Wit & Wisdom

Game Changers & Tales of Triumph and Woe

Steve Jobs: Why don't schools get rid of the crappy stuff?

CJ Westerberg, October 5, 2011 8:05 PM

stevejobs2.jpg

"Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff."
-Steve Jobs


by C.J. Westerberg

Here are eleven things that constitute the "crappy stuff" to get rid of in schools:

1)  Having a class on good nutrition, and then serving up crap in the cafeteria. 

2)  Talking about the importance of Math, and then serving up crappy curriculum, like the      "fuzzy" stuff.

3)  Not dealing with bullying effectively, yet punishing students  for too man absences (the two could not be related, right?).

4)   Having an awards ceremony where one or two students get 90% of the awards, usually about "subjects" and grades.  Really, why bother?   And, this is supposed to motivate the other students?
       
5)   Blaming the parents for not promoting the importance of education, while the school culture  "celebrates" the football/basketball players (just like the chess, robotics, or theatre "teams" right?  Or, even the less glam sport teams, like tennis or track), creating the real
 hierarchical "honor society."

6)    Having to endure shrill bells after every "period", like rats in a cage, which is a pretty          
crappy existence, even for a rat, especially without exercise.

7)   Blaming the students for being dumb or lazy.

8)  Not using technology because it is new and threatening, or using technology because one "should", and not because it serves the learning, which it should do.    

9)   Being lucky enough to have Music class, and a having a teacher who actually makes it painful, which is beyond crappy. (How does one do this?)      

10)  Legislating what a teacher has to cover day by day, not allowing more time when the class is on roll about a topic and wants to spend more time on it. Hey, the Founding Fathers and 1776 gets some class time, but forget about more time talking about Ben F. (beyond the lightning and key thing), because we've got to get to that crappy minor battle somewhere, because it may be tested and is on the "what needs to be covered" sheet. And then we wonder why we have kids who can't remember anything about the American Revolution?

11) Complaining about a parent who is "too involved," or, who questions too much.  Then, complaining about a parent who "never volunteers," or who is generally not "involved enough." Seems as if the Goldilocks version of the "just right" parent runs hot or cold, depending on the situation. . . .

There are probably too many crappy things to mention, especially in the policy arena, and we took liberties here, especially since what Jobs was really talking about was . . .  editing.    

Here is what Steve Jobs really said:

"Do you have any advice?"  Parker asked Jobs.  "Well, just one thing," said Jobs. "Nike makes some of the best products in the world.  Products that you lust after.  But you also make a lot of crap.  Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff."  Parker said Jobs paused and Parker filled the quiet with a chuckle.  But Jobs didn't laugh.  He was serious. "He was absolutely right," said Parker.  "We had to edit."

Parker used the word "edit" not in a design sense but in the context of making business decisions.  Editing also leads to great product designs and effective communications. According to Steve Jobs, "People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on.  But that's not what it means at all.  It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. . . .
"

I know, I know, school is not a business, but that doesn't mean we can't get out of our silos.
Full article here

Originally Published The Daily Riff MAY 2011

###
Related posts The Daily Riff:

Steve Jobs:  Liberal Arts Essential for Innovation

The 3 Myths About Competition in the Classroom

How to Learn

    

  • Just my luck. Immediately after I got myself another year on my SSL certificate, I read that Google may be entering the wildcard SSL certificate business (and offering free certificates.)

blog comments powered by Disqus
It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Leonardo da Vinci
Follow The Daily Riff on Follow TDR on Twitter

find us on facebook

bill-gates.FT.Financial-Times.jpg

Cool Smart Teen: Changing the conversation about building stuff

SMW, 11.04.2013

Not just building an app to play with . . . but a test for cancer

Read Post | Comments

Riffing good stories

Stanford.design-thinking. innovation.jpg

Video: What is the link between "design-thinking" and creativity?

SMW, 11.03.2013

Creative Confidence: Must-Watch Interview on Charlie Rose

Read Post | Comments
early education.preschool.jpg

How Much Do Early Years Lead to Student Success?

CJ Westerberg, 11.03.2013

"The idea being that wasn't necessarily to create little engineers everywhere, though that would be great for us. The idea was to take advantage of the natural learning process and curiosity that children have at that age . . ." Tamika Lang, Boeing

Read Post | Comments
weekend-reading.jpg

NEW: Weekend Reading

SMW, 11.03.2013

Looking for Intimacy in the Age of Facebook is a higher education course (yes, you heard right). Interestingly, social media may inhibit creativity and innovation

Read Post | Comments
CV.digital.jpg

The New Resume

SMW, 10.31.2013

A picture is worth a thousand words. A video game-like format is worth . . .

Read Post | Comments
red.blue.abstract.jpg

Noam Chomsky: The Purpose of Education

CJ Westerberg, 10.31.2013

"Education is really aimed at helping students get to the point where they can learn on their own. . . "

Read Post | Comments
twitter2BigBird.jpg

Noam Chomsky: In the news again, this time about Twitter and High Schoolers

SMW, 10.31.2013

Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus at MIT, "father of linguistics", political commentator.  From bio: "Besides his work in linguistics, Chomsky is internationally recognized as one of the most critically engaged public intellectuals alive today":               ...

Read Post | Comments
CIMG0353.jpg

Choke: Test-taking - - - a different way to look at test-prep?

CJ Westerberg, 10.28.2013

"Most students will not find a steady diet of test-prep drills and worksheets to be particularly meaningful, and accordingly, they will not put forth optimal learning effort."

Read Post | Comments
beehive.bee.jpg

Does your school have a beehive?

CJ Westerberg, 10.27.2013

"If we want children to be inventors, we have to give them opportunities to invent." - 5:00 mark, Mission Hill video

Read Post | Comments