After reading with great pleasure the various comments posted on the subject of a new teaching system, I felt like keeping the fires going.
Let’s continue this train of thought, changing the usual classroom format, and imagine a series of learning stations manned by educators who, instead of lecturing, would answer questions, counsel, orient, and guide the young people’s progress.
I remember by the way the case of a valiant university unafraid of turning their teaching model upside down. In their traditional model, medical students would attend classes for 2 years before actually seeing a patient, giving a shot, or even dissecting a human brain or a long mummified body. They threw away caution and had students start their medical career with clinical practices, under supervision of course, and even attending surgical procedures. The authorities of the college believed that actual contact with the real world of medicine would make their future lectures much more realistic and much better absorbed by the students.
That’s what is missing in my not uninformed opinion: the relationship between the topic studied in the classroom and the real world. Let the students realize the importance of studying for example the great works of Shakespeare, even if their professional interest lies elsewhere. How, you may ask quite pertinently? How in the world can a future mechanic be interested in the Great Bard? Well, a unique vision of human nature might help their own personal lives, if their lessons in British literature are given in a such a way that they can compare with their own vicissitudes. History is also a rich source of material from which a better understanding of modern events may be derived. Every area of human knowledge should be taught by showing the relevance of such data to the students’ future or present needs. Geometry will be of great help when doing carpentry. Chemistry can be a practical tool to unclog stubborn sinks. The teaching intensity will be in direct proportion to the student’s personal ambition and goals, but everyone should at least have the opportunity to cast a look at a diversified curriculum and pick their area of interest.
The beauty of the self-run system of education is that it never ends; students will become so accustomed to search for teaching videos and other auxiliary sources of information that their whole lives will be geared toward learning.. At least, I think so. I maybe naive to expect so much from my fellow human beings, but I have seen firsthand the damage inflicted upon students who are forced to study areas they dislike intensely and for which they have no immediate need. I myself hated every minute of my drawing classes, though the main culprit was a bad teacher, a spinster, who ridiculed my feeble efforts in elementary. But think for a second, fellow teachers and education buffs, about how our present K-12 schooling demands that everybody pretty much study the same, no matter what their preferences and skills are. It’s like a straitjacket for kids; most of them wear it with a suffering grimace, resigned to the fact that they have to, or else.
I just realized that I pretty much presented a eulogy for home schooling, a practice I consider detrimental to the socializing of kids. But no, my education system would take place in a teaching environment, albeit a flexible one, full of modern technology and pleasant counselors. Perhaps it is just a pipe dream dating back to the illustrious Socrates and his modern teaching methods. In any case, I submit this proposal to your keen mental vision and even keener pen to add or subtract as you please.