posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 09:23 PM
Is our educational system designed to fully encourage learning and scientific pursuit to the greatest degree possible?
It seems that the current systems in place are more focused on rote memorization than teaching anyone how to learn and explore the world around
us. At least in the USA, our education system very, very rarely introduces the scientific method before middle school.
As the scientific method allows us to objectively explore the universe around us with the least amount of subjectivity possible, what reasons do we
have for not using this as a core principle of education and learning? Is it not what science itself has determined is the best way to learn?
In this reform, we would look at an educational system that focuses on teaching children how to learn as a primary objective, instead of
what to learn. The advantage that this has is that it enables our society to continuously grow our understanding, rather than spend our
important formative years learning topics that are frequently outdated by the time we even graduate high school.
In the younger education years, roughly grades 1-5, we would focus on allowing our children to explore the world around them at will, using the very
simple basis of the scientific method. When a child wants to explore something further, it is to be encouraged through experimentation and even
"peer review" through the class room itself. Not only does this allow for more individualized learning courses, but it appeals to the wonderment
and explorative nature that exists in those years. Students are able to work at their own pace, but obviously, some types of guidelines and goals
would have to be set. By doing this, however, and allowing the child's creativity to reach those goals, we start to imbue a sense of personal
accomplishment and responsibility at a much younger age. We also create a solid foundation for ALL further education and life experiences to take
Grades 6-10 (roughly, again), we would begin to introduce the more advanced aspects of what we know to be true. We could also start to focus on basic
life skills, to help enable individuals to be self-sufficient and independent. These life skills could include anything from gardening and cooking,
to finances and safe sex. As it stands, we do not really prepare our children for the "real world" until they actually reach it after college.
In grades 10-12, we would start to introduce students to a large variety of different topics and specialties. Ones which they may already have a
leaning towards due to how the new system is set up. The students are given the responsibility and freedom to choose and design their own curriculum,
and the school "year" would switch to year-round. By starting to introduce true responsibility and independence at this young age, we are not only
showing that we have faith in our children, but we are directly putting their future in their hands.
For college, it would remain relatively unchanged, as I feel it would automatically be able to adapt to the new system. However, vocational and trade
schools would be provided as a completely respectable area of study, since they are so incredibly critical to our daily operation as a society.
Currently, colleges and trade schools tend to be separate, when it might be more fruitful to view them both as viable and important ways to explore
These types of changes would not only affect the way we learn, but it would also affect the way our children approach everything for the rest of their
lives. Over time, the results of creating a foundation of not only questioning, but active exploration and the toolset to effectively do it,
would create a stronger and smarter society completely across the board. This would result in an increase in everything from work quality to
creativity to innovation.
What do you think you can do to encourage learning among our children? How do you think we could ALL learn more effectively about and with each