Education today is undergoing a metamorphosis of sorts, and this is really lovable and exciting for all concerned- think tank, administrators, educators, parents and educational reformist groups and most of all, students themselves. Indeed the days of conservatism and orthodox, narrow thinking in education is now a think of the part, education needs to reinvent itself to meet societal and employment demands and the theoretical based approach does not seem make sense in the 21st Century, technology-driven Digital Age. Sweeping educative reforms that have been initiated in the US under the aegis of President Barack Obama is designed to make education more compelling, fulfilling, productive and everlasting, in effect, removing much of the inequalities, inconsistencies and barriers relating to disabilities, colour and racial discriminations, social status and other variables that have been predominant in education for many generations. Indeed, these reform measures are also to stimulate rapid individual and educational growth in a hitherto, much neglected sector of society.
1. Education has not become more employment oriented: While in the past, there was a marked onus on gaining subjective knowledge that ceased to hold any empirical benefits for the future of students, limited to theories, jargons and models, the changes have provided practical impetus and empirical value to studies. Students are not only taught theories of subjects but are also demonstrated its practical utility value in the real world situations.
2. Participative education has assumed centre stage: Education has now ceased to be a monologue delivered by professors which needs to be learnt by rote by the class. In todays environment, there is interactive participation between both the learned and the learning, the students are free to challenge the posits of teachers and express their own views on many topics. They could even prove their professors wrong and force him to change his own learning and instruction modes. Being able to challenge the views of educators and make them see validity in the deposition of students is indeed exciting and exhilarating. However, there should only be healthy and constructive inter exchanges and this should not be allowed to take personal overtures. With fast changing technology also invading educational space, many theories have now been rendered outdated and obsolete. Educators are now regarding as facilitators of learning process rather than absolute and unquestionable authorities in their spheres of teaching.
3. Empirical presentations are fast taking over the space of theoretical discourses: Professional considerations have now assumed major importance and students learn in class what they need to practice in their future professions. Law students get chances to view virtual court proceedings, medical students could watch performance of live surgical operations, management students need to offer their views on live case studies and so on. Thus, the theory part is only relevant as it relates to practice and this is indeed exciting for students because of these education changes, they do not view education as a dreary and monotonous process but as lively, interactive and challenging one.
4. Evolving and transparent student evaluation and assessment processes: Many new trends and practices with the use of modern state-of-the-science techniques are now imbued and in vogue. Whether it relates to admission procedures, classroom assessment, grading examinations results or other orientations, there is marked conspicuous transparency and lack of guile. Use of computer aided methods have also relieved much of the error and misreading in the quantitative aspects of education, thereby making it more genuine and less arbitrary. Computer-based assessments offer unbiased, scientifically ascertained and clear cut methodologies for various facets of education, thereby removing much of the biasedness and possible skewedness of observations, thereby rendering it more amenable and prone to comparison and interpretations. Under the erstwhile methods, most evaluations had subjective ring around them, were unclear and ambiguous and did not offer convictions of detailed, exhaustive and comprehensive studies to validate results. It is indeed exciting to be part of engrossing and healthy competitive environment in education where the sole criterion is performance alone.
5. Online and computer- based learning now occupies center stage: With the proliferation of web based learning, the onus on the brick-and-mortar model has indeed become limited in scope and application. Some of its major boons are that it offers any time, any where and instant access to education. It annihilates time, geographical and distance barriers and is not discriminating like class room models. All that is needed is the will to succeed and computer/internet access.
The sweeping reforms in the field of education were long overdue and greatly welcomes by all segments of the educational domain. Since education is a major constituent of free and responsible society, it is important that it should be in tune with changing times. Indeed, most societies are judged by the quality of their education system and this really needs to be exciting for any student.