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Our high schools are designed to prepare students for college, not the world most will enter. Parents are influenced by society and they want their children to reflect the ideal for success, that is, academics with music lessons on the side, becoming a polished professional, achieving a status that can change the world. Parents want the education system to maintain high standards so their child has opportunity to achieve this ideal. This sounds great in theory - one out of a thousand will achieve that ideal. The problem is, this standard robs non-college students’ job skills they need to enter the real world.
From the beginning of man to the late 1800s, an educational institution was the only source of information and attending them was the only way to acquire information. Times have changed. Today, we are an information society with hundreds of sources of information. Last year’s facts, or yesterday’s, may not have any value today. Skills learned today will soon become obsolete and new skills must be mastered. For this reason, knowing how to learn, search for and acquire information is more valuable than being a learner-of-facts. Because most high schools students enter the work force, their knowledge should be measured by their ability to acquire information and turn it into useful knowledge rather than their ability to memorize. For some licensed professions such as lawyers and doctors, learner-of-facts is a necessity.
American students score below many other countries in math and science. What is not understood, many low scoring students are technicians who continue to keep this nation a leader of technology. That is because the same students who show limited interest in learning academics demonstrate great skills and confidence in creating new concepts. Creating the new motivates technicians whereas mastering the old does not.
Policies that created wealth during the industrial age are leading individuals, companies, and society into dead-end traps. The industrial age is gone and we are entering the technological age. Today, narrow profit margins and fast changing technology are forcing individuals and companies to replace the status quo with continuous change. Businesses must implement a leadership style that inspires a love-to-learn and an environment where change motivates people, because continuous change means efficiency during the 21st century.
The present education system served us well when a professional skill was good till retirement. When a skill becomes obsolete in a few years, then other methods of learning are required. A person cannot keep going back to the classroom every time new technology replaced current skill. We are entering the age where we need continuous education. Continuous education requires the ability to learn without dependency on instructors, which is, learning how to learn. Computer technicians must use self-education techniques to learn beyond the basics.
In South Carolina, 40% the teenagers drop out of high school. In some high schools, 70% of the teenagers drop out. Today's education system is an outdated product that is being reject by an increasing number of people. There are alternatives that will motivate teenagers to seek a productive lifestyle.
The typical high school teaches 30% of its students to be failures. This is because the curriculum only recognizes academic skills and students intelligence is measured by this standard. Nonacademic skills and associated intelligence are ignored. A person who has the ability to be a first class welder is labeled a failure. He may never become a welder because self-fulfilling prophecy, based on academics, will determine his fate.
Teenagers are put in jail because they refuse to conform to passive classroom learning environments. Because the education system labels them FAILURES, they turn to criminal activity to be recognized.
Every young teenager wants to learn, be recognized, be somebody and excel. If they can't do it in the classroom, they will find another outlet, usually one that leads to self-destruction.
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