August 13, 2019 at 4:06 pm #511
To achieve Education 2030 Agenda*, which focuses on the Sustainable Development Goal 4, education and curriculum have to be agile and ready to adapt to the unknown, readjusting along the way of constant changes in the Industrial Revolution 4.0.
But how is it possible that curriculum is still mostly not up-to-date, and does not prepare students for the real world, needless to say for the challenges of the future?
Nowadays education is perceived as something that ‘must be done’, schools don’t teach what’s really important and only provide a ‘paper’ that might help in finding a job (at best).
With so many examples of school drop-outs becoming more successful than those who graduate, it’s getting harder to argue that curriculum development is something to invest in – after all, it doesn’t produce immediate revenue and doesn’t make the stocks skyrocket.
Education is a long-term game. You get results when you don’t even remember the incredible support your teacher gave you during that class when you made your first successful presentation even though you were extremely nervous. Needless to say, no one praises a school that invested time, effort and money into curriculum upgrading or its staff’s professional development training. Simply because the results come years after that.
But let’s dig deeper. I have put together a few ‘quick-bites’ that will help you to understand how we got stuck on this journey of trying to develop education and curriculum, and to see what will happen if we don’t fix it now. These insights are based on a paper written by an inspiring educator Dr. Mmantsetsa Marope – Reconceptualizing and Repositioning Curriculum in the 21st Century.**
How did curriculum get outdated and why nothing much is done to redefine it?
- Globally, curriculum is perceived as irrelevant to development. In other words, growth and development of civilizations, economies, countries, and revenues have nothing to do with education.
- No curriculum specialists are included in the dialogue on education and development. Mainly, it is economists of education and education planners who are involved in this dialogue. .loggedin.
- No updates are shared with educators and curriculum developers. Instruments that communicate national development policies and strategies are not effectively shared with the education world, if at all.
- No professional development training for educators focuses on development as an area of study.
- Educators are not aligned with long term development dialogue and strategies, and, thus, do not update curriculum according to the current needs.
All this creates a vicious cycle (see below) and causes curriculum to be stuck in the same stage of development as it was decades ago.
So… education is stuck, so what? Why is this a big deal?
This is what will happen if we don’t fix the situation:
- Curricula will continue to fail to facilitate learning
- We will have poor learning outcomes
- Education will remain irrelevant for the future
- Inequities between the poor and the non-poor, and between the developed and the underdeveloped world will perpetuate and even widen
- We will lose the spirit and vision of Sustainable Development Goals and Sustainability overall
- Global peace, security, and stability will be threatened
In one sentence, why is it necessary for humankind to fix the education system?
There is no better way to put it than quoting Dr. Mmantsetsa Marope, IBE Director: “It is through the curriculum that societies identify and package competences that enable people to meet current and future development challenges and to take up emerging opportunities.”
Share your ideas, help us break the vicious cycle by discussing this topic more than ever before!
Do you agree that education is outdated?
What can educators do about it, considering they don’t have much information or not supported by schools and governments?
* Education 2030 Agenda Education 2030 Agenda
** Reconceptualizing and Repositioning Curriculum in the 21st Century Reconceptualizing and Repositioning Curriculum in the 21st Century
August 14, 2019 at 8:13 pm #541
The reason is because schools are run like businesses. They are meant to target the majority because it is the “efficient” way to do things (one size fits all kinda model)! We are still grounding a lot of our knowledge and methodologies in the industrialist era when everything was about production and efficiency. However, this model is outdated and institutions just can’t keep up with the change and technology advancements. They are just not agile enough (I am happy to discuss the exact reasons for the lack of agility in a private discussion rather than in a comment). Educational institutions are not equipped to accommodate individual learning needs and styles. Teachers are not taught how to adapt their teaching styles to different learning needs (they rarely have the incentive to do so, to be fair, unless they are truly dedicated to their profession). In order to address these issues and change the rigidity of the education system, through the company I run, we decentralize the idea of a physical school, turning all available spaces into alternative classrooms, thus making education more accessible to each individual. We are also challenging the learning materials used creating our own on the principle that life in general is the best learning material, thus making the content and learned skills much more relevant to the direct needs of the learner. Here’s a description of what I do: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/7fNUgdtA4vgMeTp_LBAfSw
August 15, 2019 at 2:31 pm #553
If the system allowed real so-called education the student would be attending a few years rather than decades. Dr. Napoleon Hill also stated that education could be done in less than half the time of systems in function at that time. Today there are many other reasons that a revamped system would not be easily accepted since public education is funded by governments and most universities receive money from private and government sources stipulating what should be taught.
