Stop Stealing Dreams

The popular ebook, now on Medium, complete and unabridged.

if you don’t underestimate me,
I won’t underestimate you

Bob Dylan

1. Preface: Education transformed

2. A few notes about this manifesto

3. Back to (the wrong) school

4. What is school for?

5. Column A and Column B

6. Changing what we get, because we’ve changed what we need

7. Mass production desires to produce mass

8. Is school a civic enterprise?

9. Three legacies of Horace Mann

10. Frederick J. Kelly and your nightmares

11. To efficiently run a school, amplify fear (and destroy passion)

12. Is it possible to teach attitudes?

13. Which came first, the car or the gas station?

14. The wishing and dreaming problem

15. “When I grow up, I want to be an astronaut assistant”

16. School is expensive

17. Reinventing school

18. Fast, flexible, and focused

19. Dreams are difficult to build and easy to destroy

20. Life in the post-institutional future

21. Two bumper stickers

22. The connection revolution is upon us

23. And yet we isolate students instead of connecting them

24. If education is the question, then teachers are the answer

25. What if we told students the truth?

26. School as a contract of adhesion

27. The decision

28. Exploiting the instinct to hide

29. The other side of fear is passion

30. The industrial age pervaded all of our culture

31. Doubt and certainty

32. Does push-pin equal poetry?

33. Who will teach bravery?

34. Responsibility

35. Off the hook: Denying opportunities for greatness

36. Instead of amplifying dreams, school destroys them

37. The curse of the hourly wage

38. Scientific management → Scientific schooling

39. Where did the good jobs go?

40. What they teach at FIRST

41. Judgment, skill, and attitude

42. Can you teach Indian food?

43. How not to teach someone to be a baseball fan

44. Defining the role of a teacher

45. Shouldn’t parents do the motivating?

46. At the heart of pedagogy

47. Academics are a means to an end, not an end

48. The status quo pause

49. Compliant, local, and cheap

50. The problem with competence

51. How they saved LEGO

52. The race to the top (and the alternative)

53. The forever recession

54. Make something different

55. Make something differently

56. 1000 hours

57. The economic, cultural, and moral reasons for an overhaul

58. The virtuous cycle of good jobs

59. The evolution of dreams

60. Dreamers are a problem

61. Is it possible to teach willpower?

62. Pull those nails: The early creation of worker compliance

63. Is it too risky to do the right thing?

64. Connecting the dots vs. collecting the dots

65. The smartest person in the room

66. Avoiding commitment

67. The specter of the cult of ignorance

68. The Bing detour

69. But what about the dumb parade?

70. Grammr and the decline of our civilization

70.5 Open book, open note (a formerly missing headline)

71. Lectures at night, homework during the day

72. Beyond the Khan Academy

73. Here comes Slader

74. The role of the teacher’s union in the post-industrial school

75. Hoping for a quality revolution at the teacher’s union

76. Emotional labor in the work of teachers

77. Making the cut, the early creation of the bias for selection (early picks turn into market leaders)

78. First impressions matter (too much)

79. Why not hack?

80. American anti-intellectualism

81. Leadership and Followership

82. “Someone before me wrecked them”

83. Some tips for the frustrated student:

  1. Grades are an illusion
  2. Your passion and insight are reality
  3. Your work is worth more than mere congruence to an answer key
  4. Persistence in the face of a skeptical authority figure is a powerful ability
  5. Fitting in is a short-term strategy, standing out pays off in the long run
  6. If you care enough about the work to be criticized, you’ve learned enough for today

84. The two pillars of a future-proof education:

85. Which comes first, passion or competence?

86. “Lacks determination and interest”

87. Hiding?

88. Obedience + Competence ≠ Passion

89. A shortage of engineers

90. Reading and writing

91. The desire to figure things out

92. Because or despite?

93. Schools as engines of competence or maintainers of class?

94. College as a ranking mechanism, a tool for slotting people into limited pigeonholes

95. The coming meltdown in higher education (as seen by a marketer)

96. Big companies no longer create jobs

97. Understanding the gas station question

98. The cost of failure has changed

99. What does “smart” mean?

100. Can anyone make music?

101. Two kinds of learning

102. History’s greatest hits: Unnerving the traditionalists

103. This is difficult to let go of

104. The situation

105. If you could add just one course

106. The third reason they don’t teach computer science in public school

107. An aside about law school

108. School as the transference of emotion and culture

109. What great teachers have in common is the ability to transfer emotion

110. Talent vs. education

111. Dumb as a choice

112. The schism over blocks

113. Completing the square and a million teenagers

114. Let’s do something interesting

115. Getting serious about leadership: Replacing Coach K

116. Higher ed is going to change as much in the next decade as newspapers did in the last one

117. This Is Your Brain on the Internet: The power of a great professor

118. Polishing symbols

119. My ignorance vs. your knowledge

120. Seek professional help

121. Home schooling isn’t the answer for most

122. Some courses I’d like to see taught in school

123. The future of the library

124. Thinking hard about college

125. The famous-college trap

126. The SAT measures nothing important

127. “I’m not paying for an education, I’m paying for a degree”

128. Getting what they pay for

129. Access to information is not the same as education

130. Whose dream?

131. How to fix school in twenty-four hours

132. What we teach

133. Bibliography and further reading



Founder of altMBA and Akimbo. Daily blogger, teacher, speaker, 20 bestsellers as well...

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Seth Godin

Founder of altMBA and Akimbo. Daily blogger, teacher, speaker, 20 bestsellers as well...