How safe is the future of education in today’s world?

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The context:

2035 is the target date when all of the young people who went to school for the first time in their life will be called the young adults, most of them eligible to get jobs and take over the destiny of the citizen politics and economics in their respective countries.

You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.
Maya Angelou

The status:

At the end of every school year people (specialists and those who have a word to say about education) meet and agree that they must come up with a plan for the next year. A plan that will improve quality, effectiveness and more to the wellbeing of the learners. Due to lack of time these well-intended actions are postponed until the next school year, and when it happens, under the pressure of tight agendas and calendars these are postponed again for winter break and so on.

Agendas, schedules, meetings and of course reporting seem to be of greater importance than the global and critical orientations of education itself.

Countries cut in certain domains to favour others, so for the sake of maths, science and other topics, the skimming process on arts, literature and humanities are inevitable. In some other places the lack of funding makes the learning content suffice with a bit of everything but a lot of nothing much, and so on. Budget and administrative considerations seem to prevail on the rest.

Considering some topics of lesser value than others seems, at least for me, jeopardizing the quality of education. Such risk being to graduate generation with deficiencies in global knowledge, mankind history and healthy faculty of thinking.

Most schooling models produce generations of future workers ideally trained and prepared to the needs of corporations. I remember when it was time for me to go to school, parents and teachers were encouraging us to consider becoming doctors, lawyers or engineers. I still remember the words “Noble professions” that would definitely assure us good and respectable life.

Looking at today’s model, if words changed, the idea remains identical, graduating generations of future employees who will fit to corporate requirements. During my career I often heard these words “why change it if it works?” always surprised to note such a rigid mentality with little openness to improvement that would wait major crisis to act.

The future of education can no longer expect a crisis to change, we know what level of quality solutions that come from the urge of a solution can be.

A few days ago most students returned to school, and most kids face the consequences of a certain lack of vision. No wonder why some, if not more, will be tempted to drop out during their learning path, preferring to get a source of income than walking onto a path that is not clear for them.

Most experts would argue that the business requirements somehow impose such realities, I could agree with that thinking if on the other hand students were able to choose and freely decide their own learning path rather than driven by “requirements”.

Education as in schooling is the continuation of what has started at home and will never replace such reality, so we, as educators, do not need to educate our students, but share our deepest passions and most important discoveries of knowledge. Motivating and inspiring those future adults to the quest of limitless curiosity that is what education is about, isn’t so?

The wish:

Teach how to learn is the most precious gifts we have in our hands, there will always be enough time to memorize content and facts. So let us keep in mind such gift when time comes for planning and scheduling. The good thing about it? It does not need any extra budget or funding!

One of the most rewarding moment I had during teaching was when asking a student to teach the class (that included me sitting on a chair) how and what he or she understood about the lesson…

I can assure you the things you may discover would inspire you writing the best sellers of each school year!

Until our next chat,

Michel – September 5, 2015

The picture is from the site : Eyes on the Future

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