Friday, February 10, 2012

Taking a Break in Education

In this article, a college student argues (persuasively) for taking a break in education, quoting Sir Ken Robinson: "Life is not linear; it's organic!"

I agree wholeheartedly. I am a big proponent of the gap year, and I think that even in our K-12 schooling we need to have time to pause and reflect (especially if you are in a traditional public school setting, which doesn't leave much space for deep thought or reflection). We are still so concerned with test scores when all research points to their uselessness; we are so concerned with keeping up with other countries that we are fallig behind on creativity and innovation.

If you think about times when you needed to learn something (or you were motivated to learn something) think about how you did it. You may have found someone to work with; you may have completed the task under thier guidance, watched them do it and discussed what you learned. You may have done research on the internet or asked for opinions on Facebook; you may have gone to a class. In the middle of the learning there was certainly practice, failure and refinement (there probably was not a multiple-choice test or one test that let you move on). These breaks for practice and refinement follow a more organic cycle of education, one that we should cultivate in our schools and our students.

A pause for reflection is valuable and helps students stay focused and figure out their own direction, working towards becoming fully actualized adults. What is more important: finishing school in a certain time frame, or actually learning?

No-brainer for me.

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