Jimoh Ovbiagele

Save A Mother

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Humans knowledge is expanding exponentially. How will our educations systems prepare newer generations to understand all these new concepts?

Humans knowledge is exponentially expanding with greater depth and complexity. How will our education systems adapt to prepare our newer generations to understand these new concepts in the time our present society allots to education, before we are cast out of academia? Will finishing university when you're 30 be the norm? Will our longer life spans make these longer stays in academia relatively indifferent from todays perception of the duration of institutional education? Or is there a different approach, that disregards time, that will allow newer generations to grasp concepts that are relevant to their new world.

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    Aug 9 2011: The issue is not the quantity of information, but what we do with it. Much of our education system as it currently exists is about memorization of information. Trying to cram more information into peoples heads is not the solution. Instead of teaching what to think, give them the tools to think for themselves. Basic skills in language, math, science and social interaction are essential. Beyond that, instead of a history textbook, teach them to seek out a variety of source materials and form their own understanding of history, or religion, or whatever. Instead of feeding every student the same recycled "facts" as the last, why not empower them to evolve from parrots to people?

    In many other conversations here at TED and on other sites, the influence of corporate advertising and other media is a huge concern. I submit that our current education system is to blame. If your education has consisted of constantly being told what to think instead of how, it's only natural that you will absorb corporate and media messages with the same uncritical acceptance. The surest way to combat this is by starting our children thinking for themselves.

    Education to this this point evolved from a need to keep unemployed children off the streets. From there it was tasked with producing a commercially useful, socially stable product to slot into the expanding industrial/corporate landscape of early to mid twentieth century. For these purposes, simple memorization was quite sufficient for most people. Behaviors which we regard as "thinking outside the box" were actively discouraged and even punished. We have evolved into a very different society from that one. It is high time our approach to education was similarly transformed.

    Cheers, Winston

    Cheers, Winston
  • Aug 8 2011: We spend our entire lives (or we should) learning new things of many different natures, the worst thing that happens in a mature person's life is loosing the ability to learn new things and therefore becoming outdated, obsolete, in his line of work.

    The most important thing our education system should give to our children is the basic skills to learn a wide variety of things and the knowledge of which ones are their strengths, like many said, not everyone can master math (although there is a myth that Einstein sucked at it in school).

    The educative system should feed the innate skills of each child as well as his interests and balance its curriculum in that direction, we need an adaptive, custom made education to reach our best.
    Of course some things I agree most people should know to keep a base culture, like geography, history, basic math and some biology.

    It is also important to remember that by the time we get to put it to use, some of the knowledge we were given has long become obsolete, rather than knowledge, teach mental skills, skill is timeless.
  • hw Tse

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    Aug 6 2011: Teach every child what they need to know about every subject.
    Let them find their interest.
    Let them explore and widen their knowledge about it
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    Aug 4 2011: Most information is useless to most people.

    With so much opinion, propaganda and information accessible on the internet, it'll be more important to teach kids how to identify reliable and accurate info.
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      Aug 5 2011: Multiplication, Division, Exponents, Calculus...
      Biology, Chemistry, "Magic", Medicine....
      All were, once upon a time, useless to most people until most people were enlightened with application of this information. I think our society today is in a regrettable deplore due to negligible culturing; we don't show our youth a reason to ask questions, seek knowledge, and apply it. That is why I love TED because it stimulates such riveting discussions.

      On the note of accessibility, differentiating the reliable from the dubious will be an obstacle that kids will have to face. I have no doubt google will ponder up away to filter the rubbish. It currently has similar filters in use in its academic journals feature... I believe.
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    Aug 4 2011: Students do not need any more knowledge. They need an education that teaches how to think.

    Take a lawyer for example, the cannon of law is large and constantly getting larger. But a lawyer doesn't learn every case and every law, a lawyer learns to think like a lawyer.

    A good astronomer doesn't know every star name, but he knows where to point the telescope.
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      Aug 5 2011: Excellent approach. I agree. I think schools need to be infused with liberal arts.
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    Aug 4 2011: If your father have bicycle, you will obviously try to learn it at your tender age right, if your father have laptop, you will obviously try to learn it from your tender age, same way the new generation have expanded knowledge base to handle more homework! For more talks you can visit www.freemankpo.com
  • Aug 4 2011: I feel that each child should advance at their own rate (get rid of grade systems), and that way no child will be left behind. Not all kids are math whizzes nor into other subjects, so a testing system should be in place, that is given at certain points, to gage where a child's strengths lies & put them on that track. Not everyone needs higher math. Sports, while great for keeping a child fit, should NOT be a free pass on education. Kids lose a lot of what they learned in school over the summer months, so having a longer school yr. would help in that regard (2 wks. is plenty). Some subjects, in certain classes, should be retired also. Just my few thoughts on your question.