Non-academic education [Part 2]

So many things to learn, so little time in school. What can we do differently?

Non-academic education [Part 2]

Last weekend, I had with me Azima, Saf, and Racheal for a Sunday morning get-together, continuing our topic on non-academic education.

We realised that it may not be about being offered more subjects in school to help us with adulting.   Rather than diversifying the 'what', it is more about the 'how' that we wished were different.  Saf mentioned her wish to have been given more opportunities to discover stuff on her own, while Azima wished curriculum and co-curricular activities were stitched together better.  Racheal shared that although she thinks subjects that were offered in school are sufficient, she questioned the introduction of skills in school and the approach to learning of subjects in school.

We got to discussing about the appreciation of the subjects we learn through the passion our teachers showed for their subject-matter.  Rach mentioned that perhaps we have not been given the chance to delve deeper in each subjects.  Each subject can actually include a lot of skills and cross-curricular learnings that can be imparted during learning, but will require effort or modelling from teachers.  There are a lot of connections that can be made with real life applications and relate to what we do in adulthood.

How can more teachers share wonders of their subject-matter with learners? There's so much learning each subject can already offer actually!

What are the opinions we have for how learning can be done better then?

Encouraging discovery in learning is thought to be key in promoting curiosity and ownership in learning.  Many of us are not taught to question more. We were usually taught to accept and answer stuff towards getting good grades in exams instead.  What we need is actually to be courageous enough to question or voice out our thoughts and opinions.

Perhaps reducing teacher:student ratio will help individualised learning better.

Peers are also essential in catalysing your interests or balancing the range of fields we are learning. We learn from one another as much as we learn when we are exploring alone.  Peer pressure, if 'injected' well, can increase intrinsic motivation to learn or perform better.  Perhaps if peer influence or collaboration were emphasised more in school during lessons, it may have helped in adults working in teams at work.

Saf was mentioning the innate human need to control stuff.  However, when we put a framework or a standard towards things, it boxes us towards an expected outcome or goal.  The delivery will also be scoped towards answering the goal.  What if we forego the whole concept of an education system and be more flexible and free-er in how learning is imparted? Everything can be learning!  Azima chimed in on how we can still keep to the learning scope but open up different ways of assessing learning instead.

The common goal of education is towards driving the economy of the nation.

Another point Azima mentioned is to suspend judgment against which field is more important or higher in status. It is not sciences are better than arts.  It is not academics versus co-curricular activities.  All are equally crucial in life. The world will need all these fields of knowledge and skills to function.  Rach added that the culture and the focus on economy of a nation also affects how people view different career pathways.  There are nations that puts equal status in vocational courses as the sciences, and others that encourages artisanal paths and becoming protégés to be masters of their crafts.

Simple doesn't mean useless.  You're just not buying into the hustle culture. ~Racheal

Now what?

If culture effects learning and economy drives education, it is just going to take a lot of patience and the power of one to slowly evolve learning.  We are already constantly transitioning and evolving.  Collective effort will change culture and economy.  I guess what we can do now is just celebrate diversity, live, be happy.

Start with ourselves. Embrace organised chaos.  Que sera sera.  

Watch or listen to our rambles to get a feel of our thoughts, and comment if you can relate or think otherwise.

p/s: Any organisation or people named in this podcast are solely train of thoughts of the speakers and we mean no harm to anyone or anything associated with it. =P