All things in life must change, develop and grow with the passing of time. Sometimes, for the better (thank goodness for wifi, amiright?!), other times, not so much (what happened to the good old music of the 90s?!).
The Evolution of Education
So it should come as no surprise that education too is evolving, perhaps at a rate much slower than the rest of society, but nonetheless, teaching and learning is changing. Surely, change has largely been positive in the education arena? Way back when, girls were not even allowed to go to school and now look at us?
Although the Baby Boomer Generation will tell us that schools are just not strict enough these days, they will also, in the same breath, tell us of the trauma suffered at the hands of a wrinkly old battleaxe and her cane.
Of course, it’s not just the punishment methods that have changed.
It seems that “traditional education” is dying out, in favour of more interactive, creative ways, often utilising technology – because let’s face it, whiteboards are old hat now kids.
Even in traditional school environments, the curriculum shows a very obvious shift. Children rarely learn “homemaking” skills, and instead the focus is more on creativity and social issues such as bullying, confidence, etc. The lessons are reflecting the way the world actually works, and if anything, this needs to be taken further. How often do you use Pythagoras’ theorem? How much more useful would it be if you knew how to do your taxes?!
Modern Teaching Methods
You no longer even have to physically attend an establishment to learn. Distance learning and online courses are not exactly brand new, however their popularity has increased over the past few years, particularly in courses offering something that isn’t taught in traditional education.
Websites such as Udemy, make it easy for anyone who is an “expert” in a subject, create an interactive course on a topic of their choice, with thousands of students all around the world enrolling at any time. Not only do these make education accessible to more people, but they are also a great way of earning money as an entrepreneur. Courses range from “Making Money on Ebay” to “Bookkeeping” and from “Photoshop Skills” to “Confidence” – who says education has to just be the three ‘R’s?
In fact, with the introduction of MOOCS (Massive Online Open Courses), even traditional establishments like Universities are offering something a little different. Although not often resulting in a formal qualification, MOOCS give the opportunity to top up one’s knowledge on a subject, whether for career development or just enjoyment.
Even on the younger scale, homeschooling is popular. Perhaps it’s the fact that the current way of education is not seeming to work, either for the pupils, or their teachers (-cough- thanks Gove -cough-) and with the internet making the whole world more connected and accessible, home schooling is easier than ever. There are apps, support groups and free, printable resources. You can follow other parents’ journeys with homeschooling easily on blogs, and it becomes something that becomes accessible for parents who in the past might not have felt it was “for them”.
21st Century Learning
It seems that the education world is slowly but surely being dragged, kicking and screaming into the present day, and thank goodness. The spectrum of learning and intelligence are not based solely on your ability to memorise your times tables and conjugate verbs (what does that even mean?!), and it seems that other forms of cleverness are being more respected, and accepted as legitimate.
Add to that a universe of new technology, opening doors and changing the game, and I for one, am glad that the traditional form of education is dying a well overdue death.