torsdag 7 november 2013

Why Mass Education Fails

                             The Swedish school system with a minimal canon for all students.

Everbody agrees that the Swedish school system does not work well, but nobody claims to understand why and to know what to do.

The principal goal of the Swedish school system is to secure that all students reach a certain minimal level as a minimal canon of Swedish and mathematics, and the big mystery why this goal shows to be so difficult to reach.

The question is why teaching simple arithmetics like 1/2 + 1/ 3 = 5/6 no longer works, when it worked so fine in the 1950s?

Let us seek an answer by first asking if knowledge and skill as the objective of schooling, has a different meaning in the IT-society of today than in the 1950s? A moment of reflection reveals:
  • Knowledge and skill may have a large value on the market, if it is not shared by everybody.
  • Knowldege and skill shared by everybody may have little value.
It is the uniqueness of some piece of knowledge and skill which makes it valuable. The more unique, potentially the more valuable, right? 

In the 1950s knowing how to  compute 1/2 + 1/3 represented unique competence carried by few which opened to few good jobs in the administration. But with mass education this no longer works because the competence is not unique at all (and everbody cannot be an administrator). 

We conclude that mass education giving all students the same minimal canon, may by the students be understood as an education of little value and thus of little interest. The more trivial such a mass education is made in order to get students through, the more will student motivation and interest drop and the education will end up in a vicious circle towards zero. This is what we are now observing.

We have now understood the basic problem or contradiction of the Swedish school system, and our minds are thus free to explore education offering 
  • variety of unique knowledge and skill to a variety of motivated students   
instead of as in the present system
  • the same minimal canon to all students. 
This means nothing but a revolution in education and it has already started powered by MOOC and web education.

The above analysis also shows the strong potential of the mathematiccs education reform program  BodyandSoul/MST as bringing unique knowledge and skill into the minimal canon of mathematics in standard engineering education.


1 kommentar:

  1. An interesting post, obviously with much thought and experience behind it. But the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley, and there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies. Not to mention, mass education does not fail, in and of itself. And understanding of a "variety of knowledge" over a "minimal canon", while necessary (there are ALWAYS more things, remember), is not the fundamental truth (since we are obviously not all here to learn the same things in this life, and do the same things)--the overarching meaningfulness of human experience, the spiritual reality above and encompassing the merely physical, and the ultimate reality of higher, spiritual designs over those we make from our limited physical perspective, is the key. In short, the eternal verities of spiritual enlightenment alone provide the proper foundation for all learning--or simply put, truth is where you find it (where the higher realm and purpose has placed you to find it, that part of it you most need), not where you try to make it. Everyone needs to learn that, and keep it in mind.