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Dimitris Tsironis

Writing about world and technical stuff

The Modern Education Paradigm

Education on the 21th century

I’ve been always been an keen observer of human behaviour and while being a member of the academic community, is kind of inevitable not to identify some interesting facts about our educational system and how that’s being formed about our own behaviours.

First, I came to the following conclusion when I was in the second year of my studies and all I was hearing from freshmen students was how the professors didn’t pay attention to them exclusively or care if they were clear enough for the students. Actually, what the freshmen wanted, was to get consumed knowledge without hassling to actually learn it. Somewhat like the fast-food drive-ins. Looking back to that attitude, it certainly reminds me how school works: the teacher has to teach you some stuff and consequentially, you have to absorb as much as you can, without having the option or a state of mind to question that information.

An education system specifically designed many, many years ago is merely competent today

And as Sir Ken Robinson correctly claims, that happened because this is a educational system designed specifically for the needs of Industrial Revolution. Most of the info we get today from schools and universities is seriously outdated and perhaps, flawed. Now, this educational system is quite resistive and narrow-minded. It has all kinds of mechanisms to ensure that the content of courses will be in the standards of the government - and that’s about it. You can’t go further than that.

An outdated education

The above educational system is based on the premise that your success in life depends directly with a graduate or master’s degree. Thus, you have to obey to their guidelines. This doesn’t fit me personally, I can’t be easily be constrained, at least not without a cause that actually makes sense.

On the other hand, even since I got to know the web, I found a great pleasure learning new things, not by reading old textbooks, but by cross-checking as many references I could possibly find. You can actually develop a theory of mind on your own, by reading and researching hundreds of sources. You don’t have to be constrained to a single textbook anymore.

Be your own teacher

But unfortunately, that’s something is not taught in school. Every now and then, some friend asks me about something and I pretty much enjoy sending him/her a link from Let me Google that for you. It’s hilarious! But seriously, Google can find you every piece of information with a few keystrokes; isn’t that amazing? Instead of using only your own mind, you can use other’s thoughts and outcomes to enrich your own knowledge.

If your plan is to be a tech person, you’re in more luck than everybody else. The web is always full of tech articles, tutorials and also, some fun ways on learning new things.

The future is here

The past few years, websites like Codecademy, CodeSchool, Coursera, Udacity have made the learning process so accessible that you can go to class drinking cocoa from your favourite mug in your pyjamas while relaxing in your bed listening your favourite jazz album.

When I was starting to mess around with the web, almost 5 years ago, all that were only in science fictions articles. I had to learn the hard way, which eventually wasn’t so bad, but it sure wasn’t the most efficient way. Now they’re here, you can create a free account and start hacking on stuff.

Bottom line, while a degree is still irreplaceable for everyone’s future, you can now get your life in your hands and actually do something. Learn new stuff, explore on your own and don’t wait to learn mechanically. I’m looking forward to see what the future educational systems will look like. Hope they will rock this world.