The education system I grew up in would probably be similar to a vertical network. Roles were concretely defined with rules and guidelines visible posted in the classrooms. The power disparity was obvious, but never questioned. Teachers were always right and students knew nothing. Much like in your experience, when I came to Stanford, a more independent style of learning was introduce much more like in horizontal networks. Having the ability to speak up for yourself was a major difference in my learning experience and ultimately, motivated me to learn certain subjects on my own.