Education and Update

February 26, 2010

Education and why it’s all backward

Following the last post I got inspired to right this today as I was just finishing off my daily update post.

Education. Can anyone relate to this?

You go to a new school all excited, or university, and a few weeks go by and you are very interested in the subject you are studying. The assignments role in, and you get them done with plenty of time. You don’t mind, because they interest you. A few more weeks go by and the work gets harder, but less interesting. You still keep working but the excitement seems to have diminished. Assignments role in at an increasing rate, not unbearable by any means, but we begin to procrastinate, handing on the day of the deadline. Still a few hours before, but you’re getting to a point where you still find that the work seems to lack it previous excitement.

A few months go by and now the work is completely at the bottom of your priorities. Facebook and Youtube become a staple diet, along with checking the surf forecast. Your friends or you begin to complain about the work, and you become more reluctant to get the work done with time left to breath, each assignment gets closer and closer to missing the deadline. Life becomes a series of weeks of relaxing, and generally avoiding work, to others where you’re frantic. Running round like a headless chicken complaining at how much work you have, when really we’re missing a fundamental aspect of this learning experience: enjoyment.

Where did it go? Where did the interest go? The zest for life, the curiosity, the in class discussion? Somewhere, between your third and tenth assignment you lost a certain idea that university, the actual substance of it, became a boring, uninspiring series of term dates and deadlines, interspersed with some serious centurions (I’m sure blackthorn was not meant for them!), and general work avoidance.

Lectures are a passive absorption of knowledge that the sooner you can forget, the better. This may not sound like a very nice view of higher learning, or education in general (I mean more so for university) but I think for a large number of people this is pretty much exactly how it goes. It sure did for me.

So, now the question I want to ask, and I hope to explain, in my limited research, but vehement truth is:

Is the current method of education actually all that effective? Or even more probingly, our method of schooling which 99% of the worlds education system use, necessary?

Many studies seem to to indicate otherwise. Our system of learning is less of a system of actual lasting education but of measuring. The tests in which we a subjected to, are a large part so far detached from real life that they really mean nothing of each of our capability. Now before I go into a rant about the current education system, I’m going to STOP.

Deep breath. Ok.

Education is really misrepresented. The origin of the word is from the latin word educo; to draw out or bring up from within. But what is more important is to look at the way we have for many years tried to measure education. This comes in the way of test and exams, and qualifications. Now consider this. Why is this necessary in order to educate us? Children, and us included, if we interested in something, they will go and find out about it. Now you may think this is obvious, but imagine if children were allowed to do this. No school, no tests, no treachers forcing knowledge down our throwts whether we like it not. However, imagine a place in which children are allowed to go to, to learn whatever they want to. How phenomenally scary would that be parents?

But what if all they did was play on video games all day? What if they just sat around watching tv? How could I be sure that little Johnny is going to grow up a become a smart banker, when I have to leave him to his own devices? The truth is you can’t.

I was having this very discussion with my family the other day. I have a borhter of ten years old, and he is far more intelligent than I think anybody gives him credit for. The only difference is that he does not express it in academic ways, why? Because he refuses to subordinate to people without his own deciding that that is the best course of action. So what happens? He gets in trouble, special classes, teachers coming over in the holidays to help him ‘catch up’ to what he has missed. The funny thing is, is that get him talking about Air-soft or computer games or anything else that seems to interest him, and I’m sure that you will actually learn something.

The point I am getting at, is that I really think we need to begin questioning the assumption that someone who does badly in school is going to be forever unsuccessful in life, or that success will come with more ‘difficulty’. I suffered from this. When I left university to go an pursue a crazy search for a sword, I got back defeated, and I was bombarded with negative comments about the fact that I have made ‘success’ harder? Success in anything is going to be hard, just that people seem to link lacking a degree to finding success more difficult. Personally I disagree.

It is vitally important that we begin to understand that we as a race have an inbuilt learning system which we use when we need it. This is what has meant that the human race has been so successful. However, our downfall has been in thinking that we have to orchestrate the growing up of children, by putting them through rigorous ‘tests’ in order to enter into adulthood, with a chance of becoming successful.

I think I am touching on a subject that has far more scope than just a blog, so I will probably be writing about this in greater depth with more structure a bit later, but the whole subject area of education in itself is fascinating, so I hope I can help facilitate anyone’s interest in the area.


One comment

  1. Right so on your advice i read this, agree, agree, AGREE!!! Ya brother will do fine and it sounds like he would benefit from that kind of teaching. Very interesting

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