Education in Crisis
Education Looks Like it Has Lost The Plot
With more focus and energy being placed on securing funding and accreditation than teaching, it seems schools and universities are forced to make learning outcomes their second priority.
How can the education system hope to be effective when schools are influenced more by politicians and bureaucrats than by teachers; and educators are forced to make saving money, compliance, paperwork and assessment a higher priority than teaching and learning?
Take a look at these recent quotes:
‘We don’t have enough time to run a school’
‘Bernice McCabe, head teacher and co-director of the Prince’s Teaching Institute, thinks that heads have to deal with too many initiatives.’
- TES Magazine, 2nd Oct, 2009, UK.
Students ‘tricked into thinking they will earn more after study’.
“Many students feel university has given them little more than “an expensive library ticket” as graduate unemployment soars, said Andrew Grant, the new chairman of the Headmasters and Headmistresses’ Conference.
- Tim Ross, Education Correspondent, Evening Standard, 5th Oct, 2009, UK.
‘Essays to be marked by “robots”.’
-William Stewart, Times Education Supplement, 25th Sept, 2009, UK.
‘…we’ve spent the last 15 years or so building systems around systems, rather than students.’
-Stephen Jones, Times Education Supplement, 11Sept, 2009, UK.
If you want the best education, you may need to look for an institution that puts learning above funding and accreditation.
ACS is trying to fight back.
If mankind is going to realize its full potential, if society is to advance as it should, it is essential that we optimize our education system. Education should be about learning above all else. Learning should be about improving the capacity of people to understand and respond to the unforeseen challenges that confront them throughout their lives.
Learning is more than just knowing how to perform a task or passing exams.
The tasks that confront us at work, play or home, are constantly changing (at an ever increasing rate).
To be well educated requires developing the capacity to adapt. Adaptability is improved by a solid foundation of knowledge, repetition and reinforcement of what we learn. Reinforcement makes knowledge ‘stick’.
There are no short cuts to good quality learning, however governments and bureaucrats are continually trying to educate a greater number of people to a higher level with less money per capita (in real terms).
Any reasonably intelligent person can see that shorter Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees (as we have today) cannot possibly provide the same standard of education that much longer courses provided a few decades ago.
Postscript: October 2015
from John Mason Principal, ACS Distance Education
"Despite being written 6 years ago; much of what is written here has not changed. The fundamental problem is (as several university professors have said to me); the global education system has too much inertia. It has moved in the same direction for so long, that it is extremely difficult for that direction to be changed"