42 Quotes from “Stop Stealing Dreams” #manifesto by Seth Godin

stopstealingdreamsHello SCG,

last few days I have been cracking the latest shipment by SCG-er Seth Godin and here is the result of it. Wrap up of the best quotes, which stroke the chord with me.

Stop Stealing Dreams is manifesto written to inspire those who care about changing our outdated educational system.

If you belong to those who see an urgent change in the way we learn, this manifesto is a must read for you. If you are still hesitant about it, this blog post with hand-picked quotes might bring you to our side.

Enjoy. Spread the word (tweet with hash tag #stopstealingdreams). Act. It is time to bring our dreams back to life.

42 Quotes Worth Making Note About from Stop Stealing Dreams

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Large scale education was not developed to motivate kids or to create scholars. It was invented to churn out adults who worked well within the system.

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As long as we embrace (or even accept standardized testing, fear of science, little attempt at teaching leadership and most of all, bureaucratic imperative to turn education into a factory itself, we’re in big trouble.

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We invest thousands of hours exposing millions of students to fiction and literature, but end up training most of them to never again read for fun.

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As soon as we associate reading a book with taking a test, we’ve missed the point.

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The normal school (now called a teacher’s college) was developed to indoctrinate teachers into the system of the common school, ensuring that there would be a coherent approach to the processing of students. If this sounds parallel to the notion of factories producing items in bulk, of interchangeable parts, of the notion of measurement and quality, it’s not an accident.

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In a world where access to data was always limited, the ability to remember what you were taught, without fresh access to all the date, was a critical success factor.

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

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Learning is not done to you. Learning is something you choose to do.

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The real shortage we face is dreams, and the wherewithal and the will to make them come true.

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Dreams are difficult to build and easy to destroy.

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In the connection revolution, value is not created by increasing the productivity of those manufacturing a good or a service. Value is created by connecting buyers to sellers, producers to consumers, and the passionate to each other.

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In the connected world, reputation is worth more than test scores.

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There are only two tools available to the educator. The easy one is fear. Fear is easy to awake, easy to maintain, but ultimately toxic. Other tool is passion.

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Greatness is frightening. With it comes responsibility.

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It would be a mistake to say that scientific education doesn’t work. It does work.It creates what we test.

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The good jobs of the future aren’t going to involve working for giant companies on an assembly line. They all require individuals willing to chart their own path, whether or not they work for someone else.

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The jobs of the future are in two categories: the downtrodden assemblers of cheap mass goods and the respected creators of the unexpected.

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Scarce skills combined with even scarcer attitudes almost always lead to low unemployment and high wages.

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The future of our economy lies with the impatient. The linchpins and the artists and the scientists who will refuse to wait to be hired and will take things into their own hands, building their own value, producing outputs others will gladly pay for.

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We cannot switch the mission (of education), unless we also switch the method.

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Competence is the enemy of change!

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We’re entering a revolution of ideas while producing a generation that wants instructions instead.

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The networked revolution is creating huge profits, significant opportunities, and a lot of change. What it’s not doing is providing millions of brain-dead, corner office, follow the manual middle class jobs. And it’s not going to.

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Dreamers aren’t busy applying for jobs at minimum wage, they don’t eagerly buy the latest fashions, and they’re a pain in the ass to keep happy.

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Dreams fade away because we can’t tolerate the short term pain necessary to get to our long term goal.

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The only way for a student to get respect inside the system of school is to earn temporary approval from a teacher he won’t likely see again any time soon.

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No need to memorize that word – it’s now, and forever, a mouse click away.

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If I can find the answer in three seconds online, skill of memorizing a fact for twelve hours (and then forgetting it) is not only useless, it is insane!

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What we cannot do, though, is digitize passion.

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School serves a real function when it activates a passion for lifelong learning, not when it establishes permanent boundaries for an elite class.

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Fitting in is a short-term strategy, standing out pays off in the long-run.

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The two pillars of a future-proof education: # 1 Teach kids how to lead. # 2 Help them learn to solve interesting problems.

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In the connected age, reading and writing remain the two skills that are most likely to pay off with exponential results.

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Apple and other are laying the groundwork for a generation of job creation – but not exclusively by big companies. They create environment where people like you can create jobs instead.

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A great use of the connection economy is to put together circles of people who challenge each other to be wronger and wronger still – until we find right.

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When access to information was limited we needed to load students with facts. Now, when we have no scarcity of facts, or the access to them, we need to load them up with understanding.

