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JohnDavidBustard comments on Two More Things to Unlearn from School - Less Wrong

55 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 12 July 2007 05:45PM

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Comment author: JohnDavidBustard 26 August 2010 04:41:33PM 1 point [-]

How reasonable can we be about school?

I share your feelings of dissatisfaction (and disgust?) with education as it stands. What would a rational school be like?

There isn't a consensus on its purpose (what utility it was optimising) but at least it could be predictable. Perhaps if we assume that some external group (parents? pupils?) identified a set of desirable properties to be optimised for, such as income, happiness etc. Then the role of educators would be to create automated classifiers to predict the distribution of these outcomes for each individual. Using these predictions they would alter a set of experiences in order to alter the outcomes of their predictions. Ideally the experiences would be repeatable (so probably automated programs). Could a meaningful and verifiable chain of reasoning be constructed that made school more than a glorified historical legacy? Would any of the existing subjects survive this kind of scrutiny? And finally what would the social consequences be of society viewing education as a system to optimise rather than a tool for the judgement of worth?