What do you remember after long years spent in school? Who can explain Newton’s three laws? Or will someone remember when and where the ice carnage took place? Can you still write an oxidation reaction formula or name the distinctive features of a Paramecium caudatum? So is education really important? In this article, a burning issue regarding education and learning as well as their importance will be discussed. My thoughts on traditional education versus actually learning useful skills according to your needs and what you enjoy doing learning matters
Learning Matters More Than Education
Useless knowledge is always erased by the brain
In a comprehensive school, we get an idea of a particular science, and new conceptual units appear in children’s minds – words are now the concepts integrated into our worldview. However, no matter what subject to consider, if people do not use it in their lives, they will remember only the words that are studied in school. Any exact information is simply erased as unnecessary if it is not activated in life. This natural mechanism of forgetting is quite helpful for cleaning the brain from debris.
And a high school transcript is a good example. It records a student’s academic achievements in high school and typically includes the student’s GPA, class rank, and course list. Unfortunately, many students are unaware of what does a high school transcript looks like or how it is used. As a result, students often focus on getting good grades and taking challenging courses to make their transcripts look impressive instead of focusing on learning and developing the skills they will really need in their future.
School knowledge is not used in life
What is remarkable is that most of the knowledge that people have gained in school is not used in ordinary life. Nevertheless, we spend a lot of time studying, experiencing stress and even sometimes crying because of bad grades and the lack of sleep at night before the exams. For example, according to the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, about 75% of students live in stress and fatigue. And so, by the way, for more than 10 years!
A diploma doesn’t guarantee a well-paid job
There is a stereotype that often makes it difficult to take the right way in life. This is a belief that a child after school must necessarily go to a higher educational establishment to get a diploma. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter what university it is, the most important thing is to finally receive the piece of paper to have a shot at a real future. And after the formation of a hypothetic expert, one is absolutely not ready to work, because he or she tries to study to receive good grades and to pass the exams paying no attention to actual knowledge and the specifics of the profession.
What alternatives are there
Speaking of the European model of education, a narrow focus on the future specialty is implemented at the early stages of training and, interestingly, nowadays, particular high-class specialists are much more in demand.
A large number of European education establishments have noticed this slip in education and began to introduce new trends. For example, the Finnish school education is implementing a revolutionary reform, which should be completed by 2020. In the course of this, instead of physics, biology, history, etc. new interdisciplinary courses that prepare children for real life will take place. The new system will allow students to choose the subjects to learn. For instance, in the course of “Working in a cafe,” the young ones will study economics, foreign languages, interpersonal communications, etc. And according to the latest PISA research, Finnish schoolchildren showed the best knowledge in the world. They also became the most reading children on the planet.
But what has admired pedagogical community so much is the fact that with such high results, Finnish schoolchildren spend the least amount of time at school, have almost no homework, and the state spends less money on its quality compared to many other countries. Isn’t this a great example to follow?
Furthermore, academic studies in Europe and in the USA have long been transferred from university classrooms to cozy cafes and open spaces. Now you can learn programming and master design skills in six months attending the courses eradicating the need to study for five years.
You can also study online without the need to physically attend lectures. Students are offered the choice of subjects they like to be present at.
In addition, you should not forget about a large number of Internet resources that facilitate the studying process. One of these is Studyhippo, where you can get assistance and a lot of pieces of advice on how it is better to write a particular task.
We need reforms in education
Those schools, which teach in an old-fashioned way, the ones good in the early 1900s, clearly require significant changes. Many hope that with the adoption of educational reforms, the approach should gradually change and teachers will give not just a piece of information that students can find on the Internet by themselves and swot, but to teach how to find the way out of challenging tasks, think out of the box, etc.
All in all, the biggest problem of the old-fashioned educational establishments is that they do not always prepare specialists, and the knowledge graduates gain often does not coincide with those that come in handy in real life and profession. Everyone should understand that the needs have now changed, and people have to create something suitable for the 21st century focusing on the actual skills and knowledge rather than on diplomas and certificates.