As a VC who spends a lot of time and money investing in education, people are often surprised to learn that I didn’t really care much for what was being taught in class. I wasn’t a bad student. Teachers liked me, mostly because I was nice 😇 and followed the rules. My grades were decent, and I performed highly when I needed to (on standardized tests). But, my head was rarely in the classroom. This stayed true for the entirety of my academic career, elementary school through college. If pressed to tell you a single thing I learned in a classroom, I’d have a hard time answering.
This might not seem like an argument for education, but hear me out.
I wasn’t focused on school, not because learning wasn’t important to me, but because I was finding opportunities to build knowledge and skills elsewhere 🤯. I spent my days planning school events, participating in public speaking competitions and putting together theatre productions. While at university, I organized a conference for which more than a thousand students and teachers traveled to my home city to participate. I was managing inventories and accounts, coordinating logistics and programming, practicing my TED Talk voice, and more.
I was learning a lot! I just wasn’t at a desk while doing it.
This is called experiential learning, or learning by doing. Experiential learning occurs when learners take an active approach in the learning process, compared to the passive approach of listening to a lecture.Continue reading “I can’t tell you a single thing I learned in school. Here’s why that doesn’t matter…”