The first in a sponsored series on reading & education
Books on Education you ought to read
Monday, 15 June 2020
It is no secret that the current model of formal education is outdated, to say the least. First and foremost, the system is inherently a one-way street. There is barely an engagement between instructors and learners. A teacher will simply stand in front of the classroom, disseminate knowledge, whereas students merely absorb as much as anyone possibly can.
This broken system extends to the one-size-fits-all model. Research, over the years, has demonstrated the differences in learning capabilities thoroughly. Nevertheless, the education system has barely adjusted to the significant progress in our knowledge base. A bit ironic, don’t you think? Learners are still subjected to a linear path of progression that merely accommodates their individuality.
Educators have held various discourses. A lot more has been published. Revolving around the necessary reforms in our education system. In this article, we shall look at some of the written works that seek to aim to reinvent the model.
The Roving Mind: Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov was undoubtedly a visionary. His works on science fiction are a clear depiction of his futurist mind. The man, a prolific writer by all standards, contributed (in writing or editing) to more than 500 books. An impressive feat by any measure.
Asimov had a firm edifying stance on education. He believed that the existing model was shoving learning down learner’s guts. Neither did the model acknowledge the differences in the learners.
In his book, ‘The Roving Mind’, he captures the essence to nurture creative minds in our education systems right from the beginning. In his own words, he envisioned a system based and motivated by an innate sense of curiosity. Where people thirsted to explore and gain knowledge, by and for themselves.
The ‘Roving Mind’ comprises of 62 essays that range across various scientific topics. He intended to inspire more learners to take up and embrace the sciences. The pieces also have remarkably accurate predictions of what was Asimov’s future but our present. In just a single book, we can more than evidently see the significance of the freedom to think boundlessly and to stay curious. It, he believed, was the ideal foundation to nurture and educate creative minds.
The Element: Sir Ken Robinson
Sir. Ken Robinson is the man behind the most viewed Ted Talk, just as popular as the ‘write my essay’ service. His perspective on education and creativity captures the urgent need to reform (read revolutionize) the education system.
In ‘The Element’, he writes about the immense changes that finding your passion can inspire. In the book, he calls for the model to embrace the broad range of human abilities, as well as their creative skills. He sees the current system as rigid, one that continually fits learners in fixed boxes. Consequently, young minds are unable to grow thinking for themselves, much less exploring and pursuing their individual abilities and talents.
If you find this book compelling and visionary, you may also consider reading ‘Out of Our Minds’ by the same author. This book presents a thought-provoking breakdown of the value our education system imparts versus what would be ideal for the society.
Diyu: Anya Kamenetz
In this book, Anya Kamenetz takes a passionate and stern stance on the pitfalls of the current education system, particularly higher learning. The book is thoroughly researched. Hence, it demonstrates, with valid evidence, the tremendous obstacles that lie ahead of the path to educational reforms. It, furthermore, breaks down the failing nature of the education system, including the faulty economic model on which it is founded.
Nevertheless, Anya does offer a silver lining, despite the book coming off as alarmist to a degree. She outlines an ambitious model of education. One that is
- More open
- More engaging
- Personalized, and
- Accessible to all potential learners.
Nevertheless, Anya also provides a realistic perspective on the process of change. Ultimately, as we would all agree, change is inevitable.
The Uses of the University: Clark Kerr
In this book, Clark Kerr suggests that to understand what the future holds for formal education, we must, first of all, understand its past. He focuses on the societal roles that education played in society. This book compels educators to rethink the objectives of learning institutions.
Clark Kerr considered universities as living entities that played a significant role in our societies, culturally speaking. Hence, he looked at the possible challenges as well as plausible solutions.
Whichever mind you choose to pick, you are indeed looking into thoughtful and provocative reads. Have a good one!
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