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?