Education: An Idealistic Concept?
Education is certainly the hot button issue of the moment. At the heart of the debate over the future of education is the question – are academic subjects, such as mathematics and history, more worthy of students’ time than life skills, such as critical thinking , ethics and self-expression ? many refuse to let go of the system of rote memorization and strict quantitative evaluation that has long characterized education in various countries , yet in a fast paced world characterized by huge systematic problem and constant seismic shifts in science , business and technology ,this system is no longer functional. At the heart of the recent financial crisis was the proliferation of sub- prime mortgages, in which people without any capital were able to procure a mortgage the payments of which they would never be able to afford. How were so many people hoodwinked by predatory loans?It is because their education in spite of all its math classesdid not prepare them in any way for the mathematics of the real world. What use is calculus, which only is a tiny subset of students will ever use in their lives or jobs , in comparison to lessons in reading contracts or investing intelligently , something that every person will need to do at one point or another ? It is not too extreme to suggest that if our schools spent more of their time focused on finance as it actually affects people’s lives,the crisis could have been avoided , or atleast significantly mitigated.
Theorists believe that our only hope of remaining competitive in the world economy is to ensure that our schools focus on academics such as math and science , so that the children will be prepared tostep into those highly specialized jobs. However, it turns out that even the most advanced tech companies in the world claim that mental flexibility is far more important to their hiring decisions than pure knowledge. An academic education is inarguably important. However, for far too long schools have been overly focused on quantifiable metrics of achievement. Students should be prepared for the lives they are most likely to lead, rather than some idealistic concept.