We Are The People We Have Been Waiting For

Why is it that some people are so afraid of technology and change? This morning I listened to Michael Gove, our Education Minister, and was totally disheartened by what he was saying. It would appear that he is an advocate of children ‘learning facts’ – probably by rote as well. He seems to think that knowing a whole host of facts about, among other things, historical figures and dates from the past will equip children for life in the 21st Century. When the interviewer suggested that these facts were readily available via the internet, for example Wikipedia, he denounced this as a bad thing saying that we should not trust the facts that we get from such sources. It would appear that some of our present political leaders want to take education back to the ‘good old days’ when we sat in rows, learnt by rote and the teacher was the font of all knowledge. In the coalition government’s white paper setting out its plans for education it does not mention the word ‘technology’ once – now that’s frightening.

Can you remember the things that you were made to learn at school? The chances are you might remember the occasion especially if the learning was forced on you, you might even remember the facts – maybe it was the wives of Henry VIII, or how to measure the area of a circle, or Pythagorean theorem. But how often do you use this information (unless you are in a pub quiz team?) Many children today are finding school an irrelevance, they are being asked to do things in a way that is not efficient. If someone asked me the capital of Tibet I would take out my phone, google it and have the answer fairly quickly. If a child in school was asked the same question he would not be able to do what comes naturally to find the answer because, of course, we ban mobile phones in many of our schools.

It is Michael Gove’s generation who have created the mess that the world now finds itself in. Why should young people of today be taking any notice of, or have any faith in, those adults who don’t see the value of technology, have no idea of the skills that today’s children need and are the very ones that have caused the environmental and financial problems that are ruining our children’s world? Have a look at this video and see what you think?

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9 Responses to We Are The People We Have Been Waiting For

  1. penpusherpen says:

    As you say, Mike, as with generations before, we hand the chalice on, whether it be poisoned or not, doesn’t appear to matter at all. You would think that forward thinking people would take modern living into account, technology is here to stay and continues to evolve, it won’t go away, it’s there to be used to it’s best advantage, helping not hindering as the Minister seems to think… I thought Dinosaurs died aeons ago? Maybe I was wrong…. xPenx

  2. aquatom1968 says:

    That was quite a moving video, thanks for posting it Mike, I haven’t seen it before. I actually felt frustrated at times watching some of the images.
    Regarding education, it seems to me that it is a case of only allowing children to know certain information from one viewpoint, the danger with allowing them access to other sources of information may mean they will question what they are being told. Kind of like propaganda but not quite, if I’m making sense… Information is power, and those who control the information hold on to the power. I’m probably looking way to deeply into this… anyway, technology is there to be used in my opinion – it’s fun too, and you learn more by having fun.

    • Mike says:

      Glad you liked the video.
      Unfortunately we have a government who want to control education rather than leave it to the professionals. They have narrow, personal views and, regrettably, the power to inflict their narrow ideals on a nation. Many of our political leaders see education as a vote grabber and a way to get easy media soundbites. The damage being done to our schools and children doesn’t seem to cross their minds.

  3. JennyD says:

    Oh, lordy, I used to be one of those that held onto the “old” ways — such as “you MUST learn how to do long division and you MUST memorize every capitol in the world…” Crazy thought, I know that now. Time marches on and things are actually made much easier. My generation actually invented the solar powered calculator and I remember the schools going nuts over that and saying they were not allowed under any circumstance. I think it’s fear. Fear of being obsolete. There’s a part of age that does make a part of us obsolete, but only a tiny part. Still, fear does funny things to a person and becomes much larger than it should. I say let the young minds have full range and go for it. After all, that’s what we did, right?

    • Mike says:

      To my shame Jenny I was a young teacher that banned the children from using a calculator believing that it would lessen their maths skills. I could argue that back in those days we did not know any better – but with the way technology is now part of our every day lives how can we still be trying to block it’s use in our schools?
      I think you are right about the ‘fear’ idea. Many people in authority are frightened of either what they can’t do, don’t understand or have no control over. Technology fits into this category. People of my generation are frightened of computers, mobile phones, Google, Wikipedia, Twitter …… We are used to teaching the younger generation how to do things, with technology they are teaching us.

  4. JennyD says:

    Hey, Mike, look what I’ve got for YOU!
    Listen up! I have awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award. Go to my page to copy it and put it onto your page and then do a blog with 7 things about you and pass it on to 15 more bloggers. Whew. You can do it, I just did 😀 and lord knows, you deserve it.

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