For the first time in my life as a content writer, I’ll do a more personal post. Today, I feel like opening the cover of my own book and sharing some experiences that, somehow, have to do with the field that has been inspiring all of the past posts of this blog: Education.
I was lucky enough to have my parents put me in a Montessori school (we talked about Maria Montessori in this previous post of the CoderZ Blog). Since I was very young, I’ve been experiencing the most essential concept of educational diversity.
Today, more than 2 decades after my first day in that school I have nothing but words of appreciation and gratefulness both to my parents, my classmates and my teachers.
A change from traditional education to a dynamic educational system
I spent my first 2 years of elementary school in what we can call a traditional institution. Where we had to dress with uniforms and have this awkward distance between the educator and the rest of the class.
Leaving the “mister” and the “teacher” behind and starting to call my “educational guide” by his (or hers) actual name wasn’t easy in the very beginning.
Years passed, and I understood how much it actually helped to have a guide instead of a master. How much it actually influenced me to have someone who will create in me the desire of learning, who will be a companion and not a dictator, who will facilitate the environment for the student to learn and not adjust the student to the established environment.
Ownership, discovery and constant learning: The keys for a successful education
Calling Freddy, Theresa, Vicky or Roberto by their actual name was only the tip of the iceberg. Building a relationship of mutual cooperation, respect and learning during all of my school years with them, came to assure me that life is about a constant learning.
If I wanted to learn something, I had to discover it, to research, to use all of those sources that are located outside of the classic classroom.
In a way, they allowed me to turn the world into a classroom! In some sort of way, they allowed me to enjoy the purest concept of education. My teachers gave me the possibility to comprehend one thing: The actual key to success in life is being passionate and having, always, a huge sense of wonder.
Let the students speak!
Everything I’m sharing about my personal story isn’t, thank God, an isolated case. Places like Finland constantly innovate in their educational system and with the years, they’ve become one of the bests countries in the world when it comes to education.
South Korea, for example, applies a very interesting method: 80/20. During the class, the teacher speaks 20% of the time and the students the other 80%, promoting their constant participation and discovery.
Why aren’t we applying these techniques in our classroom? What do we need to do to change our mindset and finally understand that we can do things differently?
It’s an actual challenge to comprehend what’s the right way to explain to opinion leaders that the world’s hierarchies will be much more equal and horizontal once we start allowing discovery.
The world will change for good when we start motivating each student to walk at his (or hers) own pace. We will see a more fair society once we start developing and using tools that will turn traditional education into an endless discovery path, in which kids will be more open and encouraged to get the abilities they’ll actually need in the very near future.