Almost no one who takes an intro to economics course becomes an economist. One reason might be that within a few days of starting the class, it becomes abstract, formula-based and dull.
The same ennui kicks in for having to memorize things in chemistry or world history.
We don’t have these fields because we need to employ professors. We have them because they give us a chance to understand and to figure things out. Once you are enrolled in the journey of discovery, decoding a formula or engaging with a taxonomy becomes urgent, not merely an assigned task.
Because a testing regime is in place, particularly now when so many other tropes in the education-industrial complex are disrupted, the textbook authors and administrators work together to skip the ‘fluff’ and go straight to the stuff that’s easy to test.
That’s not how passion is discovered or nurtured. No one becomes a baseball fan because they read the baseball textbook and did well on the baseball test. The same goes for people who devote their lives to cooking, leading or healthcare. These are journeys that require emotional enrollment, not a good test score. We need to stop holding the future hostage in exchange for an exam.
Here’s my TEDx talk on the topic. You can read the free ebook here.
PS the Story Skills Workshop relaunches on May 12. Check out what people had to say right here.