The Power of What You Choose to Learn

You know, it’s not about what we were taught; it’s about what we choose to learn in education. This idea struck me during my journey to attain an M.Ed. I had the privilege of learning from professors who were not just knowledgeable but truly inspiring individuals. Their wisdom felt like beacons guiding me through the maze of academia. They were dedicated educators, working tirelessly to prepare future teachers and teacher educators.  These mentors often criticized the parallel education system, where coaching centers reign supreme.

But an eye-opening moment came when I visited one of my esteemed professors to get my final papers signed. She confided in me that she was sending her own son to Kota, a hub for intense engineering exam preparation. It left me in bewilderment. Here was a person deeply entrenched in mainstream education, yet willingly enrolling her child in the relentless rat race of engineering entrance exams. This experience delivered a profound lesson: a gap exists between what’s taught, what we teach, and what is genuinely learned.

As an Edupreneur, I’ve found myself entangled in the age-old debate about the effectiveness of our education system. It’s a topic I’ve discussed tirelessly with students, parents, and fellow educators. It’s easy for many to point fingers at the education system, accusing it of failing to provide the necessary tools for a happy and fulfilling life. While there’s undoubtedly room for improvement within the education system, I firmly believe that the real issue lies not solely with the system itself, but rather in how we choose to approach education.

Let’s take a step back and think about the incredible journey a child embarks upon when they first enter school at the tender age of 3. They come with raw skills, unrefined behavior, and, sometimes, a lack of toilet training. It’s a time of innocence and boundless curiosity. Now, fast forward to the age of 18, and that same child has transformed into a young adult with the power to vote and make choices that will shape their future. The question we should be asking is: What have they learned along the way, and how have they chosen to apply that knowledge?

From my perspective, education is far more than a one-way transfer of knowledge from teachers to students. It’s a dynamic process where individuals have the opportunity to shape their own learning journey. So, while it’s easy to point fingers at the education system, perhaps the real blame should rest on the choices we make about what we prioritize in our education.

Let’s embark on a journey to understand this perspective more deeply.

The Early Years of Education

Picture this: a child enters the school gates at the tender age of 3. Their skills, discipline, and knowledge are as raw as the untouched canvas of a budding artist. These early years are meant to lay the foundation, not just for academic prowess, but for life itself. Education at this stage is about teaching the fundamentals of learning, fostering curiosity, and instilling basic values.

The Blame Game Begins

Fast forward to the age of 18, when this child has evolved into a young adult with the power to vote and make significant life choices. It is at this juncture that the blame game often starts. People point fingers at the education system, accusing it of failing to prepare them adequately for life. But is it truly the system’s fault?

Learning vs. Scoring

Do you remember those days when we would ask our teachers, “Is this in the syllabus?” or inquire about the marks that would be assigned to a particular chapter? It’s a common practice in our educational journey, but it reveals a significant issue. The crux of the matter lies in what we choose to learn during our educational journey. Students often become fixated on scoring high marks, treating education as a mere means to an end rather than a lifelong journey of discovery. We’ve been conditioned to believe that success is synonymous with achieving top grades, often at the expense of genuine personal growth

The Power of What You Choose to Learn
Futureicons providing the Power of What You Choose to Learn in Education

Competition vs. Collaboration

Let me share a story about a worried parent who once complained about our teaching methods at FutureIcons Learning Academy. The parent was upset because, for the past three days, their child seemed to be playing games instead of studying. When I asked the child about these games, they told me they played games like “Dumb Charades” to learn new words, went on treasure hunts to understand a chapter in English, and played “Buzz” to get better at times tables.

The parent’s concern was that these activities might not help their child score well on exams because the child was more focused on doing better than their friends than on working together. This situation made me realize that it’s not just the education system but also our own way of thinking that often values competition over teamwork. . So, it makes me wonder: What are we really trying to learn?

Job-Seeking vs. Job-Creating

I’ll start by sharing a personal experience from my own journey. While pursuing my B.Ed, I found myself preoccupied with worries about finding a job after graduation. At that time, like many others, I viewed securing a job as the ultimate measure of success. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon a thought-provoking idea that my perspective began to shift.

