Eric Weinstein (@ericrweinstein), managing director of Thiel Capital, a Ph.D in mathematical physics from Harvard, and a research fellow at the Mathematical Institute of Oxford University, during a podcast interview with Tim Ferris:
What you’re always looking for is an education which makes students unteachable by standard methods. This is where we get into the trouble which is, we don’t talk about “teaching disabilities,” we talk about “learning disabilities.” And a lot of the kids that I want are kids who have been labeled learning disabled but they are actually super learners. Learners on steroids who have some deficits to pay for their superpower. And when teachers can’t deal with this, we label those kids “learning disabled” to cover up the fact that the economics of teaching require that one central actor, the teacher, be able to lead a room of 20 or more people in lock step. Well, that’s not a good model. (Around the 1:06 mark.)
No, it’s not. Our system expects kids, all kids, to inure themselves to our structures, practices, and curriculum. The system pays little heed to their dispositions, passions, and personalities. I know that some kids do have real and serious learning disabilities, but a significant number of kids who we label with such are more than able to navigate the learning opportunities they encounter once they leave school. It’s too inefficient for us to focus our efforts on meeting kids where they are instead of the other way around. Yet, we’ve become tolerant of the collateral damage that ensues.