Going Back to the Drawing Board on Education

Moving education from the classroom to the computer

Every country in the world is reforming their education system at the moment. The big question is whether our education system needs reforming, or if we should completely reinvent it.

In his talk on how schools kill creativity, Sir Ken Robinson argued that schools do not work in a realistic way. First, they create a narrow view of intelligence that doesn’t take into account the different forms of human talent. Second, schools supress imagination and creativity in favour of ‘the right answer’. Third, they assume that every ten year old learns at the same rates in the same subjects.

Our education system is a creature of the period it was created in. Back in the industrial age it made sense to emphasise the basic subjects like maths and English which were required for work. Students went through the school system as if on a conveyor belt, coming out (hopefully) able to read, write and do basic arithmetic. It was a ‘one size fits all system’.

We now have a mountain of research from bodies the American Psychiatric Association, Cambridge University and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development which shows that not every child develops at the same rates. This leads to big problems in terms of children being left behind or bored with how slow they are going. As a result many students find themselves opting out of the system.

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