I was recently talking with an intelligent, creative and capable young woman. She has travelled the world extensively, worked and volunteered in many countries, become familiar with different cultures and experienced far more than many people will ever experience. She has learned to relate to all of sorts of people, mastered a new language and overcome difficult situations. Although not formally qualified, she is a born teacher and has taught successfully in a range of places and settings. Yet when she recently decided to study as a ‘mature age student’, she found that the course she had dreamed of was simply not for her.
She told me this…
In this day and age, when there have been so many studies and there is so much awareness of the fact that people learn in different ways, it is incredible that higher education, (from Year 11 onwards) does not seem to have changed at all. There is still an expectation that every student will fit the mould and learn best within the same old structure, setting and style.
This conversation really affected me. As an educator, it is something I think about a great deal. I wonder…
Why is there still an expectation that people, with their differences, will all fit into a particular framework for learning?
How can we as educators cater for the varied learning needs of each of our students, within a system that prefers uniformity?
How long will it take for education to REALLY change?