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If we give kids  the foundation to dream, they will figure out the grammar and the history the minute it helps them to reach their goals and make a difference.

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Dumb used to be a by product of lack of access, bad teachers, or poor parenting. Today dumb is a choice, one that’s made by individuals who choose not to learn.

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

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She is teaching her students how to learn, not how to be perfect.

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With free information available for all, why pay $200, 000 for it?

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Our job is obvious we need to get out of the way, shine a light, and empower a new generation to teach itself and to go further and faster than any generation ever has. Either our economy gets cleaner, faster, and more fair, or it dies.

***

SCG,

which one quote hit you the most? What are you already doing or going to do to shake things up and shine a light for new emerging generation of dreamers/creators and linchpins?

Remember, always bodyguard your dreams! It is your job.

i.

P.S.: fetch your free version of manifesto: Stop Stealing Dreams -> here. (Seth has done tremendous job to make it spreadable as much as possible, thanks for that!)

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Comments

  1. Hi Ivana,
    thanks again for a wonderful post, btw was wondering if you had some across “out of our minds”

  2. Hi Ivana,
    Yes I have

  3. It’s a great blog, and education is one of my favorite topics. :0)

    There are so many good quotes in the blog. I would pick one: “As long as we embrace (or even accept standardized testing, fear of science, little attempt at teaching leadership and most of all, bureaucratic imperative to turn education into a factory itself, we’re in big trouble.”

    I think that’s true. The way educational system has been set up seems not to encourage creative thinking or to nurture everyone’s unique abilities. It does seems to be like a factory producing students that should all be same to conform to the society. There’s no one size to fit everyone. I never liked standardized testing and felt that it does not measure your intelligence. Class discussions were my favorite part in school. I learned a lot from exchanging ideas with teachers/professors and students, and those discussions were more engaging than listening to long lectures and answering to questions based on textbooks during tests without much interaction with a professor.

    • Hey S,

      thanks for stopping by.
      I do agree, that engaging in meaningful conversation is a great educative and innovation boosting tool. Yet, we lack those in school. It also requires very good facilitation skills to manage conversations that they are really inspiring. Do teachers do this? Few. Can students do this? Yes! If not during school hours, they can gather in coffee shop or out there on school lawn and ponder about many ideas. I think many young people take education in their own hands these days. I think future is bright, if we will collaborate a bit and see this unlimited potential, opportunities and information we have at our fingertips.

      • I agree with your comments. This has made me wonder about some more things and I hope you don’t mind me sharing more thoughts..

        I was reading recently some article about what skills kids should learn:
        http://zenhabits.net/kid-skills/

        The author was also discussing the idea of “unschooling” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unschooling) which means “self-directed education in a natural environment makes a child more equipped to handle the “real world.” And he encourages children to ask questions – this is also discussed in another blog about why smart people ask questions (http://tmac721.tumblr.com/post/17500383225/what-ive-learned-about-smart-people).

        It seems to me that when people are little, they have those inquiring minds and are eager to learn, but as they get older they seem to be discouraged from asking questions and being told to conform to the society.

        This brings me to some questions:
        - Should testing be part of education? This makes me wonder if grading system should be abolished? Some people tell me they don’t believe in grading because it’s subjective.
        - Should educators be free to set up their own set of instructions? I know of some really good educators, but they tell me that their hands are being tied about specific ways of teaching due to having to comply to the system.
        - How can more students be motivated to go to school? I know of many students (including former classmates of mine) who were complaining about how much they hated school.
        - Should education be more hands-on than theoretical? We don’t seem to grasp “theories” unless we apply them in real live.
        - Should we do homeschooling and unschooling? Would this improve educational system?
        - Should we follow the system that’s been successful in Finland?

        I read an article about why the school system in Finland is the best in the world:
        http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/12/what-americans-keep-ignoring-about-finlands-school-success/250564/

        They don’t require long hours of doing homework or cramming for exams. Their schools are public. They don’t do standardized testing. They have a lot of respect for teachers (not so much here in the States). No competition between teachers or schools.

        Another article (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/education/from-finland-an-intriguing-school-reform-model.html?pagewanted=all) says: “The first six years of education are not about academic success. We don’t measure children at all. It’s about being ready to learn and finding your passion.” And yet another (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8601207.stm) says: “The educational system’s success in Finland seems to be part cultural. Pupils study in a relaxed and informal atmosphere.”

        • Whoa! S, you have posted a comment which could be blog post itself! Bowing to you.
          Thanks for all links and resources, indeed!

