Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Has Education Really Changed?

I can remember learning an interesting fact about education a few years ago, and that is: ‘a doctor from 100 years ago could not perform in today’s medical environment, but a teacher from 100 years ago could certainly do it’. Education has not really changed much, we think it has, we hope it has, and we do our best to make changes: but what are we really doing?
I just read an article in the Chronicle titled “For Whom Is College Being Reinvented” http://chronicle.com/article/The-False-Promise-of-the/136305/?cid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en. It was an interesting article in the sense that it reminds us of how far we have to go in truly making meaningful changes in higher education. Are we really helping students gain skills and a job? Who is gaining from these new methods and what are they gaining? How many people actually know what MOOC stands for (massive open online courses)? What does MOOC mean to you besides being the latest buzzword?
I wish I had a solution for this question, but honestly, it is still early in the game, but I hope people are paying attention and recording results. Education goes through phases, when the whole industry is talking about something they deem important and have no clue how to solve the problem, so they scramble for a solutions using grand gestures. I remember when in K12 education “standards” was the buzzword in the 1990s; we never really solved that one did we?
My point is, if the so-called solution cannot be understood clearly and duplicated easily, is it really a solution? Perhaps it is time to take this conversation outside of the daily news and into an arena that will facilitate real results for students, not sound bites to pad someone’s resume.
We are trying to find solutions right?
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

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