Monday, September 26, 2016

Skills Fluency and the Marketplace for Time Value

In "How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math", Barbara Oakley stresses the importance of repetition and memorization as building blocks for learning. This is all the more important for math, since one must also rely on what has previously been learned, in order to further progress. Fortunately for Oakley, she was only in her twenties when she decided to make up for the "lost time" of her high school years.

For anyone who waits until later in life to return to math studies (as I discovered the hard way), it can be even more important to make room for memorization and repetition of class assignments, if lessons are to be retained beyond class semesters and become part of one's long term memory. Fortunately, some of today's digital formats assist in this repetition, via presenting the problem till it's properly done.

However, no one should have to be limited to digital means (or other forms of media for that matter), in order to become fluent in any subject. All knowledge and skill takes on additional meaning, when we maintain personal associations with others, in both its acquisition and use. Or - as some have wondered - if robots and automation are (eventually) expected to outperform humans, then what's the point in learning and doing in a high skill knowledge context? The experiential component of knowledge use in relation to time use, is at the heart of this issue. Fortunately, the time value that takes place in equally matched context, need not be threatened by technology, as is the "burden" of compensated high skills value in secondary markets.

Meanwhile, without a marketplace for time value, compensated skills value is often deemed too important, to be "squandered" on the above mentioned reinforcing mechanisms for knowledge acquisition. Consequently, public K-12 education tends to focus on a basic or core understanding, whereas reinforcement in this regard is likely to take place on informal, mostly non economic terms. Often, this is simply additional support one may receive from family, peers, and possibly tutors, especially for higher income levels. The monetarily expected time/skill limits of the teacher in the workplace, may inadvertently become the skill limits of the student as well.

Even though public school teachers are increasingly held accountable for student aptitude, there's little room in the monetarily compensated skills of most teachers, to provide the additional reinforcement of repetition and memorization. This especially presents a problem for low income students, in committing material to long term memory.

The knowledge use systems of an equilibrium corporate structure, would approach learning as an incremental process: one which also provides monetary compensation for peer based mutual efforts in providing assistance. In particular, a marketplace for time value could also increase skills fluency, by creating room for memorization and repetition as an economic part of the learning process. Equally important, is the fact that compensation for mutual assistance, would increase the range of subject study and possibility, beyond core subject elements. Skills fluency would begin younger in life, as students pursue the subjects which present the greatest challenge for them.

Through equally coordinated time value, even the education of young students would become part of a newly generated primary marketplace, with its associated cumulative gains over time. When students become responsible for their own roles in learning, education takes on more personal meaning via connections with others in one's environment, instead of marketplace abstracts. And these additional student roles would remove much of the burden from both parents and older individuals who assume teaching roles, who consequently are freed to assist young students where it matters most.

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