Friday, 16 November 2012

The Global Education System

The concept of learning or a purpose


A few weeks ago I came across this TED talk clip which was posted on a friends Facebook profile. After watching it I realized everything that Seth Godin has talked about in this presentation is all very accurate from my point of view. Our education system, globally, has been modeled on the really old backward principle of do as you are told and learn what we teach you. 

As a dyslexic and growing up in a society that was opposed and utterly fearful of what they didn't know or understand, South Africa, I endured many school days of getting belittled by school teachers for just not getting the work that was being presented by them. I remember my poor brother, Danial, struggling week after week with maths problems and home work, with further yelling and berating by our father who just has no idea how to actually present the information in a way that Danial would get. There are more people with "learning disabilities" in this world than most would like to admit, and still there is this conformist attitude by training institutes and schools out there that those with "learning disabilities" just have to learn how the subject is taught. 

A little bit of background here, I have only be diagnosed since early 2012 with dyslexia, but have had suspicions for many many years. I also do not see my dyslexia as a "learning disability", as I have a rather dynamic method of learning. I see the term "learning disability" as the inability to learn some thing which in my case is totally incorrect. I do learn, almost every waking, and some time attempting to sleep, moment of the day. If I don't know some thing I look it up, because this is a technological age with the interwebs.  Because as Seth puts it, "anything worth memorizing, is worth looking up".

So, back to the topic of the education system....

In early 2011 I set out to study again, only this time it wasn't in the creative side of this, instead it was an academic course, the Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy. I chose to do this course as a external student, no contact with any lecturer and only books to read from. Now, I was under the deluded notion that the institute I am studying through knew what they were actually teaching in this course. It turns out I was so very wrong.

In the 2 years I have been studying through this institution I have found glaring errors in course work books the most recent of which was an appalling mistake about the global symbol for health and medicine which was put in my course work book as The Caduceus, which has nothing to do with health and medicine as all. This perpetuated mistake by a medical division in the USA has made its way into my course work, which I reported to the head of the institute mentioning that hopefully it won't be on the assessment.  I eventually put this information on a discussion forum where I am advised by another student that if it is in the exam just to give the answer that was in the course work book. Has our eduction really boiled down to compliance?It has dawned on me that the institute I am studying through most likely hasn't actually written the course work book but has rather copied and pasted information from another institutes course work book. Which only makes the education system all about profit and not actually about teaching anything.

In short, we need to find better ways to teach people that the sub standard methods we are too scared to evolved out of. I will leave you with this very apt meme....

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