Why

Why do we wish to transform the school system?

Traditional schooling is not the only way a child can acquire knowledge. The ability to learn is innate and we need to trust human intuition and acknowledge that all children have the capacity to learn and create value. If we embrace children’s differences and allow them to continue their intuitive development, if we support them with love, inspiration and guidance instead of a one-size-fits-all system both the individual and society will strengthen.

We live in the 21st century and not in the industrial society of the 18th century

We live in a world where technological development is immense. Where two thirds of our young children most likely will get a job that does not even exist today. We need to have confidence in not knowing the end goal of each child’s education. 

We have never had better learning possibilities than today and the easy and fast access to information can make the world an educational playground for children and adults. In order to manoeuvre in this world of possibilities we need to know ourselves. Our innate and individual skills have to be cared for and we need to learn how we benefit from technology instead of misusing it.

The amount of stress in a large part of the world and the increase in anxiety, depression and stress in the traditional school systems make the school look more like an obstacle than the way to a balanced and happy life. In order to help children and thereby society we have to change the traditional system as quickly as possible.

Why are we on a ”Learning Mission”?

I spent 14 years in the school system. Through the years, I suffered from endless unnecessary defeats and I never learned anything about my strengths or myself as a person. I just did not fit in and often wondered why I lacked confidence in my own desires. I tried in vain to get help, but both my teachers and parents asked me, in the best of belief, to continue in school. 

As a teenager, I was weary and tired and every morning my dad had to throw cold water in my head to wake me up. My biological watch was not align with the school’s schedules. Later on, I got a note from my doctor explaining my psychical and mental absence. This gave me some credit among my teachers. I completed high school in spite of warnings, useless grades and a substantial feeling of inadequacy.

Mads Leif, Initiator of Learning Mission, PHOTO: Vahid Witwit

Adapting is not always a good thing

When we encourage children to adapt to traditional learning principles, we are cutting them off from their natural self-development at their own pace, and their innate qualities and individual and intuitive forces are restricted.

Furthermore, the learning principles of traditional schooling demand teachers to assess children in all their doings. When children are being rebuked for not following the class, they instinctively adapt, and this constant monitoring and lack of influence blurs their intuition and creativity.

We are all different, for this reason, it does not make sense to use standardised measurements, and this is not fair to either students or teachers.

If you want to learn more about why we want to revolutionize the school system and the way we learn, read more below.

THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATIVITY

Do school kill creativity skolen? It is a very relevant question and the title of the most viewed TED Talk of all time. The video went viral, not only because of its great delivery by Ken Robinson, but also and more importantly because of its precise criticism of our society.

The result of the world’s largest creativity study is worrying

A comprehensive creativity study  spanning for 17 years, reveals that all children are born with a high level of creativity. In early childhood, this innate and intuitive skill is fundamental for our development, when we learn to move, communicate, and explore the world around us. Unfortunately, this natural and intuitive development is being disregarded for most children, when they are trapped in formal education

The study reveals that schooling through the traditional principles, most likely leads to weakened creativity. The study also uncovers, that 98% of 5-year-old children are operating at a creative genius level before they enter school, while only 2% of 25-year-olds are operating at the same creative genius level.

POOR WELL-BEING IN SCHOOL

Studies have shown that Danish children fail to thrive at school. The number of school children suffering from anxiety, depression, stress, ADHD and other mental disorders has never been higher and it has increased rapidly during the last 15 years. The problem has worsened as both our society and technological surroundings have changed, while the traditional school system has preserved learning principles deriving from the 18th century.

The escape from public schools is very visible in Denmark. 12 years in a row the public schools has experienced a decline in the number of pupils, while the number of children in home, private and free schools has increased. We are dealing with a global school crisis, which neither has been initiated deliberately nor caused by any individuals. It has developed slowly, and it is comprehensive and systematic, this is why we need to solve it as a society.

THE ORIGIN OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM

To understand why children unlearn creativity and other innate skills and why the school crisis is rooted in many western counties we need to look at the beginning of the traditional schooling system. The educational approach was developed and implemented worldwide during the First Industrial Revolution.

The system was designed to create obedient citizens and manageable workers doing monotonous factory work that did not require creativity, curiosity or independent thinking. This form of work has created the societies we live in today, although the repetitive work has diminished rapidly since the arrival of the Internet.

The outdated principles

The traditional schooling system has three distinctive learning principles: Rectifying teaching through standardized measurements, obligated learning through predetermined curriculums and a fixed pace of development through set schedules. The last 30 generations have learned through these principles, but they are not the proper educational tools to use in 2020.

THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL IN 2020

We have never had easier and faster access to information, and awareness of our own strengths, weaknesses and energy sources is especially important for learning and maneuvering in this world of technology and opportunities.

Self-awareness is the key feature in this century, and it can basically be divided into four elements, which makes growing and learning simple for everyone:

  • Knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses
  • Knowledge of your sources of energy
  • Development of your relational and social skills
  • Understanding your brain chemistry

Knowing your strengths, weaknesses and sources of energy gives you power and a proactive and positive mindset. Developing your relational and social abilities strengthens your possibilities to find friends and create a network. Understanding how your brain reacts to different challenges gives you self-discipline.

WHAT ARE THE PREMISES FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL IN 2020?

To cultivate self-awareness and solve the school crisis, we first need to ask our-selves: What is the premise of going to school? If it is to live a meaningful life without stress then we are astray.

Being obligated for a decade to learn the same predetermined curriculum at a fixed pace does not provide self-thinking and creative individuals. In order for children to thrive with a solid self-esteem, and have a positive impact on the outside world, we should instead help them find their own paths and cultivate their individual strengths and drive.

Children do not benefit from failing in standardized measurements. Instead, we should allow them – in safe and inspiring environments – to explore and fail in self-chosen activities free from expectations. 

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