3 ingredients for a better education system: Passion. Consistency. Personalization

How can people expect kids to grow up to become unique individuals when the system they are taught in treats them all the same? They say high school is the place where you “discover yourself.” However (with all due respect to the all-knowing “they”) it’s difficult for students to stand out and uncover their uniqueness when our universal system unknowingly encourages ordinary, instead of pushing for extraordinary.

Passing has become the main concern of today’s education. Most often, students are simply looking for a way to get by. School is a place for learning, but I bet that the number of kids who actually come to school to learn is a very small amount.

I myself am no stranger to this statement. I’m sorry to say that there are rare instances in school where I have been genuinely interested in the topic of learning—but when they do coincidentally occur, they are beautiful moments. Shouldn’t this be happening every day? Why do we waste eight hours in a building to achieve random spurts of ingenuity and passion, when our light bulbs of knowledge should be glowing continually? Our brains need to be constantly nurtured to reach their full potentials, and this means education goes beyond the classroom.

Education is defined in Dictionary.com as, “the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.”

Obviously, education is so much more than wooden desks, white boards, boring lectures, A’s and F’s; and it’s about time we adhered to the word’s original definition.

Perhaps this lack of curiosity would change if individuals were given more attention, with better designed learning plans specifically geared towards them. This may seem impossible with a growing population of students and fewer teachers, but we have technology on our side.

Time Magazine recently published an article, A is for Adaptive, on Knewton—a company hoping to radically change the education system with personalized learning for each student.

According to Knewton’s CEO, Jose Ferriera, “some kids just through sheer luck happen to be better fits for that system, and other kids….are not.”

This idea of “one size fits all” is extremely outdated, calling for more personalization. If students are given patience and attention, through the technologies of companies such as Khan Academy and Knewton, educators will be rewarded with more passionate and consistent learners.

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