“Tell me and I forget.
Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.”
A great deal of childhood is spent sitting in lectures. A thought that piqued my mind, is all that time spent wisely? After a quick call to a lot of individuals that I know I came to the conclusion that the answer is Yes and a No.
Schooling was quite important from my perspective. Elementary knowledge of languages, math, and basic science helps us grasp things in the real world. To learn anything complex these are the unquoted prerequisites. Elementary knowledge helps us make sense of the world around us.
Higher education or graduation helps us specialise into a particular domain. The domain is how we all are recognised in society. Engineers/Doctors etc. Now speaking purely from experience a lot this knowledge gained during the years of graduation & post-graduation has kind of gone down the drain. We maybe use say 20% of it in the real world. This poses a real threat to all education institutes catering to Higher education courses. As we spend almost 4-6 years in this entire cycle. That is an awful lot of time without any exposure to the outside world. These are the peak years where the brain is growing from an adolescent stage to a mature stage.
Skipping the higher education stage completely is also not one of the wisest options. As at that age you do not exactly know enough to pick up on something.
An alternative approach to this would be to have a liberal arts course for a year that helps a student understand the basics of any advanced course. This means he/she gets to choose from fields of history/arts/engineering/psychology and many more. This forms a base for the selection of a domain that actually is an aggregation of two more fields the student is interested in.
The ideal next step is to directly apply for a job or have a start-up into an industry that caters to the selected domain. This would let the student directly work on actual problems in that domain. The student would actually learn on the job. Companies, therefore, should have specialised units just helping these young people get hands-on experience in that industry. This is commonly called the Apprenticeship.
The alternative approach tries to remove all the non-contextual knowledge gained throughout the education process. Any individual tends to forget things that are not being used daily in their profession. Imagine an experienced software engineer being asked a simple question about chemistry. It is going to be difficult for them to answer not because they don’t know it. It is because their brain has shifted that portion of knowledge to the non-essential part of the brain. So why waste brain power by learning something that you will in the end not use or forget.