A Brief Rethink of Education (Part 4: Passion) - John Tan

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A Brief Rethink of Education (Part 4: Passion)

Do all pupils and all teachers get a kick out of going to school? I have always thought that people should be acknowledged for the passions they have, and the unique interests they choose to pursue rather than the grades they achieve. Our curriculums act as lists, with topics ready to be checked off. It’s almost as if we have forgotten that people with passion can change the world for the better. Enabling pupils to explore a broad range of experiences means that they are best exposed to discovering what really drives them and energises them.

A fundamental principle to stand by is to work on things which thrill you and you find a pleasure to do. It is not to abide by a set of academic walls which dictate what pupils do, with very little freedom to deviate, but to nurture the inner passions individuals will develop over time. Education was not set up to spoon-feed knowledge, needless and of no use in some instances, but to develop the potential of young minds. It applies to teachers too – the role of a teacher is not merely to transfer information from their brains into other brains through PowerPoints and notes (a book can do this faster for some pupils). The role of the teacher is to excite, to pose questions which pupils are fascinated by, and ultimately, use their sheer love and enthusiasm for their subject, into captivating pupils’ minds.

On a broader note, passion is absolutely fundamental in a world with growing shifts in technology and AI. The power and capabilities of AI mean that things which human beings used to do out of necessity such as administrative work and repetitive tasks will indeed be replaced by AI. This thus leaves human beings the ability to work on things which they love to do out of passion. We don’t know yet if AI will ever possess consciousness and thus passion as a characteristic, but we know for certaint that people with passion have always changed the world for the better. If all humans are passionate about the things they do during their lives, we can certainly hope for a better society. This starts with education systems which stimulate nurturing passions. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

John Tan

Move education forward. Move the world forward. And get closer to the truth. Excited by the intersect of psychology, design, tech and education.


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