What do you see as the purpose of education? Why might innovation be crucial in education?
The purpose of education is to acquire knowledge and skills, make connections, and apply that knowledge to new situations.
A typical route to learning has been to take classes in subjects where the content is predetermined and the instructor’s goal is the transfer of information. What one does with the knowledge gained from there can vary from life changing to something that is done to check off a necessary box. There seems to be a huge elephant in the room when talking about education like this; no one should have to subject themselves to an education that doesn’t inspire something more meaningful, right? Sometimes though, we are not inspired to learn or do something that may help us in the long run and we really just need someone telling us what to do! This is a struggle I have a lot when teaching math. At the early levels, math is skills based without many authentic real world applications in a meaningful way until upper level classes like Calculus, Statistics, Linear Algebra, etc. but you have to start somewhere and most people don’t have the motivation to read through a math textbook, regardless of necessity.
The other route that education is heading is self-directed, curiosity inspired, real-world learning. With access to the internet, one could almost literally learn anything they wanted with thousands of sources and connect with experts near and far. This path can be more challenging as it requires curiosity, motivation, persistence, problem solving, you name it, but can ultimately be more rewarding. To grow learners like this would set our world up with a population of potentially self-sufficient individuals.
As a teacher, it is imperative that we expose our students to new ideas, concepts, and skills that they might not seek out on their own as well as give them the freedom to explore their academic interests. Innovation is certainly needed in this blended style of learning because it is a new way of approaching education. As teachers switch from being the educator to coach, there needs to be some reshaping of the traditional classroom.