A recent poll by NPS/IPSOS found that 29% of parents are planning on sticking with remote learning, regardless of their school policy. I found that number surprising, given that it seems like there is a major push country-wide to get kids back to school, given deficits in social-emotional learning.
While it terrifies me to ponder the effects that pandemic isolation has had on my kids in their socialization, their education has been on par with, or perhaps even better, than what they were getting previous to the pandemic. Their reading levels are skyrocketing from personalized attention, as are math and science skills. While the diversity of educational classes is a bit lacking in our homeschool (neither my wife or I are bilingual, for example), we’re happy with where they are skill-wise.
As I’ve harped on in a number of podcast episodes, the educational system is certainly due for an update. The ‘institutionalization’ of our youth worked well when preparing them for factory work 80-100 years ago, but it no longer does them any favors in the evolving technological world we find ourselves in today. Few of the skills learned in schools will be valuable, or even remotely relevant, in 20 years with the onset of AI and Virtual Reality. What will be needed are the creative, applicative, and analytical skills that are best taught in one on one formats. Rote memorization will be worthless when we are able to recall factual information by simply thinking about it, which is not far off from our capability if you ask Elon Musk.
This is not to throw all socialization to the wolves. Those social skills are vital, but I question whether the best place to learn them is in conjunction with instruction of the skills needed for tomorrow. With better social opportunities available in athletics, extra-curriculars, community service, community living, and other communal forums that will arise as the archaic titanic that is the current educational system sinks, there are far better options out there. They exist as alternatives today, but the educational system can not hold in its current form forever with the increasing pressures it faces.
Today is the opportunity for new educational realities to be embraced. I salute those parents that will maintain their current models of education, even in the face of the challenges of social and emotional learning. Thought the nation-wide push seems to be to “return to normal,” the herd will quickly realize that this movement is a regression back to models that were already in the process of complete failure.