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January 2015

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Launching A Reliable New Education System

Written by , Posted in Leadership, Sustainability, Technology

Launching A Reliable New Education System.

Ahem, at the risk of sounding like a grumpy old man sitting on a soap box. I remember a time when I sat at my desk in school scribbling on a scrap piece of paper, sweat pouring down my face. On the corner of my desk sat my only hope for salvation, my cheat sheet filled with formulas from a year’s worth of listening… okay, a year’s worth of reading… okay, a year’s worth of borrowing notes from a friend. Those formulas were used to calculate various concepts of economics. The calculator I was permitted was crude, able to do small calculations, more than addition and subtraction, but not complex enough to tell you what the speed of light would be through water. You had to have the formula for that.

Back then, when we walked up hill both ways to school we learned how to understand concepts and how to calculate. We learned why we were calculating what we were calculating.

Today however, it seems it isn’t about teaching our young, but accommodating them. Leave no one behind is a valuable sentiment on the battlefield, but trust me, passing someone through school because we don’t believe in failing them is asinine. Someday you’re going to be on an operating table looking up at your doctor only to find the bell curve recipient. Who’s left behind now? Don’t want to fail them then fine, don’t pass them either. Ever hear of summer school? It’s for the kids to get do-overs. They get to take courses again in the quiet time instead of playing on the beach because we need them to be able to use a calculator instead of pulling their smart phones out to determine the difference between miles and kilometers when they pass from the US to Canada and because we can’t afford to have the problem promoted all the way through school when a kid just doesn’t get it.

It’s true you know, sometimes, kids don’t apply themselves, whether they’re bored or unable to focus and sometimes, they’re just not that smart. I’m not smart enough to be an astrophysicist, I knew when to stop. Some people can’t be doctors, some can’t be highschool teachers. It’s okay though because if we support them in everything they do and prove to them that every job has to be done, that every job is important in its own way, then taking an extra year to finish school isn’t the end of the world.

Then again, there is option c where we actually spend public money and find out what’s up with our kids today. No one is the same. We could spend time learning how our kids learn so we can teach them to their level, challenging them on their own field and thus supporting them in everything they do. We need to raise, not lower our academic standards.

Passing someone because we shouldn’t fail them is failing them in a different way. We need to pass them because they deserve it, but more importantly we need to help them deserve it.
We shouldn’t be removing cursive writing from the curriculum. We sure as he’ll shouldn’t be thinking about adjusting the history books to say Canada didn’t win the war of 1812 or to even suggest that the world was created in 7 days or to suggest that evolution is JUST a theory.

Stephen Hawking worries that robots will eventually rise up to usurp the world from us. If we become reliant on them, why would you blame them? When I mean reliant, I mean not having the ability to run a calculator or write. Humanity deserves the fate we receive because of the choices we make. Do you think we deserve it? Or will we be smart enough to control the robots?