I’m tired of hearing that education hasn’t changed in the last hundred years or that education is broken. If you search the phrase ‘education hasn’t changed’, you’ll see articles from reputable educational institutions and publications that assert that education is the same now as it was 50, 100, or 400 years ago. Or that the system is broken. Or they show an image of a classroom from the 1800s next to a picture of a classroom from today to show they are ‘the same’.
A few quick thoughts:
- Education has changed.
- Teachers aren’t physically disciplining students like they used to.
- Everyone is allowed to attend school now.
- Students aren’t leaving school at age 8 to go work in the mines.
- Students in some of the worst areas of the country have the ability to get exposed to some truly innovative programs that they would never have had access to before.
- While some classrooms might be set up the same, there are also welding programs, video game programming courses, entrepreneurial studies, graphic design labs, and so much more.
- Teachers are learning more about cognitive psychology and leveraging these ‘brain science’ techniques to become more effective educators.
- Teachers are analyzing data to help pinpoint weaknesses in their students learning and address them before they become permanent misconceptions.
- Teachers are leveraging exciting new technologies to help differentiate instruction to vast numbers of students.
- The list could go on, but I’ll stop here because I think you understand.
- Showing that a room looks similar to a room from 100 years ago doesn’t mean that the field hasn’t changed.
- Show a stadium or coliseum from 100 or 1000 years ago that shows seats in an oval around a central point of interest, this isn’t evidence that ‘sports and entertainment haven’t changed’.
- Showing that an operating room was a table in the middle of a room 100 years ago and still is that way today doesn’t prove that ‘medicine hasn’t changed’.
Is education broken? Of course not.
Are there ways we can improve education? Of course. And we will.