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Gambling as Experiential Learning
Some self-directed learners are turning to casino gambling to discover logic and mathematics
The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we’re at the dealer’s table.” –John “Texas” Holt-em

Research has proven that children learn best when the subject is meaningful and applied to their own lives. With that in mind, educational experts at the MIT Poker Labs recently performed some controversial studies allowing children to gamble with real money. “The results were phenomenal,” says research professor Peter Gray in his book, Free to Gamble, “Children as young as seven understand advanced calculus in less than two months just by giving them some access to the roulette wheel alone. It has long been known that the way in which conventional schools teach math and logic is not only boring but ineffective as the learning is not applied. Give ’em a few bucks and a real chance to get rich and just watch what happens.”

Inspired by Gray’s writing, several Agile Learning Centers have now opened youth gambling casinos in back rooms at their center. “We let the kids decide what tables to have in our space,” says Tomis Parker of ALC Mosaic, “And so, there are of course the poker tables but also some betting on the classics, like Go Fish and Old Maid.” According to Parker, two young learners there now come to school each morning in limousines.

But centers are not the only places self-directed learners are taking advantage of experiential gambling. Unschoolers everywhere can be found down back alley ways shooting craps and at home taking their parents for their paychecks. “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, I always tell my mom,” one unschooling teen reported.

“It may take time for conventional schools to catch up to this methodology of learning or even for most SDE spaces to implement it,” says Gray, “but we’re confident that if we just keep showing that it works, we’ll have young gamblers everywhere soon enough.”