A recent article by Forbes asks if education will be the next industry killed by the internet. The article states “think about it for a moment, we still use the educational techniques of the Early Middle Ages.”
I can wholeheartedly agree, why are we still using methods of education that were invented quite a few centuries ago? Because of this, many parents and guardians are looking to the marketplace in order to avoid public education. Because of the lack of incentives and competition, the public sector cannot meet all the needs of individual students. Take the state out of education and return it to the families, businesses, and entrepreneurs. Return it to the marketplace.
Private education can be fairly expensive for a middle-class family to afford and it is much easier to simply enroll the child in public school. This gives the state an effective monopoly on education. Thus, the state has no incentive, or competition, to improve their services (education), for their customer (the citizen). Our current education structure lacks a cohesive network of incentives, which can only be addressed by the market. Because of this lack of incentives and competition, parents are seeking better options for their children’s education.
This monopoly can be successfully divided and conquered by the market, because the public sector can never fully satisfy all individual human needs and wants. The free market fills that need and this is clearly seen in the area of education. You do not have to look far to find the numbers indicating that a number of families that are turning to the marketplace at a steady pace for alternatives. These alternatives have emerged in various forms, from vouchers and private education to more drastic measures like home schooling.
The activity in almost all education alternatives has risen in recent years. This includes programs like: vouchers, charters, and cyber schools. This continues to show that the market will always satisfy the hole of unsatisfied customers, both parents and students, that the public sector will inevitably leave.
The time has come for education, as we know it, to change. Our education system was created in an economic time of industrialization, teaching rudimentary subjects in order to take their place, upon graduation, in an industrialized marketplace. These arbitrary barriers and style of learning are replicated nowhere else in organizations, communities, or society.
Why break students up by age? What if 10 out of the 30 students in the classroom work better in the afternoon instead of the morning? What about the fact that many students would like to work by themselves, or that some would like to work in groups? You cannot and will not have creative, innovative, brilliant, and imaginative young adults come out of an industrialized, cookie cutter system of education.
Our current system was conceived and developed centuries ago and we now have a new world with new economic and societal expectations. Let's enable our children to think, imagine, and dream, to be entrepreneurs, designers, and developers. Let our children learn without force and coercion. Let us create a new era of innovative learning, whatever that may be. But encourage that learning through the family and through the marketplace, where children are free to think and explore; free to receive a product of their choosing, without violence and coercion; free to purchase another product if they wish.
Photo Credit: Super-Su