The notion struck me that our education system primarily churns out job seekers rather than fostering the spirit of job creators. This realization led me to question the education system and reflect on my own experiences. I remembered how, as students, we were once tasked with selling tickets for a school event, and how our parents may have fretted about it. But in hindsight, wasn’t that assignment a subtle way to develop a skill? It made me realize that the prevailing belief that education solely serves as a means to secure employment can be limiting.

While gainful employment is undeniably important, it’s equally crucial to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit within each of us. Our education can provide us with the knowledge and skills necessary not only to seek jobs but also to create them. It’s all about our mindset and the choices we make in our learning journey. Entrepreneurship isn’t limited to a select few. It  can be cultivated and applied by anyone. In the vast landscape of the business world, there are numerous individuals who have embraced entrepreneurship, even within the framework of our existing education system. The distinction between job seekers and job creators isn’t predetermined; it’s a choice each of us can make.

Fault-Finding vs. Responsibility

Recently, I met a young, enthusiastic professor at a private university. She  was full of dreams and wanted to make a big difference in the world. She seemed really confident, and you could see it in how she talked and carried herself. But then, she surprised me by saying, “My Ph.D. didn’t teach me anything; I was just as smart before.” She started pointing out all the problems with her education, not realizing that the confidence and charm she had came from that education too.

The professor  saw the issues, but the big question was, what could she do about them? She kept blaming the university management for not doing their part. This is something we see a lot: instead of using our education to make things better, we often use it to find faults in the world around us. We really need to change our way of thinking—from always looking for problems to actively working on solutions. Education can be the spark that lights up this sense of responsibility inside us.

Winning the Race vs. Understanding the Goal

Let me tell you about a student named Anand, someone I had the honor of teaching. Anand didn’t do too well in his regular studies, but he had a natural talent for computer coding, something he learned all on his own. Even though he got lots of extra help and support, he struggled in his 11th-grade classes. The pressure to follow the crowd led him to choose engineering after finishing 12th grade, even though he wasn’t really sure about it.

At FutureIcons, our way of doing things is all about discover, develop and deploy. Helping Students  find what they’re good at, nurturing those talents, and then putting them to use. So, we encouraged Anand to pursue his passion for coding. As he started , he didn’t just succeed; he found a real sense of purpose and meaning. The  story is a reminder to us that when we’re too focused on winning at all costs, we may forget where we’re headed or what we’re really aiming for.

The issue here isn’t so much about what course or career has the most opportunities. It is  about asking ourselves, “What opportunities can I create in this field?”. We don’t have to blindly follow what advertisements or trends tell us to do. Instead, we should ask ourselves, “What do I need to learn to get ahead?” It’s all about making the right choices based on our own passions and goals.

The Edupreneur’s Philosophy

In my role as an Edupreneur, I am unwavering in my commitment to challenge the prevailing narratives surrounding education. I firmly believe that education should transcend the boundaries of textbooks and exams. It should be a transformative odyssey, a journey of self-discovery where individuals unearth their true potential, passions, and purpose.

Within the confines of my organization, FutureIcons, we have created a sanctuary for those who share this vision. Our dedication lies in nurturing individuals who reject complacency and instead aspire to redefine the norms. At the core of our mission is the mantra to educate, enhance, and empower individuals to rise as FutureIcons.

In the realm of FutureIcons, we urge our learners to question, explore, and collaborate. We emphasize the cultivation of skills like critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, and resilience, recognizing these as the bedrock of success in our complex world. We actively steer our students away from the conventional path of merely pursuing grades and jobs. Instead, we inspire them to embark on the road less traveled – the path of entrepreneurship, innovation, and social impact. Our mission is to foster a generation of job creators, not mere job seekers.

Through our journey as Edupreneurs, we have uncovered a profound truth: the key to transformation lies in shifting the blame from the education system to personal empowerment. It’s about understanding that the power to shape one’s destiny resides within.

In conclusion, education is not the villain; it is the protagonist. It is a tool, a canvas, and a journey. What we choose to make of it determines our destiny. Instead of complaining about the system, let’s take charge of our own education. Let’s choose to learn, not just to score, compete, or find fault, but to grow, collaborate, create, and take responsibility.

Education is not a passive experience; it’s an active journey. It’s time we all become Edupreneurs in our own lives and embrace the philosophy of educate, enhance, and empower. In the end, it’s not the system but the choices we make that shape our future.

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