You are on page 1of 2

Where is our Education System Going? Holly J.

Shannon

The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards; and curiosity itself can be vivid and wholesome only in proportion as the mind is contented and happy. France, A. (1924). The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard. In L. Hearn, The Works of Anatole France (p. 198. Part 2, Chapter 4, June 6, 1860).

Anatole France knew what he was talking about back then. Today, it is clear that the art of teaching face to face is becoming a thing of the past. Teachers are becoming babysitters and computers are becoming teachers. In the early days of education, teachers took that position as the most serious of jobs. Discipline and book learning went hand in hand. Parenting was different as well. Parents took responsibility for their childrens education and made their presence and will known to their child. At 50, I am an online student. For those of us who fail in the art of face to face communication, this is the way to go. The art of online etiquette is the first thing we learn. It is a great deal harder to communicate with no voice and no face and body expressions then one thinks. But this is not true for the up and coming generations. Today, children and adults alike receive the majority of their education from the creation of software and a screen much like a TV. Classroom learning with a blackboard, chalk, and a book is becoming a thing of the past. Communication between teacher and child is almost a forgotten technique. Is this changing world moving so fast that it has forgotten the importance of learning through human contact? I believe it has! Young children, as early as four have basic computer knowledge and can navigate a software program long before they can write their name on paper; they learn computer games as early as three but can read a simple story at four. My five year old grandson can recite the number of train wrecks in a given state. He can tell you the date, the conductors name, how many people were on the train and what caused the accident. What is the significance in this? The point is, the human brain has evolved. The generations coming up learn differently and require less human contact. Automation has become the next big learning tool. This type of learning places the responsibility completely on the person learning and children and young adults are taking control of their education.
1

Children are now learning at home from middle school through high school. The issues such as school safety and bullying are creating unsafe learning environments in many schools. Many parents are choosing to protect the very life and wellbeing of a child over comradeship and communication skills. No matter, todays children do not use their voice when they communicate. They use the sound of keys! They dont call their parents and talk with their voice; they use the text message system. They build friendships via Facebook and twitter. Employers are even relying on Facebook as a hiring tool to weed out unwanted behavior. As the world changes, the art of learning must also change. Children are learning at a much higher intellectual level and at a must faster rate. What they learn is becoming very focused at an early age. The up and coming generations no longer have tolerance for teachers and their egos. Children as young as ten are now discovering they have rights and those rights determine how, where, and by whom they will receive their education. As we shift into this new age of education there is one very important thing to remember. Children deserve and demand to be treated with respect. They deserve and demand the best we have to offer. They no longer believe they have to prove themselves to us. It is us who must prove to them how important they are to the very survival of the human race!