Education or Indoctrination?
Is our current education system offering education or indoctrination? The later is usually associated with religious or political ideals. As schools are generally getting bigger, they appear to be becoming less able to offer students the freedom to learn without indoctrinating them into the system. Or maybe they never were. Those who can’t be indoctrinated, are left behind, often resulting in them not reaching their full potential.
A few years ago I home schooled our son, who was struggling with year 6. He just was not learning in the current school environment. The harder the school tried to push him, the more he resisted. After 18 months of home schooling, he went back to main stream high school. He was more confident, able to work more independently and in a position to see the benefits of what he was learning. Much of the work we had done at home included the practical application of what he was learning in year 7 and 8. The difference in his attitude to education was remarkable. I am not advocating this approach for all families, yet the need to find alternatives appears to be evident.
There seems to be quite a lot of discontent with our education system of late. People are asking questions about what education is hoping to achieve. Do we want the next generation to work like drones or do we want them to be entrepreneurs, lateral thinkers, ideas people, looking for new ways to do life? This interview with Seth Godin offers more questions, good questions which I think we need to start looking at answering. Seth has a TEDX video on the subject, also well worth a look.
With so many students now studying degrees or even double degrees, where is the future heading with employment opportunities going for the next generation? Do they really need to spend 16 or more years at school in order to gain satisfying and fulfilling employment?
If we are serious about our children’s future, then we might want to consider an overhaul of the current education system. Where have our trades schools gone? How many university graduates are actually utilising their degrees? To do this, more people need to be asking questions. Where do we want to be in the next decade or two with education in this country? Do we want our children to do as they are told? To simply pass school and move on to university just because it is expected? Or do we want our kids to ask questions and learn about their options? To go on to university if it is really necessary otherwise learn on the job through real life experience? Or use their creative ideas to make their own careers? Can we educate children without forcing them to do it our way, or the way it has always been done?