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Education: An Outdated System

April 7, 2016

Learning: the act of acquiring new, or modifying and reinforcing, existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve synthesizing different types of information.

 

The ability to learn is possessed by humans, animals, plants and even some machines. Progress over time tends to follow a learning curve. It does not happen all at once, but builds upon itself and is shaped by previous knowledge. Learning is viewed as a never ending process.

 

School aims to provide students with a level of education and knowledge necessary in life. However time and time again, the education system fails to teach their students the most important skill in life - how to learn. Unfortunately school has suppressed or disturbed children's thirst for knowledge due to their failed narrow minded education system. Students no longer enjoy school, or no longer find it beneficial.

 

Humans are naturally diverse, however a lot of schools fail to understand or cater to this. Education is based on not diversity but conformity. What schools are encouraged to do is to find out what kids can do across a very narrow spectrum of achievement. They fail to realize that each child has their own set of unique skills. Instead of nurturing this individuality, they're forced to act alike. Each child is given the same test and all ranked equally despite having unequal skills or abilities. This is not a fair test, but a system rigged to unknowingly provide some students an advantage over others. Unsurprisingly, subjects are not counted equally. We're told at a young age that there are primary subjects such as maths or science, and that cultural knowledge or arts come second. But what determines this hierarchy and why is our intelligence and worth determined by this narrow spectrum?

 

 

We need to follow our own path in life, and with the guidance of teachers, friends and loved ones, we can develop our own interests in life. If you can light the spark of curiosity in a child, they will learn without any further assistance, very often. Children are natural learners. It's a real achievement to put that particular ability out, or to stifle it. Curiosity is the engine of achievement. There are conditions under which people thrive, and conditions under which they don't.

 

Instead of obedience, we should learn to question. Instead of knowing, we must strive to understand. Our children and teachers are encouraged to follow routine algorithms rather than to excite that power of imagination and curiosity. The education system has failed to cater to the individual needs of students and failed to encourage creativity and enjoyment in all fields of life. However it is up to us to make a change.  Every student who drops out of school has a reason for it which is rooted in their own biography. They may find it boring. They may find it irrelevant. They may find that it's at odds with the life they're living outside of school. There are trends, but the stories are always unique. We are intelligent creatures, one of the most incredible species to ever walk this planet. We are capable of so much more than we're willing to believe. So why are we settling for mediocre?

 

Our current methods of education is an outdated system that assumes all humans possess like qualities and therefore can perform like tasks. They do not recognize individuality, and when they do, it's seen as unimportant, unprofessional, distracting or a nuisance. The reality is, education is not a mechanical system. It's a human system. It's about people, people who either do want to learn or don't want to learn. If you take an area, a school, a district, and you change the conditions, give people a different sense of possibility, a different set of expectations, a broader range of opportunities. They will begin to cherish and value the relationships between teachers and learners. You offer people the discretion to be creative and to innovate in what they do, and schools that were once bereft spring to life.

 

The students of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. That is why it is so important to give them the best education possible, and help them excel. They truly are our future.

 

  

 

 

Sources:

Ken Robinson: How to escape education's death valley

(http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_how_to_escape_education_s_death_valley/transcript?language=en)

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Written by: MidniteAngel

Edited by: Amelia

 

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