It’s true, we’ve been using the same educational system for more than a century. It’s true, there are still some very successful people ruling the world, and some of them owe their current situation to the education they received.
But it’s time to open our eyes to the new reality we’re already living in. We cannot play deaf and pretend we don’t actually realize how much our society has changed.
Hierarchies are now more horizontal, societies are becoming more equal every day, information and knowledge are pretty accessible, people are living longer and the world is demanding from us a different skill-set than the one it demanded years ago.
It’s time to be an active participant in the construction of this upcoming society, it is now time to take an important role and to eliminate hunger, poverty and inequality.
Apparently the current educational system is not allowing the current leaders to do so. Let’s be responsible and let’s create the perfect learning environment to allow the world-shapers of tomorrow to have the tools they’ll need to finally act in concordance to the rules of this new world.
Are you ready to put your hands in the mud and actually create a change? Then get comfortable and take notes. Here are 7reasons why we should definitely change the current educational system.
The South Korean Educational Model actually works!
The era of authoritarian teachers has passed. Those days where students where simply a group of passive listeners is over. South Korea is, now for a long time, taking charge on this issue and being leaders on proposing a change.
South Korean teachers use a very interesting model that amazingly increases the participation of the students. According to their model, teachers must speak during the 20% of the class, while students should speak the other 80% of it.
This method doesn’t only promote self-learning and teamwork skills, but also nourishes students with extremely useful abilities that the traditional system does not strengthen enough: Public speaking, leadership, ownership, and self-discipline are just some examples.
Maybe its time to give our students the space they deserve.
Finland as a global leader in education
Even if the United States of America is the world leader in various and numerous categories, when it comes to education it is currently ranked 37th in the world.
The small Nordic country is not only known for being the creators of Angry Birds, but is also the number one leader in education, in the entire world.
It has the higher high school graduation rate in Europe and in international standardized tests they reach the highest scores in reading, math and science.
There’s even more! Recently, Finland announce that they will get rid of classic subjects in school, giving space for what they call a “Phenomenon-based learning”.
So how did Finland become a global leader in education? Here a few reasons!
- School starts when the kids are 7 years old, but the government takes care of the previous ages, subsiding a big part of every child early years.
- Kids get triple the amount of recess time compare to American students
- Teachers do not believe, and do not send homework, at least until high school.
- The have very, very few standardized tests. Students in Finland are requested to take only one standardized test, and that only happens at the end of high school. Not before!
- Becoming a teacher in Finland isn’t easy. There are only 8 Universities providing the required curriculum and credentials the country strictly requires and only 1 every 10 applicants get accepted. Meaning that teachers, in Finland, receive the same level of “respect” by the society as lawyers and doctors, for example.
- Teachers spend 4 hours a day in the classroom and take 2 days a week in Professional Development.
- The class focus is on problem-solving and not on memorizing and preparing for standardize tests.
We now live in an extremely connected world
Since the appearance and massification of digital communications, human interaction and connectivity became both very important facts for decision makers and leaders worldwide. We are always connected and we cannot pretend that the system works in the exact same way it used to work before.
The current students and future leaders of tomorrow live in a world of social, of interaction, with lack of borders and confines. Therefore, education should take a step forward and adapt academic materials, curriculum and technic to the –sometimes- extremely connected world we live in.
Online platforms like CoderZ, Coursera and EdX should be the goals of everyone innovating and developing educational tools. Educational environments where interaction, collaboration, teamwork, instantaneity and accessibility are always present.
We should focus on the process and not on the results of a standardized test
There are many proved theories that talk about the differences between formative and summative assessment. When a class center their efforts in the process of each student in particular instead of measuring results with standardized tests that only come to evaluate the result of something, the educational system is missing something huge.
Putting the efforts of the teachers in the process will transform them from speakers into guides, allowing them to create an engaging space of mutual learning with their students.
Each student is a full Universe. Let’s stop talking about the mass. The invitation is to understand the uniqueness of each person and to encourage the creationof personalized processes.
To understand more about this particular point, we invite you to read this interesting post on assessment, evaluation and standardize tests.
Knowing a little about everything or knowing a lot about one thing?
We would like to leave this as an open question. What do you think its better? Would you like to know a lot about one thing or a little bit about everything? When you analize the way our life system works today, what do you think it is more beneficial?
The 21st century, requires now (and will require it even more in the near future) for us to be professionals that are always ready to solve a problem, for us to be team players, independent and with an interdisciplinary background.
At the same time, it is very important that not every student will be good at math and that not every kid will love to read and write.
So again, we make the question: Should we allow them to work at their own pace and to reach their maximum potential on their specific strong area, or instead, we should force them to learn about every single subject without leaving time or space for them to develop a specialty?
There is not a right answer for this query, but we do know one thing: The world is changing, and if we don’t change the way we learn and teach, the world-shapers of tomorrow won’t be ready to take the lead.
Kids should learn things that are going to provide them with actual tools to shape their world
Let’s assume it. We cannot keep providing our students with tools and skills they’re not going to use. The world we live in is constantly progressing into something more technological, innovative, connected and automatic.
Teachers, guides and education experts should make sure to give the right tools to students, understanding also, that each person has unique and incomparable capacities.
We extend an invitation to createcurriculums which are focused in each student own preferences and abilities. All of this, because if you do something you love, the impact you will have in the world, will be even more relevant.
We know, this world requires very specific skills for the future members of the workforce, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, It will live its whole life believing that It is stupid.
It’s responsibility of the educators to discover the potential of every member of his or her community, and to create the ideal programs to encourage them to reach their maximum potential. All of this, in order for them to make this world a better place, from a position they’re good at.
This, will create inclusion, less inequality and kids will have a bigger chance to be both happy and successful at the same time.
We must include technology, tech literacy and digital skills, urgently!
There’s no doubt and no questioning: Our students and kids must learn how to code. Even if they decide to become artists, actors, painters, code it’s becoming a must known language for our society.
The appearance of educational systems like STEM (and the way they’re impacting different countries), the approaches like problem, project and phenomenon based learning, and the huge increase of job openings within the programming world are only a few of the reasons why we should start teaching code right now.
Technology and digital literacy should be both intrinsic parts of the academic curriculums, allowing kids to receive and to develop the exact skills they will be demanded to have in the very, very near future.