“The Future of Learning, Networked Society” (20mins) outlines how archaic and flawed the standard teaching model is while offering some examples how it can be done differently. The film claims that “more people will receive education in the next 30 years than in all of history combined” so argues it’s an especially good time to rethink our learning institutions and their methods. How can we transform education from a rote system of standardized testing, designed back in the day to expunge individuality and create good little cogs for the industrial complex, into platforms for teaching our children how to solve relevant challenges in their own minds, in their communities and in our world?
Personally I know my children’s education will not mirror my own. I was placed in an all boys boarding school in England when I was only eight years old and stayed in that system for a decade. I remember thinking how backward a lot of the education was. Learning about bloody battles and religious crusades of sociopathic rulers when I wanted to look to the future instead of reciting dates from a barbaric past. Math was so abstract for me… I wanted to build things and learn about equations in action! I made it through along with about 2/3 of my class who managed to avoid expulsion. Of course some of was very informative and beneficial, but was not a well rounded early life experience. I am still trying to unlearn some things, and learn many other things that I wished I’d been taught from an early age from my parents and schools.
As I teach myself what I wish I’d learned at school, I can also use my experience to foster a better future for any children I might one day influence. What will it take to create a more evolved style of education that will nurture their unique skills rather than one that attempts to get them all to think alike, even going so far as giving them drugs, so they can be graded and standardized. Offering them a more creative lens through which they could be taught about healthy living for their minds and bodies, nonviolent communication and tolerance for others, how to be responsible with money and how to respect and use natural resources appropriately and intelligently. There are new schools emerging that are paving the way for this transformation and it’s a time for them to come into the spotlight.