I keep hearing that the future of education is now, but I look around and fail to see any major changes to the overall education system in the United States.
If you Google, “United States Education Ranking” you will find hundreds of surveys, blogs, and statistics that point to the faltering manner in which we educate our children. To some extent it is what they are learning, but the far bigger problem is how they are learning. How important is it to learn the 50 state capitals or the multiplication table? All that shows me is a student’s ability to memorize, which is a great skill, but doesn’t make for a balanced student.There should be a far greater emphasis on the promotion of innovative thinking. That’s where students today are sorely lacking. Teachers should be training students to gather information, work collaboratively, problem solve in teams all in the attempt to solve real world problems. Isn’t that what they are going to need out in the “real world?”
According to Insead, an international business school, the US has become less innovative, ranking 7th in 2011 and 10th in 2012. The US also ranks 31st in overall k-12 education. Today’s educators are afraid to teach students that innovation is the key to success. Why? Because it doesn’t translate to the satisfactory standardized test scores that get the class and school ranked high enough to stay open and earn teachers a bonus.
So when a student asks me the dirty little question, ‘When will I ever use this in real life?’ all I can tell them is,“when you get a job as a professional state capital checker.”
What’s the answer?
We need to stop clinging to the old way of learning; the old way of thinking. Here’s what I think the future of education should look like!