My concerns are with both local and global education where the chief problem I see is the fast disappearance of classical basic knowledge and skills, especially science skills. This has been slowly but progressively happening since the mid fifties of the past century when our universities and colleges shifted their emphasis to research away form teaching. This required additional time which they provided by cutting down or altogether eliminating key courses, especially the lab portion of science courses. I am not sure if anyone is aware of this but a typical science course which during the sixties used to consist of 60 lectures and 60 labs has now been cut down to 30 lectures and as few as 8 to 10 mostly demonstration type labs with little to no hands-on component. It is more distressing to know that this is not an introductory science course for undergraduate students but a graduate level course taken by the professional students such as those studying medicine also. The affective knowledge of these students is thus so drastically reduced that they are not able to think creatively outside of their chosen field and if and when they become teachers or professors, they are capable of teaching very little. This is a serious cascading affect where the knowledge begins to get lost at an exponential rate making our students less functional and less job or career ready.
My interests are in reversing this rend and making education and knowledge whole again which I do by sifting and sorting what is essential after removing minutia and redundancies, I come up with a holistic all inclusive curriculum which is easier and faster to learn and retain and also use in one's thinking and analyzing process thereby becoming versatile in the process. This selective process of curriculum design has one big advantage: It keeps the knowledge base intact and passes it on to the students with almost no gaps in the stream of knowledge whatsoever. Via this approach, science gets reduced to mere 150 concepts and skills which when combined with the rest of our knowledge of humanities, such as philosophy and sociology also with psychology and economics, gives us an almost complete holistic curriculum easy to teach and learn with.
The principle behind this form of learning and teaching is Bio-mimicry which states: learn from Nature how she does it and then instead of exploiting Nature, mimic and copy it. The model for this form of learning and teaching is the infant. Learn and flow with his or her alertness, absorbing and analyzing all sensory inputs and then deciphering them to accept or reject them thereby developing his or her personality but above all his or her and all SURVIVAL STRATEGY for that is the first and foremost function of all life. Our educational system is to aid with that strategy not hinder it. See: www.centerforintegrativelearning.org also: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=149281.