Do we learn by learning or by doing?

Do the lectures of the university hall make all that much of a difference in the practical discoveries of our age?

How often does the teacher get the credit (or take the credit) for the brilliant student?

Would the student be less brilliant if he/she had not attended university?

I’ve often wondered if the commonly accepted chain of events (Research->University Teaching->Innovation) is actually how this thing works.

Maybe people (some of whom went to school, some of whom did not) make fantastic discoveries and implementations of technology, medicine, philosophy, etc… and the universities then take that as a case example of how wonderful society is with them as the society of knowledge that dispells valuable information into the world.

Is it possible that research makes incredible discoveries that have no use until some renegade decides to put them into practice-not by theorizing the best way-but by getting out and doing and failing and doing and failing until it works?

After the research and implementation, then the university can swoop in and teach to another generation who (hopefully) will focus more on doing than theorizing so their valuable discoveries can be taught to those who come after them.