[2 Minutes Read]
When thinking of the word “education”, schools usually come to mind. A classroom with a whiteboard (or a blackboard, depending on when you were born) with a teacher pacing around the front, imparting valuable knowledge. Students would fill the rest of the room, seated behind desks. Some would be listening, others talking, whilst the brave and/or uncaring ones would be sleeping. In most countries, this setting does not differ much, whether you are in kindergarten or university/college.
But really, what is education? Is it really encapsulated only in a classroom, directed by the teacher? Fundamentally, education was to be a structured medium for our learning. But one cannot help but feel that the medium has overtaken the original purpose. Students are becoming increasingly disaffected with current education systems as grade- and performance-oriented academic system kill intellectual curiosity and the joy for learning.
This convergence toward a single standard is, at this current time and stage of society, outdated. By now, we are (or should be) aware that an individual’s talents may lie outside of the academic. And yet, if the most universally implemented system of judging a person’s worth based on his/her ability to perform as a scorer on tests and projects persists, current and future students will continue to face pressure to conform. They may never get the chance or dare to take the opportunity to develop potential in areas they could excel in.
On a more fundamental level, this pressure to converge, directed constantly in the same direction over years, dulls a person’s ability to self-direct learning and to think divergently. In an uncertain future, where AI and robots are replacing previously coveted jobs, the ability to pick up a new skill or knowledge while being highly resourceful would make one much more useful than a specialist whose skill vertical might be replaced by tireless, scalable and efficient software.
I do not have the answers, but perhaps if more people examined this concept in the context of the 21st century and took action, we could arrive at education 2.0 that much sooner.
Written by: Weiyuan