TED Conversations

Evan Nathan

TEDxJakarta Volunteer

This conversation is closed.

Has school lost its function ?

Schools do not provide students with skills that are needed to engage with the society of the world. More and more schools fostering their unbalanced curriculum that is centered on academic performance, neglecting the leadership skills and societal progress that is beneficial to take part in active participation in social or economic activity. Schools looked down on vocational educations that can provide balance for their curriculum. To what extend fo you agree ?

Share:
  • thumb
    Oct 1 2013: Schools neglect developing many essential skills; they almost never touch the right-brained activities and many schools (almost all schools in India, for example) don't encourage a REALLY independent thought. Follow the authority, memorize the stuff you won't need in life and follow the rules to learn obedience seems to be the accepted standard.
  • thumb
    Oct 2 2013: The function of school is a place where students receive education in order to fully improve themselves, and education is an action aimed at perfectly forming the character of students. In my opinion,the primary mission of school is teach students knowledge but no the social skills.These knowledge can support students keep a foothold in social.As for the social skills,it really essential but we can learn it when we set foot in socity.We can focus on curriculum first and then participant in some suitable social activities.All in all,schools not the true society,the social skills they can teach are differ from real society.
    It just my opinion,because i am a chinese,according to my national conditions i take the attitude that a good certificate is more useful for students.
  • thumb
    Oct 2 2013: To answer your main question my answer is " NO" . Without certificate from school one can't even compete to get admitted in College . Without a certificate from school / college / university one can't even enter in market of job seekers.
    • thumb
      Oct 16 2013: Thats a clear stand !
    • Oct 21 2013: There are many occupations that don't require graduation from a university or even a high school. The writer, artist, and artisan are among them, I think. Though "higher" education might help some people enter those types of careers, the necessary skills can certainly be learned independently, and for a much cheaper price.
      • thumb
        Oct 22 2013: Agree those don't need certification ....and there are more e.g. many entrepreneur didn't have any certificate .....or to be person like Socretes no certificate is needed .....anyone looking for such "profession" for them traditional schooling system is not necessary.
  • Oct 1 2013: There has been a de-emphasis of vocational educational. Money has played a role and demands from parents and administration. Money comes into play when you are looking to hire an extra teacher - say remedial Sreading or a vocational teacher.

    Some districts have combined and created separate middle and high school to teach vocational course, trying to save money. It keeps the programs but removes the students from the local area.

    Another case is where a company, in this case CISCO, created a networking lab to teach students how to maintain and run networking centers. If they pass, they come out with a cisco certification. The lab needs to be updated every 2 years to match the latest technology.
  • Oct 1 2013: As Fritizie said, people see schools differently and have a wide variety of expectations. Some of the expectations that people have for schools are impossible to meet. If you want schools to focus on providing specific job skills, those same schools will not produce creative artists

    I have said this before, and do not mind repeating it:

    Through the last two centuries, business has taught us that we can control only what we can measure. If schools are ever to be perceived as effective and successful, schools must have measurable objectives. All schools do not have to have the same objectives, but each school must have specific measurable objectives, and each school must be held accountable to meet those objectives. That does not mean that if the objectives are not met the principal is fired. It means that each year a plan is developed to continuously improve.

    Our current schools are the product of history. They are still using a paradigm that is centuries old. To the best of my knowledge no one has ever started with a blank paper and designed a school from scratch. Such a design would necessarily start with determining specific objectives. A new design would also incorporate the most appropriate technology available. It would include designing the curriculum for teaching the staff.

    We are very good at building organizations that achieve specific measurable objectives. When we take that approach, we have every reason to expect success.
  • thumb
    Oct 1 2013: If you are still in school, do keep your eyes open to take advantage of the opportunities that are there for you. From the language you use in your description, it seems you see school as something in which you have the passive role of having things provided to you. Consider that the key to becoming educated may be to realize that in every educational situation you encounter, it is your challenge and job to make the most of the setting to learn from it what you can in the areas that have highest value to you.

    Further, what you have experienced in Jakarta may not be universally true. Many people complain, for example, that their schools are too focused on cultivating skills in collaboration, participation, and character development and not enough on essential academic dispositions! Schools are different, people's perceptions of schools with which they are familiar are different, people are sure they know what schools are like in which they have never set foot, and people's preferences in terms of the best balance among the multiple things schools do are different.
  • Da Way

    • +1
    Sep 30 2013: You always have to separate 'function' and 'puspose'. School has lost many of its purposes but there are many functions school serves that it wasn't designed for.

    E.g. Networking. Many jobs, connections, marriages are found not even during school but at school reunions. If you bind a group of people together for a period of time and force them to interact, emotions and memories are bound to form. That is one of the often underestimated functions of schools.
    • thumb
      Oct 1 2013: It is true indeed schools have served its other purpose such as bridging people and building communities across students however what we should realize that school's primary function is to provide education. And the education system that is embodied in various formal education institutions does not prepare its students to be able readily face the global, challenging world.