Education Megatrends And Their Implications – Part 1

» Posted by on Nov 17, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The value of learning is has been debated for millennia. Originally the value was easy to see and appreciate as learned people became leaders in society. Unfortunately, there was no formal education system in those days and wise men, like Aristotle served as private tutors to the rich and elite, and thus learning was monopolized. Learning and education were changed dramatically with the invention of the Guttenberg Press, and since then we have seen a dramatic progress in the amount and availability of information, knowledge and wisdom to the masses and the way people get educated. The Gutenberg Press in reality started the Information Era and its crowning achievement is The Internet. The Internet has truly started to democratize information, knowledge and wisdom. However, society has not been able to leverage The Internet correctly (so far) because it does not fully understand its value and impact on society and the education system itself. The Internet is approximately 20 years old and still in its infancy level in terms of using it correctly in order to advance learning and the human race as a whole.

However, The Internet is not the only megatrend. Here are some other megatrends that are going on:

  • The 200 year old Education System is falling apart. It was designed for a different purpose and for different people — catering to the Industrial Revolution marketplace that was dominated by left-brained people.
  • Society is soaked and marinated in Capitalism. Capitalism is a great sociopolitical system, but it has a dark side. One of the aspects of the dark side is that it sends out subliminal messages to people that the only thing that matters in life is money. It has made “success” synonymous with “money”. The implication of this is that young children/students are glamorizing at a very early age of how to grab a piece of the pie. A substantial number of them drop out of school early in order to get their hands on the pie (= money). Others are using education as a tool for riches, totally ignoring their gifts from God, their bliss and destiny. They don’t see it as wasting their talents, capabilities and skills.
  • Crime in schools has increased. It has transformed the educational environment into a prison-like environment. In some schools students have to be subjected to armed guards, pot sniffing dogs, metal detectors and numerous cameras. Learning is not fun in most public schools. Innocence is lost and paranoia has reached an unprecedented level. Paranoid parents want more security and zero tolerance on the smallest rules violations and infractions. We have seen young students being handcuffed and arrested in front of their own classmates. This type of environment is not conducive to learning.

The above megatrends have resulted in:

  • High dropout rates
  • Declining grades
  • Poor academic scores
  • Overall interest decline in the 3Rs
  • Deterioration of quality education

Society responded by:

  • Criticizing and even blaming the teachers
  • Criticizing and blaming the School System administrators
  • Demanding performance measurements for teachers
  • Changing the tests and the testing system, believing that standardized tests will make things better

The truth is that none of that is going to improve the situation or fix the deep rooted problems.

We will address the above mentioned issues in Part 2.