When I first hit ‘Play’ to begin watching “Hackschooling Makes me Happy”, the first thought that went through my mind was, “Wow, this guy is little. There is no way I could give a TedTalk now, let alone seven years ago.” As he went on explaining his research and why he is so passionate about a more creative approach to education, something happened I am ashamed to admit. Suddenly, in the middle of this thirteen year old’s speech on becoming more open-minded, his flowchart – which should’ve prompted me to appreciate his ideas even more – made me physically flinch. “What happened to the basics? How are you suppose to learn any solid curriculum if there isn’t one?” I could not believe how he went on and on about “hacking” his education; how Logan himself seemed to have complete control over his education; how any traditional ideas had been tossed aside like that limp lettuce leaf restaurants give you with a cheeseburger and fries. I knew my trains of thought were headed for stations founded on the ideas of a conservative education. That is when I realized exactly what made me so uncomfortable with his whole approach: it is different.
I have never really liked change. I mean if something works, why change it, right? No, I never put that strangely bright green piece of lettuce on my burger (there are very few who order a burger and a basket of fries and want lettuce), but I will defiantly feel slight discomfort without it. Even though it terrifies me, Logan is right. The standard education system in America is the lettuce and our futures are the burger. There are not many who need it this way so lets change it. In fact, let’s make education a build-your-own-burger. Did pathetically faking it through physics my senior year help me in my journey to become an English teacher? Not a whole lot. Will Logan’s internship help him kick butt in ‘the real world’ when he is our age? You bet it will. By taking the initiative to hack his education, Logan has found the shortcuts to help him get where he wants to be in life, but without missing out on any essential life lessons.
Does the thought of non-traditional education still make me queasy? Yeah, it does. But now I understand why and that is the first step to changing my ways. Who knows, maybe if I had hacked my education I wouldn’t be terrified at the thought of giving a hypothetical TedTalk. Anyway, see you all at the burger buffet. 🙂
P.S. I don’t know how this whole post became a burger metaphor, but I would be lying if I said I was disappointed about it.