asks Nick O’Shiel, Omagh Enterprise
The origins of education lie to a large extent inside the military, as it trained people to follow orders and be compliant.
The industrial revolution required similar people for the smooth operation of the assembly line. Even consumers were encouraged to behave in predictable ways and buy the same products to suit the efficiency of the factory.
Education was organised to teach students in groups and served its purpose for many years but its purpose has changed and so must it.
The traditional approach to education is being replaced by a more flexible approach to learning that provides tailored solutions for students.
Traditionally, when a student clashed with the system they were expected to change to suit the system rather than the system change to suit them.
The system worked for people who could sit still for hours at a time and memorise what they were taught; but for many others it didn’t work.
Universities, schools and teachers were the conduit for information, whereas, information is now available to anyone with access to the internet.
In a similar way, the value of knowing something is becoming less important, as information on any subject is easily found.
The job of education today is to encourage students to ask the right questions, as teachers no longer need to provide all the answers.
Years of research have shown that learners who find answers for themselves learn and retain more than if they are simply given the answers.
The education system needs to not only analyse test results but also understand how learning happens and how to make it happen more often and for more people.
Such understanding is happening in many areas like sports and health, as information is collected and used to improve individual performance.
Learning in the future will be targeted to suit the student and delivered through a mix of on-line and off-line methods.
Technology will allow students to work at their own pace to achieve their potential, while enabling the system to learn and better serve them.
Education tests students on predictable static material and prepares them for a world that no longer exists.
Learning tests students on live dynamic knowledge and prepares them for a world that is being created.
SO, learning is about to replace education as the traditional system is no longer fit for purpose and needs to change.
What do you think?