Matt Damon recently stood up for teachers and the teaching profession.  He crushes the Peter Thiel method of thinking about education, as I described, on April 26, 2011:

Society is materialistic.  The university used to be a safe haven where ideas mattered and thoughts were given greater standing than finding ways to make more money.  Peter Thiel believes higher education is a bubble ready for the bursting — but you can only agree with Thiel’s thesis if you also believe students attend university to get a job.  I don’t happen to purchase his premise.  I believe students should attend university in order to learn what they do not know.

Here’s how Damon handled the interview:

The reporter tries to equate acting with teaching, telling Damon, 40, that surely his main incentive to work hard is “job security.” Her implication seems to be that teachers (and perhaps anyone?) will slack off if they’re given tenure or any other kind of employment guarantee. You can see Damon visibly annoyed as he shoots back, “You think job insecurity is what makes me work hard?”

The reporter tries to recover by making a point again about “incentive,” but Damon — at the rally with his mother, who’s a teacher — cuts her off. “You take this MBA-style thinking… It’s the problem with ed policy right now: this intrinsically paternalistic view of problems that are much more complex than that,” he says. “It’s like saying a teacher is going to get lazy when they have tenure. A teacher wants to teach. I mean why else would you take a sh***y salary and really long hours and do that job unless you really love to do it?”

This is the entire interview on YouTube:

We need good, smart, people like Matt Damon to help put to rest the lie that education, and teachers by association, are some sort of evil, ineffective, waste of taxpayer money.

We need more education and more teachers in the USA, not less, and disparaging an entire profession with sneering and innuendo does not help the all of us rise to a better level for thinking and problem solving.

When we formally think and learn together in classroom — be it virtual or pre-built — we begin to address the important problem of solving the human equation of: “Who are we and what are we doing here?”


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