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A general goal of education is to create life-long learners who can formulate, analyze, and solve complex problems. However, most classes today focus on well defined problems, and the process of formulation along with identifying the tools and concepts need to solve it are largely overlooked. Digital learning may well result in students having access to more content then ever before, but without the tools to determine what content to use for a given problem, students will not be able to use these resources effectively.

I propose that MIT make research methods more of a focus: that classes focus as much on defining problems and identifying what topics need to be learned in order to solve them as they do on actually teaching those topics. I think there should be more of push towards teaching students to identify what they need to learn and how to learn it, and less focus on actually giving them the content. Pushing the students to discover this on their own better engages them in the learning process and helps them develop a sense of ownership over their education. It is the difference between teaching map-reading versus map-making. If education switches to focus more on map-making, while at the same time using digital education to offer students access to what ever content they need for a specific problem, then students will learn critical thinking, synthesis, and problem-solving skills, which then can then apply to any problem that interests them, knowing that they have access to a "digital library" that contains all the concepts and content they will need to learn for that specific problem. This creates self-directed learners capable of learning anything.

Education & Facilities, Educational experiences, research methods, self-directed learning, map-making