Living Room College

Starved of the opportunity to teach other people about the things I love, I just had a brainstorm: Living Room College.

Think about it: pretty much everyone is good at something, knows a lot about something, or is eager to share their ideas and information about something with other people. So why not enable this, in a friendly, cooperative approach to knowledge and learning?

This is how it works: a group of undetermined size (it needs at least probably half a dozen people, but could easily accommodate many more) gets together and assesses its collective abilities. Maybe one person knows a lot about programming Java, another is very talented at sketching, another is a native Spanish speaker, another is ridiculously enthusiastic about literature of the 1960s counterculture. Then all these folks get together and teach classes on their subject matter – and, of course, take each other’s classes. Unsurprisingly, this takes place in living rooms far and wide, which can easily be transformed into hallowed halls of learning.

To be enrolled in Living Room College you don’t need to attend every course or even teach one. There are no grades or score-based evaluations. The whole point is that we need more dissemination of knowledge both frivolous and practical and that we can all benefit so much by learning from each other.

This is a serious proposal, not just a hypothetical rant. The logistics might be tricky but when you have the power of idealism behind you, anything is possible.

So who’s with me?

3 thoughts on “Living Room College

  1. But that would produce intelligent people. Rather than, y’know…the current one-size-fits-all undergraduate that needs to bust his or her ass for 4 years in strict guidelines to even have a chance of feeding himself or herself.

    I’ve often wondered whether I should just not go to college and stay at my current minimum wage job making sandwiches.

  2. That’s why we need to further the concept of learning for learning’s sake, not solely as a means to money. I know that people have tried and failed before, but I think it’s worth trying to take the emphasis of life off amassing as much cash as possible before you die.

  3. My boyfriend and I staged something a little like this over the summer, although the ends were practical for the most part: he taught me some calculus (which he loves and I deal with now in 103) and he read Plato’s Symposium for the first time, and we talked about it. Aside from the abstraction of learning, it’s a great way to socialize – and I don’t mean fraternize, I mean socialize. Your view of someone changes when they’ve taught you something, when you, in turn, have taught them to teach. It’s worth knowing people that way, whether or not we accept “learning for learning’s sake” as our MO.

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