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Stop Stealing Dreams (what is school for?)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  739 ratings  ·  108 reviews
The economy has changed, probably forever.

School hasn't.

School was invented to create a constant stream of compliant factory workers to the growing businesses of the 1900s. It continues to do an excellent job at achieving this goal, but it's not a goal we need to achieve any longer.

In this 30,000 word manifesto, I imagine a different set of goals and start (I hope) a discu
ebook, 98 pages
Published February 27th 2012
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Dave Emmett
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, education
Really great book about how we should be changing school to address the needs of the future, not the needs of the past.

I found myself highlighting a ton of lines from this book, here's a few of the ones that best capture the overall theme:

"Factories didn’t happen because there were schools; schools happened because there were factories."
"Teaching is no longer about delivering facts that are unavailable in any other format. "
"Learning is not done to you. Learning is something you choose to do."
Auden Granger
Jul 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
Hey, Seth Godin, I appreciate that you're angry and you want to inspire change. I'm also angry, and I also want to inspire change. I relate. But throwing out platitudes is pretty useless if you can't also through out potential solutions. And I'm more than a little tired of your sense of superiority, misunderstanding of the actual nature of the examples you use, and broad generalizations of the current use of technology (hello, YouTube is actually for more than cat videos, and Kahn Academy, which ...more
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Great free ebook that pretty much synopsis all my thoughts on education. I feel like the book could have came from my brain. :)

Favorite Quotes: "The fork in this road is ever more pronounced because there’s now so much more to choose from. A citizen can spend his spare time getting smarter, more motivated, and more involved, or he can tune out, drop out, and entertain himself into a stupor. The same devices deliver either or both from the online ether—and the choice that people make is one that
Brent Mair
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
In this manifesto Seth Godin does a pretty good job of convincing me of the problems of public education and the attitude of Americans. I was likely convinced prior to reading this but the examples helped me solidify my position. What is really missing from this document is the how. Education must change and will change as people find themselves ill equipped to get jobs. Most will also be ill prepared to make their own way in the world without an employer.

It is clear to me that I need to help my
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great, interesting, thought-provoking book. Even if I already agreed and have even put in practice some of the ideas discussed here, I still found a great deal of food for thought in it, as well as some hope that things (in education) will change. Meanwhile, as the book so well cites, “The best way to complain is to make things” (James Murphy).
This book is available online for free at - I highly recommend it to everyone.
J.Aleksandr Wootton
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of
This is a very important read (and I don't say that because the chapters on college echo - only in the sense that I published first - my blog.)

The crux of Godin's argument is that the K-12 public school system is NOT failing, it is succeeding - at preparing students for jobs at factories and other companies modeled around the Industrial Revolution's so-called "Scientific Management" theory, which is what public school was originally created to do. Obviously this mindset is incompatible with toda
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: education, nonfiction
Godin published a series of blog-like posts in which he shares his vision for public education. It is a layperson's idealistic hope. The reality is that Godin has a surface understanding of education.

It is easy to look at the results of the system and proclaim there is a problem. Godin pronounces that that is because education is set up merely to produce workers for society. Not that is incorrect, but he then hammers the system at every turn for it. There is to be no rote memorization he claims.
Jeri Walker
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
In my daily perusal of online articles a while ago, I came across Seth Godin’s education manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams (what is school for?). The free 30,000 word eBook serves as the beginning of the most basic conversation that needs to occur regarding America’s public education system. Much of Godin’s thoughts reflect my own. I recently left the classroom in order to reassess my career path. The purpose that school currently serves in our society is the reason why I must take a break if I am ...more
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I originally planned to do a full-blown review, discussing the points Seth Godin made, and even though I managed to whip together the beginning of what would seem to be a coherent whole, I won't do it this time. There are just too many to be addressed.

Do you believe that traditional schools are still relevant?
Do you believe that you will get all the education you need within the institutional walls?
Do you believe in a set path, jobs, and everything your parents told you?
Do you think that there s
Jeff Short
Mar 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: life-and-culture
Seth Godin is a stimulating thinker and writer. He writes with the view that his book isn't the end, rather it is the start of a conversation. He doesn't write to give the "final answer," but rather to make sure you don't think you have asked the "final question" on the subject.

His latest manifesto centers around education. He raises necessary questions about the system of education while looking back to see how we got here. Godin doesn't try to answer all the questions or solve all the problems
Jarkko Laine
First of all, this book is an important discussion opener. The world has definitely changed since the times when our school systems were created, and I too have noticed that schools are focusing on all the wrong things (sitting quietly, obeying the teacher, and so on) instead of what really matters (curiosity, passion for learning, how to think). I agree with Godin once again and highly recommend this book for anyone with any interest for education (this should be all of us, right).

