Table of Contents
‘Education’, in simple terms, refers to the process of learning, which can be inferred from different points of view. Lifelong learning and formal schooling are prominent examples of varied forms of education practiced in the modern era. At times, education is regarded as a method of acquiring knowledge, skills along with attitude, with the support and assistance of someone who is an expert in this domain. Training the mind of an individual to bring about a positive change in his/her behavior and knowledge is the foremost aim of education, and hence, no accurate definition has possibly been framed for this particular concept. The system of education has undergone innumerable changes and transformations since the historical era in order to meet the continuously altering trends in this globalised world (National Council of Educational Research and Training 2). The essay therefore intends to explore various aspects associated with education and changes that have taken place in the system with the passage of time. It also focuses on providing an in-depth understanding on the ‘passive state’ of the system, thereby suggesting the measures that can be taken to mitigate those issues at the earliest.
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Transitions have taken place in the education system, from the time when the traditional chalk and blackboard system was used to impart education, until date, with the use of digital means. A series of changes has also been observed in the level of knowledge, skills and academic profiles of the individual learners with the passage of time. The advancement through globalization has not only brought about a change in the students, but has also transformed the new approaches used by the teachers based on the transformations in their thought process, adaptability and skills. The teachers, with the passage of time, have also learnt to understand the psychological traits of their students and the manner in which it will be easier for them to be attentive throughout the entire teaching session (del Campo et al. 1). Therefore, it can be inferred that the relationship between the students and teachers has changed to a large extent based on both the psychological as well as the infrastructural transformations taking place in the education system over a period of time.
Changes in the Education System
In the past few decades, it was observed that students were mostly taught by their teachers with the assistance of facts derived from textbooks. The formal atmosphere of the classroom along with the question-answer sessions being conducted amid the teachers and the students were thus considered as the basic attributes of the then education system. In the present scenario, with the advent of globalization and the advancements in the field of technology, the use of textbooks has been considered as a reason why the students, especially the youths are often bored with the entire system of education. The authors of the textbooks intending to make the subject matters understandable to the people all round the world oversimplify the facts in the books, thereby making them incomprehensible at times. Although textbooks are the easiest means to teach, The teachers tend to make use of the technological implements to spread education among the students, thereby keeping themselves up-to-date with the changing trends of the society (Ruth “No Books, No Problem: Teaching Without a Text”). It can hence be understood that with the changing trends, both the teachers as well as the students have been able to update their skills and intelligence with the assistance of the modern implements, thereby making the learning process friendlier as compared to the previous era.
Comparing the education system of the past and the present era thus, changes can be observed not only in the communication means, but also in the subject matters. The issues taught in the present schools, colleges and universities are also highly practical in comparison with the ones that were taught in the past. Moreover, the classroom settings and the infrastructure used for teaching in today’s academic institutions varied largely from traditional and the formal ones, which were used in the past. The teaching pattern has further transformed along with the relationship shared between the teachers and the students. A strict and formal atmosphere of the classroom has now been transformed into a relaxing environment for the students so that they can derive the best possible knowledge from the teachers, without perplexity, ambiguity or fear (I.E.S. Hort de Feliu 1-3). This further provides an insight into the changes that have taken place in the education system, especially in terms of the learning environment and the relationship being shared between the learners and the educators.
Passive State of the Modern Education System
Even though all the changes indicate positive attributes and benefits of the present day education as compared to the past, there are certain aspects that challenge the educational profile of the students today. One such perspective is that the use of advanced technology has reduced the sense of respect and responsibility within the students. It has also brought about a sudden fall in the extent of the students’ participation in the learning process. In the past, the question-answer sessions accompanied the strictness of the teachers and forced the students to be attentive in the classrooms, but in the present scenario, the entire process has become stagnated. The passive state of students is widely evident in the modern form of education due to the use of technology (I.E.S. Hort de Feliu 6-7). Contextually, it has been inferred that the advent of globalization and the use of the modern implements have to some extent restricted the learners from actively participating in the academic sessions.
Moreover, the students in the modern era are only accountable to listen and to understand the issues being taught by their teacher within the classroom settings, which in turn is reducing their creativity to a large extent. Furthermore, the passiveness of the present education system can be more adequately inferred from the method of examination, which is one of the priorities for the completion of different education phases by the students. Education in the past was perceived as a way to instill knowledge and confidence within the youth, but presently it acts as a process of passing the examination, which is solely dependent on technology and not on an individual’s own creativity (I.E.S. Hort de Feliu 6-7). Another significant aspect emphasized by an influential educator, Paulo Freire, in his article The “Banking” Concept of Education, mostly deals with the equal power of the students as well as the teacher within a classroom setting. In this article, the focus has been levied on the narrative characteristics of the ‘narrating subject’, indicating the teacher and the ‘listening object’ or the student. This attribute of narration has hence brought about a wide transformation in the education system from what it was in the past (Freire 242-243). Only listening and understanding the narrated contexts of lesson in the modern classroom settings have made the process of education monotonous. This hence discourages the learners from coming out of their comfort zone or passive state to participate in the education system dynamically.
