The idea of passing information on, whether it be educationally enriching or merely a touch of girly gossip, has been around since the primitive era. However, the “modern” concept of teaching, and obligatory school attendance, dates way back to Europe during the 18th century. Times have changed but our teaching methods certainly have not. Forget discarding the old-school methods of slapping children’s knuckles and whipping the back of their legs; the actual method of teaching has remained the same, despite giant societal and technological leaps.
The ancient schooling system is far too outdated for modern minds. In this fast-paced twenty-first century, and certainly among scholars & students, instant gratification is prioritized.
– Before you read any further, you should probably know that I’m a total purist when it comes to my lecturers and teachers. I’ll always opt for old-school educators who are passionate about both their subjects & their students and who do not rely on the latest gadgets to enhance the classroom experience and to mask their ability (or lack thereof). Thus, I speak on behalf of my generation. –
Despite all that, here is my proposal: take the ingredient that makes television-watching; web-searching, and phone-browsing so popular, and introduce it into the classroom environment. Forget old chalkboards (however charming) and wooden desks, and start introducing PC-based lessons, digital media, and interactive programs to really capture young audiences. Allow scholars to really be involved by using media that they are most comfortable with in order to introduce entertaining enrichment.
So, this mythical ingredient – what is it? Is it the icy feel of a keypad; the constant feeling of being ‘connected’; or the charm of a flickering screen pixel that makes technology so attractive? Whatever it is, it’s probably about time that we figure it out and start making some changes to the way we learn, teach, and expose ourselves and our kids.
While it is always heart-rending to shut down any ancient tradition, it is also always equally exciting to fire up a new one. So kiss goodbye to red knuckles and the ever-charming smell of paper and welcome in shorter classes and a drop in brain capacity. What’s to lose?