Is it time to reform our education systems?
We are borne artists and scientists
When I was still at school I didn’t see the connection between the Arts and Sciences, now I believe these two elements of creativity and inquisitive reasoning are the most important, meaningful and enjoyable that natures gives us. Sadly, it seems we currently do a good job of ruining them instead of building on them.
With most things in life, it is easy to just go on doing what we always do, maybe making improvements as we see an opportunity or deliberately developing progressively, and that is generally an efficient way to go about business. But at some point it is often useful to take a really big step back, break away from the compromised mindset of the current and consider things from a blank sheet standpoint.
If we want to do something really meaningful and beneficial for the future, what better place to start than education.
The scientific method is the best way we have to make sense of things and find Truths. So I think it makes sense to use our natural inquisitiveness and the scientific method to learn about all subjects.
Science has proven countless times how good it is at helping humanity to advance though understanding by finding truths. As something so fundamental, if we are to start from the beginning then we really should be using it understand ourselves, our perceptions and perspective.
Key to this is learning the importance of Truth, as distinguished from perception or belief. Science tells us, we can only test and prove something is true when we can be sure that what we are seeing is not affected by things that might distort the outcome or our perception of it. And so we carefully remove these other factors or at the very least make sure we understand any effect they could be having first.
I don’t recall ever being in a class, either during science or another, and told how our perceptions and perspective lead us to believe things whether true or not and how we are wired with many built in biases and flaws in our perception. Yet if our perceptions are getting in the way without us even realising it how are we to have confidence in anything we learn and how we engage with the world. I am sure most of us have had moments of disbelief at the crazy things others believe in. We should then start to build an awareness of these flaws and biases from an early age, demonstrating why they can cause a problem and ways to avoid them. We also need distinguish people from their beliefs, to be able to challenge our own beliefs and those of others without treating them as something personal. Science hold the truth above all else and it is not personal.
Cumulative effect of biased decision making
Whilst we can’t expect to irradiate biases from decisions, if we all have common biases that we are largely blind to, then we should be very concerned about the cumulative effects from the biased behaviour of billions of people. Currently there is so much emphasis on rights of the individual that I believe we are becoming short-sighted to broader effects. In effect, more selfish. We must appreciate that all decisions we make, particularly those we regard as personal, have broader consequences. We must encourage informed decision making that is considerate of the broader picture and longer term effects. Rights of the individual are valuable objective but not at the expense of the many or the future. Otherwise we are merely behaving as parasites without even understanding the context of our motivations.
Creativity helps us to create meaning but it also helps us to find solutions to problems. In the scientific method we must think creatively to come up with a hypothesis and ways of testing that hypothesis. Creativity brings reward it purpose.
But it is directly weaked by fear of consequence like being wrong. We should always regard creative thinking above the remebering of facts.
We could save costs while making schooling more scalable by better through the use of shared resources instead of replicating efforts of teachers time and time again. This would help to use teachers time in a more optimal way. With teachers also acting as a feedback mechanism to improve the system. We just need to engage students from the outset by identifying the part of a big picture that they will be working on. I.E. how this subject is relevant in their life and use fun and engaging ways like practical work to fit theory to, not the other way around.
Elon Musk hits the nail on the head with his analogy of crap plays instead of blockbuster films.
The picture at the top of this article is often presented with a phrase stating “Just because you are right does not mean, I am wrong”. I think this says much about what is wrong with the approach adopted by many people. There cannot be two different truths and instead of trying to make everyone feel validated while fearing being wrong, we would do better to look for the meaning and the truth. The meaning would be the intended message in the number left by the person who put it there and the truth should be sought by looking for something that would indicate which way the number was meant to be read.