The industrial revolution of 1760 which started in Great Britain, bring the biggest change in the education system worldwide. With both the parents in practically the entire country having to work in factories to make a living, educating the child became the responsibility of anti her to not-in-existence institution, the school. With an area in the neighbourhood earmarked for a building with a playground, a canteen and dorms, the first schools came into existence. Responsible people from the neighbourhood became instructors who would later teach set subjects in set patterns from books written by persons of certain eminence and experience in the subject.
The biggest set of changes this brought to education was the clinical standardization of education for the masses with zero emotional content in any of the subjects. With time, things settled down, methodologies formed, essential changes brought in, and in some cases, big changes followed. But when an overview is taken, especially in today’s context, modern education does seem to have brought vast shifts in worldwide value systems, some including those mentioned below.
Emphasis on making hard-boiled professionals instead of great humans
Worldwide, the emphasis in modern education is to bring forward trained and capable humans who can bring profits and growth to enterprise and at the same time earn handsomely for himself/ herself for self-preservation and growth with an expectation that this order be continued for ever! The entire educational system is essentially good at generating great robots than great humans with just as much emotionality, warmth and rationality, respect and commitments. Or the lack of it.
Loss of respect for relations, instead friendship towards those who matter
Like the latest in technology called IoT, an order in which connected machines communicate within themselves to find out who can provide what, when and how, the children of today communicate among peers to find out who among those around can satisfy their immediate materialistic and emotional needs. The essential growth as humans is slowly disappearing as sensual pleasures seem more important and are easily available everywhere, Respect for good, stable, meaningful, wholesome relations which make us great humans is slowly reducing with the onslaught of machine-like thinking.
Materialistic instead of being humanistic
Take for example an accident on the road. It’s not purely out of fear of judicial and police action that people stay away. Part of it also comes from this feeling that it’s someone else’s problem to solve. The same can be juxtaposed with a school and educational environment with chilling effect. For instance, if a peer in the class-room is slower than the rest, how many care to get involved? Not many. In some cases, none. For the simple reason that this action won’t get them instant gratification which is the case with other activities!
Learning using gadgets instead of actually stepping into the field
If there is one enduring idea of the day, it’s the ipad, one of Apple Inc most enduring of products. Tucked under an arm, most students go about hopping from one class to the other. And the day they don’t have it is pure mayhem! Nothing seems to work and the world seems to have come to an end! And what exactly is an iPad in the vastness of life? Just another gadget which helps us stay connected to the internet. As for the internet, it’s the lazy boy’s best friend who helps do everything like research, educate, think, analyse everything. Other than live! Yes, gadgets are great to learn but not greater than the actual learnings of the world outside which is slowly getting neglected because kids are getting used to gadgets which in some cases schools themselves prescribe! We thus don’t value the real world but what comes to us in a prepared form from sources like the internet!
Learning all about technologies, the future etc. with no emphasis on the past, on emotional & spirituality growth
The values of today any for some time to come has more to do with bone-dry subject like technology, robotics, machine leaning, AI, and of course, high ROI! Being interconnected, they talk dispassionately about growth in a dehumanized setting where machines matter more than humans. What we seem to be forgetting is that we are humans with values which need to be nurtured. Human values get nurtured over generations and centuries and don’t take place overnight unlike machines where the effect become visible in matter of seconds.
In the past, education involved learning from whatever happened in the past. History and its learning meant a lot. Not anymore. History and its learning are neglected in favour of studying how colonizing Mars is important to propagate business and human existence into the future!
The west is best. Whatever happened at home doesn’t matter and is not all that great
Great knowledge about a whole load of subjects has been derived worldwide. Even the smallest and seemingly most insignificant of island far out in the Pacific would have something of value for the whole of humanity and needs to be preserved and propagated. It’s form many not seem appealing initially due to our set ideas of what is good and what is not. But, it preserved it must be. In most cases it isn’t because we are too used to whatever knowledge is dropped down on us from the west, of a vast majority of which could well be completely out of sync with the rest of the world! One prime example of this could be medicines which practically every part of the world has developed for itself in the past from locally derived knowledge best suited to those conditions and circumstances but which never-the-less will die a slow death given the push for factory-made medicines in the west!