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Learning by breaking things, or maybe learning in the negative

I'm not sure this is ultimately true for everyone and every topic or concept, but I often think that the way we're taught to learn things could be improved by turning the process on its head.

Usually we're taught core competencies. What something is, how to use it effectively in the least amount of time. I suppose learning is beholden to the lowest common denominator of students, and that's fine, but learning to implement X isn't the same as learning why you're implementing X and not Y instead.

I feel that I learn best by breaking (or maybe deconstructing is a better word) something and putting it back to together. Or starting with nothing, and learning the problems that are being solved by shooting yourself in the foot with them. As you solve each problem along the way, you get a better picture of how and why something works. Learning the rule book by breaking every rule yourself is a good way to gain experience and understand the rules. That's my theory anyway.

Like when we're learning grammar and how to write, we learn subject, predicate, end a sentence with a period, etc. If we started by emphasizing reading over writing, and presented a student with a paragraph of text with no structure or punctuation, would they be able to naturally detect opportunities for pause, changes in subject, areas of confusion or incorrect parallel structure?

To reach that lowest denominator and enable students to enter the real world and read and write, we teach people to use a tool (pen) to complete a task (write a check). But we miss the opportunity to teach people how to create and use their tools for more than A-to-B.

Probably lots of examples in programming. Like every new generation is learning languages and tooling that sits atop a mountain of layers created and maintained by previously new generations. We continue to blindly build our own layers, without knowing where we fit in to the past or the future. Breaking out of that cycle gives us what, power? Influence? Opportunities to make lasting impact? Building foundations rather than merely laying bricks.