Limitations of our Education System - Part 2 - MOC framework

Read part 1 here -

How then we start developing MOC - memory, observation and curiosity - as part of the education system?

Stage 1 - Social Learning - Age 3 to 9
As with the Montessori system, the first phase of education should only be encouraging play - that is out of classroom activities that are in-tune with what we know about our biological evolution. The sole objective of these outdoor activities is improve observation, enhance questioning skills, inculcate passionate curiosity something that is already inherent in young children. The regular curriculum is merged here giving them role play lessons on understanding the world we live in. These role play lessons aren't book oriented and also take into account that parents are equal participants in this education and their participation isn't limited to supporting the children with their homework. Rather than participating passively - parents, grandparents, siblings - all are involved in varying degrees for the first phase of education i.e. Age 3 to Age 9. Stage 1 is called social learning. This stage also includes language learning where the child is exposed to learning at least 2 to 3 languages that are different from their native languages. So if the native language is from Indo-European/Germanic descent the goal would be to include the other 2 languages that are from a different language family Sino-Tibetan or Afro-Asiatic. The intention here is to enhance the language learning skills so that the child develops the ability to quickly learn new languages and develop a bigger picture of the world. As shown in various researches people think in the language they speak most fluently so if the objective is comprehensive learning the focus should be on learning languages that have a different structure.

Stage 2 - Memory training and curriculum education - Age 9 to 15
At this stage the child will use the 6 year observation, curiosity and social learning to get deeper into the world. This is where the current curriculum based education comes into picture - science, math, history, geography, languages, religions studies. The first phase of stage 2 will focus on intense memory training with the students being trained on the best known memory techniques so that it becomes impossible to forget even with little bit of effort. There are several ancient and modern memory systems that are vital to create a strong intelligent individual. This stage lasts for 6 years and is equivalent to middle school in contemporary systems. 40% focus on memory training - 50% focus on curriculum education including physical education, health and nutrition - 10% focus on vocational training - basic skills that are necessary for making immediate income - they might be academic in nature such as accounting, computer programming, designing or trade focused such as carpentry, painting, plumbing, cooking etc. 

Stage 3 -  Timeout - 6 months
At the end of the stage 2, the student is given a 6 month sabbatical to explore the different fields of study, travel as part of school groups, work as an intern or support, do community service and have a chance to develop a world view that they will use to understand the domains of interest. By this time the student should have photographic memory, intense observational skills and a passionate curiosity - the core evolutionary MOC attributes. For students who are more academically inclined or have demonstrated skills and passion in a discipline will have an option to pursue the timeout with an emphasis on these skills. So an artist will pursue art studio internship rather than working with a chef. Travel however will be a mandatory part of this stage  and stepping out of the home zone a necessary requirement. The ideal situation will be If the travel can be made to intersect with passion or skill in a specific domain. So if a student is interested in programming they should have the opportunity to work as an intern in a location or for a company that is culturally and linguistically different from their own. 

Stage 4 - Age 16 onward - Apprenticeship or Institutionalization 
What is more valuable the institution or the teacher? Think about it. Would Richard Feynman be any different if he taught at a school? How many times did he change the institution he represented? Does it matter? 
The biggest issue with our current system is that the institutions have diluted the appeal of teachers over the years. The best people not only join the best companies because they are the best but also because it gives them 3 freedoms - first good companies pay well, second they offer credibility/brand that can be used to future proof their lives, thirdly they promise security. So its a win-win situation. But while smart employees can easily switch companies and establish another companies that might even turn out to be bigger and more successful than their ex-employers, establishing an educational institution based solely on one teacher's credibility is much more difficult. The older the institution more involved it is in the alumni network effect and more similar to a religious institution that stretches out its influence across diverse pools of power. 
The reason for this is that there is no way for a very smart and capable professor to be adequately compensated for his effort or to market himself without being associated with an institution. Keep in mind I am not talking about academic researchers or scientists here, I am talking about people who are at least as passionate about teaching as they are about research. 
But virtual learning is changing this. As long as you are a great teacher who has good experience if you want to you can now give your lessons on learning platforms and websites and be compensated for that. Masterclass, Coursera, LinkedIn learning and many other websites will soon start providing alternatives to curriculum based education. 
Once that happens it will become easier for people to move to the age-old apprenticeship model that was responsible for the key contributions to mankind - in art, music, science, governance and many more. This will also usher in an era of (build your own) custom curriculum modules that some universities have also started offering at an undergraduate level. The idea is that they have realized that it is not possible to expect 17 year old to know exactly what they want to do with their lives. It was much easier earlier when there were limited professions, less innovation and clear job stream but its much more difficult now. The basic knowledge or the general professional knowledge is easily available now and finding different career trajectories is not difficult due to internet with a bit of research. But what's required even more is guidance. A direction. Some experimentation. This is missing. What we have instead are long term commitments - time and money. Generic capability assessments - SATs, competitive exams in countries like India where there are limited number of seats and most of the graduates from top technical colleges end up working in non-engineering fields. 
What is missing is the freedom to explore your passion, freedom to fail and the hence the lack of self knowledge that comes with this journey. When institutions take over learning , schooling takes over education. What we get are specialized drones that think in templates. Don't you think we are missing Da vinci's , Einsteins, Mozarts in this era while they were so abundant in every other century? Rather what we look up to are not scientists, inventors, artists or musicians but businessmen whose primary goal is to make money developing shallow experiences that are forgotten as fast as they go viral. The intention is to have temporary satisfaction as the creation isn't coming from an intense self awareness but through a misunderstood passion. This is an area where apprenticeship can help those who are self critical, open minded, passionate and gifted. Others may choose institutionalization and come back to apprenticeship once they have kindled their fire. 
Another key aspect here is an understanding that age as a factor should be removed from consideration when we speak about education. Anyone no matter what age should be free to apprentice at the discretion of the teacher or be free to enroll in the same classes under the same curriculum as other students in an institution. 


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