I am always an evangelist to the concept of 21st century Education. The 21st century learning is different from 21st century Education. I am not speaking about the skill called learning, but the concept called Education. The Education as a system has remind as it is now for more than 3 centuries. If we take into account how much we have changed it, remains a big question. In those 300 years, Philosophy has become math, Alchemy has become chemistry, Occult has become Psychology. The scale of improvement in areas like agriculture, trade, commerce, communication, and logistics is unfathomable in the past 300 years. But the education, is such a holy grail; it hasn’t changed much since 1790s.
It is imperative to know the father of the modern Schooling system. His name is Johann Gottlieb Fichte. He was a German philosopher. When it was called as Prussia Napoleon waged a war against it. Prussia suffered a great defeat in that war. One of the main reason was, the soldiers who were in the war front, noticed that they can never win and started to run for their life. The commander of Prussia tried to motivate them, but of no use. Nobody listened to him because the survival factor caused “thinking” in them and hence they made a rational decision to run.
This defeat made Johann Fichte to think and come up with a solution, where the soldiers would lose the art of thinking and just follow the orders given by the people in authority. Voila, the system of School is born. It was a very well thought out move consisting of different layers of authority, so that the lowest level of the people can’t think and bypass it. The Curriculum is designed by state and the system of pedagogy is handed down to a school management, which hires teachers to work under them and the teacher appoints class monitor or leader from the student based upon the discipline he/she shows.
The student thus becomes incapable of observing and thinking, for which the subject of Science and math are being introduced in School. The genius of Fichte is such that the results are amazing till this very day. We have successfully created a system where the ideologies of Fichte is being fulfilled even after 3 centuries. The system and the process of education has to be revisited now more than ever in 21st century. The 21st century is the era of information, and the solid authority is under decline. This causes the confusion in the entire system which we have seen above.
The process of learning has been the same since ages. There is no 20th century learning or 21st century learning. But the perception of education is different. It has been a process perceived as producing the slave soldiers to elite masters and 21st century information era is challenging it. So the need to look at it and re structure it to the current needs of humanity is very essential. It is not going to be easy. But then what is fun if we do Easy?