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Old 12-06-2016, 08:31 PM
 
Location: The point of no return, er, NorCal
7,055 posts, read 4,383,571 times
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Some can, yes. I dedicated a good nine years to intense study in my fields before returning to school for my undergrad. It's why I chose a self-designed program. To essentially get credit for the knowledge I acquired through self-study. Excluding statistics, virtually all of the courses overlapped with my self-studies. I chose them for specific reasons. Heck, even the subject of my statistics course, modern nutrition research, I studied for a couple years. I already owned and read many of the books used in my courses. I knew the material very intimately.

I also actively engaged in formal and informal debates and discussions during the course of that time, and still do. It was a regular thing. I debated alongside and against scholars in my field. I shared correspondence with scholars and other academics. I wrote countless essays over the years. The school I chose for my undergrad offers an essay/thesis project for prior college-level learning. The vast majority of my major's credits were awarded through completing this 84 page thesis. I intentionally held off on taking courses in my main field because I wanted to "clep" out via this essay. It's also why I graduated eight months early. All of the independent study terms were subjects I already studied.

And not just my main field of study, virtually every passion/interest I've taken a serious interest in. I'm a self-taught photographer, and developed skills and knowledge in other areas through intense study. I also studied midwifery for over a decade, and once considered an apprenticeship.

I know a lot about my chosen fields, but there's a lot more I don't know. There's still a lot I'd love to study.
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Old 12-08-2016, 02:15 PM
 
307 posts, read 171,560 times
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I think everyone can teach themselves if they were motivated. However, I also believe that it would be a much more efficient process when are also educated by others with more experience. I taught myself Calculus from simply doing (literally) every single problem out of two books (one by Hostetler and another by Stewart). My dad bought me the solutions guide to the books to help me check my work. I still have my 3-ring binder with all my solutions to this day. What motivated me was just the satisfaction of solving something that I considered to be intellectually challenging at that age.

That said, I know for a fact that I could have learned much more quickly had I had a mentor. My knowledge was limited by what was in those books until I went off to college.
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:34 PM
 
432 posts, read 223,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
ITA!


I taught myself to play the piano because we couldn't afford lessons. I took about six months of lessons and then was self taught from there. It sounded good when I played but I had no idea just how much I didn't know. The problem with teaching yourself is the teacher doesn't know what questions to ask let alone the answers so it's a long slow process that yields limited results. Sitting through Yamaha classes with my two dd's was an eye opener. It's funny. I know more about music now but I feel like I know less because I'm aware of the limits of my own learning. I taught myself enough to sound good when I played but I missed the big picture. I taught myself to DO something as opposed to understanding it.


OTOH I'm well educated in chemistry. The other day while sitting at a restaurant really killing time before I needed to be back at the school for an event I became mesmerized by a drop of water. I was thinking about molecular polarity, hydrogen bonds, how the molecules arrange themselves, surface tension, electron configuration, etc, etc, etc and just marveling at this thing called water we take for granted. Its bond angles coupled with its bond polarity allow it to surround salts and dissolve them and carry them to the cells in our bodies.....and so on....I was almost late getting back the school all because there was a drop of water on the table. I can't look at things and not see the arrangements of the electrons that give them the properties they have. I will admit that after 9 years of teaching chemistry I've started asking questions I never asked before so my self teaching on top of my education has been beneficial but there's no way I would be here if I were only self taught.

Someone once said that the more you know the more you see in what you look at something. Uneducated people and most likely self educated people look. Educated people see.
When you brought up water, you reminded me of something which I find fascinating. With common table salt, you have to heat it at over 1,000F at ordinary atmospheric pressure before you break down its ionic bonds and it melts. Yet water at room temperature can do the same thing to break down its bonds and let the ionized atoms move about.

EdX
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Old 12-09-2016, 02:27 PM
 
307 posts, read 171,560 times
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One thing I think self-education does better is that (if done properly) it helps retain information better than being taught. It's the very reason why students are given homework -- so that they may (re)discover concepts on their own -- as opposed to simply talking at students.
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Old 12-09-2016, 02:31 PM
 
16,085 posts, read 13,500,876 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by education explorer View Post
My own personal experience says yes to the question.

I already had basic skills (reading, writing, math and others). I worked at a place selling newspaper trial subscriptions. This is something that's not taught at school.

I was given a script to work with (which included "selling points" - an euphemism for objection rebuttals). Through serendipity and scientific means, I've taught myself to sell and I mean sell well. Since my thinking was outside of the box, I know that my knowledge would never be duplicated at a selling school. I can say that I heavily tested my ideas with great success.

Do you have any personal experience where you feel that teaching yourself is far better than what you could learn at a school?

EdX
For the vast majority of people it isn't possible to reach the level of mastery in a subject that can be gained in a formal graduate level program. The discussion, postulation, def ding of ideas, etc cannot come from self education.

For surface level knowledge, yes, it is possible for the most part.
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Old 12-10-2016, 09:03 AM
Status: "Welcome Governor Polis!" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,700 posts, read 100,215,217 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Can you learn more through being self educated than educated?


No. It's not an either/or question; it's both/and. The person who is self educated has only that. The person who is educated has self education AND the formal education to go with it. People really need to stop with the assumption that education is binary. That's a false logic used by some to avoid recognizing the value of education. It may be partially true the day after graduation, but quickly loses any distinction. People who are educated have both education and experience.
Finally something we can agree on!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rs1n View Post
One thing I think self-education does better is that (if done properly) it helps retain information better than being taught. It's the very reason why students are given homework -- so that they may (re)discover concepts on their own -- as opposed to simply talking at students.
Homework is given for many reasons. My kids' 6th grade math teacher liked to say that proficiency at math requires practice, therefore she assigned ~20 min. of HW per day (not on weekends). It's funny how many parents can see that on the sports field but not in academics. Homework can also teach kids how to research an idea, etc.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:20 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
16,022 posts, read 18,657,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by education explorer View Post
Do you have any personal experience where you feel that teaching yourself is far better than what you could learn at a school?
I think that some people can be mostly self-taught. However, most people cannot be. There is a gradation.

If everyone could be self-taught, then the world would become filled with geniuses pretty quickly. We know that is not the case.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
19,845 posts, read 9,370,445 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
...

Homework is given for many reasons. My kids' 6th grade math teacher liked to say that proficiency at math requires practice, therefore she assigned ~20 min. of HW per day (not on weekends). It's funny how many parents can see that on the sports field but not in academics. Homework can also teach kids how to research an idea, etc.
Excellent post. I used to laugh how some of the same parents at our school who would complain about too much homework would also complain that our intramural sports teams didn't get enough practice.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
19,845 posts, read 9,370,445 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I think that some people can be mostly self-taught. However, most people cannot be. There is a gradation.

If everyone could be self-taught, then the world would become filled with geniuses pretty quickly. We know that is not the case.
Very true. And one of the big reasons being self-taught is rarely effective is that there is no balance when one chooses what they want to learn.
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Old 12-10-2016, 11:14 AM
 
6,090 posts, read 3,258,311 times
Reputation: 16151
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
Finally something we can agree on!



Homework is given for many reasons. My kids' 6th grade math teacher liked to say that proficiency at math requires practice, therefore she assigned ~20 min. of HW per day (not on weekends). It's funny how many parents can see that on the sports field but not in academics. Homework can also teach kids how to research an idea, etc.
I think we actually agree more than it appears. Face to face, without the limitations of text, I think we could have excellent debate. You have my respect always.
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