The publicist sent an early copy of a book for me to review– Wisdom Factory: AI, Games, and the Education of a Modern Worker by Tim Dasey, Ph.D. He is an MIT professor (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) thinking about the future of work.

Let’s consider some what if statements regarding current and future workers education requirements in order to contribute and thrive in the new workplace. I think both factory work and so-called knowledge work (there is no reason factory work shouldn’t also be called knowledge work, but that may be another argument for another time).

  • What if teaching detail knowledge isn’t the right objective?
  • What if student mental health problems are partly a symptom of school pressure and classroom mismatches with the real world?
  • What if students were set up to collaborate with AI rather than compete?
  • What if schools were wisdom factories rather than expertise factories?

Two underlying premises:

  • Wisdom is learned through experience.
  • The foundation of prosperity is education

In the genre of criticizing our education system and then suggesting alternatives, this book complements some other of my current reading such as from Seth Godin (see his blog and latest book The Song of Significance) and Range by David Epstein who discusses the success of generalists relative to specialists.

Considering the media hype about AI and Dasey’s background  working in AI, and that the book’s subtitle includes AI, you might think this is a book about AI. You would be wrong. Yet, he ties his work in artificial intelligence, role-playing games for strategic thinking, and studies in psychology to throw some ideas for improving how we train the next generation of workers.

He seemed almost apologetic about using term factory in his title (I’d bet that was a publisher decision) as well he should be. He’s definitely not talking about a traditional factory/assembly line model for future schools.

If you want some ideas to further your thinking about educating your next generation of team members, check out this book. I’ll be referring to it at times in my future writing.

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