Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Education Vs Knowledge

What is the goal of education? Making honor role? Or making sense of the world?

Once upon a time a child is born who, after spending many days blissfully watching how his fingers move and realising the beauty of the sun that shines through his window every morning, enters his first year of what will be the focus of his next decade of life: school.

And so, as he embarks upon his educational career, he learns many things.

First of all, he's taught that there's a difference between learning and living...

as if learning is here in the school building, and living is outside, and there's no correlation between the two. Except of course the 4 hours of Strict Study maybe. As if what he did for the first five years of his life - like discovering language - wasn't learning at all.

He learn that to be confused or wrong is a crime. The school wants Right Answers, and he learns countless ways to con the teacher into thinking he knows something he doesn't; he learns to cheat. He also learns to be lazy. Before school began he worked for hours and hours, with no thought of reward, to make sense of the world. But in school he learns that no one does anything they don't have to and he learns to be bored.

Do I speak personally?

That our educational system misdirects the youth of today?

Don't get me wrong. Education is vital.

But the system is.. like many things... grocely imperfect.

And the problem comes with the misconception that learning begins just after the first bell rings and stops after graduation.

Education is a lifelong process.

But Parents and Teachers 'teach' kids that the reward for learning is not knowledge but a good report card,

there's no wonder that the problem is lack of motivation.

I think that the point of education is not to teach what to think but how to think.

That way, even if we don't remember, say, the quadratic formula, we still know how to problem solve. And that way, the FAQs of the classroom:

What's the point of this? Why do I need to know this? - will disappear into oblivion.

Why do kids learn?

To get good grades.

Why get good grades?

To get into a good UNI (Fulfil parents dreams).

Why a good UNI?

Because then, as everyone knows and has been brainwashed to believe, we will be more likely to lead a happy, successful, and fulfilling life, with endless oppurtunities.

What a motivation.

Frankly, I think that if people are not learning for the sake of learning itself, they're missing the point.

Why come to a place 250 days out of your year if you have no interest in what you're doing there besides basically preparing for the rest of your life?

When at that age you should be exploring what life is.

The problem is, the stress and the pressure of failing... even if they're not prepared to start giving it their all, its this idea that your a faiure in life that they fear, its what parents and teachers believe. So when one has four hours of homework a night plus sports and music and work and whatever else one happens to be involved in...

One doesn't have time to see the beauty in the world (or whats left of it).

Its not enough for me just to Criticize. As I learnt in School, yet probably could've well worked out on my own, that its not enough to make a valid point. You've got to provide evidence, proof or what you would have done better...

What do we need to do?

I think, for one, that learning should be a more active process.

It's a bit ironic to learn about the world by being taken out of it.

Get rid of the emphasis on grades.

How is it possible to stick a number on a piece of writing or a piece of art or music?

Sure enough Maths is reasonably straight answered. But HSC results!

Boy do they love to toss that phrase around! HSC results are crap.

Kids work so hard for a bunch of percentage scores. and the final UAI is nothing like what they actually deserved. However grading may be justified with explanations, it shows the student that what counts in the end is not whether he has learned the material and will apply it or use it to enrich his life, but that a high number will get him into a good University.

How do you truly measure what someone knows?

"Let the child learn what every educated person must someday learn, how to measure his own understanding."

What is the goal of education? Making honor role? Or making sense of the world?


It's a bit off topic... but im just on the line of thought: Why is spirituality not ever touched on in school...? Only in Religious schools. Spirituality should not be associated with Religion, as it is an aspect on its own; Much better too, without the corruption of Religion. I've learnt SO much on my own, every night after school. Yet i feel i've learnt none of what i find important at school.

I want to learn the bigger picture of this lifetime, how it came to be (and no, I don't think evolution or creation is correct, i'll tell you what i believe in a later blog) etc,

Before I start to care about all the seemingly little, pointless things i'm taught.

1 comment:

iamnothingwearenothing said...

im glad someone can articulate what i think about school better than i can haha.