grades are related to nothing at all

Connectedness, network, democracy, lots of the themes I heard at lift06 came up today again while I was listening to Jay Cross’ recorded presentation on informal learning. I particularly like this quote:

“…we’re helping eachother learn, and we’re all our own teachers…”

I came across his work just recently, and am looking forward to his upcoming book on informal learning. This interview was actually my first exposure, and convinced me right away when he said that simple conversation is the way people learn most things. And later, “Grades are related to nothing at all in later life…”

Here’s the whole context of that quote:

Well, let’s compare informal to formal. I don’t think you know anything about what is in somebody’s head, just because he has a college degree. Grades are related to nothing at all in later life, not success, not wealth, not happiness, not ability to do things. It’s just totally incredible. So it would be hard to see any worth in that. I think the measure of learning effectiveness is always: Can you do what you were trying to learn to do? Can you demonstrate the skill, the knowledge and can you get along with what you learned and if not – you failed.

His white paper on informal learning, The Other 80%, will have to do until his book comes out…

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