The world is changing faster than ever in our history. If we’re seeking to evolve and meet a new era of human existence, we need to make education a top priority and develop a new appreciation of its importance.
Here’s an experiment to start with; try and ask a group of 6-year-olds which of them thinks they’re creative and they’ll all put their hands up. Ask a group of 20-year-olds and over the same exact question and most of them won’t. The thing is, we’re all born with this kind of primal trust in our abilities and skills. But I’m strongly convinced that the more we commit to classrooms, the more we are losing touch with these talents. By repeatedly being dragged into this environment where we have to experience this narrow type of intelligence and standardized tests, we are committing to what I like to call “spiritual suicide”.
Most of today’s youth from all around the world think they are not fit nor ready for today’s workplaces. Ironically, one of the main reasons behind it is education. Think about it, every single idea and concept from a hundred years ago has been questioned and evolved eventually. All but one, education that is.
So are today’s school systems preparing youth for the future? Or the past?
Here’s a second experiment; try and ask today’s entrepreneurs and startup owners about the most valued skills they seek in their workforce and teams. There’s a strong chance schools won’t be teaching any of it.
We need to create environments and spaces in our schools and workplaces where people are engaged and inspired to grow away from all the theoretical and traditional schooling. Not because it will make them better communicators or thinkers but because as the world evolves, the sustainability and the very future of our communities and institutions will depend on it.
Today’s work environments demand a workforce that is passionate about what they do, a new generation with a strength based attitude, better communicators with organizational skills and a strong set of leadership and interpersonal skills. However, these are not the set of skills and competencies that our education offers. A rigid schooling that gets us to have this limited view of our own capacities and limits us from understanding how much potential we have for growth and change.
Although it’s too good to be true that education systems can be changed, countries like Finland are a living proof that it can be done. An education where students have more time to explore one’s passion rather than do endless homework, have more time to discover their surroundings rather than be caged in a classrooms, have schools that are student-centric so that students actually like to be there rather than wait to leave, where they learn to think for themselves and get engaged enough to learn by doing! A place where youth can be themselves and grow as human beings and most importantly be happy. And certainly, other countries should adopt their education system, ASAP.
So if we can customize apps and technology daily then it’s our role and duty to do the same with education, because while students are 20% of today’s population they are for sure 100% the future.17