I found this article about why “colleges are broken“, and it resonated deeply with me.
I have long felt that our education system, from top to bottom, is broken. Not because teachers don’t care but because we’ve been using the same basic system to educate our children for decades, even centuries, and yet the world around us continues to change. Sure, we try new approaches, no child left behind, common core, all in an attempt to “fix the problem” but the problem is the system itself.
And I’m not talking about k-12 either. As the article points out:
For every 100 kids who start college, just 25 get degrees and attractive jobs. Some 45 drop out, and another 30 graduate but end up under- or unemployed.
What’s fascinating about this article is the varied number of people referenced in it, many well known names and thought leaders not to mention Google, all take issue with how we educate and what that education means.
That, perhaps, is my biggest complaint. We put so much emphasis on that piece of paper when we have so many needs in our ‘workforce’ that that ‘paper’ can’t solve.
Finally, what I like about this article is that not everyone has the same solution and I think that’s the point. We have evolved in our learning of how children, and adults, learn to have reached the point where we now know that not everyone learns the same way. So why do we teach everyone the same way?
I don’t believe there is one solution to the education problem we face. Nor do I think one silver bullet can come along and be the end all be all creative solution for everyone. We need new, better, creative, and out of the box approaches to all levels of our education system. The more we focus on the varied and different ways we all learn perhaps the more we’ll realize that that standard piece of ‘paper’ everyone chases has less to do with learning than we think, and perhaps then we can get down to solving the real issue.
One final note. There is a powerful TEDx talk on The Future of Smart by Ulcca Joshi Hansen which again shows a new approach to education and is well worth watching.