Let’s be honest, school is dumb.
Admittedly at this point I’m a bit bitter after having spent 8 years on a PhD that was failed by the examiners (sick of me saying that yet?), but really who is more qualified to talk about the uselessness of school than a guy who spent more than 30 years as a student?
Well, in my over-educated/under-qualified opinion these so-called “schools” are just glorified young adult daycare centres that have outlived their usefulness in our slick future world.
C’mon, if we simply want to indoctrinate the children of Western society into today’s culture of online commerce and fad-celebrity then I’m sure we can think of a way more efficient method than just jamming them into tiny rooms for over a decade and making them flirt, poke and scar each other until they’re old enough to earn and shop.
I mean, there was a time when school was just a handful of kids anywhere from 5-18 years-old in an old farm house on some prairie village. We stopped all that because our world doesn’t need butter-churners and cattle rustlers anymore, while these days we don’t need the door-to-door salesmen, folksy bankers and competent secretaries that our current education system was built to produce. These Western-style schools that started in the Leave it to Beaver era are just as outdated as the stuff we saw on Little House on the Prairie, and luckily I’ve got a few ideas on just how we can shake things up.
Before I get on with this though, I’m going to explain that I will bypass the supposed ‘socialisation’ advantage of schooling as if somehow school is the only way to make friends and prematurely learn about bullying and back-stabbing before graduating into the ever child-like world of adult office politics. I’m not even going to get into the particulars of why this is a stupid theory and if I did it would be long, boring and full of conjecture really only based on what I saw in School of Rock, The Wire Season 4 and Saved by the Bell. So let’s imagine a world where the socialisation that takes place in the school system isn’t supposedly it’s most important aspect.
So here now are 4 fantastic new ways that we can fix this whole “school-ing” nonsense:
1-on-1 Prescription Classes
Every day we like to stuff a big room full of diverse little kids and subject them to some boring old person doing a dopey song and dance to keep them from falling asleep while also struggling to enforce a bunch of arbitrary rules on them, such as don’t talk and don’t wear a hat. But aside from an evening out at the ballet, when would anyone have to be in a similar situation outside of grade school? So, instead of a class full of students with one teacher all day, how about dividing up the time differently?
Each teacher can be like a doctor and everyday they can meet individually with students one at a time. Give them like 20 minutes each with 20 different students and that’s a regular 8-hour work day for the teacher and a much more effective period of condensed communication for the student. Homework will be like getting a prescription for different kinds of instruction and tasks that they can do through Twitter or Youtube, and all their actual assignments or tests can be checked through online outsourcing. If a student is keeping up they get encouragement and praise, if they don’t do anything then they get the same diagnosis a doctor would give a sickly patient: regular exercise, proper diet, oh and here are the pills your should take to make you just like the rest of us!
1 Student – 30 Teachers
How about if we just reverse the classroom dynamic completely. Rather than one overwhelmed teacher trying to grasp the needs of 30 little nightmares whipped up into a frenzy by various stages of adolescence, let’s give each student 30 teachers.
During the month, everyday one student can “study” with someone in a different location: homes, parks, businesses, factories, malls. They don’t have to learn from out-dated textbooks or liberalised parent-surrogates all day, they can actually be taught to do stuff in the real world, like how to make a good lunch, change a tire, program games or even engineer chemicals.
This way the entire city becomes a school. Each person doing whatever they normally do being shadowed every day by a different kid of various ages and abilities. As time progresses these students might gravitate towards one vocation more than another, or the people-teachers can recommend different skills for them to try. There would be no need for breaks or ‘summer vacation’ and this should go on 7 days a week too. If parents still even want their kids around I guess it’s possible that they could come back home every night, but really it’s probably just better to keep them in capsule hotels until they’re old enough to work.