The world is a fabricated fantasy with plenty of trickery going on. If the system would provide truth then the earth would be a much better place to live on.
The solution is deprogramming via NLP tools and methods. Using good old fashioned meditation, mind mapping and mind scaping, raw foods, physical fitness, etc. and providing factual/real science methods of life and the earth. The student of today must become the master of their life to become what they are meant to become.
August 16, 2019 at 2:27 pm #554
Surely the curriculum is outdated. To realize it is the first step.
August 16, 2019 at 4:28 pm #556
A great subject. We need the generation of the future to be able to speak the language of the future and take humanity forward. With the help of technology, we may soon realistically reach the 1:1 teacher-to-student ratio offering a personalized learning environment that will empower teachers and learners to be successful beyond measure.
August 16, 2019 at 4:40 pm #557
I think this article is very interesting and I do agree with that. I knew about the outdated discussion regarding education before but you propose some points on the article that I found very interesting.
August 16, 2019 at 4:57 pm #558
Adina, it is indeed true that education still follows an old model to prepare students for rather manual or repetitive work – work that soon enough will be automated. The education system is not matching reality anymore.
And, as you said, institutions and teachers are not prepared to use technology due to lack of agility (by the way, we also would love to develop this topic further), however, technology might be the only way to actually have customized curriculums on a big scale. There is just no way to do it manually when you have 30-40 students in a class and only one teacher. This is when #AI can help in the near future. Take a look at this MIT technology review.
The work you do looks amazing! Alternative classrooms that help create a more individualized approach to each learner is something we would love to share more about!
August 18, 2019 at 10:25 am #563
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rodney! It’s a great point about the ‘truth’ and, yes, we need to make all the effort to find better ways to educate.
August 18, 2019 at 10:25 am #564
Wendy, yes! Everything starts with the first step!
August 18, 2019 at 10:30 am #565
Johan, cannot agree more. Technology has the potential to create an education system we have never had before – individualized and with lots of support to the educators. What do you think is the top technology that will be most crucial in upgrading education?
August 18, 2019 at 10:32 am #566
Paula, thank you for the comment! It’s great that you found this article helpful!
August 18, 2019 at 6:32 pm #567
Excellent topic! As educators we need to address the isuue globally yet locally. Understanding the gaps in curriculum in line with national circamstances is the first step.
Through technology it is possible to make education more available for educators. It is a process but very realistic one.
And the most important is a clear understanding on all levels that education is not only relevant to growth and development of societies, countries, economies but is the base for that.
August 29, 2019 at 11:07 am #581
August 18, 2019 at 8:29 pm #568
As a believer of homeschool and its benefits, I would say life itself will provide precious chances for teaching skills and knowledge. In making plans for such learning activities, good characters such as patience, diligence, integrity…can be related to and practiced.
It is a very heartfelt pity that after decades, schools and classrooms have changed so little, if they have changed any. Of course they have. The teachers are using more digital methods to assign homework, track progress, and form the grades. What was written in notebooks are now recorded in laptops and teachers in public schools even have fancy game APPs designed to help with homework. However, this does little to help students get ready for a future where AI can threaten their brains and where grammar, logic, and rhetorics that are well trained and mastered will be practical to assist them to make good life decisions.
In China, curriculum is tailored for exams, and real life challenges beyond exams are not considered important by most parents. Parents “tolerate” (accept) the weakness in real life skills in their children. As long as they score high enough, they can enjoy meals prepared by nannies or family members, leave the communication work to adults, play some video games while sitting at the table.
The whole society values results more than the process. Well, not exactly so, because if they really care for the result, they should think further, and foresee the possible results of the ongoing education system. However, it is not the job of teachers to worry what the job seekers face as they graduated from colleges or high schools. Responsibilities are for the educators to make sure the kids will get a good job in the coming decade, and the teachers who are underpaid serve that purpose—the performance of the kids when they were in the work market is not catered for in the lesson plan of the teachers.
Who should be responsible for designing a curriculum? The stakeholders—parents, students, teachers, public authorities—should talk about optional ways to evaluate what a good education means besides good scores, and they had better not waste time in the talk. The generations to come cannot afford the waste of time.
If there were no pressure from entering a good college through an exam that determines what to teach, I believe most people involved will be happier and healthier.
August 29, 2019 at 11:12 am #584
Thank you so much, Yiran, for shedding light on education issues in China. This is a topic that interests many educators around the world. Your feedback definitely gives us food for thought.
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