Inside out education: Why we need it

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I didn’t use trigonometry once, again

Another day and I didn’t use trigonometry once, again. Have you ever felt like most of what you were required to learn in school was completely useless and irrelevant to life? Maybe there were bits and pieces that were new, exciting, and interested you, but there were probably hours and hours you spent learning things, seemingly with no point. Why does it matter that I know the exact dates of the Hundred Years War? Just watch late night talk shows and you can see how much we retain of our learning… not much, to the point of comedy (tragic comedy for sure!) Some large, government entity has decided everything Americans need to know. The scope and sequence of the entirety, everything a person needs to know as an adult, has been agreed upon and reverse engineered, to be presented in annual packets. We created a system and structure to educate mass numbers of students in these classes and courses, pieces of information parsed out daily, weekly, monthly and yearly in a standardized way, tested, quantified and judged. Our educational system today is based on industrialized learning model, through externally defined systems. The system decides upon what we need to know, how to distribute the information to everyone so that we all have the same basic knowledge of how the world is. It is not a great system and certainly, people in charge of education are trying to make it better.

Can the Industrial Education Model be fixed

But can you really fix a system from within that system? Smarter people than I say no. This industrial model does not take into account the fact that we are each unique individuals with our own skills, interests, talents, dispositions, dreams… Thus, students who do not excel within the structure of our current model, are left behind, feeling as though they were lacking something. These students may feel like somehow, there was something wrong with them. As the total body of knowledge grows, it becomes impossible to acquire all of it, even at a basic level. Thus we see the growing mandate for specialization in today’s world. Because of this divergence of knowledge there is a demand for people to specialize in the areas of their greatest aptitude. In the workplace, we are finding teams of specialists collaborating on projects. Teamwork is essential. Departments of Education, researchers, examiners and statisticians study the problem and try to quantify learning into neat data points. They have been working on getting this industrial mass education model to produce people who are prepared to enter the world today, unsuccessfully.

Why Inside out Education is essential

It is evident that the educational paradigm of today is not producing students who are ready to take on today’s world. At a recent conference, Ocean IT proposed that we focus more on “how might we empower young people with skills and experiences so that they can create their own careers” That is why Inside Out Education is essential for today’s students.