A Revolution of Education

I believe it’s time for a Education Revolution. While I may not be an expert in learning science I did participate in the Education system for 17 years and continue to work for an University.

Currently a majority of institutions force students to subscribe to General Education pressuring them to learn History, Physical Education, Mathematics and so on. While these topics carry an extreme importance this method of delivery is wrong. Students shouldn’t be pressured into learning anything. During my freshman year in college I despised going to my Physical Education class because it was so boring and a waste of my time and effort. However, I now realize the positive affects exercise can have in my life and work. This is where the problem lies. That course should have excited me about the affects that physical activity can bring to my desired goals in life.

Students learn best when motivated, when they care. They need to be emotionally involved, to be drawn to the excitement of the topic. Learning
need not be a dull or dreary exercise, not even learning about what are normally considered dull and dreary topics: every topic can be made exciting, every topic excites the emotions of someone, so why not excite everyone? – Donald Norman, Emotional Design

What if we broke down the barriers of Education. Instead of offering courses we enrolled in what I’ll call Communities. Each Community would have a focus: Art, Science, Mathematics; within each community Groups, with related focuses, would form. For example the Art Community would have a Group which focuses on Design or Pottery. The students of these communities would not organize in classrooms nor would they participate in courses. Each Community would reside in its very own research library. I use the term library loosely because the environment would need to cater to a wide variety of situations: discussion, research, building, brainstorming, and so on. Each student would draft goals for themselves, for the Group, and for the Community. Within the Communities professors would apply general education discussions based on the goals of the Community. Students need to learn History so the Communities promote learning about the Middle Ages and how it relates to the students individual goals, there by validating its importance to the overall purpose of the Community. Students would then begin to realize how imperative it is to understand not just one subject, but all subjects in relation to their goals thereby creating a well rounded diverse society.

It is time for lessons to become alive, for history to be seen as a human struggle, for students to understand and appreciate the structure of art, music, science, and mathematics. How can these topics be made exciting? By making them relevant to the lives of each individual student. – Donald Norman, Emotional Design

Education is the cornerstone of society. Without Education society breaks down. As we grow and mature throughout our life we should never cease to learn. Our Education institutions must promote life long learning rather than handing out diplomas and saying next. While this idea may or may not succeed I feel it’s important to continually evolve our methods of teaching and learning in order to evolve as a society. With that in mind I invite your thoughts and criticism.