TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

An education system built on psychology and the cultivation of innate strengths and interests - with a focus on philosophy

Imagine a school system based on psychology and the cultivation of personal strengths. Where psychology and philosophy are taught in grade school.

It's obvious today that our public education system is outdated and not conducive to creating the best possible society we could strive for. While public education has seen large overhauls since industrialism in the form of standardization and universal compulsory education, the time is overdue for a new renaissance in pedagogy.

How is it that while some children easily receive straight A's while others barely get by with C's, and many drop out all together? There are two reasons I see:

1: Lack of proper cultivation due to familial/social disadvantage
2. Lack of how conducive our pedagogical system is to their personality types.

The first is proven by statistics that a privileged background produces higher likelihood of scholarly success, and the second is proven by the many people who couldn't connect with their studies and yet went on to become self-actualized and successful, like Richard Branson. (His success is DESPITE his education, not because of it!). So, even privilege aside, this is an indication that our current system is perfectly fit for some (the straight A students) and that there COULD hypothetically be a "perfect fit" for someone like a Richard Branson.

So, shouldn't we update the way we look at education? The first proposal is the widespread implementation of psychology. Imagine that as children we are tested according to Jungian personality types, as well as their personal skills and interest sets to determine their greatest potentials. Children and teachers would be put into their respective programs that cultivate the best 'scientific' combination of personalities and skills for maximum realization of potential and self confidence. Also, by teaching philosophy and psychology to children, we will develop more moral and intelligent people. Mental health, confidence, self-actualization


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 29 2012: Bucky Fuller: "Buckminster Fuller attended Milton Academy in Massachusetts, and after that began studying at Harvard University. He was expelled from Harvard twice: first for spending all his money partying with a vaudeville troupe, and then, after having been readmitted, for his "irresponsibility and lack of interest.""

    Albert Einstein: "His father intended for him to pursue electrical engineering, but Einstein clashed with authorities and resented the school's regimen and teaching method. He later wrote that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning."

    Jacque Fresco: "Precocious as a child, Fresco's interests did not pertain to the topics presented to him at school. Unwilling, or unable, to conform with the setting of formal education, he sought a self-directed education throughout his later teen years.Fresco spent many days of his youth at the local library."

    Steve Jobs: "Following high school graduation in 1972, Jobs enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Although he dropped out after only one semester, he continued auditing classes at Reed, while sleeping on the floor in friends' rooms, returning Coke bottles for food money, and getting weekly free meals at the local Hare Krishna temple."

    So YES! The educational system is completely unnatural and if you ask me or specialists in this field they will say that it inhibits real expansive growing and kills curiosity, creativity, self trust and conditons humans towards authority, conformity and blindly listening.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.