

WOuldn’t that be something that merits some basic examination?

When Simon Black (Sovereign Man) hears people moaning about lost opportunities, blaming others for their lack of success, he asks them:

  • what was the last book they read and when
  • when they last visited a library, physical or online
  • how many free online courses they’ve participated in
  • have they considered any of the Universities in Europe that offer English-language courses at prices well below their US or UK equivalent.

If you haven’t already watched some of Jay Leno’s Jaywalking series exposing how little adults or college students have learned about the general facts of life, go to YouTube, have some fun…..and see if you are able to answer his questions.

For Example:

Q: What once divided East Berlin and West Berlin? One answer: The Great Wall of China. Another answer:”The Sea”

OK the series shows only the interviews where people fail to get the right answer but there’s an embarrassing riches of them.

The UK also has its fair share of people with a general knowledge deficit although I didn’t know the answer about how many seconds there are in…..(I won’t spoil it for you).

Should I blame them? Of course not. Children are learning machines but if the wrong information is put in front of them, they learn the wrong things.

If the Spice Girls had sung their hit songs in Latin or French, Britain would either have many more young linguists…..or no-one would have heard of the Spice Girls.

The contribution below is fascinating, and you’ll be wiser for reading it. It’s a year old, but for those of you who are fascinated by new learnings, here’s journalist Tom Whitwell’s 52 Things I Learned In 2019.  

I use information like this as a way to generate creative ideas that’ll one day come in useful.

Reading Item 8 I’m reminded of a friend who, on reaching home after a lively wine tasting event went online and……well he doesn’t remember much but a week later, and to his surprise, a new set of golf clubs arrived by courier from the USA.  His credit card statement confirmed the transaction. Oops!

I love the last item on the list, no 52, if only to get better answers out of people I’m talking to. The thread behind Jacqueline’s contribution is also enlightening…..especially if you’re a teacher.

Graeme Dinnen

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