Who gets to decide?
There is the age old stereotype that our society has that I want to throw out into the world of internet opinion and get a variety of perspectives on.
The stereotype is the idea that most masters of theory, like college professors & physicists, can explain complex theories and opinions like how the theory of relativity works or how various socio economic principles affect certain third world countries. Yet that same master of theory would utterly fail at the practical task of assembling some furniture they bought from ikea.
In contrast there is the assumption that the master plumber, an expert in his craft, can assemble a complex system of pipes and drains, but could not provide you with a scientifically based explanation about how and why gravity works.
While these may be extreme examples, it illustrates the idea that some of us are made for thinking, and that others of us are made for doing.
So here are my questions on this matter:
Is this thought process an actual thing, or another false stereotype shared by our culture to create division and promote status of one over another?
How difficult is is to be both a theoretical and a practical learner or practitioner?
How well do you think your Education System prepares is preparing students to be both theoretical and practical learners and practitioners?
Here are my 2 cents on the subject:
The real geniuses in our world are people who have been able to combine incredible intellect with skilled application. Einstein, Edison, Newton, Da Vinci, and so many more all concocted incredible ideas or hypothesis, then had the real world skillset to test and create them into actual principles to help humanity progress.
Admittedly, we are limited as human beings, but sometimes those limitations are only imposed upon us by lack of resources or lack of knowledge rather than real, actual restrictions. It’s not that we can’t be both the thinker and the doer, it’s that we simply sometimes just don’t want to, or aren’t encouraged or allowed to be. This stereotype of us being either a thinker or a doer makes justifying this behavior extremely convenient. I argue that each and everyone of us has the potential to achieve more, make the world a better place, and to reach our highest potential. But to realize this potential we have to develop the ability to be both a thinker and a doer.
It is really hard to do it right now for many of us. I am under the opinion that our Educational system focuses so heavily on the theoretical learning that they have stripped away or ignored almost all practical or experiential learning. And it is not coming back anytime soon. So many of us, me included, leave school feeling disenfranchised, and sorted out because we weren’t learning hands on or didn’t understand why we were being taught some things. We didn’t have enough interest to sit and watch people lecture for hours on end about stuff we didn’t care about and didn’t see the importance of, and because of this we determined we were just doers, not thinkers.
I’m calling BS. Since I dropped out of college I have discovered something about myself. I love learning, I love learning new theories and new ideas. I think that some of the most monotone, boring speakers can be fascinating at times. I find rich pleasure in researching and discovering ways that I can overcome false stereotypes and distorted views on social issues. I also love working. I owned and operated a horse training business for 10 years and absolutely loved the hard physical work that required.
This self discovery has led me to the conclusion that the stereotype of you are either a thinker of a doer could not be further from reality. It causes real anxiety, disenfranchisement, and disillusionment in millions of us around the world. Its industrialized idea with an industrialized agenda. True greatness is achieved when the individual is empowered and enlightened, not molded to fit in. We don’t need a system telling us every single thing that we need to learn, along with when and how we will learn it.
Theoretical learning has to be supplemented with real world practical application and experiences to truly enable us reach our highest potential. Not only that, but it needs to be available to us in the moment that we are hungry for it.
This is the reason I have built the LearnIRL platform. My goal is to create a community where we can find and discover real world knowledge and skills whenever, wherever, and however we want to learn them. A community where we can connect with other real world professionals and experts who are interested in empowering us with the knowledge and skills we seek, on demand, and in engaging personalized ways. I hope that if you are passionate about education and learning that you will become a part of this community and help us provide personalized, empowering, theoretical and practical learning for each other.
I really want to hear your feedback and opinion on this matter, please let me know your thoughts on this stereotype, if you view it as a problem, and what would be some steps we can take to get rid of it.