The importance of education is apparently seen in the progression of every society. Education is primarily visible in various forms cementing the foundations as well as foretelling the future of societies and generations. Without it, societies and communities would have ceased to exist. However, forms of education and or types of teaching to be precise differ from which valuable information is passed over years from one generation to the other. In recent years, there has been a heated debate on the basic form of education to be adopted between classical and modern education systems because of notable humanitarian crisis all over. Classical education systems versus modern or tech-based education systems differ significantly thus, in approaches from educational places to modes of contact not forgetting the focus of the subjects themselves.
It therefore is the prime concern of this write-up to shade more light on this discourse, acknowledging that similar trends of thought have already been set in motion by those who pioneered the discourse. However, in order to offer a peculiar perspective to the matter in hand, various scholarly inputs in this field shall be adequately acknowledged. A detailed analysis of this essay comprises of pros and cons of each educational method with regards to geographical locations, political situations as well as cultural transformations. The analysis intends to make several contributions to the literature on the effects of modern education its consequences versus those of traditional classic times. In a bid to do so, questions like “How do we evaluate the positive outcomes of a scientific-tech approach to knowledge?” will be addressed.
To begin with, the world is increasingly becoming kaleidoscopic, implying that cultures, societies as any other spheres of social life are by no means immune to the rapid changes of modern times. The existence of societies all over the world is intrinsically linked to the passing of cultures, knowledge, values and beliefs amongst other necessities from one generation to another through a process called education. With regards to Dictionary.com, education is “the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgement and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
According to Perrin (2004), education is that vast undertaking of passing the wisdom and knowledge of one generation to another with the involvement of discovery, instruction as well as cultural transmission. With regards to these definitions, all aspects of human nature are acquired through education however, there is a vacuum left unfilled on the methods of delivery but nonetheless, it is the same educating process. In the ancient years, education comprising of language, ideas and knowledge was delivered through Classical methods.
According to this school of thought, Classical education is the authoritative, traditional and enduring form of education begun by Greeks and Romans and developed throughout history and now being renewed and recovered in the current times Perrin (2004). Classical system basically means that children or students are more important and valuable than their standardised tests, it begins by injecting knowledge into infants through three basic stages the so-called trivium. Therefore, it places its emphasis on educating the whole child in three special aspects regardless of their historic background, geographic location, life experiences or even economic status as tantamount to all those variables that are distinguishable among students.
For Classical education systems, it is exceedingly normal and apparently important to begin first schooling years with grammar since it is considered a building block or precisely the foundation for understanding language. This process peculiar to classical schooling systems caters for the absorption of these very principles from as early as elementary schools. In this process, children are taught to understand insipid facts with less if not completely no involvement of their self-discipline, expression or rather discovery. Their major emphasis is induced through the repetition of phonics, spellings, grammar rules and vocabulary of foreign languages enveloped in poems, stories descriptions of the human body, animals as well as plants. Also, at this early stage, classical schools introduce children to basic rules of mathematics, religion with particular aim of building their language and grammar.
Soon after grasping the grammar, through facts imposed to them, classical education then introduces its children to question and analyse the state or existence of these facts. This stage is widely known as the logic phase because children would now understand the “cause and effect of things surrounding them. It is from this very stage where children become conscious of outcomes of certain activities supported by a mature mind. This pre-equips the children in classical terms to apply logic in the solving of issues, problems and all academic tasks. T
his logic is sufficiently useful in helping them through sentence construction rules, writing and criticising of texts as well as the in-depth understanding of scientific methods. Finally, in the last stage of classical education systems referred to as the rhetoric stage encompasses the improvement in the child. Acknowledging that the child is now capable of speaking and writing using unique, original sentiments. This also involves the practicality of the student`s application of learned logic through all stages of schooling expressing his/her views or perceptions in clear eloquence. By mastering these basic skills, students are much more attracted and channelled to those fields which interest them the most leading to specialization in specific subjects or areas of academic expertise.
With regards to this approach, every classical stage evolves from the previous phase, moulding in good stature a student exceedingly capable of analytical thoughts as well as the progressive ability to express those thought to others without prejudice. It therefore unquestionable to attribute excellence to classical education for being capable of producing a well-equipped human being moulded by historical events, mathematical proofs, myths and stories, scientific facts and fable characters among others.
Worthy mentioning is the fact that class set-up in classical education systems provides for mutual student, teacher co-operation. Priority is given to teacher´s authority over students however, acknowledging that students are not just passive objects or recipients but equally active participants of knowledge. They’re incorporated in the discussions as well as all dialogues that concerns them in the learning curriculum. It is also important to stress at this point that this set up makes the education system virtuous in nature, supporting an extremely valuable-content curriculum. More so, in classical education systems, schools work hand in-glove with parents assisting one another. It is widely believed that it is the parent’s responsibility to forge the path of their children rather than what modern government or states are doing.
By so doing, it was guaranteed that teachers have direct authority from parents to administer on their behalf. They were also part and parcel of the learning process since they were allowed in classes to monitor the progressive participation of their children. They could as in most cases help with the homework etc. This kind of educational set up promotes discretion, fundamental personal development, improvement of character, conservation of learning culture proliferation of virtue as well as a generation of social mindfulness and friendliness. Children from classic schools are naturally vocal, they are seen engaging in major debates because their minds are trained to thing in such a way, questioning the state or outcome of things.
