I recently stumbled upon the video "THE PEOPLE VS THE SCHOOL SYSTEM" again by Prince Ea. I found it interesting for a couple of reasons, despite having an anarchist feeling of "yay, people power!" The first is that it gets the point across very well that the current education system isn't dynamic enough or up-to-date. It treats everyone as the same and doesn't account for different interests, strengths and learning preferences. The second is that, when he compares classrooms, phones and cars from 150 years ago to now, it creates a strong image in the viewer's head about how nothing has changed. The education system, as an enrolled student, is an outdated, static, factory system. By that I mean that everyone is made to do the same thing, there is no distinction between students in the eyes of the education system and it feels like a chore going there now. Conservatism is old and we need something new, virile, dynamic and effective—a new worldview.
I'm a visual learner by nature and I think that we should place more emphasis on the flourishing of individuals, so they can achieve their best and contribute however they can to their society. If you don't let individuals flourish in their learning by giving them more attention and help in smaller classrooms; 15 students instead of 30 to a class should do the trick, then there's no wonder why people become useless and take up space. There should be more outside classrooms and learning time, where students are out in the sun and can get that extra Vitamin D that they are missing out on right now. From the earliest age there should be plenty of physical education. There should be compulsory boxing classes to toughen kids up, smaller classrooms and better paid teachers. Boxing is a good tool of steeling people—toughening them up—as it focuses on building strong bodies and healthy minds to achieve your goals with. Ideally, Australian men should be educated to be ready for war if it breaks, which could come with China, but be peace-loving as is our character, be virile and confident in their physical abilities and learn to not fear death. All weakness should be eliminated, the youth should be active, dominating and brutal but also retain compassion for when it is necessary. They should be indifferent to pain and hardship, pride and independence should become again. Students should learn to take action and learn only what tickles their fancy to the highest degree. Self-command, discipline and self-denial are essential characters of a strong people. Although the video below is from Fascist Italy, we can learn from history and adopt ideas and concepts that works, think up new ideas and adapt it to our country and culture to retain that unique Australian character.
With smaller classrooms comes the opportunity for individual students to get more attention and to achieve more through that extra attention and learning time. There should also be an emphasis on educating towards healthy living and eating, to aid this goal of healthy minds and bodies. We should do away with standardised testing, because it doesn't test how smart you are, but rather how well you can memorise. I had classes in high school that I didn't care about, I memorised things well and passed, but now I don't use that knowledge and I've largely forgotten it. Copying pages to memorise from textbooks is stale, boring and doesn't connect with today's youth; they become disinterested, neither does sitting and listening to hour long lectures. Classrooms should be interactive, engaging, practical and a place for discussion. I may be biased because I am a visual learner, but if I am doing something when learning it, I retain it better than I would by writing it down in a notebook.
Education should be useful and students should graduate with skills and discipline, ready to sacrifice if needed and wanting to improve their country. It should be a tool to help train people to truly contribute to their society, to be able to reach their true potential and to use that potential to enrich the people. It should teach them how to think and not what to think. Education (like healthcare) should be free (nationalised) and ran off true merit; their aptitude, so we can be intelligent and healthy. Merit of intellect and not of money like we have now. The smartest kid who comes from a poor family should be allowed to get a quality education, without school fees crippling their family's financial situation and reach their true potential. They can then use that potential to enrich the people and become successful. Higher education, though, should be selective; I've had way too many people in my university classes who shouldn't be there. One guy couldn't even form complex sentences for his presentation, his Powerpoint had spelling mistakes on every slide and so many others are so lazy and unmotivated, someone who could perform better and had more drive, should be there instead. The most important subjects should be history and physical education; in high school I did one semester of history and largely forgot most of it after that year. I had to relearn it in recent times. We also shouldn't be taught our history in a negative light, we should be proud to be the third most developed nation in the world (previously second, behind Norway and Switzerland). Within the classroom, the teacher should stand in the middle of the students, who have their desks in a circle. Having many rows of desks in a class of 30 students allows them to fall asleep on the other side of the room or to stop focussing without the teacher noticing. Also present in every classroom should be the flag of Australia.
