I love football. If you ask me anything about Newcastle United I will be able to give you the answer or make a well informed guess. I would certainly know where to find the answer quickly. But I have never made any special attempt to learn this stuff. Just like my friends who watch a film and learn the director, year it was made, cast, plot line and film studio via osmosis. It interests them so they learn effortlessly. They can put it into a rich context.
Over recent years I have begun to love science as much as anything else. I have no idea how much I know about science but I imagine it is only a tiny amount. But what I know, I love.
But at school I didn’t know anything. I used to love reading books. Some of my favourite authors include: Isaac Asimov, Tolkien, James Clavell, Phillip K Dick, Robert Greene, Sun Tzu and William Gibson. These books taught me a lot about the world we live in. Whether it was Asimov’s analogy of the collapse of the Roman Empire, Greene’s laws of power, or Clavell’s economic or political strategy, they all help you see things from other perspectives, which expands your own.
So why did I not want to learn anything at school? Why was I not enthused and inspired?
Many people are saying today that the technology in the students hand goes way beyond what they have in the classroom. This is true. But it’s a smoke screen. Students have got imaginations and energy that way surpass the teachers. They have books in their homes and the Internet or tv to inspire them.
Education is broken because individual students are not encouraged to explore their interests and passions. We live in a world of abundant information. Students should have history lessons to give them the skills needed to be critical about the sources of information and agendas/ societies that influence their teachings, as well knowing where our culture fits in and where it came from. They should be given lessons in living in the modern world so that they know what kind of life they can expect to live in the future, how other people around the world live and how it all fits together. And then they should be able to explore the world as their interests dictate.
Well, that’s what I think this morning anyhow 🙂