How do we learn? Creating Solutionaries, and the Answer to all Problems

A few ideas have slowly been coming together in my head.

  • First, no one is smart enough to do anything on their own – As intelligent we may be as an individual, we rely on the experience and the accumulated knowledge/technology for the past 10,000 years.  So really our intelligence is relative and dependent on our forebearers.  Edison could not invent the lightbulb if the people before him did not discover how to control electricity etc.
  • Second, that people learn from example – We watch our parents and community to learn how to talk, how to act, what to like.  Very few people have a taste/style all their own.  Social influence is a major factor in who we are.  Cultural generalities are proof that we can cause particular behaviors in groups, and reduce particular behaviors.  This makes me wonder why we allow the television program that persists today.  Do we really want our children repeatedly watching those examples?
  • Lastly, my search for a way to solve problems at the root cause  – With the level of developments in today’s “civilization,” how is it that so many crucial problems persist?  The fact that Hunger, Domestic Violence, Genocide, Toxic Pollution, and Slavery persist today makes be question our level of intelligence, or wonder if these characteristics are inherent and unavoidable.

In my last post, I describe how Zoe Weil’s presentation on changing our education system to develop a world of “solutionaries” perfectly embodies the ideal I have for the world, but had not yet determined the method for implementation.  Zoe suggests a little tweak to the existing education system: present to the students the problems to be solved, and guide them through researching and solving those problems.  I imagine this change to improve our motivation for learning, improve our skills for dealing with challenges at work and in our daily lives, and improve the quality of life around the world.  The long term impact of allowing the youth to contribute to our society, and learn in depth the challenges we face, could be revolutionary.  We cannot underestimate their skill and power to be creative and analytical before they are controlled into one way of thinking.

In her speech, Zoe makes an interesting comment: instead of hosting debate competitions for students, lets have them work cooperatively and competitively to research and plan new ideas to solves the world’s problems.  Why not create a national competition where Solutionary teams choose one of the world’s problems to address and compete against other teams?  I add one more idea: at some level of championship, these teams might receive essential feedback from key people in that field of expertise.

Other Resources:

Please respond with your comments and ideas.  What sources for real solutions are you aware of?