Education Should Make People Think

The world has changed.  Many of us learned how to memorise things at school. For example -

  • The words of poems
  • The bones in the human body
  • The periodic table

However, the internet has meant we do not always need to memorise this information. The information is now available simply a click away.


The growth of the internet has led to changes in the ideas and theories about education. This means that memorising information has become less relevant in some situations.


Many educational experts now realise that education is there to help children to think. It is not just children though.


Life-Long Education


In the 1970s, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) took up the important idea of life-long education. The idea that education doesn’t finish when we leave school, college or university, but continues throughout our lives.


So, the purpose of education is not just to help children to think. It’s there to help all of us to think – adults and children alike.


By learning to think we can –

  • Acquire knowledge
  • Change attitudes and values
  • Improve our skills
  • Understand the long-term consequences of what we do.

In particular, it can help us to meet the new demands that the future has of us. The world is in a continuous state of change and development. Industries come to an end and new ones start. In each industry, new technologies, ideas, theories and research are constantly taking place. 


To continue to work, learn, develop and prosper in the modern world, we all need to be able to think.  We need to be able to “connect the dots,” to problem solve, to find solutions, to think vertically, horizontally, upside down and inside out.


We need to be able to apply our knowledge to new and ever evolving situations.


What do we mean by thinking?

Thinking is a process which involves consideration and reasoning.  It includes –

  • Problem solving
  • Analysis
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Self-regulation
  • Empathy
  • Collaboration
  • Self-efficacy

It also involves using that knowledge to improve our physical skills, such as in using new technology, implementing new information in our work etc.

Part of thinking also involves – learning to learn.


The Educator’s Role

An educator, therefore, needs to support children and adults to develop their thinking skills, and to how to apply their knowledge.

  • Rather than telling someone to memorise a poem, ask them to work out what it means, what the poet was trying to say.
  • Instead of telling a horticulture student that plant A is of the genus Rosa. Help them to understand how you determine what genus a plant is in, how plants are classified, the types of leaves or bark or location determines the type of plant. Help them to understand and use that knowledge.
  • Rather than telling a person what depression is, encourage them to really think and empathise with how that condition might feel to a person.

An educator needs to help students to really think about the world around them – the plants, the animals, the earth, other humans etc.


Evolving Learning Systems.  

As the world around us evolves to embrace technological futures, so will our learning system to keep up with the expanding demands of the 21st century.


The "mainstream education has evolved" from just culminating in formal qualifications, which were largely "tickets" to a career.


The internet has made knowledge available more widely and in ways that did not exist in the 20th century. Employers and business owners have become more focused on learning rather than gaining qualifications (with a few exceptions -notably lawyers, doctors and other highly regulated jobs).


In Present  

There has been a significant emergence of alternative ways of learning. Some of the world's top multinational corporations, such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, have entered the education industry as a "business opportunity" and are competing with traditional education for market dominance.


The curriculum in many jurisdictions has changed arguably for the better by incorporating social equity and other politically correct issues. However, cost and political pressures have influenced change, as have technological, social and other changes.


What changes are needed ?  

In the past, learning a skill and using it in the same way for a 50-year career must have worked. Academic experts who focus on a narrow problem can find their knowledge becoming redundant, and career prospects fading. These outdated methods do not work in a constantly evolving world.  


Education today needs:

  • More focus on generic and industry fundamentals
  • Provide a broad foundation in an industry or discipline and the ability to adapt to any career opportunity that emerges in that industry
  • Health workers, Primary workers or professionals must have the capacity to move into jobs working with any type of health issue, using any new techniques or tools that emerge.
  • People who acquire a broad knowledge base together with generic skills are frequently adapting and forging more successful careers than highly qualified specialists.


What Generic Skills are Required ? 

Generic skills and attitude are more important than qualifications in today's workplace. A survey in 2019 reported that less than 4% of jobs being advertised in Australia are now asking for a university qualification.


To further your career prospects, turn your attention to the future and do the following:

  • Enhance communication skills (listening, speaking, body language, reading interpretation etc.)
  • Improve technological skills (I.T., A.I., Robotics, Biotech, Space tech, Alternative Energy, etc.)
  • Make a habit to be highly productive
  • Learn to focus
  • Maintain a strong professional development program
  • Improve networking and research skills


Learning Still Has a Future 

The one thing that has not changed throughout thousands of years of human existence is the desire to learn. People are continuously looking for new ways to learn.


"Success in education for individual careers, and education industries alike, depends upon maintaining a focus on the future, rather than the present or past."


"Education will always exist, but it is changing and will continue to evolve".


John Mason – Thinking!

John Mason started ACS Distance Education in 1979.  It started small with just one horticulture course. John’s ideas of education since the 1970s was not to encourage students to memorise information or to rote learn or to simply gather information. He wants students to understand information and apply that knowledge to their lives, their jobs, their careers.


Students are encouraged to develop practical and theoretical skills and use that knowledge moving forwards.  ACS Distance Education has been encouraged people to think for over 40 years.


ACS Distance Education now has over 700 courses, all developed to encourage students to think. Not to memorise a lot of information, but to actually understand and apply the information they obtain from our courses.


If you are passionate about education and want to -

  • Encourage students to really think 
  • To apply that knowledge to improve their lives and their careers
  • Are passionate about building a sustainable business
  • Are already a Learning Provider looking for HIGH QUALITY  courses developed by our in house Academic Staff and Industry Leaders 

Contact us now to discuss how YOU can be a part of this exciting business opportunity 




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