Schooling systems around the world are meant to be preparing young people to be valuable in the future…
But upon further inspection, you’d have to say these schooling systems are far more geared toward preparing youngsters for a time that has already passed.
I read an article by a guy named John Baker that really put things into perspective… His thoughts are that the current one-size-fits-all formal education system was first created due to the demands of the industrial revolution. In those days, the main objective of the system was to prepare students to be better factory workers. The curriculum at the time was predicated on reading and writing as well as other helpful subjects like arithmetic and history. Any kid who could read, write and count was a better factory worker than those that couldn’t. Ultimately, the formal education system prioritised memorisation and judged students by their ability to recall facts.
If the system missed out on teaching kids specific abilities needed in the factory, employees could spend a few weeks training on the job and then be ready for a lifetime of work without the need for continued education.
Life in the industrial economy was typically viewed as a series of discrete segments: school, work and retirement. But this thinking is no longer viable as we have entered the era of lifelong learning.
- Facts taught in school today can be obsolete within a few years
- Employees must constantly reinvent their skill sets in order to stay employable
- Employers recognize they need to be increasingly self-sufficient in helping their employees keep their skill sets up-to-date.
- We have a severe over-reliance on the results of standardized tests
These days, we have very limited requirements for employees in companies that simply remember tasks and execute. What we need most of all are employees who can take solution A and solution B and figure out how to come up with a new solution, C. People like that are rare. They have to understand the problems, analyze the bigger picture, predict the ramifications of what they are proposing, synthesize new knowledge, be creative as they problem solve and collaborate.
The bottom line is that the current formal education system is not helping develop higher-order skills nor is it sparking the creativity and abilities we need in our next generation.
This 5min video explains perfectly the very points I’m trying to get across to the masses. If this resonates with you, share it along so that we can create more awareness of the what the problems are: