At the outset of the Industrial Revolution, the education system was efficient and practical. The industries needed huge numbers of people to come in, work for cheap, and follow directions. No questions, no excuses, no innovation. I call this The Old Machine, and these people were the cogs that made it run. The education system was efficient because it taught people to memorize information, follow instructions, and speak when spoken to. It manufactured cogs.
But The Old Machine is rusted and mostly abandoned. This is a good thing, if we embrace it.
The New Machine is decentralized, mobile, and flexible. It doesn’t need cogs, it needs innovative minds. And it rewards these innovative minds graciously. The New Machine replaced inefficient newspapers with millions of adaptive blogs. It replaced TV with Hulu. Some large companies get it (Google) and others don’t (Microsoft). The old machines are wondering why they are losing value when they didn’t change. Of course that’s the problem.
If you don’t adapt, you’ll lose. It’s evolution on a smaller scale. The education system has realized they are losing, but their answer is to try harder. Stuff more useless information into children’s minds, cancel music classes to make room and budget for more math classes, focus more time on passing standardized tests. It’s time to quit working harder, and start working smarter. It’s time to adapt to The New Machine.