So tomorrow… I am traveling to Thailand and Vietnam! I’m pretty excited but that means I might not be posting as much. I have a LOT of drafts saved though, so I will do my best to find time (and internet connection) to blog.
Since I have to start packing soon, I will just do a brief post (you will soon learn that I love lists and bullet points).
Here are some of my thoughts on this article about reinventing rather than fixing the education system.
Yes, it’s from Forbes, which made me wary at first and it did feature some pretty appealing education rhetoric which, from experience, I know is hard to analyze because it makes you just want to agree with everything being said.
The author’s basic argument is that the education system is “not broken” but simply “obsolete” in that it no longer caters to the needs of the current generation. Thus, to solve the issue of education, we need to reinvent the system, and move away from the monotonous “assembly line” style of education that is currently implemented in our schools in order to move towards making education experiential, exciting, and as “addictive as a video game.” This means promoting creativity, critical reasoning, and collaborative learning.
Sounds pretty much everything I fight for right? Well… let’s see.
Here’s what I agree with, or at least find interesting:
- First of all, I have to say that I was really happy to see an article about education on Forbes.
- Very true that our current education system seems to be outdated… I think I’m going to devote some time to looking at the history of education in our country…just to see the path it has taken.
- Yes yes yes to everything about:
- fostering creativity and critical reasoning
- embracing students’ various learning styles
- promoting experiential education and interdisciplinary approaches to learning
- making education that works for, not against, its students (“If they can’t learn the way we teach, why don’t we teach the way they learn?” – Ignacio Estrada)
- moving away from standardization, which limits individuality and what I like to call out-of-the-scantron-bubble thinking
- implementing well-rounded and exciting curricula for students
Here’s what I’m not so sure about:
- “I want all entrepreneurs to take notice that this is a multi-hundred billion dollar opportunity that’s ripe for disruption.”
- NO NO NO
- Okay, I am a social entrepreneurship minor at USC, which is a minor in the School of Business. So I hear this all the time. And it literally makes me cringe.
- I am pursuing social entrepreneurship because I have realized that current movements of “education reform” do not fit the model of social activism that I wholeheartedly agree with. On my journeys as an aspiring educator and educational activist, I have come to realize that in order to make the best difference that I can in education, I have to pave my own path.
- My social entrepreneurship minor equips me with the tools and skill sets to put my educational theories and philosophies into practice.
- What I don’t appreciate, however, is corporate agendas and motives of profit, because no matter how much you want to make a difference in education, those two things get in the way of truly and genuinely working for and with students. They dilute the focus on students and educational equity, which are the real focus here.
- Education is not a business to be profited from. Period. If you want to make a real difference, work from the bottom up. Really get to know students, work with them, listen to them, and start with local change. Slowly, students everywhere will have equal access to the quality public education they deserve.
- Also, I feel like the article was moving in a direction of using technology as the core of education, rather than a tool.
- “It is time we flipped the model on its head and used technology to focus on our learners.”
- I believe that while technology is definitely very useful in the classroom, its influence on curriculum should be limited to only a tool.
- To have technology infiltrate every aspect of education in a classroom for the purposes of creating curricula that works for all types of students is… a little counter-productive in my opinion.
- Not all students learn with technology, and there are many more methods and styles of learning that don’t need technology (lively discussions/debates, collaborative projects, creative projects, field trips, hands-on learning)
- Also, technology can be very limiting for students, since it can tend to think for students and doesn’t really leave room for the student to create something him/herself. Well there goes that whole “fostering creativity” bit.
- All in all, technology should assist learning, not dominate it.
Those are just my thoughts on this article! If you agree/disagree/have an idea of your own, feel free to comment!