Tag Archives: Creating

The Purpose of Education – Creating Responsible, Productive Citizens

“The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards”. – Anatole France

The purpose of education is to create responsible, productive and socially contributing citizens – people who can provide for their own families as well as contribute to their communities. As Toffler says, education in the 21st century should allow people to learn, unlearn and relearn. But I am not sure our schools and colleges are committed to this.

Education is one of the most unscientific human endeavors. You do well in school to get into a good college and earn a good degree. A good degree is supposed to be a passport to a good job. Based on your educational qualifications, you can climb to a reasonably high position without having to demonstrate any exceptional ability.

Beyond that, however, you may have problems. There is no established link between your performance in school and your performance in a job. Even more importantly, there is no link between your performance on the job and your performance in life.

To be true to purpose, education should support a child develop three fundamental capabilities:

1. Discover, develop and continually evolve a vision to become a useful member of society:

Many of us have an advantage – our parents envision our future for us, driving us to work towards achieving this vision. However, this is not as common among the poor. The education system has to step in to help everyone create this vision, and to build even the poor child’s confidence to pursue the vision.

Balaji Sampath, who runs Eureka Child – an NGO committed to improving literacy and math ability in government schools, told us a touching story in this context. Coming back from the US to do something meaningful in education, he immersed himself in local issues by spending a few months in a village. He was in a village classroom when a child asked the teacher whether it was possible to travel to the moon. “You and I cannot fly to the moon,” the teacher answered. “But scientists in the U.S. can…” We must stop robbing our children of goals and dreams.

2. Understand that questions are more important than answers:

Our education system places undue emphasis on providing answers – often to questions that children do not have. In other words, too often we teach children concepts without context; we need to show them why learning is important. We need to focus on awakening kids’ natural curiosity and teaching them to love learning. A good way to do this is to place children in natural experiences or in games where they can ask questions. In these settings, learning is immediate and strong. Learning can be a structured discovery process, offering students varied learning outcomes – just as our situations and decisions later in life offering different outcomes.

For example, an NGO in Mumbai went to schools with an experiment to teach students about water conservation. The pupils measured the amount of water consumed while brushing their teeth with the tap open, and then again with the tap off. Imagine, if we all learn this type of lesson in school, how we can apply the principles to so many other aspects of our home and work later in life.

3. Learning to Learn:

The world is evolving too fast for schools and colleges to keep up. What is being taught is inadequate and outdated, or will be soon. It is important that children are encouraged to discover answers on their own – through the Internet, through experimenting and by having access to experts on the cutting edge of every field.

It is important that students learn the scientific method –

(a) creating a hypothesis based on observations,

(b) designing and conducting experiments to prove or disprove these hypotheses and

(c) arriving at conclusions while recognizing that the conclusions could change with additional information.

With the level of knowledge available in the world today, it is also important to exercise judgment what to learn, and how and when you need to learn it. We need to teach kids when to rely on their own judgments,, and when to rely on the expertise of others. Our children must learn that even when you outsource the effort, you retain responsibility over the result.

What do you think? Do you agree with these ideas about the critical capabilities that our children need? Is our educational system addressing this? Do share your thoughts and experiences with all of us.

Creating a Faster Than Light Quantum Atomic Communication System – Potential Strategy

Okay so, for a good many years I’ve been trying to come up with a way to send information faster than the speed of light. I keep reading that it can’t be done, why you ask? Because Einstein hypothesized as much, still, that doesn’t make sense to me considering what we know now and how quantum physics is supposed to exist. The ability of shared pairs, complementary particles to hum, buzz, vibrate, or dance regardless of location in unison to one-another, means that we ought to be able to send information in this way, by vibrating one and watching the other.

One research paper suggests that “spooky action at a distance” travels 10,000 times the speed of light, still some say regardless that doesn’t mean you can send information because mere vibrations are not readable, thus meaningless. I say BS. Sure they are. Vibrating is on, on means one, and non-vibrating is off, and off means zero – so you can use binary code. All you need to do is shave off electrons from the same atom and keep them isolated and have a code to use when reading their vibrations. Best of all no one else can read or intercept the communication.

Further, if one could isolate the vibrational patterns, one could use derivatives of those patterns to discern shapes against a perpendicular point and the direction of travel of both shared pairs, and by controlling the first particle, you could watch the second and observe its vibrational path revealing the message using your code. In fact, we ought to be able to do this, theoretically, provided our measurement devices are accurate and our ability to control the first shared pair is precise.

Now then, I suppose I could get more play from this concept if I just weaved it into a science fiction story, and then let the human science catch up to these realities in the future, and someone could look back and say; “the author of that science fiction story predicted this.” It’s too bad that human scientists are so quick to say something cannot be done, just because they don’t know how to do it yet, or don’t have the tools to prove such theories are possible.

We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, if we fail to occasionally challenge their prior ascertains, in fact, we are doing a disservice to science when we do – further, it was those very scientists we respect the most, those with the big breakthroughs challenged the supposed known knowledge of their own time – so what’s wrong with us in the present period – are we afraid to challenge these old theories. Please consider all this and think on it.