RAEL’S COMMENT: This is absolutely true! Schools and universities are things of the past and are totally obsolete. In 1 hour on the Internet, children of any age learn more than in 1 week at school. And they learn things that they love, which is even more important. I still don’t know why I learned many things at school that wasted my time and that were never of any use during my life, like the names of Napoleon’s battles, algebra, the multiplication table, etc… It’s time to destroy all schools and universities and replace them with free education through the Internet, where children learn what they choose to learn, not by following any government-made program. What education is doing now is taking gifted children (almost all children are gifted) and making them obedient citizens, ready to be used by corporations. Real education should first create happy people, and then when you enjoy what you learn, you can become a genius in science or art.
Children start life as geniuses until schools make them average
I’ve been thinking about how education as we know it today will likely be unrecognizable in another 10 years, maybe earlier.
The whole system of formal education – basic education for 11 years and then 3-4 years of tertiary education is an industrial age model.
Divergent thinking, which is the essence of creative thinking, is slowly and systemically eliminated in most education systems from the time a young child enters school.
The industrial age model focused on learning to meet the job needs of the 19 to 20thth century. Curriculums were heavily weighted in favour of mathematics, science, commerce where formulas and exact calculations matter, leaving very little room for ‘creative’ answers.
Children who were brilliant and gifted in the ‘creative’ arts – such as music, writing, arts, had their ‘creativity’ slowly diminished by parents and teachers who told them that there was no future in such interests and they best focus on a ‘real’ skill to get a ‘real’ job.
Every creative person I have met was at one time or another fed this ‘reality’. And I believe this is a scourge that is more evident in Asia than it is in the West where those in ‘creative’ vocations such as music, theatre, arts are extremely well paid – sometimes even better those in more conventional jobs.
Somehow in the West, being creative never quite got the bad rap that found its way into schools in Asia.
Because of this, many gifted and brilliant minds, suffocated by having to fit into the straightjacket of conventional wisdom, left for the West.
There they sought recognition for their abilities not valued in Asia. It has been part of the brain drain that has afflicted many Asian economies, including Malaysia.
98% of kindergarten children score as geniuses in creativity
Famous American inventor and futurist Buckminster Fuller (July 12, 1895 – July 1, 1983) made perhaps one of the most important observations about the education system over 40 years ago.
“All children are born geniuses” he said “and we spend the first six years of their lives degeniusing them.”
The data seems to bear this out.
Longitudinal studies show that while 98% of kindergarten children score in the genius range for divergent thinking, the percentage significantly shrinks the more formal education the child receives!
We are born with divergent thinking – the essential ability to be creative which is very much a part of the human DNA. We are hardwired to think creatively.
This has shaped the history of human civilization.
Yet, most education systems over the last 100 years is to suppress this innate human ability.
We have gone down the path of moulding young minds to be ‘average’.
In suppressing creativity, we have unwittingly encouraged mediocrity.
In relegating creativity to footnote in the curriculum, we have diminished the brilliance of millions of students.
Human capacity rich with brilliant minds
We have for far long equated brilliant minds with excellence in mathematics, sciences, medicine, and information technology.
Yet those who are the innovators even in these industries lead because of their divergent thinking. They are the ones who break the old rules, set new ones, explore new directions and are business game changers.
But they are not the only ones leading a revolution of the mind. There are millions who are doing it in their own fields – inventing and innovating for a myriad of challenges facing the human race.
From global warming, to environmental disasters, to safe nuclear energy, missions to explore space, to medicine.
From interior design to computer design, from 3D movies to Avatar technology, and most importantly to the design of education for the future.
The education of the future is about recognizing the myriad of human intelligence.
It is an education that will ensure that the genius of our children is not sacrificed at the altar of conformity.
Imagine if every child is told how brilliant he or she is, instead of having their intelligence defined by an obsolete grading system.
Every child is born brilliant. If we just figure out how to create an education system that recognizes that as the start point, we won’t have to worry about innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.
If we figure this out, we won’t have to worry about war because peace will be the default solution.
If we figure this out, I have every faith that the future of the world will be in great hands.