Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Education should be about life challenges
I always notice how much life is just about overcoming challenges. Job interviews, tight deadlines, money troubles. The list goes on.
If education is supposed to prepare us for life and work then it would help to deliver each lesson as a response to a challenge or set of challenges. At the end of the lesson you've learnt and hopefully applied and experienced a few responses. You may not actually overcome the challenge, that's part of life too, but you've gone through a discovery process. Over a few lessons you then discover a solution to the challenge and then begin to refine it.
Ideally you'd now have basic records of how you've attempted to and eventually solved the problem. Just like at work when a customer needs to see value for money. The solution often looks simple but figuring it out was a challenge. Conveying that is a challenge in itself that's worth learning
By framing this learning as a challenge, discovery, response process you then get to examine through challenges. Each question is effectively a challenge and you use the skills you've learnt to find some kind of solution. The quality of which can be judged.
This can still be an essay it's just that the question is the challenge and how well you answer is your response.
I think education already does this but the message gets lost. The value of the journey to discovering the best response and understanding how to make best use of your assets isn't assessed and valued as much as the answer itself.
In real life, the best solution doesn't always win. It's often the one others can understand and use.