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Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers EverWill [Format Kindle]

Dale J. Stephens
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

It’s no secret that college doesn’t prepare students for the real world. Student loan debt recently eclipsed credit card debt for the first time in history and now tops one trillion dollars. And the throngs of unemployed graduates chasing the same jobs makes us wonder whether there’s a better way to “make it” in today’s marketplace.

There is—and Dale Stephens is proof of that. In Hacking Your Education, Stephens speaks to a new culture of “hackademics” who think college diplomas are antiquated. Stephens shows how he and dozens of others have hacked their education, and how you can, too. You don’t need to be a genius or especially motivated to succeed outside school. The real requirements are much simpler: curiosity, confidence, and grit.

Hacking Your Education offers valuable advice to current students as well as those who decided to skip college. Stephens teaches you to create opportunities for yourself and design your curriculum—inside or outside the classroom. Whether your dream is to travel the world, build a startup, or climb the corporate ladder, Stephens proves you can do it now, rather than waiting for life to start after “graduation” day.

Biographie de l'auteur

Dale J. Stephens left school at twelve to become an unschooler, the self-directed branch of homeschoolers. He has appeared at TED 2012; on news outlets including CNN, ABC, and NPR; and in New York Magazine and Forbes. His writing has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Fast Company. Dale founded UnCollege.org.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Beaucoup de choses à prendre 22 août 2014
Par Mr.Cr
Format:Broché
Et si je vous disais que vous pouvez tirer des enseignements de ce livre tout en allant à l'Université.

Le point de vue contre l'Université peut gêner, mais il sert à faire polémique pour le livre et le contexte américain n'est pas le même.

Cependant, l'état d'esprit de l'auteur sur son auto-éducation est inspirante et entraînante. Il y a plein de bonnes choses dans une démarche de développement personnel c'est pourquoi je l'ai mis dans mon Homo Endo.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Cool 17 août 2013
Par Bowen
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Livre assez facile à lire, donnant quelques conseils intéressants pour nous jeunes issus de la Gen-Y. Entertaining. Attention aux ghost writers...
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Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  83 commentaires
219 internautes sur 237 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 "I've gotta be me!" (But do I need a college degree?) 5 mars 2013
Par Alan F. Sewell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This book was interesting both as a matter of general curiosity and personal relevance. The general curiosity is that I am now thirty years out of university and sometimes muse about the value that university education has had for me in my life (yes, it has had value but not always in ways I expected).

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. Here are some tips for getting up: As soon as you get out of bed, make yourself stand up and do ten squats. The blood will rush to your head, and you'll be awake.

Be You...Part of maintaining your individuality is developing self-confidence. And part of developing self-confidence is accepting that you're not going to be nice to everyone all the time. The biggest roadblock holding most of us back from the life we want is entirely self-created: It's that we care what other people think.

Building Self-Control....
============================

This is practical advice for any person, but especially for young people who need to start their academic and working lives with productive habits. Young people must anticipate that soon they will no longer be the centers of attention they were in their families. In the "real world" the only criteria they'll be measured by is whether they perform.

Thus, this book is useful in girding high schoolers for what will be demanded of them in the more competitive worlds of university and work.

Now, there IS a caveat to this book, and that is that Dale Stephens exhibits that very rare personality type known as the "polymath." These are intensely creative-minded people who thrive on their ability to become self-taught in many subjects. They're people like Bruce Dickenson, lead singer of the heavy metal group Iron Maiden, who flies airline passengers to holiday destinations as captain of a Boeing 737 when he isn't busy with rock stardom.

The positive trait of these people is that they can teach themselves virtually any subject. As students they can often out-think their university professors. They tend to find structured university curriculums stultifying. They often flunk out of university because they're bored with it. Instead of structured learning, these people pride themselves on their ability to "hack" concepts by intuitively grasping the whole from studying specific parts.

Polymaths tend to be social-minded "bull session" artists who can converse with anybody about anything. They can cold call a CEO they never met before, request a lunch date, and ask the CEO to hire them on the spot. The downside is that there may be a lack of substance behind their polished spiels. The ethically challenged among them thrive as con artists who misrepresent their abilities, frequently to the point of scamming their victims. But most are honest, success-driven people who thrive on creative challenges, especially in proving wrong those conformist-minded people who tell them that something they desire to accomplish "can't be done."

