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Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will Paperback – March 5, 2013
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The personal relevance is that I have a son in high school who'll soon be making the decision of whether to go to college or to take a full time job to develop his life's passion then perhaps go to college later to complement it with a degree.
The first thing you'll want to know before reading this book is whether author Dale Stephens is a nut. Is he an embittered college drop-out bent on rationalizing his failure to graduate by convincing us that college is a waste of time and money for everybody? Mr. Stephens did write a piece in the Wall Street Journal this weekend titled "A Smart Investor would skip the MBA." Many WSJ readers who commented on the article judged it to be simple-minded. But his book is more practical-minded than the short WSJ article. It advises high school students to ask the questions that they must answer in order to prepare themselves for entry into the performance driven world of academia and career.
Some of Dale's sensible advice is:
Figure Out Why You're Here: 1. What are you on this planet to do? The answer is one word, and always a verb. Sandee's answer is to teach. Write down your verb....Write down your ten possible occupations:
Get Up at 6: 00 a.m. Every day for a week I challenge you to get up at 6: 00 and spend the first few hours of your day working. It may be painful, but I promise it will also be a rewarding experience.Read more ›
I felt that the information was somewhat useful, but didn't go that extra mile, in really impressing me as the reader. It was sprinkled with "Hacks of the Day", actionable tips on improving one's life. The quality of the writing felt average, at best, though this could be to make the book more approachable and understandable by the casual reader. The diction was lacking, so was the grammar. The book, as a whole, left me feeling that there was something I wasn't getting. One suggestion would have been to elaborate more on how someone with zero experience, zero accomplishments, zero community, can get off the ground. Dale constantly asserts his pathos(credibility), but doesn't explain how he was able to do so; he simply says that "I was born this way", or that he was "naturally talented" in certain areas that allowed him to succeed. That's great, but for someone who's looking to do this at the age of 18, 40, etc. Dale leaves no clues as to how he established himself, over the past 6 years.
If you haven't followed the whole UnCollege movement, it is a decent read, but as a whole, I felt that the Education of Millionaires was well written and taught me a lot more.
Anyhow, I wish Dale the best on his journey.
Dale Stephens was an exceptionally talented fifth-grader when he researched unschooling and persuaded his parents, a schoolteacher and an engineer, to let him do it. He had to be exceptional not only in terms of intelligence, but in terms of drive and self-discipline. Simply put, most 11-year-old children are not in a position to take charge of their own education.
Although Stephens does not say so, his book is most appropriate for people in the upper ranges of the ability distribution, the people who lose the most when their abilities and interests are stifled by the educational bureaucracy. Though it is not his thesis, I add that these are the instances in which society damages itself the most by forcing bright kids into the straitjacket of conventional systems.
"Hacking your education" is about taking the concept of home schooling, or unschooling, to the University level. Several facts are beyond dispute. The cost of university education is rising much faster than the rate of inflation. It is driven by the availability of money, scholarships and student loans made to ensure that students of modest economic backgrounds can get a college education. The result is that the average college student graduates (or fails to graduate) with $29,000 worth of student loans. Moreover, the lenders have finagled the law in such a way that it is the only debt which cannot be discharged by bankruptcy. Student loan debt will follow a person for his entire life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Don't want to go to college? (Or at least unsure?) this book is step # 1 ! An important read for the next generation.Published 2 months ago by Amber
The book tells a nice story about the author's experiences and the people he met in the way. There is some specific critique for the university system, but less than I expected. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Eduardo Bessa
As a French professor, I find Dale Stephens' suggestion to hack traditional college classes pretty hypocritical. He asks a French professor to allow him to take a class for free. Read morePublished 8 months ago by I. Readalot
Interesting take on education. I do not care for the foul language, perched for grand children to read.Published 11 months ago by Inez D. Plucker
I am a homeschool mom. I am skeptical but willing to check out the web sites mentioned. There was not much by way of academics discussed. I am not convinced just yet. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Lisa Jackson
Excellent book for helping students who are schooled OR unschooled to come up with various projects they can do to get ahead even before completing high school! Read morePublished 11 months ago by Amazon Sales