The All-MBA High School System
Even if I’d gotten that PhD in Creative Writing it wouldn’t be anywhere near as valuable as an MBA is today. An arts degree might show that you can think differently, but an MBA shows that you can think professionally. With an arts degree I can have conversations at academic conferences with the ever-shortening circle of similarly intellectual people who understand me but will still probably fall asleep during my presentation, while with an MBA I can get a lucrative salary just for telling people what menial tasks they should be doing (of course, with neither all I can do is write a blog).
Obviously that MBA sounds way more attractive! And it can’t be too hard can it, what do they really teach you to do: secretly text while sitting in boring meetings, look self-important when walking through hallways, or how to skip out of work and play golf with your friends? Any dim-witted high school student is already doing most of these things anyways. So let’s just cram all that book learning into elementary schools and make high school one big MBA program. Then we can have millions more tertiary business grads for the global office spaces of tomorrow. Once all the manufacturing jobs have all gone to Iran, Uganda and North Korea, we’re gonna need someone to boss around those uppity new Chinese admin employees with the English BAs they got thanks to those few remaining arts majors left teaching overseas.
Celebrity / Athlete Training
No one wants to do any of those dirty big labour jobs anymore, the service industry is an entitled tip-whoring disaster, and certainly all these internet geniuses with programming skills to take down governments didn’t learn any of that at school, so why pretend like the education system is anything other than a gestating office-zombie factory. But it doesn’t have to be like that because we know that the one thing schools are good are churning out are athletes and pop artists. And those are jobs everyone wants!
The academic subjects can be saved for the after school clubs and schools can be turned into boot camps for the entertainment industry. These new fully-endorsed Western-ized superstars can be outsourced all over the globe. I’m talking about an NHL franchise in every Buenos Aries suburb, Duck Dynasty spin-offs in all regions of Turkey, and a Lady Gaga for every village in rural Bangladesh.
If the Western education system was supposed to mould young minds into generic copies of a well-rounded intellectual then I think it’s time to admit that we have failed to reach this goal. However, the machine can still be put to good use to produce the quality content that everyone around the world truly wants from us; dumb and deadly sports, repetitively humiliating reality television and thudding hypnotic pop dance music. Sure, it’ll take a lot of work people, but I mean it’s not like we’re close to having flying cars, teleportation or hotels on the moon, so let’s cash in on what we know while we can!
We’d better hurry up on though, they’re already doing this in Korea:
So there you have it, 4 great new ideas for replacing the current dopey-ass school system. At the very least we could we just let Apple figure out what to do with these schools? Even without Steve Jobs I figure they’ve got to be able to spruce the whole thing up! And then we wouldn’t have to include any of these poor people either.
And how about THIS for an idea, pretty soon we really won’t need anymore children. I’m talking about the inevitability of curing ‘death’ through nano-bots, cloning, super-drugs, robotics, or just by putting our consciousness online.
At that point, why would we even need another generation? We are the next generation! In fact, there will be no more space for new people anyways. It will probably be illegal to procreate, or most likely the whole idea of raising children will become as outdated as having a Cabbage Patch Kid.
And school… damn, what a silly concept that will have seemed like. Sure, maybe there was some pride in being able to list all the movies where Jean-Claude Van Damme played twins off the top of your head but now any loser can Google it and tell you in milliseconds that he did that three times. Soon enough all the knowledge in history will be on instant recall in your brain hard-drive and we’ll mock the idea of needing to go to school to slowly learn stuff the same way we now laugh at hunting, riding horses, pagers and having conversations without simultaneously texting someone else.
With this inevitability so close on the horizon, why cling to this decrepit school system? We should all be working on new ways to to make this transition to instant super-intelligence and never ending life quicker and easier. This should be the one main goal of all civilisation.
I say that we’ve got to kiss the ass of all these major corporations in such a deity-loving fashion that they figure how out to make it affordable to keep me alive forever. If, for example, McDonald’s can just squirt those burgers full of infinite knowledge steroid and endless life serum then they will have me as a customer in perpetuity!
At that point the last things anyone will care about are teaching children, going to school, or doing a damn PhD!
And those days can’t come soon enough.