Month: December 2010

Education Vs. Passion

Posted December 18, 2010 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Education / 10 Comments

For the past year I’ve been receiving an education, but not in the  conventional sense. I don’t believe education starts and ends in the classroom. It can be a never ending process and it really depends on the person’s willingness to learn new things. When I’m talking about education, I believe there are multiple ways to become educated and that’s why, if people are willing and open to learning new things, we will learn.

I’m only new to the possibility of learning new things; and if you have been following my blog for a while you would notice the evolution involved. I started with Culture, then there was literature, writing, art, philosophy and now I’m talking about education. I believe that when you discover your God-given talent and develop a passion for it, interesting things happen. I would have never expected to develop an interest in education but I think that came with developing an interest in learning and discovering passion.

Picasso famously said “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” The harsh truth of this statement is that we have lost the ability to try and be creative; we are taught from an early stage in life that failure is bad and we grow up always thinking that. Sir Ken Robinson said it best when he said; “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” Along time ago I read a book called Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John Maxwell, in which it discussed how failing is not a bad thing; it is how to move of from failure, ultimately failing moulds us into the people we are today.

I’ve only just started reading this fascinating book by Sir Ken Robinson called The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything; in which he talks about the importance of passion in life and how it can affect every aspect from job satisfaction, creativity and even education. But before reading the book I just wanted to write some of my views and I may talk more about this later.

Public Education (or from what I remember) is so standardised that it could almost be viewed as a conveyer belt in a manufacture line and we are just churning out the same information to every student and expecting the same results. I know I had this problem at school and I never really did well. When it came to go to university I just didn’t feel it was right for me then, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted.

Public Education Hierarchy doesn’t help the students; we shouldn’t be telling the kids that some subjects are more important than others. While it is important that some subjects are essential for every student we need to get out of the habit of making some subjects inferior to others. The hierarchy I believe is;

  • Math, Science and Languages
  • Humanities
  • Arts

Parents and Educators need to be careful not to step on any students’ dreams.  There are no wrong answers when it comes to dreams and passion. Parents and teachers seem to be more concerned with what job the student will end up with; the ability to make lots of money shouldn’t be more important than job satisfaction. There is no reason a person should have their dreams squashed; we don’t know what the future would be like so we can’t predict how the students will thrive in that situation.

An education doesn’t begin and end in the classroom. A lot of people have been educated in unconventional ways; my education is self education at the moment; people learn in different ways so education needs to be adapted to the person.

Discovery of Natural Talent is not the sole role of the person. While they need to learn to look inwardly and get to know themselves, they also need to learn to try new things. The people around them can help by doing simple things like providing encouragement. How much happier in your job would you be if the boss could see what you’re passionate about and found something in that field that could be added to your job description? What about if a teacher discovered that you are doing really well in a certain subject and they encouraged you further into the study of this topic? Or if your parents could see your passion and they sent you to a school that does well in that field?

I could probably continue on about Education and finding that spark in life that makes you happy, but this was more of a chance to get some thoughts down before I study this topic further. I know not all schools are standardising education and I know education reform has been a big focus all around the world. I just wanted to express some aspects that I’ve noticed from education that may be squashing people’s ability to be creative or to find joy in life. I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.