Needless to say, there aren't many people who fit this personality type. Those who try to fake it often come off as clownish "shoot-from-the-hip" types. Nor is this personality type widely accepted in most corporations, which are bureaucratic, hierarchical, conformist, and ego-driven from the top down. Try pulling some of this "hacking a job" stuff in most corporations and you'll be thrown out on your ear. But there are a few corporations, many small businesses, and a lot of individual consultants who thrive on it.

Thus, the reader must be aware that the "hacking" methods talked up in this book don't work for all types of people and aren't appropriate to all business cultures.

And some of Stephens' specific notions, such as that employers will pay self-taught writers and computer "coders" starting salaries of $120,000 to $140,000 are delusional. Computer coding is a commoditized profession, paying an average of $70K a year for programmers with a college degree and 10 years of experience, and maybe $40K to beginners with a college degree. The abysmal low quality of computer systems developed by self-taught programmers is one reason companies don't hire them anymore, preferring instead to buy off-the-shelf software that most likely was coded in India or China. And I've never encountered any company that thought that writing was a skill worth paying premium dollars for. The pay for technical writers and writers of corporate proposals and brochures is around $20 to $30 an hour.

It is a salient fact of life that companies aren't going to pay big bucks for informally trained people in any field, except maybe commission-only sales jobs, and even in commissioned sales relatively few people ever earn more than $50K a year. Thus, Stephens is trying to paint a picture of a plethora of glittering gold mines awaiting the informally educated, whereas in reality these employment "goldmines" are as rare as real ones.* (*see Comment(1) for detailed explanation).

Also be aware that Stephens admits that he enrolled in college without having any good reason for being there:

==========
Any idealism I had about university was quickly squashed. For the most part, people weren't there to learn; they were there to party for four years and, if they rolled into class without a hangover, to learn something along the way....I went to college because I assumed I needed a college degree to get a job.
==========

People used to do that all the time back when jobs were plentiful and college tuition wasn't extortionate. In those days any college degree was the ticket to middle class jobs. Obviously the economics have changed. For a variety of reasons middle class jobs are scarce and college IS extortionate. The cost/benefit ratio of obtaining a college degree has gone from one extreme to another.

Thus, the most pragmatic route to a fulfilling career may be to gain sufficient work experience to decide what you want to do, then decide whether or not to go on to college. The dilemma is that the "real world" work experience obtainable without college is most likely to be manual labor. Still, it might be worthwhile to wash dishes and wait tables in a restaurant to gain an understanding of whether or not one has an affinity for that kind of business before borrowing $50,000 to go to school to become a certified chef or to get a degree in hospitality management. Do the work first. Decide if it's what you want to do for the rest of your life. THEN decide if college will enhance your career.

This is the decision tree that Dale Stephens is popularizing:

1) Understand yourself to the point of knowing whether you thrive as a self taught polymath or whether structured university education is the optimal learning venue for you. If you are a "polymath" you may still want to go to college, but understand that its structured curriculum will be frustrating. Understand that this is normal for people of your temperament, and try to augment the structured curriculum by self-taught activities.

2) If you do decide to go to college have a clear idea of what you want to learn before going there. In this jobs-scarce economy a college degree probably won't guarantee you a job. Having developed a passion and some on-the-job expertise in a particular field augmented by a college degree probably will.

I've rated this book three stars because Mr. Stephens assumes that his "hacking" methods that work for him will work for everybody. Obviously they won't. But there IS enough practical advice in this book to make it a worthwhile read for young people. Just don't read more into it than is appropriate for your particular personality.

==

Btw. as an afterthought, I'd like to comment on the one subject that Dale says nothing about, and that's his politics. Dale's obviously a committed capitalist because the theme of achieving success through creating business ventures is central to the book. At the same time his advocacy of volunteering one's time and money for social causes shows his highly developed social consciousness. He doesn't seem to view making money as an end in itself in the way the obscenely greedy, status-seeking, in-your-face, amoral capitalists of the passing generation who trashed the economy with crazy speculations saw it. Rather, he sees money in the RIGHT way --- as a natural by-product that comes as a reward for improving other people's lives with the new and improved goods and services that an entrepreneur brings to market.

