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School in a Modern World

A mere 3 decades ago, a student’s primary access to information was through the teacher, classroom, and library. Thus, those resources became integral in the education of all children and young adults. In this pre-internet world, the school system and the teacher had a stable job, and an even more important role in society. This is traditional education.

The role of traditional education has changed entirely. No longer do I have to wait until I show up to school the next day to get help with my math homework. I could teach myself the next lesson at any given moment with the endless resources on the internet. I could even ask other people on the internet for help in real time when I absolutely need it. Every piece of historical trivia that I could ever want exists not just in an expensive set of encyclopedias, but in a free online one that is perpetually sourced from millions of people around the world. Oh, and despite contemporary mythology, it’s actually reliable if used correctly.

If that’s the case, then what does the traditional school system have to offer to students who have the world at their fingertips? The answer as it stands currently is simple: not much. Social interaction, among the more important but less tangible factors in the education of a child, is probably the best argument for the traditional methods of schooling continuing to exist. Even that argument is shaky ground considering the array of options parents have to enroll their kids in extracurricular activities outside of school.

School no longer has a monopoly over the education or even the edification of an individual. The behemoth that is institutionalized education is soon to see an extreme makeover, if it doesn’t collapse under its own dead weight first. Until it does, however, we have to move away from relying on this system to relying on educating ourselves. It’s the only way we’ll make it. The institution is of no help.