The mind is not a vessel to filled but a fire to be kindled
I believe that I am not the only person who thinks that the state of the education all over the world can be easily described by the titular saying. Wherever we go, let it be India, UK, Japan, Russia or France, we can see clearly that the new, fresh approach to education is nowhere to be found. We study almost the very same way people studies a couple hundred years ago. Of course, education is more accessible than before and we use different media like internet and devices such as tablets, computers and smartphones. However, can we really say that the learning process has changed?
Schools - schools are something that never changes, big classroom with many children (unles their private), teachers that cannot spend enough time with each and every student to help them understand, parents who have to work double shifts to just get by. Nobody has time and the children are in most cases left alone with their every-day struggle at school. Having nobody to get help from, to explain, those children are forced no learn by heartwhen they should rather concentrate on understanding. Just as the saying goes - their minds are not merely empty vessels that need filling and you cannot compare memorizing andknowing in any way.
Let us take one step back and think, what does it mean to learn? When do I know that I actually know something and I am not simply repeating what I had memorized? It happens when you understand, when you translate the problem you are facing into your mind's language, using your own idiolect - words, phrases and concepts close to you. It is when you can take what you had been studying and put it into practice, build something with it. Finally, it is when you can use your knowledge to explain and teach somebody else. Now think, how many students know their material well enough to teach others on the same level? Do you still think that there's nothing wrong with the education?
Is there any solution? What can we do when there are not enough teachers employed in schools to help every child? What can we do when there is no money to hire more teachers and through that create smaller classes? I believe that every child needs a mentor, somebody whom they will trust and who will be able to steer that child towards the right topics in the right media. Somebody, who would not only be able to help them understand but would also be willing to look for additional information interesting to the pupil, try and broaden his/her horizons, find their talents and nourish them.
Even though I would love to see the educational systems all over the world to change and be better and more effective, I know that it is not going to happen too soon. In the meantime, remember - you can be your child's mentor, you can help them get the edge they will need in future.