The Future of Education: Stop creating Robots
Ever since being a community college teacher, and even more ever since being a mom I am stunned by the education delivered in the U.S. educational system. In the U.S. children start schooling very early (because parents are busy working) and thus the “feeding” of social norms begins early. The “right” and “wrong”, the “fitting in” leaves little time for exploration of SELF.
Teaching history at college I saw students from AP classes with high GPAs from High School not knowing much about U.S. history, not being able to write a cohesive, grammatically correct sentence that made sense; leave alone being able to think critically and analyze what was presented to them so that they could discern various forms of information and make up their opinions based on facts and research. They take the first piece of information they receive through “information overload” or friends and family and accept it. If you try to help them think critically they get upset and feel attacked. Where is the willingness to think?
The same is what I see in basic education (pre-school, kindergarten, elementary, an onwards). The U.S. children spend a lot of time at school. Time is precious. Timing is everything. Time is used to feed norms, parameters, and information in a specific way, with a specific focus. Today I see public officials, tv anchors, “educated” people not being able to form a grammatically correct statement or analyze way too often – and that is what the children see: so why should they care.
Now, though is the time of re-awakening, it is time to turn education around and allow the creative, individualistic minds of children to lead the way to creating a better school system and a better world. Revolutionize education as you know it to help create leaders instead of robots, unless you want to be in charge of an army of robots. We have to Revolutionize Education to have creative, critical thinkers that can change the world for the better. Honor creativity, individualism, and differences.
The current state of education is clearly detrimental to the emotional and mental well-being of our children. The evidence is clear in that more and more children are being diagnosed with a variety of new illnesses or ailments that never existed before. These diagnoses are becoming more prevalent, diagnosis such as ADHD spectrum of autism to name just a few at the same time one more of our kids are being diagnosed with either depression and or social anxiety and War socially different behaviors.
Our youth are spending more and more time on devices that prevent them from learning the art and craft of communication. Imagination and creativity are being stifled from the first time that the non-interactive, prescriptive TV is turned on and utilized as a baby-sitter without human follow up. The digital revolution has brought a lot of positives and yet, when it comes to our children’s education we need to rethink. Most of these devices, programs, and games provide an anti-social, non-communicative, and highly desensitizing environment in which few are who they really are. How can our children find themselves when they are consistently “playing” others or “spawning” in and out of games? We see that most of these applications and devices are seemingly focused on training our children to function instead of living. If we want a better world then we need to we have to Revolutionize Education to have creative, critical thinkers that can change the world for the better. Honor creativity, individualism, and differences.
Schools teach a curriculum that does not necessarily and hands creative or critical thinking. Instead schools and their curriculum with a variety of tasks have come to a point where the majority of tasks are prescribed to result in a lack of thinking, and a lack of analysis, and in a lack of creativity. They are leading to Rogue memorization and automation. Why do we need videos explaining concepts in school? Let the children try figuring it out with hands-on activities.
For example, mathematics (and this applies to every subject); I have come to see that in most schools a focus is on drills that are based on speed. Any child who tries to understand, analyze, and ensure that the mathematic task in front of it is done correctly – that may mean going back and ensuring that the result the child came up with is actually accurate – usually results in bad grades for Speed. Those speed drills have shown to result in more and more anxiety as well as frustration, and most of all they have led to a lack or destruction of confidence in that skill. This is especially true when a child normally enjoys complicated tasks and is now being asked to follow a very strict procedure to complete such tasks where is the creativity in that? How about allowing a child to, instead, develop the skill of constructive criticism? Allow the child to double-check him or herself, which is a crucial skill. Allow the child to ask for help or provide help to another. Allow the child to take time to figure it out so that the child can experience the happiness of solving a challenge independently of adults.
How can we expect the children who are being taught to think one way and one way only will be able to move us as a society forward through Innovation and critical thinking? How can we as a society anticipate or hope that these children whose creativity has been crushed will be able to come up with valuable and valid solutions that we need to save the environment and save ourselves? How can we as a society expect or anticipate or even hope that these children will want to do anything but work on pre-defined rogue and automated systems?
The current state of Education is clearly detrimental to be emotional and mental well-being of our children. The evidence is clear and that for and more children are being diagnosed with a variety of new illnesses or elements that never existed before. These diagnoses are becoming more prevalent, diagnosis such as ADHD spectrum of autism to name just a few at the same time warm or of our kids will be diagnosed with depression and or social anxiety and or socially different behaviors. They are spending more and more time on devices that prevent them from learning the art and craft of communication. Many devices and the social media factor also contributes to eating disorder, blending of fact and fiction, and bullying. Is that what we want to teach our children?
In many countries of the world children are learning differently. Those are the countries in which societies thrive on communication and collaboration and there is ample evidence that in those countries few of people are depressed, few of people in the counseling, and most of all few of people of being diagnosed with any kind of almond that usually results in further treatment and ultimately in addiction to some sort of medication. If we want to truly have a society that not only talked about and racing creativity we need to ensure that her education is revolution eyes that our education revolution is based on what is best for the children and understand the individual value each child brings to the table and allows us to open up our curriculum and the task that we prescribed in schools are designed was sufficient flexibility to ensure that all children who come to a result at the end in their own way or being given the same chance. If we hold children in the classrooms sitting down for a few or hours they will not be diagnosis ADHD. If we focus on teachings skills and using the skills these children have instead of destroying their current skill level they will be antisocial, depressed, or simply earning bad grades because they are bored.
If any or all of these observations seem to require a complete overhaul of education – that is correct. Is money needed for this: yes. However, most of all what is needed is TIME. TIME and ATTENTION to each child instead of having to treat our children like numbers in a robot factory.
We have to Revolutionize Education to have creative, critical thinkers that can change the world for the better. Honor creativity, individualism, and differences. Otherwise we cannot be surprised at the ongoing destruction of humanity.
Where do you want out society, our humanity to go?
Are you ready to entrust the path forward to the generation we are currently creating to act like robots, marching all the same beat?
How can we identify, reach and breach the next frontier if we have lost all our creative ability?
©Natalie Forest, Ph.D. 2020