There should be racial education. You can't have a society where people are willing to help each other and progress forwards if they don't know who they are, they don't know their history and what makes their country unique. We should educate our young about the problems of race mixing, so that our countries retain their racial characters and culture and why race is important. The science of citizenship must be taught, we have to know what it means to be Australian and what it takes. Being humble and generous should be instilled in them, so they learn to sacrifice for the greater good of their country, like we did during WW2. We need to be training and educating men to be soldiers, or the 'cultured thug' ideal—the combining of intellect and physical courage—and women to be mothers. Teach men to be men and women to be women; this is almost lost in the modern age. Accompanying this, there should be more excursions; we all should appreciate our natural environment more and want to live with nature instead of destroying it; let's start this appreciation at a younger age. Loving nature and animals is also an important aspect of a healthy society. In the end, a revival of ANZAC values and spirit must be retained and training for healthy, spiritual and mental improvement will result. National pride through the teaching of history and using myth for political purposes is also essential in retaining our diminishing unique character, due to Americanisation.
Like Finland, we should try shorter school days, having less homework and more collaboration instead of competition. I believe if we have more quality school time, we don't need more quantity of school time. 6 to 18 year olds can only focus for so long at school before they start to daydream and not care—end the school day earlier, not starting it later. Homework in itself is and becomes a chore and should be done at school; the only homework should be assignments and these should be spread out over the course of the term or semester. The reason why students—in particular, university and high school students—seem so stressed now is because there is a good 6 to 7 weeks of learning and then 3 assignments crammed into the last few weeks. Additionally there are exams, which if you don't pass, your future takes a wrong turn. Instead of making students just compete against each other in the classroom for the best marks, we should also put more emphasis on teaching students to collaborate at a young age, to pull your weight and enact a teamwork environment with hierarchy and unity towards a common goal. Shared experiences and struggles creates a bond between people and helps in countering atomisation of individuals and promotes community. Not having this strong presence makes students isolated at later ages. This also teaches leadership, focuses on character and improves them earlier on in life.
One way we can make students interested in and keen to be at school again, which I think is a problem unique to my generation in particular, is by instilling a sense of pride and belonging in them through history with books and poems by great Australians. Let them choose their own route earlier; if someone knows they are good at art and wants to become a famous artist early on in life, why would they need to take science classes where they learn things they won't use in depth? I hated maths in high school and I don't use anything I learnt from year 10 onward like algebra. The education system should provide a broad education on a range of things and the students who are interested in those specific areas should be encouraged to learn the intricacies and finer details. Teach the basic details instead of clouding their minds with dates and other unimportant details, as well as teaching why things happen. Above all, school should be run with military timing and effective punishment should be used to change bad habits, not cruel or ineffective punishment. Punish students by making them pick up rubbish or clean graffiti all day, isolate them from their friends during that day and talk to them instead of at them. Ask why they acted the way they did; don't turn it into a shouting match. They will notice what the punishment has achieved. Teachers should hold authority and the students should respect that through obedience, to avoid anarchy in the classroom like we have now. Students should get used to marching into their classroom with their fellow countrymen and women and saluting the flag of Australia. Duty and honour should be inculcated in their minds early on and that they value the sacrifices of those who came before them. There is a clip 3 and a half minutes into the video below that shows this from 1947.
After high school or university there should be certainty of job security. For example, if someone is studying to be a journalist, a lawyer or a teacher, they should have that guarantee of knowing there will be plenty of jobs available for them. If not, deportation of foreigners could be useful or even building more schools etc. The students should be strongly encouraged to enter into the military or a labour service if this is the case. This is where graduates can help in nation-building projects aiming to remove class distinctions and unite Australians and showing their duty and dedication to their people and nation's future, whilst also making money. You take extra pride in something if you've helped in creating or improving it. For a week each year, residents of working age and health in certain suburbs or postcodes in each state should also do their part in helping the nation's progress through rotating work programs. This would work by alerting the residents of that area ahead of time, stating what they will work on, be it physical labour, beautification or craftsmanship, and where, so they can plan accordingly. Since we are known to have 'tall poppy syndrome,' overcoming this will ensure there is no wealth envy, no class conflict and ensure a united people, since there will be that assurance that the successful people have done the same. I realise that most of what I have said may appear extreme to certain people, but that is a sign of how far we have degenerated in the course of a few generations.