The politically inclined among us are wondering where business and politics will be headed now that the post-2008 generation is coming of age. If Dale is representative of his generation, and I think he probably is, then both the capitalist system and the political system will be passing into excellent hands....

....and this leads to one final speculation: Although Dale overstates the obtainability of high-paying jobs for the "unschooled" NOW, that may not be the case in the future when his generation rises to leadership of business, academia, and government.

The old leadership of business reached a degenerative stage in 2008 when they wrecked the economy with bogus financial scams and anti-social "cost-cutting" by eliminating their employees' jobs and pensions. That generation of corporate leadership was ossified, exclusive, over-credentialed, hostile to innovation, and did not know how to grow a business the RIGHT way, by making new and improved products that consumers want to buy.

Instead of growing wealth and sharing it they relied on paper credentials like university degrees and MBA's to channel wealth into a select few. This was the "winner take all" economy where the few at the top garnered the lion's share of the wealth, while the rank-and-file whose work and innovation built the business were oppressed with layoffs, pay cuts, work force reductions, and early retirements. University degrees and MBA's were too often used as litmus tests to separate the 1% of winners from the 99% of also-rans.

In a sick economy with zero growth and scarce job opportunities credentials become WHITE COLLAR UNION CARDS. Companies value them more as vehicles for denying employment opportunities to the masses than as certifications of competence to preform a job. As the economy improves and the ratio of job applicants to open job positions gets back in balance it is likely that employers will be forced by economic realities to get back to the right reason for hiring people, which is because they can do the jobs that need to be filled.

Thus, the true value of this book may not be in how it relates to today's world of credentialed and pigeonholed employment, but as a heads-up on how Dale's generation will CHANGE the employment dynamics to suit THEIR non-credentialed, innovation-centric values.
28 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Quick, Light Read; Felt lacking in depth; Didn't learn anything new. 11 mars 2013
Par Tajinder Singh - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Let me preface this review, by stating that, I have been an avid follower of the UnCollege movement for well over a year now, so most of the information I read in this book, felt repetitive. I had the same quips with Blake Boles' Better Than College. However, for the Average Joe, most of the information may be relatively new.

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.
36 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 For the intelligent and motivated, a road map out of the morass of overpriced, less-than-useful university education 5 mars 2013
Par Graham H. Seibert - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
There are two great facts with which the educational establishment refuses to come to terms. The first is that the system, as it is structured, leaves a vast gap between what students achieve and what they could potentially achieve. The second is that potential achievement is distributed according to the pitiless bell curve.

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. Stephens looks at this albatross as an anchor which greatly limits what a graduate can do with his life. His first obligation is to feed the beast - pay back the loans.

Stephens quotes Richard Arum to the effect that most people who are in college do not know why they are there. They look at college as an extension of adolescence, an opportunity to have fun on somebody else's money before they face the serious business of earning a living. His judgment is harsh: if you do not know why you are in college, get out. Do something with your life, and do not rack up debt.

Stephens does go to what is called the agency problem. The University is in business to make money. The professors are there to earn fame and fortune through their research. The other students are there to have a good time. Nobody is there to ensure that you learn. Once you realize that your future is in your own hands, that nobody else cares, the next logical question is whether or not you need the University. The book is dedicated to convincing you that not everybody does.

At an annual cost well above the salary what one can expect upon graduation, a university proposes to give a young person three things:
* A body of useful knowledge
* Contacts which will be useful in life
* A certificate attesting to the perseverence and competence required to complete the degree.
Stephens' thesis is that the body of knowledge has been dumbed down, the potential contacts are mostly not focused on classwork, and developing a portfolio of references who can testify to your actual achievement in real work situations is more valuable than a diploma as far as certificates go. Richard Arum notes that there has been significant grade inflation. Good marks are no longer meaningful except in the hard sciences. Attracting and retaining a diverse student body is a higher goal than maintaining academic rigor. The book "Mismatch" describes how this hurts minority students. In fact, the push for diversity also dilutes the validity of the certificate: employers rely more on other criteria, such as recommendations from current employees, SAT scores, and outside references.

