Thursday, 6 December 2012

The 19th century education system in the 21st century

Sometimes it takes me a long time to figure out something and when I do I feel like an idiot because the answer is so simple.

I realized the other day that the 19th century education system was set up before major time saving devices such as the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer were built. These devices basically saved people time and people used this time to progress. There is a wonderful ted talk about this. 

http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_and_the_magic_washing_machine.html

This is where the "a ha" moment came in: this is why the education system is "stuck in it's ways", resistent to change and out of phase with concepts of progress.

If we were to compare the way most schools work to how people wash clothes, then most of us would still be washing clothes by hand just because of a philosophical ideology. This is the major problem, education is more about a teaching manifesto than results because it was set up in a time where philosophical manifiestos were the best way to achieve anything. 

If the school system was about learning they would ditch the manifesto and start to do things differently. I always pose a simple question: what if I could teach people better and faster but the only catch is that it is completely different than your current system? The answer is always a no because it breaks the manifesto. Most schoolboards won't even try something new. Why not take a portion of the population and try something new?

Im sure if schoolboards offered this there would not only be volunteers but there will be progress. 

The sad reality of the situation is that if I had a child today by the time they enter elementary school the school system will be exactly the same. There will be nothing new and no progress. It's time for schools to devote a portion of their time to research and development. 

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