This is a bit different to the kind of article I usually write, though the topic made me think.
Recently, children in the UK in lockdown were given a hotch-potch of learning if they had been attending a state school as schools tried to cope with the changed circumstances with schools being closed. The private schools were up and running with online education as all the students’ families could afford laptops and tablets.
So during lockdown in the UK a two tier education system was running depending on household income, as different curriculums were being offered, one of which wasn’t up to scratch, and there was no way students could be adequately prepared for exams.
Then Elon Musk’s Space X successfully transported two astronauts to the International Space Station, which I found awesome to watch. It was a great achievement.
Elon Musk was interviewed on NASA tv, and there was talk about going to Mars and setting up a colony there.
I got to thinking, with NASA wanting to do mining on the Moon and China wanting to get there before them, some kind of colony or colonies would appear on the Moon. Then there was the Martian colony. Colonies at some point mean children.
I got to thinking, if you were on the Moon or on Mars, what would be considered as a good education? How about five, or ten, or twenty years into a colony? What would an education look like on the Moon or on Mars?
Would children have to study who were the American presidents? Or any other pieces of Earth history? Would they be required to learn Earth Geography, or would it be considered a bit pointless? Would there be a revision of Earth history, particularly of recent history and would it be presented as the bad old days so that the colonies could draw a line, make a new start and define a new life for themselves going into their future. In short, would they junk the Earth and just move forward?
If they were on the Moon or Mars I think it would be important to learn about the geography around them and about any physical and chemical processes that go on there. I could see the point in Maths and Science in a culture so heavily dependent on technology for survival and progress, and in biology. Elon Musk has mentioned about being responsible for the survival of Earth animals, and taking them into space. Biology would be required to be taught, and expanded, due to the differing gravities and the local conditions.
Would old Earth culture, old Earth books and music etc. be taught, or would they be ditched and new culture, more suited to the new conditions be developed. Imagine dance in low gravity environments. Would new language evolve in the new places?
It may be instead that a culture develops which embraces what comes out of the Earth, Moon and Mars, and includes culture that comes out of any other places humans start to inhabit.
For pyschological wellbeing, as well as because of the need to survive and thrive, what would people want to learn?
This led me to think about the education systems of the world right now. Would they benefit from a revolution? Do our education systems educate students to survive and thrive as individuals and a a societal collective in the changing conditions and the new challenges on this planet, or do they need an overhaul?
What do our children need to learn?