I was a high school teacher and coach for over 10 years but I have moved on to work on my own. While I certainly enjoyed working with students and coaching football, I am disillusioned with the education system. Unfortunately, education seems to be a slow moving system and is not adapting to the new paradigm. The school system is still based on the needs of the Industrial Age.
The Information Age is well upon us and through rapid technological advancement is constantly changing the way we do things from our day to day activities to our communication with friends and family to what is required of us in the workforce.
Despite what Marissa Mayer of Yahoo! says, it is not required that all workers be together in one place in order to work collaboratively. Video conferencing, file sharing, etc. has allowed for virtual meetings. Therefore, is it necessary or desirable to require young people training to enter the new workforce to sit all together in a classroom for hours on end?
Another issue I have always had with the education system is that it promotes a love of achievement over a love of learning. This creates at least two major problems. Firstly, it stifles creativity by encouraging students to figure out exactly what the teacher wants then reproduce it. Without the rare innovative teacher a perpetuation of the status quo is inevitable. Secondly, a student who really doesn’t value marks as the be all end all of life (myself included) can be left behind as he/she prefers to spend time learning new things that is of interest to them.
Finally, from a curriculum stand point, the current one developed by the Ontario Ministry of Education is very content driven at a time where information is free and easy to access. Therefore, what is the point of testing students on their knowledge of “facts.” Not that content is unnecessary but it should be used to drive skill development.
I am not sure how we go about changing the Education System but it is obvious to this former teacher that the time has come to make drastic changes.