Change is constant in nearly every aspect of our world, from technology to the economy and job market – even the weather isn’t the same as a few years ago. We expect schools to teach our children the skills they’ll need to succeed in a fast-paced world, but one of the few things that hasn’t changed rapidly is the educational approach of traditional schools. We’ve all heard that “knowledge is power” but today we have instant access to the entirety of human knowledge via a tool in our pocket. In a world like this, is there really value in a student’s rote memorization of names, dates and formulas upon which traditional education is founded?
When a question is posed to students in these traditional classrooms, the teacher is looking for the answer they had in mind and nothing more. Sharing of additional information doesn’t get any bonus points, and a student’s follow-up question on an adjacent topic might be brushed aside so the teacher can return to the narrowly prepared lesson. The students’ curiosity is stifled, and the opportunity to steer the discussion in an interesting new direction is denied. Knowledge is gated off to be doled out in the curriculum’s set order, and at the same pace for the whole class.
Similarly, collaboration is largely discouraged in classrooms where students are expected to sit quietly working on their own assignments, and any discussion with other students is closely monitored, to be allowed only in designated times for socialization, or on explicitly assigned group projects. But in the real world, this isn’t how anything substantial is accomplished. Employers expect their workers to develop projects and ideas through independent collaboration. New ideas or approaches to a problem aren’t perfected in a vacuum, yet students are taught to work alone, bringing the finished idea directly to the authority who will decide if it was done well or not.
It is unfortunately far from widespread, but a movement has begun to shift education away from models emphasizing an individual’s memorization of facts within a rigid curriculum. MUSE’s approach of Passion Based Learning is on the forefront of this movement, empowering students to work with each other and meaningfully influence their learning path. Students in this environment learn the skills they will really need to succeed – not the ability to regurgitate memorized facts, but the ability to collaborate, innovate and self-direct on the way to finding creative approaches to the unpredictable new challenges they will face.
To find out more about MUSE Schools and how we meet the needs of today’s young learners, visit https://www.museglobal.org/