A Major Shortcoming of Any Educational System: Limiting the Potential of Its Students - And How to Overcome It
I agree with researchers and educators like Sir Ken Robinson who believe that our educational systems, in the way they are set up at the moment, are ill-equipped to fulfil their purpose in preparing children, teenagers and young adults appropriately for their future.
I also agree that it would be necessary for learning to be individualised and personalised to best support the students.
Adults Don't Always Know Best
I find it somewhat condescending to our youth to believe that we as adults always know best and therefore they have to follow the path we set out for them and function in a structured system that we have designed.
I admit that we have an advantage in terms of life experience but we also have no idea how the future that we are supposed to prepare our children for will actually look like. Therefore, I would argue that objectively we have as much knowledge about it as them.
I believe that schools and universities could do a better job at providing its students with what they need and giving them more freedom in the structures that have been created for them.
Helping Students to Reach Their Full Potential
To help students reach their full potential, we would need universities and schools, headteachers and teachers who prioritize their students' interests, passion(s) and well-being and who are not afraid of the effects it might have on their ranking or Ofsted report. They would need to be courageous enough to turn their back on believing that their students' potential is reflected in their grades or determined by their socio-economic background, and at the same time use the pedagogical freedom that is given to them more creatively.
Educational institutions and its workforce would need to believe that each and every student can achieve (literally) anything they set their minds to and that there is no limit to their potential. This change in perspective could make it possible for schools and universities to help, so that generations of students can utilise their natural talents and make the most of their abilities and aptitudes.
And then they would need to make it their mission to support their students in acquiring the knowledge and developing the skills that are necessary to achieve their ultimate dreams. If this means coming up with completely new and different ways of organising learning and teaching, so be it.
Students who have not decided which path they want to take would receive support in exploring their interests and passions to find out what their goals might be. Every student is unique and has special talents and skills that deserve to be nurtured and developed. Schools and universities could play a big part in bringing these to the surface.
Equally important would be to help the students to develop the right work ethic and instil in them the desire to be a better person every day. It is often forgotten how important one's strength of character is in living a successful but also fulfilling and meaningful life.
Change is Possible
But even if educational systems, schools or universities cannot make the necessary changes as a whole, students can remain hopeful. The scientific research into personal development and success proves that it is mainly in the hands of each individual how their future will turn out for them and how successful they will be.
I know from my work as an educator and mentor that this is possible. I have experienced first-hand how powerful believing in the potential and dreams of every single one of my students and mentees is and how empowering it is for them to have someone who believes that they can achieve anything they set their minds to and actively supports them in making their dreams come true. I have witnessed the profound changes this mindset created in my students and mentees in their approach to school, learning and personal development and I have seen the astonishing results they were able to achieve for themselves.
For Parents and Educators
Parents who are interested in what they can do to support their children and educators who want to help their students to flourish could start by having a look at the following resources:
More Information About Me:
This is what I focus on in my work. I use the knowledge and research findings of several scientific disciplines and the skills I acquired in the last 15 years as an educator and mentor to empower students to follow their dreams by making them realize how much of their future is actually up to them. And then by showing them how they can find or explore their passion(s) so it can become a driving force on their path to a life they want to live in the future.
You can find more information about me here.