Many of my friends are in, or have graduated from, the Faculty of Education. I guess that means that whether or not they become teachers, they have some interest in education, and indeed a vested interest in seeing education move forward. Yet I have often said that I don’t think the way we do things is right. I have wondered aloud to these friends that perhaps a move back to the old “master and apprentice” way of learning would be more appropriate! Today I came across these remarks from Bill Gates made back in February:
When we looked at the millions of students that our high schools are not preparing for higher education – and we looked at the damaging impact that has on their lives – we came to a painful conclusion:
America’s high schools are obsolete.
By obsolete, I don’t just mean that our high schools are broken, flawed, and under-funded – though a case could be made for every one of those points.
By obsolete, I mean that our high schools – even when they’re working exactly as designed – cannot teach our kids what they need to know today.
I’d say that’s a fair assessment. Almost since day one of my University career, I have thought there must be a better way to do this. After the first two years of University, Grade 11 and Grade 12 largely seemed like a waste of time. Or maybe not a waste of time, but an inefficient use of time. Maybe I’m just cynical, I don’t know. I know there are teachers who care, but there’s often not enough resources. And some of the things that students need, they don’t have the opportunity to obtain.
I don’t really have a suggestion for alternatives though either – I simply haven’t given it enough thought. I do know however, that I want my kids to have the best education possible. There’s so much that we could be doing in high schools that we aren’t.
Read: Bill & Melinda Gates