Is Adult Education Broken?
Adult education has become undervalued in an overpriced educational infrastructure.
The people who need the most help are already systematically ripped off by greedy loan companies, NHS parking, having to pay charges for drawing out their own money from private ATM machines in poorer boroughs, pre-paid electric meter’s to name but a few.
The more you seem to need help the more you seem to have to pay.
Off course, the arguments are always about risk, but to compound on top of their needs, a premium, just to make sure the risk is compensated for is questionable indeed. But another kind of ripping off is taking place. ‘Free online education’ you may ask ‘why is this a rip-off people”? I will answer this from my perspective initially and then make further arguments as to why we should be very concerned about this un-policed, unchallenged butchery of the values originally infused into our adult educational system.
As Isaac Asimov—a master of science fiction literature—once said:
“No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is but the world as it will be.”
So the big Question is – What has happened?
Why have these large institutions priced education out of some fundamental principles?
Why on the other spectrum are all these free courses flooded the market?
How can we make the new economic age enhance, rather than diminish, our quality of learning?
How can we make this amazing innovation advance the prospects of all people especially those with or without experience and not just for the youth?
It is clear that at this moment most educational systems are not keeping pace with changing technology and the ever-evolving world of work.
Not enough people are thinking strategically enough in this area. Fundamentally, we need to change what people learn, how people learn, when people learn, and even why people learn.
We must get beyond the traditional model of students sitting passively in classrooms, following instructions and memorising material that they are tested and scored on which sometimes turn out to be of little use in an every changing economy.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Darwin
Throughout the ages, every human society has experienced challenges adjusting to population growth, maintaining structural order and creating channels for future generations. How well a society prepares the next generation for survival is imperative for the society as a whole but we have stalled in this process.
There seems to be a range of systemic failures such as
: failure to find a formula to develop teachers convergent and divergent
Diane Shawe Author states that “the traditional belief that we must prepare ourselves to be ‘employable’ is under threat. The counter argument encourages us to ‘gear up’ for earning our own money, rather than seeing income as someone else’s responsibility”
With the population dramatically aging and low-level jobs increasingly swallowed up by machinery, entrepreneurship will be a necessity for many, rather than a lifestyle choice for some.
SMEs are of course already leading this charge but in order to gear up for the future we need to start off by asking a serious question, defining criteria’s and examining trends, impact these trends will have and plan a way to jointly prepare current and future generations to be both employable and entrepreneurial.
We are living in a new economy—powered by technology, fueled by information, and driven by knowledge. And we are entering the new century with an opportunity on our side but huge problems that require new thinking.