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An Alternative Educational System Where Students Primarily Learn through Interaction with Different Professions

Image credit: Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi Nov 29, 2021
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Background
I sometimes wonder if I would have made a great tennis player or if I would be more fulfilled as an artist: a modern day Picasso. I wonder about those passions I would have excelled at that I don't even know about.
Why do I have to wonder?
The answer is simple: I didn't have the opportunity to try my hands at these activities. In other cases, I didn't have the opportunity to explore them more.
I think humanity as a race will be much better if we enable children, the future of the human race, more opportunity to explore the different activities they can engage in the world. I think too many years of our lives are spent in classrooms and I'll like to see children spend more of this time engaging and interacting with the world.
What Do I Propose?
Kids just starting school should go through kindergarten and learn the basic skills we all learnt and upon which everything we know today is built.
Then, as they grow older, instead of more studies on things they might never need or use, they should be processed through different "departments." In these departments, the emphasis will be on exploring what it means to be human. They will learn to write, play tennis, build and invent things, and ideate, among other things.
That does not mean there should be no classes, no. But most of what we teach in schools today should be cut off and only introductions should be provided. And when they get to high-school level, they can decide whether they want to specialize and become academics, in which case, more focus should be placed on their studies. And if they decide they want to be something else, they should be equipped with the specific tools to achieve that goal.
In summary, the entire educational structure should be overhauled and schooling should be given a facelift. Children should be given an opportunity to explore the world and the numerous things they can be on this planet. Then, when they get older, they should be allowed to choose their career. Then, and only then, should the intensity of their studies increase, based on who they want to be.
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Creative contributions

Simulator games for kids

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Nov 29, 2021
What your idea proposes could sometimes be achieved with simulator games. For example, here is a farming simulator:

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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi7 months ago
I think this is a great idea. But I also prefer getting outside and doing things than experiencing them via simulators - most of the time, anyway.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic7 months ago
Oguntola Tobi Agreed. This would just increase the scope in areas where kids cannot easily participate. A passenger plane flight simulator for example.
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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi7 months ago
Darko Savic Exactly. Lol
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Feeding the market

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Darryl Koh Yuan Jie
Darryl Koh Yuan Jie Dec 20, 2021
I understand where you are coming from. However, by allocating resources for students to pursue their passion, it might be hard to achieve the academic requirements required. This balance for academic and personal growth has long been argued and debated by many. I think you will find this book by Bryan Caplan an interesting read. In it he mentions how the modern day education system only serves to feed the market, somewhat like a repeating rat race. He also states how many of us simply obtain diplomas and degrees just for the sake of it, as a form of paper chase. I would like to bring your attention to his point on vocational education. He claims that there should be an increase in vocational education so as to ensure students who do not perform well academically can have another shot at jobs which require practical skills(fitness instructor, cook etc) on the market. Ideally, if possible, every child should be able to pursue their passion and if they so choose find a demand for it and be able to pursue it as a form of vocational education.
However, it is definitely easier said than done. In my country, Singapore, we have "Co-curricular" activites or CCAs where students are encouraged to try out new hobbies and interest at a young age. In the later years, if they are interested, they can pursue a diploma or degree in their field of interest. I myself am in the Media industry. More and more companies are also looking into the individual's achievements and portfolio instead of purely academics which I think is a good step forward.
I would suggest first, generous funding from the government if possible where as you mentioned emphasis is placed on purisng one's interest. Furthermore, the curriculum can be in such a way where there are a certain number of points a student must achieve before they graduate. This points can be earned when they pursue lessons or modules that expand their vocational interest. The idea of trying out new things and being curious should be encouraged.
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General comments

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic7 months ago
I think the idea of overhauling the education system is as old as modern civilization. Every once in a while someone achieves a complete overhaul.
The title doesn't do your idea justice. You are proposing that young children experience many different types of hyperspecializations during their formative years.
What you show them first and how you present it might influence the types of professions they go for later in life. How do you keep state propaganda at bay and kids' best interests at the heart of this program? If the state needs more police, they would be inclined to heavily promote this profession, etc. Could this be the reason that primary education is more "neutral"?
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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi7 months ago
Darko Savic The idea is to have them experience different facets of life and the professions those can eventually lead to. While choosing a profession is a result, I don't intend for it to be the goal. The goal is to have experienced so many things - in a fun, interactive manner - that when you eventually choose a career, it will be what interests you the most and in which you are well positioned for excellence.
Imagine if Lionel Messi never discovered how good he is at football?
How many potential greats have we missed because they didn't have an experience of that thing they would have excelled that?
Hence, my proposition: that education focuses on giving students a more rounded experience of the things they could do and be. In this structure, every student will play music, play football, conduct physics and chemistry experiments, play pretend authors, and so on. Instead of spending so much time in the classroom studying things they might never need, they can spend that time outside having fun and discovering the things they enjoy most and make a life choice based on that.
I got this idea while reading Range by David Epstein, by the way.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic7 months ago
Oguntola Tobi I got this idea while reading yours☺️
I still think your idea's title should be updated to be more descriptive
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Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi7 months ago
Darko Savic Lol. I'm glad something productive came off this. I'll modify the title.
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