Its Getting Harder to Teach Hard Work
I have a theory. It is getting harder to teach hard work because of how easy life has gotten. I remember a time when I asked a child what they aspired to be. Her answer shocked me. She said, if I could, I would love to be a couch potato.
Her answer was not unique, in fact, I have seen many children who would rather, metaphorically, bury their heads in the sand. They prefer to just sail through school, thinking that life and college would be much easier. Now, I am all for everyone pursuing their own dream jobs. However, if many students prefer the easy way out. If many shun working hard towards a noble goal, then I think our world is in trouble.
How Did We Get To This Stage?
I think there are many reasons on how students are the way they are. I could blame it on technology, the media or even parents. However, doing that does not solve the problem. The only way to solve it is to point to a problem that we can really solve. I mean, we can’t regress in technology. We certainly can’t censor the media. As for parents, no one should ever judge a parent on how they bring up their own children. That being said, the one thing that we have control over is how we present education to the children.
So really, I think the main reason why children are the way they are today is how we package the entire learning process for them.
Utilizing Marketing Strategies
I have always been a strong supporter of training teachers in different industries. I think broadening our worldview does help in planning different strategies to teach better. One of these industries is marketing.
I have always been fascinated by how a company could entice and encourage someone to spend countless hours on an app. Take Facebook or Instagram for example. These apps have a way of hooking you and subconsciously compelling you to spend countless hours on it.
The strategies used I feel can be applied in education. For one, I think the hard work of updating your Instagram every day is similar to putting the work in to prepare for an exam. It is relatively repetitive and will get you the results you want if you do spend a lot of time on it.
Perhaps if we were to design a curriculum that is similar to a social network, we should start by making education more social. We should be promoting collaboration and creativity. Most importantly, we should be promoting the notion that everyone is a specialist in something.
Get Them Specialized As Soon As Possible
It is sad that the education system does try to fit students in a box. A ‘smart’ student would perform well in all the same subjects as the next ‘smart’ student. There is a lack of diversity and this is not healthy.
I think in the future, automation will take over. Over time, we may not need that many people doing the same job. Rather, we would need experts in various fields managing things. It wouldn’t be long before to be hired, you first need to be an expert. I think being an expert in something will be worth more than a university degree.
Thus, in order for a student to strive towards being an expert, they should be first taught how to work hard. If we can somehow teach the students to see that being the best at something takes hard work, perhaps that would encourage them to work harder.
Then again, this can be difficult since most of them are not taught to see beyond tomorrow. Perhaps, in the end, working hard may not be that essential a skill, but having foresight is.