Even when a lot of progress has been made through the years in the science and technology areas, that can’t really be thanks to the educational systems in the western world. And I can say that not based on my school, but on research. I’m writing a pre-grade thesis (or whatever it is called) and part of it is looking through international researches relating the lack of math skills in students. You may foresee my readings included the educational system in general.
The education system is not working since a couple of decades ago. Not the way it’s supposed to, at least. Of course some get higher than others and reach college and farther away. Most don’t. That’s the problem.
The main reason I see of why this happens have been always that from elementary school we are taught about names. Not people’s names, but how to call knowledge. Teachers get too enthusiastic about teaching how you call math operations and the properties of it, than to actually teach you how to add, multiply or divide two numbers. Grown ups have problems multiplying, where’d that come from? Their schooling.
Is not the present system that’s not working. It’s the present system that hasn’t been changed in decades, that’s not working. Instead of focusing on the origin of knowledge, and to be able to develop thoughts, ideas and theories to reach such knowledge, we’re taught about what others thought first.
And it’s not so bad to learn Newton first realized about gravity because of a supposed falling apple and everything, but it’d be better to spend that time in developing children minds.
The human brain works like a super advanced computer. It has an amazing quality no one seems to understand. A normal machine can keep information and relate data as to understand to some point, all according to was it’s taught to understand. The human brain, as a super machine, not only is capable of storing information, but it’s able to improve “storage” capacity, processing capabilities.
We not only store knowledge, we can create knowledge (if we didn’t, where could we find it?). It’s said nature is the origin of all knowledge. It’s true: nature gives us an unsolved beautiful problem we try to solve through the years until we eventually get to solve it. Even being true the problems are given by nature, the name for the knowledge generated is given by humans, as so, we create knowledge at least on that way.
But we’re never taught to do so. We are taught we need to study to learn things. We’re never taught that just by observing we can learn something. It’s true humans have, since ancient times, stored knowledge in tons of writings. But curiously enough, our minds work better with “abstract” concepts created by ourselves than by books concepts.
To this day, can you tell me what is a number? Probably not. And still, you use them in numerous ways.