Do we have an education system that befits the interconnected world in which we now live?

Our education system is geared towards learning facts, whereby a teacher “transmits” knowledge to students.  Much less attention is given to the types of values (including moral values) that are required in a civilised society; and also to particular cognitive skills, including the analysis of information for some purpose.

But some experts argue that our education system has proven unable to evolve quickly enough to make itself relevant to today’s world.  In years gone by, learning what our parents learned was probably sufficient for a society that was not transforming that rapidly.  But there is a strong argument that today’s society is changing so quickly that we need to continuously question what we are teaching our children and young adults.  Most notably, technological advances – and the internet in particular – lead to questions of whether our knowledge-cramming education system is relevant any longer.  Consider, for example, the existence of Wikipedia – a vast online encyclopaedia.  What are the implications for this remarkable information source for education?  On the whole, students need to learn fewer facts but what they truly need to learn is how to access, evaluate, and analyse these facts.

Complex networks teach us that society is in a constant state of flux – it never reaches any form of steady, unchanging state.  As a result, what we need to learn also needs to change.


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