ThisÂ comes from a fairly popularÂ TedTalks video I watched a few months ago. In it, British authorÂ Ken Robinson talks about changing paradigms in education. It’s aÂ fairly unfocused and broad topic, but he manages to make a few interesting points–albeit potentially controversial ones.Â Let’s take a look first; and then decide for ourselves.
Every child around the age of six is sentÂ toÂ grade school, and from there on, go through at least twelve rigorous years of something called an “education.” Few ever wonder if there is an alternative, because everyone is on the same boat. Everyone grows up this way, often being categorized by the number of years they’ve been in school. But the concept of public education only sprouted about a hundred years ago.
Public education was introduced around the time of the Industrial Revolution, and its unique system has since stuck. Here, Robinson argues thatÂ the school was modeled on a factory assembly line, and therefore outdated for our current generation.Â Ringing bells symbolize the end of a schoolday, much like those in factories. Schoolchildren are organized by age, much like manufacturing dates on products. ButÂ is allottingÂ people based on age too arbitrary a measure? IsÂ enforcing standardized testing encouraging conformity? Are we alienating non-academicÂ kids by putting everyone in the same system?
Unlike the 20th century, ours is an intensely stimulating one, with bombardments of information on all levels, be it advertisements, the Internet, orÂ increasing accessibility to technology. Thus, according to the Robinson, we should change the education system to cater to today needs and today’sÂ easily-distracted generation. It’s harder and harder for students to keep their eyes on a textbook whenÂ an IPhone, with all its interactive programs,Â is right by their fingertips.Â Inevitably, this is where the controversy pours in. Perhaps parents and educators would vie for doing away with the distractions. And perhaps students see the reality, that these distractions aren’t going anywhere, but that new ways of learningÂ need toÂ be implemented.
We’d still be a long from change evenÂ if the majority see the need. But in the meantime, here’s a neatÂ animated versionÂ of the Ted Talk:Â Changing Education Paradigms