Raising awareness of the necessity for continuous education
Both in the professional and the personal contexts our lives, performance is greatly influenced by the manner in which we perceive ourselves: the roles we have been attributed, the tasks we undertake, the levels on which we interact with others.
The issue of how to develop ourselves in order to improve our lives, in general, is an extremely vast area of research and can be dealt with from multiple perspectives. The following article, though, focuses especially on the limits imposed onto us firstly by the manner in which educational content is delivered and, secondly, by the sometimes flawed attitude through which we perceive these processes.
A flawed system
The issues raised by education today, as Sir Ken Robinson, author and educator, explains, is not related to the content that is delivered. The fault stands in the manner in which this content is transmitted, no matter the age of its receiver.
In all of his TED Talks, Sir Robinson repeatedly stresses how the way in which education is delivered today, both in schools and in companies or other environments. According to him, this type of education slowly suffocates our creative personalities and our innate curiosity towards gaining new knowledge.
The problem with educational content delivery methods is not, however, one-sided. Its flaws are generated by content providers, the teachers, as well as by its beneficiaries, the learners. The former generally teach by means of standardization and omit that the learners do not function by the same rhythms and they do not learn in the same manner. The latter, on the other hand, overview the purpose for which they undergo educational programs and refuse to cooperate, to be implicated and, thus, to benefit from the full potential that these experiences carry.
The result, for learners, is completely unproductive and it explains why so many employees consider trainings a waste of time. A rather comic, but pertinent comparison offered by Sir Robinson is that going through a learning process without achieving anything is the same as being on a diet without losing any weight.
Altering a faulty mentality
Although we cannot always control the manner in which educational content is delivered to us, what we can change is our perspective and how we relate to such experiences, when they arise. Education is not a mechanic system but a human one, according to the same author mentioned above. What this translates into is that, no matter what content is being delivered, the people on both sides of the process have the greater responsibilities over what that content becomes: either valuable information which, ultimately, improves ourselves and hence, our performance, or just a considerable volume of information which will be forgotten within a week or so.
We, as human beings, are naturally curious, creative and with different individualities. Ideal education should stimulate all these characteristics in each and every one of us. When it doesn’t, the blame must not be thrown directly on the flawed system, because we are a part of that system. If we change our perspective towards education and its benefits, further changes might follow suite.
However, remaining in a permanent state of complacency with our level of education is no longer a solution appropriate for the times we are living in today. The generations that now have approximately 10 years of experience within the workforce are considered knowledge workers. They permanently seek to improve themselves through education, to become increasingly aware of the multiple aspects and details of their existence and to become, overall, better versions of themselves.
Ultimately, how we live our lives is our own responsibility. However, thinking that the way we are, as adults, is the way we will remain for the rest of our lives is nothing more than a method of deceit. People can change, improve and, ultimately, become the better versions of themselves, that version that they imagine to become. The way we relate to our educational experiences is our own responsibility.
- Robinson, K. (2013), How to escape education’s Death Valley, TED Talks
- Drucker, P. (2001) Management for the 21st century