Forums » Issues in Education

Problems in education #5: Fake news in a rapidly-changing world

  • February 5, 2022 5:17 PM PST

    Instead of being taught how to think, students are often being taught what to think, or simply not  to think, but merely to memorize and conform

    This is another very thorny problem. There’s a very thin line between inculcating values and indoctrination. Teachers, parents, society as a whole – everyone has values and, whatever those values may be, everyone thinks they are worth imparting to the next generation. Is it even possible to conceive of an education system without values, and if it is, would we want  such a system?

    The answer to both questions is probably “No”. Values are implicit even in the selection of material for the curriculum, and an educational system divorced from values would lead either to a society with no values, or to one in which individual values were so diverse and contradictory that there would be no cohesion, no commonality.

    But when values and ideology come at the expense of critical thinking and the spirit of inquiry then they come at too high a price, particularly in today’s rapidly-changing world.

    In the past, teachers could assume that the world their students would grow up into and inhabit would be essentially similar to the world they themselves grew up into and inhabited. Today, though, if there is one thing teachers can be sure of it is that the world their students will live in will be very different from their world.


    Today’s students are living in the Information Age. Pretty much anything you can think of is just a mouse-click away, from the weight of Jupiter to the pigments used in the Mona Lisa, from the Bible to the Qran, from Das Kapital to Mein Kampf, from TikTok to Skillshare, and Squid Game to TED talks. Fake news rubs shoulders with fact and almost anyone can say almost anything. In such a world any education system that does not consistently encourage students to develop their own critical faculties, to sharpen and make use of their powers of judgement, is not fit for purpose.

    This post was edited by JohnYamamoto-Wilson at February 5, 2022 5:19 PM PST