Schools need to change! Now.
As we’ve previously discussed, the current education system has its roots in the industrial age and little has been renovated to mirror the innovative time we live in today.
Education systems all over the world need to change just as fast as today’s digital natives change their everyday habits, social behavior and working styles.
How education was industrialized.
In the 1900’s, educators argued that schooling would improve citizenship, cultivate higher-order traits, and create the managerial skills needed for rapid economic modernization in the then “new industrial age”.
Seeing as the newly industrialized societies needed educated workers of this type (proficient in left-hemisphere traits such as writing and arithmetic) the education system was established in order to offer this basic education for all. The result was a group of individuals who were all similarly skilled in the same basic concepts; who could easily be transferred or replaced.
The standard “Chalk and Talk” teaching method was set up, involving standard repetitive exercises so that one teacher could teach hundreds of children at the same time in a single room…Just like that the teaching process was industrialised.
Thankfully, there are many education experts fighting for the change of the education system away from such an outdated form and they are being met with ever-popular reception. Below are some quotes found during our research or from people we personally interviewed, all who are paint the picture of our current dilemma.
“…But the generation of today faces more and more uncertainty, no lifetime employment, an unstable social climate, and a multicultural society. The schooling system was not invented to deal with these problems. We should teach children how to cope with the modern way of living. Besides learning facts, the cognitive part of learning, we should stimulate cooperation, intercultural behavior, relativity, and teach them how to deal with uncertainty and differences between cultures.”
-Simon Bremer, Director of the BussanArte Foundation, Bussana Vecchia, Italy
“For me, about 90% of what we teach probably constitutes particular nuggets of knowledge that those kids would never encounter again in a significant way in their lives.” – David Perkins, Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
“We need to help kids to learn how to think flexibly, to know how to change and how to look at other points of view. Being rigid will not work in the future.”
-Dr. Arthur L. Costa, Emeritus Professor at California State University
“Kids are individuals, so the most important thing is to get us as teachers to help them learn the way they want to learn – the easiest way for them to learn. Not: you are forced to learn ‘that’.” -David Kelley, Co-Founder of IDEO, Stanford Design Professor
“One of the most important things we emphasize to children is that we tend to put things into compartments. Here’s math, here’s English, here’s Spanish, here’s geography… When you really think about the world, and dealing with problems and issues in the world, as a grown-up or as a child, you are using more than one discipline. So my suggestion for education today is to meet the challenge of interdisciplinary teaching. So that children bring all the relevant disciplines together and see that they are connected in order to resolve the problem. I would love to see every kid understand they have to learn math in order to understand geography, to get science, and to understand a really good story.”
-Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, Member of the Faculty at the Evergreen State College
Indeed, these great minds and initiatives all over the world are making changes although the institutional and political gears turn more slowly than developments demand. Numerous private initiatives testify to the fact that the world of learning is in a state of upheaval.
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