          I too have heard about Finish educational system and yes, it was very appealing to me as well. However, I think that copying it would not be a solution, but picking up parts which are universally applicable in any culture would be great. F.e. -> appreciate teachers or rather educators in society, pay them well and also pick them very carefully.

          Education is indeed shaping culture and attitude towards life and society. Everything is interconnected and everyone’s action greatly affects whole system.

          You might like to watch this documentary (if you have not seen it yet) -> http://inspiringshipments.tumblr.com/post/18752972474/soul-moving-documentary-children-full-of-life

          I believe that ultimate goal of educators, schools and parents should be to inspire kids to learn and never stop at it. Get “why” learning is a must for them into their genes and into their system. Then let them learn whatever they are passionate about. Not what system or we think is good for them. They know more then any generation in the human history…

          I envision world, where not reading, not developing one-self, not doing art will be so unacceptable as being illiterate now.

          Let’s see.

          Maybe we can add our bits to this evolution, even by discussions like these;-)
          Thanks!

          • Sorry for the long post – I couldn’t help talking about this interesting topic, and I would go on and on. :0)

            You are right that it’s not a good idea to copy the Finnish system and apply it to other countries. I really like their approach to education and agree that using some parts that are universally applicable would be a good idea, too. And having respect and appreciation for educators is something that could also be improved.

            Also, one of frustrating things is the increasing cost of tuition. Not sure about other countries, but it is insanely expensive here in the States – to the point that more students have to take loans and pay back them for years.

            Thanks for sharing the documentary – it’s great! I’m especially impressed because I used to think of Japan as a conservative society. :0) Also, that teacher seems to be much more empathetic than my elementary school teacher who apologized to my classmates at a school reunion years later for the way she treated us back then (I get goosebumps when remembering her). :0( This is another thing I would like to add that teachers could also have respect and patience for their students to make them more eager to learn.

            Yes, “why” is a common question asked by kids when they are little and have those inquisitive minds. Contrary to what many adults think, they are actually smarter than us because they like to explore the world and ask questions and are not afraid of taking risks. :0) I was also reading that they are not much different from philosophers who also like to ponder about things..

        • You have an insightful comment with very important questions. I would like to focus on couple of them and try to give some thoughts.

          Should testing be part of education? This makes me wonder if grading system should be abolished?

          Concerning grading: not only subjective, but does not reflect actual knowledge of the “student”. Grade is a measure of conformity to the syllabus as perceived by the teacher (here is the subjectivity). To put it into an example: we expect education to prepare us for real life, therefore the grade is expected to be a measure of how prepared we are.

          I would not mix testing and grading though. Testing these days is broken and works only one-way: to “test” student’s knowledge. Very rarely it works as feedback to the teacher as a measure of subject comprehension. Tests have tendency to be highly subjective as well, that’s why I think that cooperative knowledge application in real life situations (might be simulated) is the best way of testing.

          Should educators be free to set up their own set of instructions?

          I would love to be it like that. However, I think that setting own set of instructions is a just a small fix of the current system. At least setting by individual instructors. Other thing would be if instructors joined in a community/network and build their shared set of instructions which might start spreading. That kind of “fix” might eventually gain a momentum to be confronted with actual way of teaching that the authorities might notice.

          Should education be more hands-on than theoretical?

          This. What is learned should be applied as soon as possible after learning or at least verified. This not only reinforces the learning process of the student, but also gives important feedback to the teacher: was the topic explained sufficiently? Does it apply to the time, regional, subject context? In addition to that, if you really want to understand something, you should “build it”. For example, I wanted to understand how a Smalltalk works (some 70s programming environment, never beaten to this days), so I created my own implementation. I’ve not only learned the thing, but million things around that.

          This way or the other, one of the things that should change as well is the student-teacher relationship. They should become peers and the learning should be bi-directional (of course that the channel teacher-to-student would be more information-heavy than the other).

          • Thanks for sharing your insights – you make good points and I agree with them.

            I think that the “cooperative knowledge application in real life situations (might be simulated) is the best way of testing” also correlates to the question about hands-on learning? The teacher could test how much the student understands the material by seeing how s/he can apply his/her knowledge in practice? And teachers could test themselves how well they teach by seeing how their students can understand? Like in your example about understanding a Smalltalk by building it and learning more new things from that.

            I personally find it hard to grasp theories unless I can see more examples and/or apply them in real life. This is also another reason why people seem to learn more at a job than in school. So much to the point that it makes me wonder sometimes if I needed a higher education degree for this. :0)

            As for setting a network of educators to share their set of instructions – how can this be done? It seems to me that many people are interested in having a steady 9-5 job and a status quo than shaking trees..

