After travelling the past month around the USA, I have found Australia has some rather striking similarities. Education is progressing slowly, the divide between the have and have-nots is increasing and the teachers are frustrated.
Now I can see the frustration - an enthusiastic student comes out of University to enter teaching, only to be welcomed with consistent data reforms, administration pressures and an unrelenting pressure from society to be mistake free.
A teacher never came into the job for this - a teacher is a person that chooses to inspire, educate and make a difference... how can this happen when you are told what to teach, how to teach and when to teach. Learning was never meant to be this way... this is an archaic system that needs to change, for the students and teachers.
The divide between the have and have nots should actually be narrowing – here’s why. There is all the knowledge in the world in a smart phone ... including a first class University education for free, so what’s the excuse? The excuse is that we have lost the art of teaching the fundamentals of what progressed us as humans: innovation - creativity - entrepreneurship.
Why are we focusing on how someone can spell to, two, and too so differently wrong when the earth will crumble from pollution? Why do we hammer math multiplications when students don't know what taxes are or how to make a budget? How are we as teachers actually helping students when they leave to go to college?
The education system should change - and the industry wants to change, which is great... only by giving all students a fair go to have innovative thoughts and being creative will they see that there are endless opportunities. By giving students online freedom to access we are providing them with the maturity to the world. The world doesn't have net nanny, so why do we put a net nanny in class when it comes to knowledge? We've got to unlock the handcuffs of education and unleash the potential this generation has.
I for one have 100% faith we are walking into utopia. If the education system progresses and unlocks the information to the world - famine will go, roads will have less traffic, and pollution will become a thing of the past.
Scenario-based learning is the way of the world - give the students a go. Let them be an entrepreneur and earn real money - and pay a real tax! Because if we don't, we will find ourselves in the same position in the next 20 years.
STEM Punks has the know-how to do this - we just need some people who are not afraid to fail and are not afraid to change the system and the world. Someone has to, and it always starts with one.