All of educational reform I have come across has mostly been on advancing the industrial model of education, it rather shouldn’t be. I would compare such effort to how some people go about dieting. They are in it, but it doesn’t produce the result and that is because they are using the wrong mindset and approach.
The industrial model treats the learner as a thing, a tool, an object, a robot, and many other words that depicts its insensitivity to the HUMAN. If learners are not ENGAGED in the learning process, then they are not regarded. And what we know is that students don’t enjoy school anymore. Let’s do away with truancy and laziness, the same child who couldn’t focus in school spends hours doing something else with energy and dedication. Where we make the mistake is not to see that whether that activity is considered worthy or not; every one needs to be engaged with something natural to them. They need it for fulfilment; it’s their own way of expressing their life.
To be stereotype about what counts as a relevant occupation is danger to the human. Education according to the industrial model has a good intention, but also it is not without loop holes. The loop hole of the industrial model is that it only wants to prepare students for the need of the time.
As much as it is necessary to educate for the times, it is more important to educate the HUMAN, and then prepare him for the time. The difference is that one considers what the system or the society needs, and then train the people for it. The other says; let’s discover the gem in this human, and then we can nurture and grow it for relevance to the needs of this time or the times in his sphere of influence.
What the industrial model does is that it conform everybody to the same menu regardless of WHO they originally are; any one who does not thrive in it would be batched out.
The solution would be to focus on the TALENTS, CREATIVITY and ORIGINALITY of the human.
THE HUMAN RESOURCE MODEL
In all parts of the world, that so called intangible capital is the most valuable resource of advanced economics, without which the natural endowments of nations ‘their financial power and fixed capital’ will become dwindling resources. No nation can nowadays claim to have achieved a high quality of growth if elements of its human potential remain untapped or under-used.
My view of educational reform is to first regard human talents and creativity. Every human and I mean every human- is born with creative capacities of some kind. What however happens is that as we grow from suckling to adolescent, we get structured out of it.
The problem is that society has standards, curriculum, yard sticks, and many words that characterise regulations and boundaries. Whatever does not fit in is tagged abnormal.
What is proposed in this article is not to give way to freelance exuberances, no! But rather to be open-minded to more human possibilities, to human diversity, all that backed up with a readiness to equip them for relevance.
Let us redefine what we call failure, misbehaving, not-academic, lack of focus, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and so on.
What I have found is that in following the industrial model, we do not give any chance for failure; it is stigmatized and tagged a taboo. I do not support it too, but as Sir Ken Robinson rightly said; “if you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original”
It was not reasonable for anyone to think of flying, not until it was actualized by the Wright brother. The photocopier we have today was reasonably explained by IBM experts that it was not feasible.
Our school curriculum does not like mistakes. What about if we begin to define mistakes as feed backs; an indication of how it is not to be done again. What if teachers facilitate this mindset in students, that school grades and test result are all extrinsic values and not intrinsic values? That failing does not make any one a failure; it’s just an event and not a nature. I believe that when this mindset is facilitated in students, they would be motivated to perform better. School is for learners not experts.
I believe that it is good practice to tell our students that we each have our own individual neurological strengths and weaknesses. Feel free to use your own results as an example, explaining that you do not expect everyone to be perfect in every area. These messages will help students see that you are on their side. They will be grateful that you understand them enough to assign projects and assignments in their area of strength, and they will be relieved to know it is okay to learn the way they most enjoy learning. ~ Diane Connell, Ph.D.
Human resources are like natural resources, for many it is buried deep within, and it is the responsibility of parents and educators to find it out. Mining the minds of students should be the goal according to the human resource model.