            Also, I wonder what others think about home schooling or uschooling? Is it a good idea? It would be like having a telecommuting job..

            • … correlates to the question about hands-on learning?

              Sure, it does.

              …people seem to learn more at a job than in school

              You are right. Moreover, I would replace the words “seem to” with “do” :-) And that is the reason why we need the hands-on learning, even in simulated environment. Also, we should bring back more of apprenticeship, it seem to be fading off.

              As for setting a network of educators to share their set of instructions – how can this be done?

              It should be simple to use, and easy to “deploy”. There are plenty of solutions nowadays that can do that, compared to 10 years ago. Google group, Facebook group, Twitter hashtag – all can be launched in 30 seconds and are ready to be used. It is about will to share and learn, not about feature-richness of technology. And the network? Let it grow, learn people to grow it: by talking about it, by helping each other. Even two people talking publicly on the internet with shareable and linkable content can be considered a “network” or rather a “network seed” with potential to grow.

              It seems to me that many people are interested in having a steady 9-5 job and a status quo than shaking trees.

              Yeah, it is interesting but very unfortunate paradox, that even teachers are resistant to learning (and therefore being able to do the change). Or maybe … teacher is supposed to be like that: 9-5, and what we are talking and thinking about is not a teacher but guide or master (in sense of knowledge, not power) rather.

              • Regarding apprenticeship – I wonder about internships for university students and residencies for medical students. Are those good enough or need to be restructured, too?

                It’s true about creating groups online, but it sounds easier to talk than to do? :0) Sometimes those groups are private, and I wonder how it is possible to increase awareness if people share the ideas between themselves? Some people have great ideas, but are too shy to share them with others in public. Only a few people seem to actually do something about their new ideas.

                I like your definition of teacher vs. guide or master. Not only students learn from teachers, but teachers also learn from their students. Teachers may have more experience, but students may have some great fresh ideas that teachers have not thought of. For these reasons, I think, that some students drop out of universities where professors are teaching outdated ideas – especially in the rapidly changing areas such as technology and business. Same with working for an organization with an outdated thinking where you cannot grow professionally (as in learning new things and contributing new ideas, not in earning titles).

  4. Love it!

  5. Reblogged this on Sopha Shop.

  6. Really good idea to show these quotes – it will expand the area of and improve the size of impact the book will effect!

    Education in the largest sense – the final frontier!

    Thanks, Roger (Thankly.net)

  7. Lanre Dahunsi says:

    Nice Post..Thought Provoking. I have Read the Book and I Love It.

  8. My favourite is this one:
    “The jobs of the future are in two categories: the downtrodden assemblers of cheap mass goods and the respected creators of the unexpected.”

  9. Awesome article Ivana. Thanks a lot for sharing. I had my fingers crossed that my favorite part of the book would make your list. I really enjoyed the part where he talked about the two bumper stickers? Do you know the part I’m talking about?

    I found it to be super inspirational. If you have a few minutes, you might enjoy the little write up that I did about it: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114861037179007370436/posts/aQCzHmYeBMQ

  10. Thanks for posting all these great quotes! They have really helped me put some things in perspective. I’ve been a big fan of Seth Godin’s for a while now and can’t wait to read the book. In the meantime, I’ll help spread the word by tweeting these quotes.

    • Hey Mary,
      thanks for sneezing and for stopping by at #IS.
      Indeed, Seth’s ideas and thoughts are remarkable and I am glad you too belong to his tribe.
      Welcome to SCG and thanks for your first comment on #IS.
      ;=)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] result of it. Wrap up of the best quotes, which stroke the chord with me. Stop Stealing Dre…Via ivanasendecka.com Like this:LikeBe the first to like this [...]

  2. [...] Godin just published an e-book about education called Stop Stealing Dreams. He talks about how schools suck, but that even though homeschooling appears to be a rational response to terrible schools, [...]

  3. [...] Godin just published an e-book about education called Stop Stealing Dreams. He talks about how schools stink, but that even though homeschooling appears to be a rational response to terrible schools, [...]

  4. [...] are some quotations from the manifesto if you can’t be bothered to read all of it (but shame on you if you [...]

  5. [...] Godin just published an e-book about education called Stop Stealing Dreams. He talks about how schools stink, but that even though homeschooling appears to be a rational response to terrible schools, [...]

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