I have been reading a lot of blog posts about educational reform recently. I agree with them that the heavy-handed, top-down approach that we see in North America and here in Britain is misguided and relates to a time that has passed and not to the ever-changing society that we are a part of now.
The crux of the matter to me is that we are still obsessed with teaching things that we feel is important in a world where we no longer know what is important and are unable to estimate what will be important for tomorrow.
The result of all this is the present unrest of trying to roll the hands of the clock back to a time when things were certain, where a certain model held sway (i.e. that we all worked for the greater good of a manufacturing society and obeyed their way of doing things especially their timing and need to work in silos).
The end result of education has always been seen as the student produced at the end of the period of her education. This is no longer the case though. Our education cannot ever end. It certainly will not end when we wave our piece of paper or jump up and down at our wonderful results.
The students are not ready because the workplace that they walk into (if they are fortunate enough to get a job) will demand an ever-changing and learning attitude to the ever-changing world that they are fighting to exist in.
We are not doing them any favours or indeed the employers any favours, if we produce students who are incapable of handling change, who are inflexible and unable to relate to new developments and who do not appreciate the need to continue to learn in order to exist and compete.
Every child counts, no child should be left behind and they won’t be if the education that they receive as they grow up gives them the ability to change. If there is one quality that any education system should be aiming for it is FLEXIBILITY.
The flexible thinkers, the lifelong learners will be able to cope with an ever-changing world…. the factory products will not.