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Calculate a new course in the education system

The time of the education system as it is has passed. The only question is how long will we keep dissecting, plastering and abusing this body, before we bring it to a final burial and start a new life

Anyone can learn remotely. Illustration: shutterstock
Anyone can learn remotely. Illustration: shutterstock



Dr. Liat Ben David

The time of the education system as it is has passed. The only question is how long will we keep dissecting, plastering and abusing this body, before we bring it to a final burial and start a new life.

Does that sound extreme to you? Think of it this way: the "school" has long since not needed books in their traditional sense. These can be found on the Internet, along with pictures, movies, explanations, sources of information of various types, in various languages, at various levels, including various accessibility options for leading experts in their field in Israel and the world. All you need is a computer. Before jumping again into foolish projects of introducing one or another technology into the classrooms, calm down: surveys prove that over 95% of children (age 9 and older[1]) in all sectors, denominations and geographical and social territories, they have a cell phone, that is - a computer in the palm of their hand. The question has long been not whether our children use the computer but to what extent and by what means. The 2015 surveys prove that children and teenagers use YouTube, news sites, articles, various sources of information, music, various apps, social networks - and books for learning. If "school" is no longer a place of books, what is it?

Think about this too: there is no longer any justification for children to spend hours and sweat learning to draw letters with a pencil and pen. "But how will they write a note if they get stuck on a desert island?" A friend asked me, as if this is exactly what is likely to happen to our children. "But a handwritten blessing is much more beautiful and intimate," said another. "With the book you should not only read but also write. to write, and not to type," ignores the fact that typing is indeed writing, just with a different technique than writing with a pen. The essence that creates an experience between the text and the reader, including beauty and intimacy, is determined by the content. Learning to write should combine three components: the technical part of learning to type; Learning language arts - reading, writing fluently and without spelling and style errors that requires sentence construction, paragraphs, construction of an argument and creative writing; And arts such as painting, sculpture, music, dance - all of these develop, among other things, both fine motor skills and creativity and yes, also the ability to create beauty and intimacy through writing. Although Finland is a country that Israel's captains for generations like to talk about the exemplary innovation of its education system, they have not yet heard of the fact that Finland canceled the study of writing by hand. They are stuck in the previous lesson.

And there are other aspects worth thinking about in the context of education processes. Two years ago, I took a year-long academic course in history. The traditional interpretation of such a sentence is that I signed up for a certain course, and for a whole year, once a week, I would get into my car, drive to some lecture hall, listen to a certain lecturer - maybe while writing a lesson summary, maybe even while raising a finger to ask any questions - and between classes For class, I may have done some homework. At the same time, I taught three biology lessons for XNUMXth graders in five different schools, from Gesher Ziv in the north to Dimona in the south. Even in this case, the traditional interpretation is that I traveled fifteen times to five different places in Israel.

In both cases, the reality was completely different: I did the history course when are that I wanted - sometimes I listened to the class in the middle of the night, sometimes in the middle of the day, sometimes for several days in a row and sometimes with a break of two weeks between classes; where that I wanted - at home, in the car during a long drive, and yes, as in the advertisement, even in the bath; and also How to that I wanted - my learning process was different from usual: it was not linear, brick on top of brick as before, but networked. Sometimes I stopped and went to find out accompanying content, or make connections with a completely different field of thought, and returned only after I was satisfied.

I taught the biology lessons to all five classes at once from my home, while sitting in front of my computer screen where I saw each class in a separate "window". The students sat in their classrooms, saw me on a central screen at the front of the class and contacted me using the cell phones in their hands. In the process, "bubbles" began to appear on my screen: each bubble included a question from one of the students, which proved that they also learn in a networked way: every concept or idea I discussed was checked by them during the lesson, and the discussion challenges they posed to me as an educator were profound, Significant, active - and different from what I was used to in the past.

And one more thing: in recent decades, we are increasingly revealing the similarities and differences between us - different learning tendencies, intelligences, genetic, physiological and personality structures, characteristics of cognitive and emotional learning processes, different social characteristics. We learn to know ourselves, and especially the beautiful unique diversity of each and every one of us. As a result, we are able to create personalized learning processes that are more efficient and beneficial for both the student and society. At the same time, the human achievement is no longer of individual individuals, but of many different ones. The research, as well as its application, becomes dependent on work teams of experts, often from different fields and different continents, which require huge investments of budgets and resources and above all - transparent, open and courageous collaborations, of the kind that is the opposite of what is required in order to succeed in placement tests, matriculation or other standardization. The question is no longer how much you know, and it is not even enough what you do with the knowledge you are able to obtain - but with whom you will cooperate to move forward together.

