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The education system of a country is both a product and raw material of the society status. Contemporary education has been with us since the inception of learning. It takes the form of instructive learning and a teaching process. The teacher is the sole possessor of knowledge and has the duty of dispersing the knowledge to his students. Excellence is based on comprehension and recall of such instructions(Mortimer,1939). It comprises of an involving curriculum designed to widen the students scope of knowledge to enable them tackle varied forms of life challenges.
Challenges facing Contemporary Education
Earlier proponents had faith in this form of education due to the belief in the theory of progression
in all universal standards as depicted by Venkataiah,(1999). The nineteenth-century concept is backed by evolution theory as well as positivism. Growth from infancy to maturity denotes that things get better as we move into the future. However, most aspects and phenomena involve terminal deterioration or decline in characteristics. Forms of life follow a similar curve in life process marked by aging after maturity.
Human progression as proposed by Auguste Comte denotes growth in the lifetime of a human being(Mortimer,1939). Advancement from superstition to speculative to the scientific state of knowledge denotes progress. In relation to cultural account, human nature becomes an exception. Nature and nurture differences lead to emergence of different species originating from the same generation. The belief that teachers were better than the students thus students had to emulate them is not consistent with the human form.
Science generalizes the correlation in different forms of life (Mortimer,1939). Through stipulated laws, scientists base their argument and projections about a specific aspect in the life forms. However, the substance of human nature diverges from any laws due to reason and unpredictable degree of rationality. Thus human nature does not conform to science nor philosophy but an amalgamation of both. Thus an education system which supports human development is necessary for society to develop. Contemporary education limits acquisition of knowledge to a instruction from a designated individual. Such knowledge is not subject to challenge in matters of content and quality in adhesion to the law of progression. However, the disadvantage arising from such a system is that generation after generation recycles the same sphere of knowledge without questioning why as observed by Mortimer (1939).
The proponents of liberal education system has witnessed the advantages of innovation and creativity emanating from challenging the norms . Through well supported research and experiment, certain individuals has actually broken ground through venturing into the unknown. This is supported by the human nature. Human beings are constantly reacting to stimuli and investigating scenarios to establish the underlying factors.
In a contemporary education setting, the novel ideas introduced by the instructors cultivate stimuli which is not fulfilled since students are not provided with scenarios to question why and how things happen the way they happen (Carlson-Catalano ,1992).The deviation from urges and passions affirms that man carries a difference from all other forms of life in some domains and this enables him to hide his brute nature. Man is capable of reasoning and judgment despite possessing all characteristics of a brute. Through exercising his power ,he has been able to cultivate an evolution in art,science and philosophy. He has also been able to determine a formal operational environment.
Reading and writing is only possible with presence of subject matter. The act of reading and writing is guided by laws which have to be learned in a formal setting. Liberalization enables each learner to develop skills and competencies through practice and application so as to be able to form habits.
Through furnishing the subject matter with truth and wisdom, we are able to achieve a refined line of thought which is acceptable for dissemination.
The theory of progress is abnegated in some forms of ideologies. Some ancient pieces of work touch on permanent moral issues which stand the test of time. They are as applicable today as they were then. The subjects covered are not subject to law of incessant progress. The level of scientific knowledge has definitely evolved since then but the philosophical achievements of those ancient day has remained intact.
The curriculum has played a role in diminishing the quality of contemporary education. Progression from one stage is not matched with career objectives as well as life skills. The most common structure involves a three-stage form with primary,secondary and higher education levels. In the elementary stage, the participants are introduced to the basic education skills in form of languages and arithmetic.
During secondary level, a wider array of skills are taught without specialization in career skills and competencies. By the time one specializes in university level or at college, he is way beyond his prime years and has limited time before being tossed to the job market where he has to excel in his career. This form of education suffers from several redundancies.
The skills learned during the formative years prepare the participant for a challenging life. However, the advantages accruing are not reaped through timely specialization into career paths. Over two thirds of the education system is composed of skills which are not relevant to the individuals career roles in the future. Thus basis ones career on skills acquired on such a short period of training leads to taking off on the wrong foot.
Secondly, career and skill choices are not liberalized. Thus most individuals match their careers to academic excellence instead of passion and abilities. This originates from time constraints as well as emphasis on theoretical comprehension accompanied by sporadic practical sessions. The large divide between industry needs and availability of skills in the job market calls for on the job training to customize the skills to the specific tasks (Bloom,2003). An individual with such a background has limited chances of being innovative since his creativity is greatly impaired.
The strict outline set in the curriculum closes doors to innovation and for one to exercise freedom during study. The students point of view is subsidiary since the teacher has a job to do. Therefore the end result is that students restrict their competencies to what is being taught. The teachers and students have faced subjugation resulting from recycling of ideas since most students who become teachers are taught by teachers originating from the system. Teaching being an art dictates that teachers should have a cultivated mind incorporating competence with flexibility in dissemination of information Clare,(1993a).
Education is reciprocal of the society in which it flourishes. The political and economic status of a country has a direct impact on success of an educational system as. They also necessitate its rebirth into better or worse forms. The direct relationship can be drawn from industry needs. If the economic standards of the country are on rise, the country requires proficient people in the steering mechanism to support it. At the same time, such individuals are key to the recovery of an economy . Thus without the skills or the means,then a country is doomed to grapple in the dark until luck shines light on them.
Under the liberal form of education, students enjoy immense freedom in relation to the learning process. The education system follows a similar three stage curriculum but has varying content. The skills learnt in the elementary levels are similar to those in contemporary system. However in the secondary level,students specialize into their career paths and are involved into a more interactive form of learning where their instructors guide them into portraying their interests.
Students have ample time to acquaint themselves with the characteristics of their career paths. Throughout the learning period,teachers allow the students minds to wander into a specified discipline. This form of learning inculcates creativity and innovativeness in the students thus they are able to successfully tackle even the most challenging tasks . Through research and projects ,the instructor introduce the students to real life scenarios (Clare,1993a).
Such projects are aimed at creating functional forms in the discipline which only requires approval before being disseminated into mainstream life. Therefore by the time the student settles for a career in his chosen field,he or she is armed with the passion,confidence and skills necessary to perform his duties. Such a student is bound to apply the same creativity and enthusiasm in the work place thus leading to productive workforce.
This form of education is as applicable in sciences as it is in arts. Innovation and creativity drives scientific evolution. However most science students settle for the contemporary for of education thus end up restricting themselves to maintaining or improving the status quo. Zerwekh et,al,(1989 )stated that liberalization of science education would have immense impact since most individuals would be able to appreciate the basics at an early stage in life enabling to excel during their prime years.
Rarely does mismatch of careers and passions occur in a liberal setting. Students interact with the instructors from an early age and are guided through. The instructor are able to match passion with capability and advise further. With such an environment any switch in discipline is done at an opportune moment limiting chances disgruntlement later in life. Interaction between the instructors and students has an enabling effect on the students which forms a basis for success in their field of study.