On Education — High School
Coming from Sydney, Australia, I was slightly bemused at the announcement that the board of studies was to remove an abstract part of the English syllabus on “Journeys”. Within my own high school education, Journeys was indeed one of the topics which was also crammed into me, and an integral part of the Higher School Certificate, which of course is part of the admission criteria for entering university.
What makes this interesting? It was a reflection of the educational system. It was a system which promoted notions of critical thinking within a framework over what is in my opinion; preparing people in the real world. The reality is we often do not have to convey abstract ideas which are open to interpretation, and when we do we must do it in the entire opposite way of what we've been taught — to instead aim to be as concise and clear as possible.
If we are to contrast with Finland’s education system, there is a larger focus on creating people out of students to “prepare them for life”, rather than creating comparisons.
Perhaps it is unfair to merely pick on English, after all it was only due to the recent article that got me interested. But this extends to the sciences as well; where Physics is reduced to “an appreciation of Physics”, and Mathematics, which involved a degree of unlearning when I prepared for my educational studies.
In Do What you Love and Other Lies About Success and Happiness, labels the various downfalls of modern education system, through “improvements” of automation and standardization, we have become data-driven.
Neoliberal education reform rationalizes the rich and complex craft of primary-school teaching into something that can be measured according to manager-determined rubrics. in the name of accountability, standardized-testing corporations, test-prep corporations, and an apparatus of reformer-mangers feed on the teaching profession, inserting layers of bureaucracy staffed by many who have never taught or who have done so only briefly — Do What you Love and Other Lies About Success and Happiness
Through my own personal (imperfect) memory, school served no more than a state mandated child care facility. That isn’t to say that I have a better a solution, after all there is indeed a price of doing nothing at all!
Which perhaps begs the question: is education a right or a privilege?