Why do we still teach and praise the effort of teaching recall? Not a lot has changed in the past thirty years as students are still doing the same tests in the same rooms to gain a ‘leg up’ to attend the best universities. There is going to be a shift very soon about what is actually valued in schools, as we are heading into a new era: the digitalised era.
Humans have limited things that will outperform in the ‘machine nation’. Creative mindsets, innovation, and empathy are going to be highly sought after attributes, as these are things that the digitalised world cannot replicate. There are now cars that autonomously drive pizzas to peoples’ houses, machines are planting trees, and the whole time, we still teach recall on where Paris is, rather than teaching them about what Paris has and what it looks like on Virtual Reality.
We need to show students how to research things properly and ethically. I was talking to a Principal last month and he told me he agrees with not being able to use Youtube as ‘boys will just look at women making out’! YouTube could be one of the best educational tools ever invented! I said ‘perhaps we should teach them that watching videos of women making out is not an appropriate thing to do in school’ - and explained that this was a societal issue, not the educational tools issue.
I was also talking with a chap last month that STEMPunks is looking to collaborate with. He summed up what we were thinking quite well - we should be giving students tasks to research and collaborate answers with fellow students, as this is the world we are in now - working in a team environment to achieve a learning outcome, just like in the real world.
I see a few ways this is going to happen. One very important way is treating our new and young teachers like absolute gold, and listening to their experience and encouraging new ideas to bring their unique flavour to the school. These new teachers are going to be the team to help us into the next phase of education - these new teachers are the golden geese.
Another way is to accept that the Education system will not have all the answers and will need to have discussions with private enterprise as consultants to help them through this transition. Schools do not have to sink to know how to swim, so for the new era, let’s just hope that egos do not get in the way of this generation’s education.