How can we grow as individuals? I was reading a novel by Sebastian Faulks last evening and there was a premise regarding education which really got me thinking.
In ancient times education was a simple case of “not falling behind”, that children needed to know when their parents knew and little more. There were obvious exceptions but by and large hunters taught their children to hunt and gatherers taught their children to gather.
With the advent of proper regular schooling which was government sanctioned which started a little after the start of the twentieth century, children started to “overtake” their parents in the subjects of language, maths and science in particular.
That was, in my opinion, a significant factor in the pace of global development in several areas. As more children grew in this way they were able to pass on their knowledge to the next generation who outgrew their teachers and parents and the cycle continued.
That is until, around 1975, in the UK anyway. I come from a generation who learned far more than my parents did. I was subjected to things they never could have imagined; one example is the moon landing but there are many many more.
I left school in 1973 nut already my school was introducing mixed ability classes where the weak and strong (educationally) were put together and the result was a mediocre common denominator and as the less intelligent mostly but not always were the most disruptive standards started to fall precipitously to such a level that teachers gave up teaching and their sole ambition was to “get through another year!”
The march of technology has, in several ways, contributed to the stunting of educational growth. Need to know something Google it! Since Google is now a verb. Forget what you read? Google it again. The need to retain information is slowly slipping away and schools are becoming little more than child care agencies.
The pace of progress is still phenomenal, but it is limited to a few innovators and their driver is more often money than advancement of mankind.
I used space travel as an analogy earlier, so I will again. The exploration of space has become a matter of dollars and cents. It has been left to a few entrepreneurs like Elon Musk or Richard Branson to take up the challenge but that is being done for profit no matter what noble sentiments they espouse.
How do we halt the slide? Well in these cases it is usually best to look at two things how the idea originally worked and where it went wrong.
I will leave you to come up with an answer.
Alan is an award-winning market commentator, providing bespoke content delivery for all aspects of the FX Industry. He has been working in the financial services industry for over 30 years and has a wealth of experience across banks in Europe, North America and the Middle East. A former trader, Alan holds a bachelor of business administration in Politics and Economics from the Mark Hall School.