The book is full of self-awareness and self-improvement checklists. The self-improvement tips are generally fairly obvious, but nonetheless useful. Get up early in the morning. Keep a notebook - write things down. Keep a list of things to do. Keep a list of things to learn. Make a practice of returning calls. Stretch yourself. One list that I love is a challenge to ask questions that are certain to be answered with a "No." His examples include asking people on the street for $100 and asking random girls for a date. His point is absolutely valid. A young person is vastly ahead of the game once he has learned not to be afraid of being turned down, governed only by other people's opinions. Other people will surely lead you to mediocrity.

The book is tremendously rich in ideas on how to make things happen. Keep it by your bedside: if ever comes a morning that you don't know what to do, turn to a random page and you'll find some useful advice on how to improve your life. The only caveat is that it invariably takes some mixture of chutzpah and hard work. He has some great advice on how to hack the business of making contacts. How to crash conferences, college courses, and other gatherings of people who are likely to be helpful to you. He tells you how to hack emails - how to get in touch with people who can be useful to you, and how to write an email that will get an answer. He made me feel good. I sent him a cold email asking for a copy of this book to review, and this is the result. Useful for both of us, the way things should be.

I found the self-awareness checklists to be harder. He asks "What Is the Purpose of Life?" This is a difficult question for any person of any age. Stephens is relentlessly secular. He offers only one answer, essentially that of the Enlightenment philosophers. We are here to maximize our human potential, our personal satisfaction, or our happiness depending on which philosophe you choose. I think the list needs more options. Religious people believe we are here to serve God and to raise the next generation of believers. Traditionalists, often religious, believe that we have a responsibility to pass on the culture which we have inherited, again usually through our children. Conversely, Charles Murray is right when he writes about the Europe Syndrome in "Coming Apart." Many moderns' attitude is that "The purpose of life is to while away the time between birth and death as pleasantly as possible." In the end, I believe that most kids won't have an answer to this most basic question which Stephens poses.

The book proceeds by a series of anecdotes chronicling the success of a number of bright, driven people whom the author has known in his life. By being willing to reach out, to make contact with people who might be able to help him, he has developed an extensive network of extremely competent people. They have fascinating stories to tell. However, these are far from ordinary people. They would not have come to Stephens' attention if they were. The message of the book is cast as "You might be able to do this." Let's not kid ourselves; very few readers will be able to emulate the success of his examples. Every reader, even those who will find no role in Stephens' universe can, however, benefit by applying the lessons of self-discipline which he advocates.

Two examples come to mind. The first was the viral Youtube of Doctor Ben Carson lecturing President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in February of 2013. The message was that Carson had overcome the handicap of poverty, a bad attitude, and a single-parent home to become the head of pediatric oncology at Johns Hopkins. Therefore, he implies, there is hope for everybody. Joanne Calderwood writing in "The Self-Propelled Advantage"describes how her homeschooling regime produced four kids in a row who attended college on scholarships, including one who aced the SATs with a 1600. In both cases, rather like Stephens, determination and self discipline were essential. In all cases, however, the kids could not have succeeded without native intelligence, any more than my native talent would get me into the NBA. The genetic stuff just isn't there. To pretend otherwise is simply naïve, inclined to raise false hope in kids without the right stuff. On the other hand, we all can improve. One of Stephens' better examples is a study that shows how much more successful it is to praise children for work rather than high intelligence. Hard work is something they know how to reproduce; intelligence is a fragile judgment that they may be scared to defend. The value of his book, then, is more in the instruction which anybody can follow than the examples which very few could emulate.

Interesting for a man who got involved in a gubernatorial campaign as a teenager, Stephens assiduously avoids any political discussion. Cynics say that student loans result from collusion between Wall Street and Washington: financial institutions are able to profit from guaranteed loans, and the government is able to keep young people off of the unemployment rolls and at the same time buy their votes with the appearance of doing something to help them. Another reason to avoid the traditional path is that a modern college education amounts to a four-year brainwashing in contemporary progressive thought - read David Gelernter's "America Lite." College is absolutely not the place to learn how to think independently. Stephens does go so far as to call the student loan game a "bubble" but doesn't find it necessary to name any villains. He is an optimist; much as he certainly appreciates why these things have come to be, he keeps relentlessly focused on the positive - what to do with your own life.

