Has the education system failed?
If so, then why, and what are the solutions?
I believe it has many reasons, but the most crucial reason is misunderstanding the purpose and definition of education itself.
The Purpose of Education
The purpose of education is not one-dimensional. Three dimensions of learning correspond with the human constitution: Body, soul, and spirit.
The 1st dimension of learning is for physical needs. Each individual must develop the ability to hold a vocation and fulfill the physical demands of survival. Yet, this level of education is not sufficient to meet us as human beings. Making more money can't be the end of life.
The 2nd dimension of learning is for the soul's needs. Edward Young (1683 - 1765) said. “We are all born originals - why is it so many of us die copies?” One of the reasons human beings are the most precious in the world is the uniqueness of each individual. I especially emphasize the concept of personal identity. I want to know what and who I am because I want to live my own life. Without my own identity, I have to live someone else's life. I would say this is the highest goal in life, and it is “Human EngineerⓇ"(please refer to the article on “What is Human engineerⓇ”) that helps everyone achieve this. This can be called character building, attitude, personality, self-identity, etc. The question is “Do we know how to teach these qualities?”
This is the reason why modern people suffer from many mental illnesses when they cannot establish their identity. Such as; anger, low self-esteem, low respect for others and self, depression, anxiety, many disorders, etc.
The 3rd dimension of learning is for spiritual needs. These are self-transcendent issues. Without spiritual knowledge, the individual can’t answer the following questions;
- What is the meaning of life?
- What value system do we live by?
- How to satisfy the longing for eternity?
An essential form of 'self' is an individual with spirituality. As described, the purpose of education is three-dimensional and corresponds with the human constitution. Without covering all the areas of the human constitution, the education system can not be complete.
The Definition of Education
What does education mean to the human species?
Genes confer the viability of all animals but not humans. Humans inherit only potential, not viability. Therefore, the growth period of animals is short, and small species such as mice and rabbits grow enough to give birth in 4-6 weeks, and large species such as cows and tigers grow in 12-18 months at the most. However, humans take 14-5 years biologically to give birth to the next generation. Still, it takes more than 20 years to become a human being capable of exercising the function of survival in the modern age. Furthermore, it takes a lifetime to grow into a mature individual. Everyone must cultivate viability to actualize human potential through education. Therefore, education is a unique human function, and it is the meaning of education. Thus, the purpose and process of education cannot be explained in one dimension and must be divided into three components of human beings; body, soul, and spirit. The stages of education will be summarized below:
- The first stage of education is a means of survival, actions of living taught and developed to an end, unlike animals which survive through genetic instinct. This area is fulfilling our physical needs.
- Progression of education moves from a means of survival to becoming. To humans, life is becoming; the process, through learning, of forming their unique identity to live their own life.
- Humans are ethical beings. The modern world has lost its moral bearings because of the change of social structure. The transformation of social structure comes from the Industrial Revolution; from rural area living to urbanization. The problem is that the public education system cannot teach ethics anymore because ethics are taught in a community with parents’ support. "It takes a village to raise a child."
- Final progression of education moves into longing for eternity. However, this area is an area of faith and a private area with only each individual with God(if any reader is uncomfortable with this term exchange with the spiritual realm).
The Solutions - Define problems
How are we going to address this difficult task?
Not easy, yet can't give up on hope and efforts to come up with solutions. The best approach is clearly defining what the problems are. So let's begin.
First problem - Life is an art not becoming a money-making machine. - Making more money can't be the end of human life.
The second problem - We think we know, but we don't know. So as many parents say. "Fake it until you make it." “Why are we so ignorant of nurturing human potential?” I dare to argue that because of the central question of “What are human viabilities?” has not been asked and found an answer for it. Human viability is not born with genes but only potential. Therefore, this question must be asked! "What are the viability humans need to develop?"
I propose the following.
Ability to learn; through this ability everyone needs to develop the following abilities
- Ability to think (IQ)
- Ability to control the emotion (EQ)
- Ability to work (performance or execution)
- Joy of learning and work
It has been misunderstood that increasing the amount of knowledge is the basis of learning. However, the point is not the amount of knowledge each person gaind, rather how much learning ability each individual gained. This should be the basis of an evaluation of education. Are we aware of this problem? We are living in the digital world, not the analog world anymore. All the knowledge is under your fingertip! Think about it, seriously!
Third problem - Complexity of learning - "We don't know what learning is, its definition, purpose, and methods well enough to do the job." The proof of this point is a waste of human potential throughout human history. We can agree that the bulk of human potential is yet undiscovered.
Fourth problem - Teaching method for integration of 3 parts - The fourth problem will be "We don't have a teaching method that integrates all parts of the human constitution. Since Individual means undividable, we only categorize human functions in three areas: physical, metaphysical, and spiritual(I would like to use the term “meta world”).
The best vehicle for teaching all aspects of the human constitution is Martial Arts, not Martial Sports, because it trains the body, mind, and spirit together. In other words, if a Martial Arts studio cannot teach a student's mental and spirituality together, they shouldn't claim a Martial Art Studio instead of a sports center. This is another BIG public misunderstanding.
"Everyone learns differently." This statement is true because learning is so personal. However, we must find the universal principle of "how to learn." Without a general form of how to learn, can we learn well? The answer is no. Ask yourself, “How stressful were you when you went through schooling?” Why were you stressed? The reason is you must learn yet don’t know how to learn effectively! This is what I've been working on all my life, and the result is Human EngineerⓇ.
One of the propositions for “What is human” is “Homo-Faber”, which means "Man, the maker." Humans are constantly making things, but they need to make a suitable tool to complete the job. Human history can be said, “The history of making tools” suitable for solving the difficult problems of each era. It is time to make the right tools for HUMAN POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENT.
I am looking forward to introducing all the tools that I have made.
Grand Master JH Lee