Education - Time To Wake Up!

Inspired by Linkedin's "week of learning" I thought about education in general an how everything has changed over the last two decades and why I feel sorry for the children currently stuck in school. But I'm also pumped for them because we never had a better focus on individual talents and business opportunities in the modern workplace.

In my opinion, education has to change from the state it's currently in (e.g. learning poems by heart - I make it extreme on purpose) to a state where we teach meta-skills (e.g. how to learn something by heart and keep remembering it).

Roughly ten years after my official school career I finally understand what they were trying to teach me, why didn't they say so? Perhaps I'm not alone with this, but hardly any teacher really told us why we learn something or how we could use it in adult life. We were simply told, this is the learning schedule, you need to know this to get your diploma. Well, to hell with motivation right? Did you ever ask your parents for help with your homework? How did they react? Most parents basically forgotten everything they learned in school, because the things we learn never really findd practise in "real life".

I wouldn't say it's all bad but it needs some new direction, a change of perspective. Even in today's universities. Do we really need to sit somewhere, listen to a professor, do papers etc.? I guess it depends on your learning type, but I always learned by doing things myself. Why would I want to read a book and analyse it, it would be more fun to write a book and learn the craft, even as a teenager. Storytelling is such an important skill that school teaches you somehow implicitly, so most of it is lost and was lost on me.

The times are over where you left school with a diploma and had a secure job, you have to fight, you probably have to bring some experience already to the table. Our lifecycle is getting longer in general but life starts earlier. Of course, today you travel the world, study for years on years and don't worry about anything, but are you still relevant to the market after that?

It all depends on how you want to design your life, a freedom that was totally alien just a few decades earlier. What nobody talks about is that the lack of meta-skills and the rise of decision-anxiety are the price we pay for this freedom.

Do we live in a time that is solemnly focused on hedonism? The maximisation of our happiness? Don't get me wrong, I don't complain, being a human is the best. But where are we going as a society? Can I live every day as it would be my last for 90+ years?

Did you recognise that the arts in school were more and more left out in your curriculum? We are not all data driven mathematicians, some of us are musicians, painters, artists that need some kind of attention in our own right. Silicon Valley teaches us that to drop out of school is cool and you can become a billionaire doing it, but is this really the approach we want to teach?

My work today and probably tommorrow is based on a skill set I learned during my job. The stuff I learned in education is mostly obsolete today, at least most of it isn't practical.

Education needs to become more practical, more relevant. Tools like LinkedIn Learning, Lynda, Udemy, Duolingo etc. pp. are modern places of knowledge. You can learn what you want, what you need and especially the most efficient way, in your own time. Completely on the go via phone. No strings attached.

I can only envision a future where we need to learn even more in shorter time periods. We can prepare to be ready, we need to master the way we learn and become more flexible. Today I'm a marketer, tomorrow I might be a programmer and in 10 years I'm an AI supervisor, who knows what will happen but technology will speed up time. Not only product lifecycles shorten, it shortens ours too.

This is such a fascinating topic to me and I see a lot of opportunities for us to embrace learning as a meta-skill. For the end I'd like to share one of the most inspiring TED Talks I've seen on this topic of education. Feel free to share your opinion on modern learning and how you see education evolving in the next few years. Do you trust your school system or would you rather see it changed?

Thanks for reading!

Sebastian