The present education system is therefore said to be “suffering from narration sickness”, as the teachers using advanced technological implements in the education process perceive reality as a static, predictable, motionless as well as compartmentalized factor. This is in turn accepted by the students by stepping into the role of record-keepers by memorizing as well as repeating similar information a number of times and that too at a continuous rate without trying to apprehend their factual importance. This in turn makes the process of learning more mechanical in the true sense, as the teachers within the classroom settings narrate the contents, which the students are memorizing reflexively. Stating precisely, it can be noted to be similar to the instance that the teachers are filling the receptacles (students’ mind) with knowledge. The worst factor identified in this regard is that the quality of the students as well as the teachers is also determined based on their filling and receiving capacity respectively (Freire 243-244). The passive state of the students as a result of the narrative sessions of the teachers to fill the receptacles can therefore be considered as the worst perspective associated with the current education system.
Suggestive Measures to Remove the Passiveness
To overcome the discussed challenges associated with the education system in the modern scenario, the process of digital learning can be effectively implemented in the teaching process. This technique is also termed as the participatory learning, where the use of modern implements for teaching is accompanied by the active involvement of students to a large extent. This concept of education is promoted not only by the Digital Media and Learning Initiative of John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, but is also largely supported and encouraged by the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC). This technique will further be accountable for the upcoming changes, as per which the individuals, irrespective of their age will be able to socialize, learn and exercise their creativity, by making use of the modernized implements, even without ignoring their engagement with the civic life. This can further be implemented in different environmental settings, such as schools, homes, colleges, libraries, museums and community centers to keep the students indulged in the relaxed learning process at all points of time (Davidson and Goldberg 5). The above mentioned steps can thus be implemented in the education system to make it more fruitful for the students in the near future.
Moreover, the education system must be perceived as a choice and not as oppression from the end of both the teachers as well as the students, as it serves to be an essence to a civilized and meaningful human life. The freely acceptable education, will not only contribute to the development of a reliable thought-process between the teachers as well as the students, but will keep the dominance of the teachers over the students under control as well. Most importantly, the love for education needs to be aroused by the educators within the students using a liberal approach so that the students can build their potential to dream for their betterment using both radical and reactionary attributes (Freire 250-252). Providing a friendly but interactive environment can thus contribute largely in mitigating the challenges associated with the current education system.
Another process that can be recommended to eradicate the barriers of the passive educational process in the modern scenario is the extensive use of the e-learning techniques to educate the youth. This technique can be implemented using three varied forms, namely the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), mixed learning (a combination of offline teaching in formal classroom settings and through the online platform) and distance learning only through the online medium. The proper selection and execution of this e-learning technique will help largely in boosting the standard of knowledge to be given to the students, thereby eradicating passiveness from the educational system through constant communication between the educator and the student. This will in turn help to set up a new educational environment for the students, as per which they can derive assistance from their teachers using the most innovative and modern digital modes, such as web searching, presentations, forum, blogs, interactive activities as well as online essays (Elías et al. 001154-001155). The proper use of online facilities can hence help largely in creating a learning environment for the students in the future period of time.
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The education system has witnessed innumerable changes since the ancient time towards enhanced efficiency and alignment with the transforming social needs. From the past when the traditional means, such as textbook, chalks and blackboards were used to spread knowledge amid the students, the teachers have altered their perceptions largely in the modern era. The current educational system comprises the most innovative forms of education, which include the technologically advanced mediums, but indeed lack certain positive attributes that the traditional process endured. The narrative proceedings of the current educational system have further made the students mechanical in terms of aimlessly memorizing the contents being filled in their minds by their teachers. This passive state of the students needs to be eliminated to the utmost level possible, which in turn will enable them to make proper use of the knowledge being obtained by them throughout their student life. In doing so, the education system needs to be changed at least to certain extent by including the concepts of digital or participatory learning, e-learning and by instilling within the students the urge to learn things voluntarily and with complete freedom.
- Davidson, Cathy N. and Goldberg, David Theo. The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age. The MIT Press, 2010.
- del Campo, J.M. et. al. “Traditional Education Vs Modern Education. What is the Impact of Teaching Techniques’ Evolution on Students’ Learning Process?” 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference, 2012, pp. 1-5.
- Elías P. Y. Zitinski et al. “E–Learning and Evaluation in Modern Educational System”. Proceedings of INTED2010 Conference, 2010, pp. 00152-00157.
- Freire, Paulo. The ““Banking” Concept of Education”. Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 1970, pp. 242-254.
- I.E.S. Hort de Feliu. “Youth Culture – Past and Present”. Educational Life, 2012, pp. 1-15.
- National Council of Educational Research and Training. Basics in Education. Karan Press, 2014.
- Ruth, Geoff. No Books, No Problem: Teaching Without a Text.