The Dale J. Stephens future of education keynote explores the different ways of acquiring knowledge and questions the current education system.
Stephens discusses how he left school, but not the experience of learning, at the age of 12. Comparing the education he received on his own, versus that of his peers who remained in school, Stephens came to feel that the education system is fundamentally flawed. Arguing that schooling tends to have a negative impact on intrinsic motivation, Stephens believes that grades encourage people to take the easy way out and prevents us from discovering our own sense of agency. Instead of focusing on grades, he believes that institutions such as Universities should focus on self-evaluation and setting goals.
Stephens makes it abundantly clear in his future of education keynote that his criticisms are directed at schools and not learning. Knowing his ideas may seem radical, he nevertheless believes that the idea of self-directed learning merits consideration.