Recently I was asked what does quality education look like in this world? Quality is a subjective word. And certainly my ideal is not the same as others. Nonetheless, here is my attempt at answering what good education might look like for this world.
I believe quality education aims to enhance an individual’s self-interests and capabilities to meet societies’ needs. Achieving such ideal goals requires students to access quality resources, policymakers to rehaul a broken education system, and nations to source for global human talents. Hence much work is needed at the local and national levels to change well-established ways of schooling.
Good education starts with access to appropriate resources, including digital and analog. This pandemic has highlighted a need for access to technology and digital materials for remote learning. I predict asynchronous digital learning will grow in the years to come. However, educators need to recognize that not all digital resources are alike. Moreover, not every student can acquire such tech resources due to socio-economical and political factors. Physical equipment and materials are equally valuable. Equal opportunities for internships with mentors in their work environments should be part of future schooling. Hence, the start of good education starts with having access to suitable learning materials.
We should strive for an education system that does not hinder personal growth. Conventional tests and assessments standardize an individual to societal averages. Our current system measures ability based on past needs rather than the future capabilities of a learner. Of course, there is a place for foundational literacy and numeracy in our education system. However, we should also focus on how individuals’ talents and strengths can positively transform our society. We should provide multiple pathways for all learners to find success in achieving success in future society. Specifically, universities need to re-evaluate their role.
Finally, we need to redefine the teacher. Quality education requires us to look at individuals with expertise in multidisciplinary fields. Beyond academics, teachers need to have social and emotional skills. Also, teachers are experts in a wide variety of careers and occupations. And teachers are students from across the world. Thus, we must take on a global perspective in acquiring our supply of teachers. More than ever, we need to network with individuals with diverse talents from across the world.
These are ideal conditions for quality education. Indeed, it will not be easy to achieve. I wonder what is your idea of quality education?