I say it all the time and I will do so again today, do not confuse education with school. I also though want to do all I can once again to point out that criticism of our educational system is not “teacher bashing”.
If people could get over the false belief that “teachers are heroes”, perhaps we can make some progress on that? It is difficult to have a logical conversation when people cling to illogical ideals.
That is what is truly needed at this juncture. An honest look at the problems with modern education and an acceptance of what can and can’t be fixed. An acceptance that teaching 6 year old children their ABCs is very noble, but it isn’t heroic.
It is a job and if it can be done better and more efficiently by other means, it should be considered and implemented where it works. I want to come at it academically today, let us for the sake of arguement say the following is true…
- The current educational system is an A+ for the needs of 10% of our students
- It gets a B for the needs of 20%
- It gets a C for the needs of another 20%
- It gets a D to an F for the other 50%
Frankly GPAs nation wide alone sort of match this but that isn’t what I mean. I was a “good student” on paper, graduated in the top 15% of my class, with a little real effort I would have been in the top 10 of students overall, easily, but I didn’t give a shit. Nothing could have changed that in the current system. I didn’t care because I knew 80% of what I was tested on would never apply to my life.
Now look you might say the average teenager can’t make that determination, but now as a quite successful person in my 40’s, time has proven that I was correct. Less than 20% of what I learned in high school, is applicable to my current life and career.
So the above numbers are likely kind to the current system. Plenty of A and B students are bored to tears in school. Plenty are also bullied, picked on and ridiculed. All this while eating state provided lunches that are little better than what prisoners get at Federal Prison. And if you share your lunch with a fellow student that is hungry, you are punished!
I have to say that while I feel the educational system of the 1980s was flawed and largely a waste of my time, it has only gotten worse over the years. Things that were encouraged when I was a kid like standing up to bullies, sharing food and helping others are now not only not encouraged they are actively punished.
This is not the fault of the teacher, teachers don’t write policies, hell they barely even write a lesson plan now. Politicians now largely set policy and write curriculum. They are themselves victims of the same system. Want a raise in pay, go take another course in education, get your masters etc. Seriously how much education does one need to effectively teach 2nd grade?
Not that second graders are not a challenge but that is a lot more of a social skill then an academic one. The good news though to be blunt is solutions abound.
Join Me Today to Discuss…
- First lets have an honest discussion about the nature of the problem
- Schools are a one size fits all solution presented to 50 million children
- Even if we hit a home run for 50%, we fail the other 50%
- School doesn’t resemble “real life” at all, so lets be honest about that
- School is now preparing children for jobs that no longer exist
- Conformity never leads to innovation
- Formulaic learning doesn’t create self directed learners
- Teachers do not have control over what they teach
- Teachers don’t have control over how fast or slow they advance
- Teachers want parents teaching obedience, not academics
- They system punishes both creative students and teachers
- School is seen mostly as state provided day care
- The solution? Stop trying to repair 1880s technology!
- Create cloud based learning
- Emulate 1850s teacher, student teaching other students
- Ignore all rules and only comply with laws when you have to
- Do not engage in emotional arguments
- Identify the real opportunities in the coming decades
- Create inter-generational learning communities
- Focus on actionable knowledge first
- Allow individuals to select what they learn about “soft knowledge”
- Stop feeding the beast
- Create our own certifications and standards bodies
- Do everything for a low of a price as possible
- However recognize the truly talented teachers
- Get on board, because the train is leaving with or without you
- Accept that education is about learning, not teaching
- Accept that almost every problem is solved by removing the state
Resources for today’s show…
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- The Year 1536
- Join Our Forum
- Walking To Freedom
- TSP Gear
- The Duck Chronicles – Video Series
- Harvest Eating – (sponsor of the day)
- Western Botanicals – (sponsor of the day)
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