Monday, July 22, 2013

Education of the 21st century

How do we educate our children to take place in the economies of the 21st century?

Sir Ken Robinson mentioned some challenges that I found very interesting. The first concept that resonated with me is that public education was designed for the economic purposes of the Industrial Revolution and the intellectual tradition of the Enlightenment. Times and society have changed, but this system of public education has not, and it has alienated millions of people all over the world who do not benefit from it. 

Another concept that resonated with me is the myth that if you go to school, do well, and get a college degree, you will have an easy path to success.  Today that is not true, a college degree is no guarantee of success and most people know this to be true, further alienating them from the system. 

Still another idea is the over-prescription of ADHD medication, which is anaesthetizing children, putting them to sleep so that they conform to an antiquated public education system, and killing their creative thinking skills.  We should instead be freeing them to come up with new ideas using the technology of modern society.

I think that in order for modern children to be successful and meet the needs of future economies, our educational paradigms have to change in a way that takes advantage of modern technologies and let our students be as creative and divergent thinkers as possible.  Teachers and parents should inform themselves to help make this happen.

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