Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What’s your Perception about Quality Education

 If life is like a journey, then education is just like the transportation tools; it's the means to end, not the end itself.

Like many other important things, people have mixed or even “extreme thinking” about education. In some conservative or primitive cultures, children couldn’t get the opportunity to receive the elementary education; in other “ivory-tower ”driven culture, though, it seems having the formal advanced education or pursuing elite education becomes the very destination of life… So what’s the right attitude to education, and how to define the quality education?

Education, either formal or informal, is the means to the end, not the end itself: If life is like a journey, then education is just like the transportation tools, either you take luxury or regular class, faster plane or slower bus, it is the means to the end, not the end itself. Knowledge can be taught, but you have to figure out how to think. So is it that 'quality education' is more like 'training' but what is really needed is more focus on 'development' in the education process; the need for people to think solutions on a personal and group level, to think of future needs, to think outside the box, to focus on mind crafting, rather than just knowledge instilling? It seems that whole cultures need to transform themselves if the world is to see different outcomes. But in societies grounded in so-called “ivory tower” minds, success seems more reliant on “means,” not the destination; education becomes the "status quo" to protect a few, but a barrier to innovation and inclusiveness; a "mini-window," to create many blind spots; or a silo to build wall in one's mind and tie the knot in the heart - Ideally, the quality education should set the guide for the life adventure based on being who you are, what you plan to do and the alternatives to reach the destination.

The very quality of education is to assess how well it shapes the right sets of mind (growth, progression, creativity, open and learning, etc): “Quality" would be associated with an "Education" that fosters critical thinking, excellent problem-solving skills, ability to turn new ideas into innovative products, innovative thinking, ability to apply specific knowledge as tangible applications in some field or another, ability to switch from meta-cognitive analysis to micro-analysis while understanding how the rules change when doing that, superb linguistic skills, fluency and speed when accessing information from the virtual world, flexible algorithmic thinking and so on. This is the domain of the progressive schools in education, also the emerging virtual learning alternatives. Education provides the broader window to see the world with knowledge lenses, but shouldn't become a constraint to limit one's imagination.

Quality in education is now crucial in plans towards cross-cultural boundary: While the notion of quality and priority may differ from country to country, the term has become a determining factor in facilitating global support for educational expansion and developmental initiatives. Understanding the geographical context of quality in education, what its indicators are within the cultural milieu of particular countries, the challenges associated with implementing quality education are therefore significant. Before receiving an education, most of us are like a frog in a well. The education, we get may be, takes us out of the well, but for some, it also sets the limit for their continuous learning and growth due to the burden of credential; or add the filter to see the world via the lenses set up by educators. Or, to put simply, it becomes the causes of bias, or the reason lacking independent thinking. A quality education, hence, should open, not close one’s mind, helps receivers to:
  • Recognize opportunities
  • Give one ability to evaluate the opportunities
  • Ability to select and opt for what is best suited to the individual, etc.
  • Inspire the thinking and learning habit

The word 'quality' seems to be being used exclusively to signify 'high' quality. It is a word and a concept open to considerable dispute. Generally speaking, quality education is not defined by the reputation of institutes or the approaches they take, but defined by the very "products" - the well-educated individuals who can challenge their mentors, criticize the theories, and think beyond the education box, and continue to take opportunities in life adventure by taking advantage of education as means to end, to move the world progressively.


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