Content from the video posted by Great Big Minds Facebook page, addressing six fundamental issues that the education system need to look at to prepare the students for the modern world.
Many people around the world have agreed that the current system of education was designed in the industrial age to prepare students to become factory workers. Unfortunately, the industrial age of mentality of mass production and mass control still run deep in schools.
American author and former dot com business executive, Seth Godin said, “The sole intent of the education system was to train people to be willing to work in a factory.”
British author, speaker and international advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education and arts bodies, Sir Kenneth Robinson said, “Education is modeled in the interest of the industrial age and the image of it.”
Industrial age values
The first issue is that the schools still corporate the industrial age values.
In current education system, children do nothing all day but to follow instructions, such as “sit down, take out your books, turn to page 40, solve problem number three, stop talking.”
In schools, children are awarded for doing exactly what they are told which is actually industrial age values that was very important for factory workers that success depends on following instructions and doing exactly what they were told.
While, modern world values people who are creative, can communicate their ideas, and collaborate with others, the children do not get the chance to develop such skills in a system that is based on industrial age values.
Lack of autonomy and control
At schools, the children’s lives are tightly controlled by the systems. However, in today’s world, if you are doing an important work then you are managing your own time, you are making your own decision regarding what to do and when to do it.
As people can see, the life at school is very different and the school is sending a very dangerous message to the children that they are not in charge of their own lives and they have to follow whatever is lay down, instead of taking their chance and making the most of their lives.
Experts believe that autonomy is incredibly important in children’s lives and it is easy to be seen why the children are bored and demotivated in the current school system.
Author of books about work, management, and behavioral science, Daniel H Pink said, “Autonomy is an innate psychological need.”
American psychologist, Peter Gray said, “Children don’t like school because in school they are not free.”
Learning in an inauthentic method
Most of the learning that happens in our schools today is inauthentic because it relies on memorisations and rote learning, which is a memorisation technique based on repetition.
The system defines a generic sets of knowledge that all children must know and then every few months, the teacher measures how much has been retained by administering exams. However, most of the things that have been learned by the students have been gone the day after the exam.
Parents and educators need to keep in mind that learning can be authentic and much deeper and it can be so much more than just memorisation and retention.
Sadly, that is the only things that we measure and the test result is the only thing that we value which has created extremely unhealthy culture for students, teacher, and parents that the children corporate the culture by staying late to memorising useless facts that they will forget soon.
No room for passion and interest
The education system as it stands, is an extreme standardise system that each child must learn the same thing, and at the same time in the same way as everyone else which does not respect the basic fact of being human that each of us is unique and different in our own way that we have our own passion and interest.
The question is, do the schools of today help our children to find and develop their passion?
It seems that there is no room in the current education system for the most important questions in a child’s life, such as “What am I good at? What do I want to do in life? How do I fit into this world?”
Unfortunately, the system does not seem to care.
As we may know, many greatly talented people failed in the traditional schools, such as Steven Spielberg who failed the sixth grade, Winston Churchill who had an average grade of ‘C’ in school, John Lennon who was described as hopeless and a clown in class, and Albert Einstein who was expelled from school for his rebelliousness.
The good thing is that they were able to overcome the “failures”.
However, we should note that not everyone can. We have no measures of how much talent and potentials goes unrecognised in the current system.
Difference in how each one of us learn
Each of us is different in how we learn, how much time we need to learn something, and what tools and resources were best for us.
However, the system has no rooms for such differences. So, if you are a bit slow to learn something you are considered a failure when actually all you needed was a bit time to catch up.
The lecturing by teachers
In the current system, children spend more than five hours a day of lecture. However, there are few big problems of lecturing.
American educator and entrepreneur of Khan Academy, a free online education platform and an organization with which he has produced over 6,500 video lessons teaching a wide spectrum, Salman Amin Khan calls lecturing fundamentally dehumanising experience as 30 kids with fingers on their lips not allowed to interact with each other.
We have to also aware that in any given classroom, different students are at different levels of understanding. Now, with what the teacher does, there are either kids who are bored because they are ahead and children who are confused because they are behind.
One of the solutions is that the internet has social media and the children have all the information in the world on their fingertips as technology has made it possible for anyone to learn anything.
However, for fear of losing control, the system is not leveraging this incredible system.
Our education system which evolved in the industrial age has become outdated and ineffective. Therefore, if we want to prepare our children for the modern world and we want the learning to be effective and engaging, then there is no doubt that we need to fundamentally change our system of education.