On the other hand, modern education though it evolved from classical or traditional education systems has its focus grounded in modern technology. Modern education can therefore be termed as that kind of education in which students are strictly taught the skills necessary for survival in the modern world. However, there are several pros and cons that are attached to it as compared to classical teaching styles. As the aforementioned information unfolds, this section of the essay will shade more light on the issue at hand. Firstly, its agreeable that modern education systems encourage the use of modern tools to facilitate the acquiring of knowledge.
The use of computers, projectors cell phones etc of cause helps to make things viable in the modern context. It is an advantage in that it helps one to be up to date with current developments. It also simplifies teaching for most teachers thereby giving them free more time for extra-curriculum activities. There are several teaching aids online that are pre-created to serve time as well as to foster quick learning also accessible anywhere anytime. In addition, the education system has endorsed modern tools of learning like the invention of e-books, video lectures, distance learning in most ways through video chatting as well as effective technological demonstrations as made possible by 3-D imagery techniques among other developments.
To add more paint on this drawing, modern education has an advantageous vocation courses which enables students to acquire all skills necessary for their future occupations therefore resulting in increased retention. As an advantage, modern education can be credited for creating professionals in the public sector and working industry.
Despite of all these modern achievements, modern education system is a big mess from the very beginning. Firstly, it is to a larger extent criticised for spoon feeding the students. Everything is given on a silver platter hindering and obstructing the creativity nature of children as encouraged by traditional classical systems. The question is how could students be creative and innovative if the education systems do not encourage them to be so? By creating recurring teaching ads online, there is very little left for them to discover for themselves.
As if not enough, in modern education systems, teachers and lectures are more consistent with following the already stipulated venues of learning. There is little if not completely no mention or emphasis on the importance of creativity, innovation and diverse as is the case in classical systems. In most cases, modern education teachers do not even bother to discover the capabilities of or talents of student outside of standardised tests because they do not spend time with them. This shows that what they care most about is how one good is at memorizing which is as bad a hopeless situation for future generations. This has however resulted in recent movements to re-engage with the tenants of real education founders.
The classical education movement advocates for the resurgence of a form of education based in the traditions of western culture. An education system that reinforces cohesion rather than individuality. The major stressed point in this view is that the modern education system has been forging self-centred individuals who cares less for the well-being of the societies. The problem with self-centeredness is that there are no common goals, neither are there-common values therefore culture is destroyed because people no-longer have shared principles or morals which usually works as social adhesives.
With adherence to the perceptions postulated by Aithal (2015), there are several advantages attached to modern education which outclass and diminishes the importance of classical or conventional systems. According to his analysis as published in International Journal of scientific research (IJSRM 2015), through technological interventions online education can be reachable by a variety of students anywhere in the world at any-time bypassing previously imposed geographical barriers. He also mentions what he terms “flexibility” inferring that mobile devices are inherently portable to carry hence, students can have access to their readings while doing other activities for instance travelling or working to mention but a few. He goes on to mention the importance of increased comfort by suggesting that many students are not so comfortable with the traditional classroom environment.
Distance learning could, however, provide them with utmost comfort that they need to concentrate and prosper on their studies. To this he adds that it can also be time conservation in that most automated online stuff and services the likes of video lectures, online assignments online exams can be easily accessed without having to travel the boring long distance to school premises.
However, there are several problems in these views which I personally feel that there are overlooked and need to be addressed with caution. Firstly, classroom set plays are very significant role in moulding the behaviour and character of students which is as equally important at workplace as their skills. It is with great sadness to note that the behaviour of this current generation has deteriorated. The advancement in technology has led to many challenges’ concentration being one of them. In modern education systems, there is no recognition or at least a zeal to address socio-ethical issues, Postman (1996). Even if they do attend the lecture classes, they will be multi-tasking, with one hand typing, taking notes with the other yet one or all ears are plugged with earphones listening to music which has nothing to do with the subject at hand. This has significantly resulted in the production of poor-quality personnel. To add more flesh to this skeleton, Kenan a fanatic of this perception succinctly puts it this way…
…Since the basic framework of modern education is shaped by modernistic and positivistic worldview, it defines realities quantitatively and this approach as expected creates mainly mechanical-instrumental ways of knowing and learning about social phenomena, the objects and the universe. Yet when one looks at the things that make and rise the value of human beings, preserve and improve the value of human freedom- we find that they do not consist of cognitive, mechanical dimensions of knowing, but also more importantly circumscribe deeper feelings and experiences such as consciousness, common sense and compassion. These dimensions of what it means to be human feed and are fed in turn by moral virtues and values. there are multiple ways of learning but learning to be human is acritical aspect that is missing from modern education today.
This amongst others serves to show that there is a big void created by Modern education which was however, once catered for by classical education systems.
It could have been more effective to come up with a mixture of the two education systems synchronising the to produce more favourable and yet reliable beings for the survival of culture and societies. In addition, even if the school assignments are done online or at home, there is little or no evidence there to prove that they have done it themselves. This has much to do with online examinations and distance learning courses. There are cases from which students hire someone else to do their assignments or online examinations. Because nobody will be controlling or observing them. For sure antiplagiarism will by no means detect that a student asked his brother, friend or neighbour to complete their online school tasks. What matters to lecturers and modern teachers is that the student’s mark is exceptional and not detected by anti-plagiarism Softwares. This has resulted in many people being awarded what they do not deserve because the modern education is flawed right from its curriculum up to the modes of teaching and further on to the biased results they produce. Certainly, in a controlled environment the situation would be different.