What Everyone Ought To Know
About the Modern Education System

By Alvaro Berrios, May 2018

vintage-classroom(web).jpgMost people don’t realize this, but the current education system was created during the industrial revolution. At first, this may sound surprising, but it actually makes a lot of sense when you look at not only what subjects are taught in school, but also how they are taught. As most things during that period, standardization was the name of the game. The ultimate goal was to achieve conformity. Think about it, students of the same age are placed in the same room and are presented with the same information for a fixed period of time. Moreover, they are also assessed against the same standards. Just look at the factory-like model schools use: evenly marked time blocks with bells signaling the beginning and the end of each period.

To be fair, this isn’t to say that nothing good has come of this system. It revolutionized education by opening it up to everyone during a period when only aristocrats had access to it. There is no doubting the radical impact of that transition. However, it has been over 150 years and the world has changed a lot since then. Simply put, our education system has not kept up. Quite literally, if someone from 150 years ago time-traveled to today, the only thing they would recognize is the education system. Scary, right? 

Furthermore, students aren’t remembering what they’re being taught. 40% of high school students need remedial courses once they start college. The National Governors Association once interviewed 300 college professors about freshman skill levels and over 50% of all students were rated poorly in the following areas: complex reading materials, analytical thinking, writing, research, and/or knowledge application.

Additionally, college isn’t even properly preparing students for the workforce. Year after year, executives from major corporations state that recent graduates require additional training upon hiring.

This clearly points to the reality that today’s education system, with its emphasis on the rote memorization of facts, is no longer up-to-par for today’s standards. We use Google to find facts. Employers want graduates who are highly skilled in creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. These are the fundamentals necessary to succeed in today’s jobs. 

“Memorization is for robots. People learn by doing.”

The above quote from Ray Kurzweil, co-founder of Singularity University and project-based learning advocate, sums it perfectly. To use an analogy, think back when you first learned to ride a bike. Were you placed in a classroom to learn the laws of physics, mechanics, and gravity in order to properly prepare yourself to ride a bike? Probably not.

Or how about when you learned your native language. As an infant, were you shoved in a classroom to learn vocabulary and grammar to start the mission towards your first words? Highly doubtful. In both scenarios, people learn by doing. You get on a bike and you fail time and time again until you finally get it. As a child, you’re immersed in what is then a foreign language and through some trial and error, you eventually become fluent. Rote memorization was never required in order to succeed.

That’s why many progressive educators are advocating for what is known as experiential learning. The goal with such a learning system is the successful transfer of knowledge, as opposed to narrow, domain-based learning. While this teaching method has its opponents, there is strong scientific evidence that it is more effective than the current education system.

In a 2015 study published in Psychological Science, researchers discovered that students who physically experienced scientific concepts understood them better and scored higher on subsequent exams. In the study, which was led by Prof. Sian Beilock, highly acclaimed expert on the mind–body connection and author of the book How the Body Knows Its Mind, “brain scans showed that students who took a hands-on approach to learning had activation in sensory and motor-related parts of the brain when they later thought about concepts such as angular momentum and torque. Activation of these brain areas was associated with better quiz performance by college physics students who participated in the research.”

This is significant because this is in relation to areas such as math and physics, subjects that many students struggle with. If students can perform better by physically experiencing the concepts, then interest in these in-demand fields could grow significantly. Reading about a subject in a textbook can be abstract and boring. This stresses the importance of reimagining the way we teach and learn in order to better equip the leaders of tomorrow.

Experiential Learning at CiAM

At CiAM, our program is designed is designed to deliver an education that bridges the gap between application and education. For starters, there are no GMAT or GRE requirements for entry. Why? Studying for those exams is pure rote memorization. The information probably won’t stick after completion, and there’s a very low probability it will serve you in life. Has anyone ever said, “thank goodness I took the GMAT because it helped me solve this real-world problem?” Highly doubtful.

Furthermore, there are no exams throughout any of the coursework, for the same aforementioned reasons. Instead of tests, CiAM bases grades on papers, reports, and presentations. Leadership and teamwork skills are developed as students work collaboratively throughout their course of study, and there is a continued focus on the development of effective written and oral communication. This is how you are evaluated in a real work environment. As a result, we believe this is the best way for you to get evaluated in an educational environment as well.

Additionally, students who enroll at CiAM have the opportunity to work on up to 8 consulting projects with US-based businesses. This is a unique part of our program. Students work in small teams to complete a pro bono consulting project for local businesses. Furthermore, service is provided at absolutely zero financial cost to our clients.

With real-world business experience as our core, we provide the opportunity to build a portfolio of business accomplishments during your education. CiAM's MBA will benefit you throughout your lifetime.

Here are the basics about the consulting projects:

  • The term of engagement is seven weeks.
  • Student teams typically have 4-5 members.
  • Guided by Professors and Professional Business Consultants
  • Clients will be expected to be available for a total of 4-5 hours during the first five weeks of the project.
  • The final presentation typically lasts about an hour.
  • Clients receive a complete consulting report documenting the work done and the team’s conclusions and recommendations.

With this framework, students become well-versed in the following categories: verbal/visual presentation skills, written skills, leadership skills, collaborative teamwork and consulting. Recall that these are the same skills that employers wish graduates had more of. Consequently, upon graduation, you will have the fundamentals not only to succeed in today’s job environment but also to be a catalyst of change for the challenges of tomorrow.


The Next Generation of Leaders

If one thing is clear, it’s that while the current education system was revolutionary when it was developed 150 years ago, it has not evolved to keep up with the demands of our modern work environment. In that time span, the ways in which we do business with one another, interact with one another and communicate with one another has changed drastically. Our world is fast-paced and technology driven. An educational system must evolve just as everything around us evolves.

We also know so much more about the human brain and how it learns. In reality, we’ve always known this through practical examples (e.g. bike riding), but now we have the science to back up the value of hands-on learning. So why not create an educational framework that caters to all the information we know now?

CiAM is on a mission is to take people who want to change the world and turn them into leaders equipped with the knowledge and experience to do so. But we realize that big decisions and new things can be intimidating. Pursuing a graduate degree is a large time investment, and we as humans are creatures of habit, clinging onto things we’re accustomed to.

That’s why we the ability to try before you buy. Take a trial MBA course risk-free. We’re confident that once you experience project-based learning, you’ll recognize the value immediately. If you’d like to try your risk-free trial today, click below to schedule a call with an admissions counselor.

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