But the book
Aug 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
I'm sorry, Seth Godin, but I really want to punch you right now. You declare all these things like it happens everywhere. Guess what? IT DOESNT. You make school out to be this horrible thing, but I know I'll end up in a better place because of it. I agree that some schools need extra help and encouragement, but your generalizations annoyed me to no end. For example, I don't know what I'm going to do with my life yet because I know how many jobs are out there for consideration. I know that my sch ...more
Mark C. Kelly
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
There are a lot of true statements in this, and a lot of things to make you think. As a public school teacher, I think reform is long overdue, but reform is only part of the answer.

The future may not be as tied up in collaboration as some think. Some of the recent predictions of the past have turned out to be wrong, often due to unforeseen technical advances. What is needed is a basic digital liberal arts background, that prepares students to go in whatever direction their passions take them. T
Maria Miaoulis
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As usual, Seth gets you to question everything you think you know. This time, he challenges the old-fashioned and out-of-date US school curriculum. Sure, the system works in the sense that it produces factory workers - in other words, kids who are taught to keep their heads down, follow the rules and take direction from others. Unfortunately, the job market is no longer looking for compliant employees who can't think for themselves. Companies want individuals who lead and innovate which means if ...more
Malia Walter
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Reading this, I found myself alternating between agreeing with a significant amount of what Godin had to say and wanting to defend my career as an educator. Yes, the system needs changing. Yes, we are sending very few thoughtful adults out into the world. On the other hand, I, as a teacher, am being held hostage to the requirements of the system. How can I possibly change it? And then I can I challenge the system and produce students that do think and challenge and create while sta ...more
Joao Trindade
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Raises key questions on the current education system.

The approach of the book is impeccable. It follows the Socratic method, by questioning:

* What do we want from education
* Why do we want that
* What are we getting

The only fault I can point is never questioning the interference of the state on education.
Stephen Lake
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
An aphoristic jeremiad against the flaws in the modern American educational system. I think I agree with more of Godin's *prescriptions* than his *critiques* or *diagnoses*, because having been an educator for most of my adult life, I often saw through the caricatures and hyperbole he aimed at the status quo. Godin seems fundamentally right, though, that American educational institutions must inculcate better the desires to learn and problem solve, with insight and creativity. We are obsessed wi ...more
Stiltzkin Vanserine
Seth Godin's writing style is succinct and sharp, much like some eye-catching articles one can find on the Internet. However, the difference lies in the fact that there's true wisdom in his words.

The school system is flawed and outdated, and Godin explains why in this manifesto. His arguments are insightful and compelling. Students these days go through college racking up tons of debt, and there's no guarantee that they'll find a job that pays handsomely. The current education model originates f
Stanley Turner
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have read many of Seth’s work and this is pretty much like those earlier ones, excellent. I may not agree with all his ideas about changing our schools, but we both agree 100% that something needs to be changed for the sake of our children. Continuing with the same education system we have is killing our nation...
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
First 75% of book where Seth gives good set of insights about what's lacking in school and what to expect and what not to expect from the school.

Then onwards, he started promoting his courses and what not. Probably that's why book is free.

Anyways, it certainly helped expanding vision for appreciate expectations with the school.
Bobby Claude
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This manifesto definitely encourages the reader to look at things regarding school and the school system in a way that is contrary to that which is traditionally taught. A read that gets you thinking.
Makhtar DIOP
Like a manifesto for project-driven students centered learning platform. A requiem on what don't work in the world education system and how it is driven by the dying or already dead industrial complex. ...more
Elijah C
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Encourages the power of thinking, instead of chasing useless objectives. His call to action for meaningful work and education is one that I thoroughly live by and love.

Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
somewhat interesting, glad it was free
Samuel Dennis
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
There's definately a lot to know about this issue. I really like all the points you made.
I Can Fix
Barry Hyde
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thought provoking, challenging a must read for anyone with school aged children
Shashikant Dhuppe
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very great book 👍
Eustacia Tan
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
What do you think the purpose of school is for? Well, according to Seth Godin, it's to churn out compliant factory workers. In fact, it only feeds the children facts and doesn't teach them the skills needed to survive in the world today.

The book is talking about American education, but I bet a lot of Singaporean parents will be quick to agree with him. Singapore's education system is seen as learning by rote and having too much emphasis on marks. All true I suppose, although I find my experience
Feb 11, 2013 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Signorelli
In "Stop Stealing Dreams (What Is School For?)," Godin’s newly released book-length manifesto published free of charge online, the writer encourages us to reconsider—and fight against—the ways our learning systems and learning spaces stifle creativity and steal learners' dreams. And what he offers should be of interest equally to those working within formal academic settings and those involved in workplace learning and performance (staff training) endeavors. It doesn't take him long to get to th ...more
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Seth Godin is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change.

Godin is author of ten books that have been bestsellers around the world, and he is also a renowned speaker. He was recently chosen as one of 21 Speakers for the Next Century by Successful Meetings and is consistently rated among the very best speakers by the audiences he addresses.

Seth was founder and CEO of Yoyodyne, the indust

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