Education seems to be one of those topics that I just cannot get off my mind for long. I’d been thinking about how to incorporate my ideas on education into a blog post for some time when I happened upon the daily writing prompt of December 29, 2013, The New School:
The prompt says this:
You get to redesign school as we know it from the ground up. Will you do away with reading, writing, and arithmetic? What skills and knowledge will your school focus on imparting to young minds?
I was thrilled by the idea to get to redesign school completely — even just as a mental exercise — and immediately sat down to write a response, starting, as usual, with a brainstorming session about what would have to go in.
Pondering this topic was not at all new to me. Even as a teenager, I was very much aware of how the school I went to worked, and also where it just didn’t work. I have been a tutor for over 10 years now, and I have taught evening classes for adult learners for some years, so I know both sides.
Education is a topic I’m very passionate about because it is very important to all of us, even to those who have already survived their own time at school and are neither teachers nor parents. At the risk of sounding trite, good education is the key to our future. Both to the future of society and to the future of each individual student.
Research was not yet required. Because of my vested interest in the topic, I’m somehow constantly watching, reading, or listening to education-related topics at the moment anyway.
Which was probably the reason why I found that I had too much to say about the topic. Literally DOZENS of arguments and ideas accumulated. In the end, I had to admit that if I were to incorporate all aspects that I felt were important, I would end up with a novel. Not exactly what a post should be like. Not to mention that I would need eternity to write it — and the post would never be published.
The question of a new education system is a tough one. Especially since it does not stop with school but expands to the university level, which has its own challenges altogether.
It is always easy enough to complain about things that exist. But just complaining without being able to provide a better solution is tedious.
For the time being, I will only say that my idea of education is not that of the current school system. It won’t surprise you when I say that creativity should have a big part in it, which it just doesn’t have at the moment.
If I were actually given the chance to roll up my sleeves and come up with a totally new concept, I would ditch the current system (almost) completely and start from scratch. There is so much wrong with the current system that starting to fix a little here and there would only make things worse.
So, I want to thank the WordPress team for this great prompt! (Among many others, of course.) It didn’t simply inspire me to a post, but to a whole new category. 🙂 My idea is that I will gradually develop in various posts what such a Brave New School 😉 could be like.
I now and then come across creative and resourceful teaching and (self-)study methods I love, so I probably won’t be able to resist presenting some of these along the way.
Have fun, and if you like, tell me how you think school should be organized.