Considering Paradigms in Education…and changing them…

There is little question most believe that the education system needs an overhaul. Some believe the overhaul is needed with the teachers with sides arguing the beat way to compensate them. Other argue it is the standards in education and what is being taught to our students. Some believe it’s the financial burden to educate our growing population and what is the best way to spend the funding.

I however, tend to believe while the above needs to be addressed the problems lies in the ways in which we teach our students.  I know this is an argument that I continue to come back to, but I really do believe that the heart of our problem lies here.

Sir Ken Robinson, in my opinion, hits the nail on the head in the following video titled – Changing Education Paradigms:

There are two parts to the video that really get to me about the ways in which we teach our students.

First, he says we tell them there is “one correct answer”, and “it is at the back of the book” and “don’t look.”  In many ways he is right – we have created several generations of students who know the teacher is going to give them questions, the answers are readily available and they have to do little self discovery to find it.

Second, the idea that kindergartens are divergent thinkers and then slowly lose it the older they get and the more schooling they have.  That idea really got to me – are we stifling our kids by educating them?  Are we creating generation after generation of a model of what an educated person is?  Is there really a definition of this?  I mean am I not an educated person because I don’t know how to change the brake pads on my car?  Or is the mechanic who can uneducated compared to someone like me with a masters degree?  Why are we trying to create a box in which all of our students are supposed to fit in?

Instead of molding an “ideal student” who can pass a generic test that often times really does not test anything other then the students ability to take a test – why aren’t we considering the ways in which we can tailor the education process to be as unique as each student sitting in the hundreds of classrooms across the country???


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