The fallacy of Modern education

I’m absolutely sick of what we call “education”. It’s ceased to be what it claims to be and instead as become the one thing kids dread all across the world.

There’s a distinct difference between knowledge aquisition and getting an education. Learning how to read, write, count, speak, and so on; that is an education. Memorising stuff out of a book and then pouring it out on paper with highly subjective marks and nothing but, to show for it is not an education.

Education should be about gaining skills, not about picking up facts. Any old idiot can pick of facts from a book, but only if he knows how to read. That right there, is an educated man. He has a skill set that allows him to broaden his intellectual horizons of his own accord in a manner that is tuned to his pace and his interests. Teaching kids stuff out of a book is pointless, and it becomes increasingly useless as they move into higher grades. I myself graduated high school last April, and I can attest to the fact that roughly 90% of what I studied in school is absolutely useless in preparing me for a career and for life. I’d much rather they taught me how to balance a checkbook and manage my finances. When I took my very last physics exam, it got me thinking, “How does it matter whether I can remember the formula for an electrical flux linkage? I don’t really see how this is going to help me in life.”It shouldn’t matter if a kid can’t remember that the formula for the area of a circle is Pi r squared. It really doesn’t. After school and college, he’s never going to use it. Even if he does, there is no need to remember it.

Somehow education systems have missed out on the fact that we live in the 21st century, right after the dotcom boom. They seem to be stuck in a 20th century fantasy where information technology is science fiction. Everything we ever need or want to know is out there on the internet for all to see and learn from. That’s not to say of course, that the learning of facts and concepts is pointless, or that teachers are obsolete. I’m not implying that we shouldn’t learn concepts in physics or economics, but it’s frankly pointless to have a school system shove it down your throat when, by the time you get to work, you’ll neither remember it, nor need to remember it. All I am saying, is perhaps it’s time for education systems to change.

Our education systems, for the most part, are ancient and established. The very concept of what is considered to be an education was established in ancient Greece and India. The Greeks understood that simply knowing things was not good enough, you had to have skills to back up that knowledge. The same goes for ancient India.

So, education boards, time for a rethink?

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