In light of all of this and many other examples that have been summarized here by Maltarn, it is impossible not to laugh when you hear that the most advanced way that the Ministry of Education has found to overcome the shortage of English teachers is by giving scholarships to students to teach the subject; The way in which higher education fights the decline in the number of students is by demanding more budgets and more lecturers; The royal way in which educational systems evaluate achievements is still competitive-individual; And the way in which the system deals with the fact that more than half (!) of its students "do not fit" for it, is by adding the recognition of disabilities that require diagnoses and relief, that is - to adapt Alice's body to the size of the door, instead of simply changing the door or at least offering different types of doors. It can only be described as antiquated solutions suited to an old world at best, or blindness and obstinate refusal at worst.

The technological possibilities available to us in the 21st century allow us to break the morality of our commitment to the limitations of the elements of time, space and content. The information, as well as the ways of applying it, are at our disposal at any time, in any place - in any context. This situation creates a dramatic change in the perception of processes, identity, rights and responsibilities, a change so deep and significant that it can only be described as a revolution in the personal and social foundations of human infrastructure, interactions and beliefs. We live in an age where knowledge is multidisciplinary, growing at an exponential rate, accessible and available to all - and for free. As a result, the rate of development of understanding, capabilities and global changes is taking place on a scale never seen before, in all fields - except education. From Kindergarten to Academy Hill, education is still largely stuck in the 19th century. The same system that aims to prepare us for life in the present and in the future, is outdated and suitable for a world that no longer exists. It is not about the introduction of technological platforms, computer applications or applications of one kind or another, which are certainly found in many schools. It is about a radical conceptual change of the education paradigm itself - in other words, it is no longer about thinking outside the box, but about giving up the box. in the reality of our lives, The main role, goals and processes of the education system need to be restructured. If we want active, creative, brave learners who know how to work in innovative, flexible and sustainable collaborations - we need an education system that is active, creative, brave and knows how to work in innovative, flexible and sustainable collaborations. The time has come to redesign all the components of the system, by questioning the fundamental questions, while learning not only from successes but also from failures, or in other words - to ask basic, complex and brave questions, which have a close interrelationship between influencer and influenced:


what – What is really true and important to teach? In which areas of opinion should we focus, what should be taught in each area, what are the conceptual structures, concepts and methodologies that should be taught?

who will - Who are today's learners? What do we know about the differences and similarities between them, about the early knowledge, the learning tendencies, the perceptions and the culture with which they arrive at the learning process? How can this difference be addressed, in a real and deep way, in planning personalized learning processes on the one hand, while community-cultural development on the other hand? Furthermore - who are the teachers we ask to be engaged in the work of education - what professional expertise do we require them to have?

where - Are the existing learning spaces indeed the most optimal for learning, what additional spaces are available to us and how best to harness them for learning?

When - Construction of different time-frames, adapted to conditions and content, expressing a connection between time and learning.

Why - This is perhaps the most challenging question of all. A historical reason is not sufficient to continue teaching a certain subject or field. Economic, political and even cultural reasons are also insufficient. In the midst of the most multidisciplinary, enabling and global century that humanity has ever known, it is necessary to carefully examine the real reasons why we choose content that is worth teaching and learning.

In each of the answers we give to these questions, the development of four abilities must be integrated arts how[2]:

the arts of knowledge - Locating, filtering, selecting and applying multidisciplinary knowledge.

The arts of thinking - Problem solving, critical thinking, flexibility, creativity, innovation and risk taking.

the performing arts – Design, art, technical skills, training and practical experience.

The arts of interaction - with ourselves and those around us, from developing sensitivity, tolerance, curiosity, imagination, drive and optimism to communication, teamwork, activism and sustainability.

Currently, change processes in the education system occur at best through small bodies, some of them rebellious, that try a different kind of education; And in the worst case, out of the system completely. One way or another, the perception of education on all its components does not change. Building an education system that combines straight, honest and liberal answers to questions, but that allows flexibility and customization for learners and teachers alike, will lead to the development of a democratic-pluralist approach to the beauty that humanity as a whole has to offer itself. For this, an optimistic courage of the kind not yet found among policymakers is needed.

Towards the end of the second decade in the twenty-first century, there is an immediate need to create a different world view of education itself. We can no longer afford to be content with changing textbooks, technological means or even priorities. We don't need reform. We need a reinvention.


Dr. Liat Ben David is the CEO of the Wolf Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Art. The announcement of this year's Wolf Prize winners will take place on January 03.01.2017, XNUMX.


[1] According to surveys by the Internet Association and Bezeq.

[2] A similar definition was made by UNESCO, Learning: The Treasure Within (UNESCO; 1996) –

More of the topic in Hayadan:

The president of the Technion: We fell asleep in the ivory tower and did not perceive the rapid changes of the fourth industrial revolution



10 תגובות

  1. Lessons with the best teachers in Israel can be filmed today, which will be available to all students on the website of the Ministry of Education.
    Students can come to class with a laptop or study from home.
    A student can come and help those who need it and tests can also be done on the computer.
    It's a shame about the 60 billion NIS that are invested in teachers, transportation, budget pensions, supervisors, etc.
    You can cut it into a third.
    At the very least it should be given as an option.

