self-directed learning bias?

I’m skeptical about claims, which I hear often by classical liberals, that kids generally love to learn innately. Personal experience gives everyone some expertise on education. But if that’s all we’re posting from, I think the sample from which the classical liberal blogosphere is drawn makes such claims overrepresented. Call this an argument from skeptical elitism.

Bloggers at places like Catallarchy are people who spend their spare time discussing political theory. Thus, they are more likely to be intelligent people. This is especially true if smart people are more likely to be libertarians.

Intelligent people are intelligent because they learn better than others.

Some people are better learners than others. (Josh Waitzkin, the chess and martial-arts champ, attributes his success to knowing how to learn.) Similarly, some people are better at self-learning than others. Ceteris isn’t paribus, but I’d argue that people who are better self-learners are still more likely to be better learners overall.

Thus, people who are more self-directed, who dislike more the strictures of school, are more likely to frequent classical liberal fora and to write...criticisms of school. Don’t get me wrong, I think dumbing-down public schools makes them well worthy of criticism. But we need to build on thicker reeds than just our own experience as students, if our experience isn’t representative. 

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Overcoming bias

The overcoming bias theme is catching on. :-)

yeah, as I was writing this

yeah, as I was writing this I thought it would probably be more appropriate there...