The evolution of communications technology and more tech-savvy individuals becoming a part of the professional world has led to a certain shift in how things work. The concept of workplaces, how jobs are done, and the kind of jobs available are changing dramatically.
The traditional learning system has several issues which may lead to students in the modern world facing challenges that were not present when the system was developed. Before the pandemic struck, I noticed a drastic shift of people opting for e-learning as opposed to traditional learning avenues. The pandemic and the necessity for social distancing might make online learning more of a necessity rather than an option right now, but I think it is nothing more than a catalyst for what was already happening.
- An Outdated System
Traditional learning systems might have updated course material over the years, but the essential system is the same as it was over a century ago. Neatly lined rows of desks, teachers giving the same old lecture, and each student is required to perform at the same level, pace, and method as their peers.
Now, this system was fine for a long time and it remained in place, but how things work in the world have changed in the last few decades. The advent of internet and advanced communication technology, as well as a broader awareness of varying skills and learning styles mandate a different approach to education as well.
Where there used to be a one-size-fits-all approach, there needs to be a more customized approach to learning. I’ve been a part of traditional education earlier and transitioned into e-learning. The difference has been massive from where I stand and many of my peers who have made the shift
- Lack of Individual Attention
Perhaps one of the biggest issues I have with the traditional learning system is that students do not get enough individual attention. A single classroom can have as few as 30 to as many as 100 students at a time. Teachers simply do not have the time to cater to them one-on-one.
A lack of individual attention combined with an outdated system results in the education system failing students who require more attention to understand concepts that others might comprehend easily.
- Lack of Diversity
Expanding on the problem of an outdated system, there is a distinct lack of diversity in traditional learning avenues in several contexts. Whether it is in the approach to delivering lessons, or in how each student is treated the same regardless of their strengths and weaknesses.
There is a growing realization for the need of personalized learning. E-learning empowers students to learn based on their strengths, needs, and interests. It enables students to have a more substantial voice and choice in how, when, and where they learn. It gives them the freedom and flexibility to ensure mastery in the particular subject based on their abilities as opposed to an archaic standardized system.
- Emphasis on Rote Learning
While this may not apply everywhere, my experience with traditional learning systems is a focus on studying in a way that curbs creative thinking or practical skills. A student is forced to learn a subject regardless of their interest and are expected to follow a rigid curriculum.
Careers today require professionals to tackle problems by collaborating with each other to come up with creative solutions. The traditional education system decimates that from students before they even join organizations.
- Students Fail to Understand the Importance of Education
If you ever find yourself in a drab situation where there is nothing that stimulates your mind and you are forced to work on strict guidelines, it would be a miracle that you will retain anything.
This is another major problem with traditional education systems. The focus of the outdated learning avenues is more towards filling students to the brim with information without clearly helping them understand the purpose. Students are more focused on completing the syllabus, getting the good grades for following their teachers’ instructions, and moving on to the next class. The best student is the one who gets the most marks.
The focus today should be on the impact that education has on individuals and the society rather than the number of marks they get. If a student has plenty of theoretical knowledge but does not understand the practical utility of education, they will find it challenging to succeed in the professional world.
- Lack of Skill-based Education
Speaking of theoretical knowledge, we come to the problem of education systems being devoid of any skill-based education. Professions nowadays demand out-of-the-box thinking, innovation, creativity, and flexibility. The traditional learning system does not cater to practical skills.
Schools, colleges, and universities are fearful of drastic changes to how they approach syllabi, and that leaves the would-be professionals out of their depth when they tackle real-life challenges across various professions.
Over the years, affordability has become the single biggest problem for students around the world. Did you know that after mortgages, student loans account for the most debt for people in the country? It should hardly be surprising. The bachelor’s degree addiction that universities and employers have enabled for decades has led to an increasing number of people incurring crippling debt just to get a bachelor’s degree that they cannot afford with loans they cannot pay back.
This issue extends mostly to students pursuing higher education that is focused on getting them into their careers. A traditional college level education is several times more expensive than its e-learning equivalent.
Many people work tirelessly to save for their children’s college education. It is not uncommon to see students unfortunate enough to get caught in the trap of student loan debt continue paying their college fees the rest of their lives.