Stephens' bibliography, though well-chosen, is rather thin. He is young and has been doing other things with his life than read. He references "Academically Adrift" by Richard Arum, "Teach Your Own" by John Holt, and "The Underground History of American Education" by John Gatto, all of which I review favorably.

I'll close this review by taking advantage of the fact that I have your attention to push my own agenda. I got divorced and moved to Kiev to start a new life five years ago, about the time I started Social Security. I have learned Russian, gotten married, fathered a son, built a house and almost completed a book on my plans to homeschool him.

Life should change dramatically when we moved to the new place. I had already resolved to follow one piece of Stephens' advice: start a salon. I am adding four to do's to to my list after having read this book. First, as I write speeches in Russian to present at Toastmasters, I will think of other places that I might deliver them and work hard to get on the agenda of conferences and to speak at universities. Secondly, I will pepper Kiev with emails, looking for more information about homeschooling and looking for contact with other parents who are interested. I have already written that collaborative teaching and learning will be an essential part of my son's homeschooling experience. This book gave me some concrete ideas about how to make it happen. Third, I will volunteer my skills as a writer, translator, editor and programmer to people who are doing interesting work on education in Kiev. Lastly, I'll make a point of making coffee dates to get myself out of the house and involved. Please write me if any of you readers have suggestions to contribute in the way of homeschooling my son, or other books you would recommend that I read.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Give this a try, college will still be there next year 6 mars 2013
Par Barbara Berger - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I am a biased reviewer but I think that may more students should give self directed learning a shot, even if just over a gap year before attending college. I took a gap year after graduating from highschool and I started a profitable small business, learned about investing, and spent a lot of time practicing dance and jiu jitsu. It was a great experience and using the tricks in Dale's book I think many more people can have these types of self directed learning experiences. Whether or not you eventually attend college, taking some time to learn about something you are interested in is never a bad idea and I highly recommend the experience.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Hooray for Hacking Your Education! 29 décembre 2013
Par Hard Hat Poet - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
It is always cheerful to be reminded that one is not alone. One writing instructor once informed me: readers love to see themselves in what you have written. As for me, I feel as though I'm reading portions of my own life story as I read this book. I've been harping on about this stuff for 34 years!

I knew that I wanted to be a writer by the age of nine, and when I turned eleven I told my mother that seeing as I had already learned the "three R's," I wished to leave school and pursue my education through self-direction, adventure and the guidance of a tutor / mentor. I wanted to learn along the lines of the bestselling author of (among many other hilarious writings) "My Family and Other Animals," Gerald Durrell. Mom sent me right back to school, where I proceeded to do the minimum necessary to achieve a first-class pass, (required for university entrance), just in case I ever decided to study at a university...

For the most part, I detested the classroom. I still think of it as a monumental waste of time and an horrific imposition on a naturally adventurous mind. So many hours that could have been spent in real learning: exploring, inventing, trying and failing - essentially in discovering and excelling in what I truly felt could be my meaningful contribution to the world, were wasted in meeting the agenda of a national education board. I resented the kind of thinking that imposes a "one size fits all" style of education delivery format on a child.

Having traveled a lot and tried out many pathways, I discovered that working toward Journeyman status in the electrical trade is opening up the opportunity to travel as I wish, and by keeping my hand in photo-journalism on a part-time basis, I am able to continue with my development as a writer. Much of my education is self-directed and experience based. I have never been more contented in my pathway!

I am thrilled that, due to electronic technologies, especially the Internet, the educational system is being forced to change and provide greater freedom for the autodidact to obtain information. It is high time.

Reading "Hacking Your Education" provides excellent encouragement, and resource / networking information as a starting point for the self-educator and anybody considering dropping out of the moneymaking racket that systematized education has become. I look forward to connecting with more autodidacts as I "follow the rabbit trail."
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