TED Conversations

Yuting Liu

This conversation is closed.

Education is not about school, is the passion for knowledge.

It is very interesting to me that when ever we talk about education, we automatically thinks of school system and how bad they are at doing their job. True schools were build for the purpose of learning, however from my personal experience I would like to say it is not the only place to be educated.

When Sir Ken Robinson talks about education revolution, I think he missed some of the important points. To me, education revolution does not only mean school reforms, but going beyond schools. What I find so precious about learning out side of school is the willingness to acquire more knowledge. I become fascinated by the subject itself and uncontrollably wanting to know more about it. More importantly it gives me freedom to explore deeper and deeper, there is nothing called curriculum to limit you from learning.

Isn't that what we are trying to achieve in our school system but never succeeded? The true passion for knowledge and limitless curiosity.

I believe we are getting it wrong.School should not be the one and only place of learning. We are not giving our next generation enough time to find out all the possibilities of future. We live in such a complex society today, how can our children know about the lastest achievements when they are still learning knowledge centuries ago?

But please don't get me wrong, I still see school as an incredible place to learn knowledge and skills, and gather with people of the same passion. What I'm seeing is that the tight curriculum seems to be limiting potential

Here I'm calling for a change, to cut down the current curriculum and give children the time and opportunity to find out all the things that intrest them. Let our next generation explore the world freely, and pursuit their life's passion. By doing so they will acquire all the necessary knowledge, because that's what they truly wants to learn.

The value of education is the passion for it. If the children are passionate, why wouldn't they learn.

Topics: education

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    May 27 2013: Yuting, you are right that curiosity is important. But you also need solid skills in order to do something with your curiosity. This could be a value of school, that it gives you those solid skills.

    You do get to follow your interests in school. You do get to choose some of your classes, some people emphasize art, some science, some athletics. What is your major interest?
    • thumb
      May 27 2013: Sorry that I didn't make my point clear, I do believe schools are important, and there is no way I would deny how much I have gained from schools. My point is while the students are learning the foundations of the subject and building up skills as they progress, they should be given more freedom to explore what interests them no matter what the curriculum says. More importantly, once they are curious about the subject, they will learn the knowledge and skills very fast.

      The subjects in school do provide a great starting point, however it is not enough. There so many different specific areas within a subject that people find different interests in. In a Art class for example, some might realize they love painting, and other may find themselves enjoying sculpture. And them there are different types of painting, and they could paint different objects. Once they found out what they love, they will turn around and nagging the teachers to learn about colour, texture, how to use different brushes, what artists are working on similar topics. Because they want to know, when they are painting they realize how important those skills and knowledges are and therefore they will learn it. They understand by learning those some what "boring" things could make their painting much better, they will enjoy the process of learning compared to before.
      • thumb
        May 28 2013: Yes, good point, Yuting. I'm not a great person to comment on this as in school I was a conformist, I just did what they told me. But there is something to be said for being exposed to a broad range of things, you might think you only like one aspect of art but if the teacher forces you to try some other kinds, you might find that you like them and are good at them. You might even find you prefer them to the one you originally you thought you only liked. But maybe not.

        I would think someone who got intensely interested in one thing could go to their teacher and talk about their passion for this one thing and ask for permission to concentrate on it. Maybe the teacher will say yes, go ahead and concentrate. If the teacher says no, I would gently make the teacher state their reason, I would say, but I love this one kind of art because I think I can only make beauty in this one kind, or I love how the brush feels in my hand, and see what the teacher says to that. If you are dissatisfied with the reason they give for wanting you to try all the kinds of art, go over their head, go to the principal. Or you can wait and go back to them again later and say you are still finding the other kinds of art unsatisfactory. But you have to be very clear on why you prefer this one kind of art, and you have to reply very specifically to their counterargument. What are you going to say if they say, I, the teacher, think it would be better for you to try many things?

        If you are really unhappy, you could get an early release from high school and start attending college. Or go to work.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.