Two Sides Of The Textbook

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Like many have expressed in recent years, there is an outright, obvious issue with our education system. But it’s interesting because in recent months, as the message has been more and more popularized, more individuals have hopped on the band-wagon to criticize the system.

But most aren’t looking at the bigger picture. Most have jumped on board, as if it is the latest trend. Creating spoken word videos, parodies, memes, YouTube videos and much more. All this is great because the conversation is happening, however what’s not great is that all the pieces aren’t being considered.

Today I read an article stating that more kids are being homeschooled. First and foremost, homeschooling is not a new concept.  Before the idea of “public education” came into play it was….you guessed it, private. But should more parents be pulling their kids out of traditional schools for fear that their child will not get that individual attention?

I used to have this weird habit. If I was in a situation that was inconvenient, uncomfortable or just not beneficial to me, rather than work to change it, I would always find ways to make the situation more manageable. For instance, like most, I worked in an environment where I was getting zero development – development to do my job better and development to become a better person. So I decided to create a development program that would teach me something. Anything.  After implementing the program, I immediately began to learn a surmountable amount. It taught me patience, it taught me about people, personalities and leadership. I didn’t set out to change the entire workspace, I just set out to make my situation a little easier and more manageable. I’ve since grown and have recognized the power and benefit in transforming environments and spaces and not being limited to changing my situation.

What many parents are doing with this prominent push of homeschooling, is attempting to only change their situation. But what if we were too look at it with a different perspective?  Imagine the amount of resources that the schools have access too. Think about the amount of potential sitting in classes everyday, many of the students eagerly ready to learn. Why just take them out of the school system? Why not collectively push for reformation of the entire system? Imagine an entire system, with the money and resources, not only geared towards educating our kids, but also developing them. I believe it is a matter of leveraging the resources that governments and public schools already have access to and then channeling them. Because just as the current system has flaws, so does the structure of homeschooling. And as more people slowly pull their kids out of the traditional education system and homeschool them, more issues will become evident.

Another important point is understanding the purpose and objective of the traditional school system. They are not educating you just because they have nothing else to do. From the moment you are introduced into the school system you are being prepared for something. And that is what we’re missing. In teaching anything, there is usually an intention. The question we should be asking is “what is the intention of our current education system?”. The answer would be that the intention is to prepare us for the workforce. But what we need to take note of is that schools aren’t the leaders in this relationship – businesses are. Businesses dictate what they want their employees to look like, not schools. If a company says we require ‘this’ from our applicants, then schools work to ensure their students are prepared to provide whatever the company needs. So then if we really want to see an even greater change it’s not just the school system that needs reform, its businesses. They set the expectation.  Let’s say a company requires a degree to get hired at their firm, if we reform schools to where they no longer need degrees then we’ll have a lot more unemployed people.  If companies require more passionate people, then continuing to pop out those MBA students who can recite textbooks from cover to cover will be pointless. Schools will have to develop the passion of people. If businesses begin to look for more creative individuals and no longer wants the cut from a cookie cutter thought process, schools will have to do more to foster creativity. The point is, we need to see that schools aren’t the only issue at play here.

Businesses need to begin to see the value of developed and educated employees. Can you imagine a day when it becomes a norm for companies to hold seminars for their employees on ‘fostering your creativity’ or ‘building your imagination’? That’ll be a great day.

-Chris

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