I’m gonna write an essay on this some time, but in the very near future we’re going to need to reshape everything we currently know about the education system.
Our education system is built around the discovery and memorization of information, because for the vast majority of human history information was hard to come by. “Facts” in and of themselves were guarded and held closely by the aristocracy, and passed down from within. Access to information was hard to come by and some people spent their entire lives collecting personal libraries just to ensure continued access to that information.
We don’t live in that world anymore, at least not in the connected world. In fact, I think it’s fair to argue that we have such an overabundance of information that “discovery” is no longer the issue. Quite the opposite, in fact: the problem we’ll need to base our education system around is not information discovery, but information parsing and analysis.
Usually, the analytical aspect of education doesn’t come into play until the late high-school years, as the time before then is spent building a base knowledge piggybacked on top of rote memorization. However, I think that method will quickly cease to be effective, because when the information becomes overwhelming, it stops communicating.
You can already see the ramifications on and off the internet, where there’s beginning to be a sense that “your fact is as valid as my opinion.” That sort of analytical failure only happens when fact and opinion start getting muddled together in bad analysis, and only gets passed on by those with an inability to parse and analyze that information.
And unless we start reshaping the way we present information to students, it’s only going to get worse. The world of “here is a book - it will be your primary source of information on this subject and within it is fact” no longer applies. The internet broke that, as it has done to so many other aspects fo the modern world. If we don’t change the methods by which we approach the entire world of education to reflect that fundamental change in the connected planet, we’ll be forced to deal with an education system that sacrificed the “education” for the “system.”
tl;dr: Information used to be scarce, but now it’s abundant. Therefore, we need to bias our teaching methods towards parsing and analysis of information as opposed to just discovery and memorization.
There are a ton of reasons I have issues with our education system and want it changed, but this is something I hadn’t thought about before.
Makes perfect sense, though, especially given conversations I seem to have somewhat frequently…