  2. Miracles,

    I don't have high expectations either, unfortunately, but we must not lose hope - today's youth are the future of the country, they are the next generation of scientists, these are the politicians, these are the heads of the army and the economy. If today's teachers and parents don't do a good job we will all suffer in the end, you and me and all of us.

  3. rival
    you have nothing to worry about. The education system in Israel is terrible and corrupt. The teachers are afraid of their own shadow - and rightly so. I know this system well inside out. Nothing is going to change!!!

  4. "Relax: surveys prove that more than 95% of children in all sectors, denominations and geographic and social territories own a cell phone, that is - a handheld computer"

    A handheld computer may be good for sending sms or WhatsApp messages, for watching a short YouTube video or quickly scrolling through the news headlines, but it is not a suitable device for studying and certainly cannot replace the traditional and comfortable textbooks yet.

  5. I completely disagree with the author and will refer to two main points -

    1. With all due respect to the fact that 95% of the students have a cell phone and all the material is available via the Internet, it does not seem to me to be an adequate or logical way of studying to ask the students to read the material through a stupid cell phone screen that barely fits two paragraphs into it. How can this even be compared to studying through large textbooks that can be spread out comfortably on the table and you can see all the explanations, drawings and illustrations in them at the same time without having to scroll up and down the page every moment?

    At least until everyone has comfortable tablets that can be used to display the study pages in a convenient way, in my opinion this is a bad idea that will only make it harder for the students to learn the material.

    2. With all due respect to the rapid technological development, the skill of writing with a pen and pencil on a sheet of paper is still important and necessary in everyday life, in many cases, regardless of blessings or a desert island! The digital device is not always available to us (sometimes the battery just ran out, a power outage, we forgot the device at home, the device fell into a puddle when we were rushing in the rain...) and sometimes right at this moment we need to write something down! Maybe some kind of reminder, products we wanted to buy at the grocery store, details of a car at the time of an accident and a thousand and one other situations (in my opinion, sometimes it's even more convenient to write something quick on a note than to start typing it on the device). I think it is still too early to give up this important ability.

  6. The article presents correct conclusions, but not all the reasons, nor all the conclusions.
    Someone at the top of the Ministry of Education decided that everyone would go through matriculation. all students So half of Israel's students finish high school bald here and there. Without real knowledge, and without the ability to make a living. The main thing is that they learned to analyze a quadratic equation and the derivative of a sine. These unfortunates walk around with their hands in their pockets and don't know what to do. they try A job as a waiter, a job as a waitress, a babysitter... not as an interim job. but as work. to earn a living. There is no guiding hand. There is no advisor.
    The education system must undergo a tremendous transformation. I don't think she can. The salary agreements and the teachers' organizations will not allow any movement. It may be worthwhile to examine an education extension parallel to the current extension. Like the broadcasting corporation that was supposed to be reestablished. Curb the increase in the existing office's budget - and transfer all budget additions to the new office.
    A modern education system must include education for civilian professions: all building, automotive, household, carpentry, frames, advanced materials, network management, etc. professions. Then the graduates of the education system will be able to set out with the ability to earn a living.
    What about those suitable for academia? They will be able to learn at an increased rate after we have removed those who are not suitable from them.
    In a modern education system, the teacher stops teaching and moves to guidance. The study will be digital and guided. The company Interlect was ahead of its time - introduced an amazing learning system that overcame the failures of face-to-face learning. All she needed was guidance teachers. The project got stuck in the wheels of the Ministry of Education, which did not know how to digest the innovations.
    And the sheet is short.
    (Le Lior: Your example is naive and shows a lack of knowledge. You don't start from the tenth step but from the first...)

  7. Lior
    two questions:
    1. Where does it say that it is not possible to teach step by step with active instruction? This does not contradict the fact that a reform of the education system is needed.
    2. Does every child in the world need to know how to solve the aforementioned differential equation? Don't you think it is necessary to direct the ability to solve it to the benefit of the people who are really interested in solving it? And that this intention should be done differently from today's education?
    I, personally, strengthen the hand of the writer who clearly formulated what I have been saying for years. The world is progressing and education should progress with it. My daughters do study in one of the schools of the small and rebellious bodies and there is no doubt that there are too few of these. The change has to come from the top. No choice.

  8. Disagree. There are professions that do not amount to quoting the musings of people who quote the musings of others. There it is necessary to learn layer upon layer of very basic knowledge. You have to control everything well. There is no room for shortcuts or choosing what I want to learn at each step. But you have to learn all the basics. In addition, active guidance is required to succeed in this.
    For example: all the knowledge to solve the following exercise is available online. I invite the writer to solve it. After all, all that is required, in her opinion, is to know how to look for sources and to think logically:

    What is the function u given

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