Education for a long fulfilling life:
* In his book “ The fourth Education revolution”, Sir Anthony Seldon states that there have been only 3 education revolutions in the long history of humanity, the most recent one having been brought about by the printing press, about 400 years back.
* Both Sir Anthony Seldon and Sir Ken Robinson ( https://www.ted.com/talks sir_ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms ) have attributed the current dominant education model to the factory model of the Industrial Age.
* The current driver for education is ‘education for employment’ that arose during the Industrial age, with a greater demand for skills that led to better employability. The recent illustrations of this are the demand in skills for the IT age, the AI age and now the coming age of Quantum Technologies.
* One of the unintended consequence of this model of education was what is called ‘overfitting’ in the context of machine learning. This led Guy Claxton ( https://youtu.be/JxWybvns1jg) to suggest the building of ‘ learning power’ rather than rote learning of specific chunks of content (syllabus) in subjects which results in ‘taughtitis’.
* One of the effects of recent advances in medicine and technologies for healthcare is that longevity is increasing and both the lifespan as well as the health-span are now more than they were a few decades ago. There is a rise in centenarians – people who are 100 years old or more. The global population is moving from a young population towards an ageing population with each new generation projected to live longer than the last.
* This is changing the goal of education from finding an immediate job and a career path to a lifelong pursuit of learning to carve out a niche for oneself in the ‘gig’ economy and lead a long and fulfilling life.
* Socrates had said long ago that ‘an unexamined life is not worth living’. Frederich Nietzsche exhorted us to be Ubermensch and Swami Vivekananda said “ Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached”. More recently Yuval Noah Harari (https://youtu.be/OMDlfNWM1fA ) warned us against falling into the ‘useless class’.
* People who live longer and more fulfilled lives are life-long learners with strong social support systems, cultivating rewarding relationships, being happy and content with who they are and what they have, adopting healthy diets, maintaining better mental and physical health, ensuring overall well-being, and being intellectually active.
* In this age of data driven decision making, it is a good idea to draw upon a study by Harvard’s Grant and Glueck( https://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/want-a-life-of-fulfillment-a-75-year-harvard-study-says-to-prioritize-this-one-t.html ) which tracked 724 participants from varying walks of life over the course of 75 years, to find the key to long-term happiness and fulfillment.
* The only path to achieving the goal of a fulfilling life is to have fulfilling relationships, and those relationships can only be created by consistently connecting through meaningful interactions. And one of the best ways to do this is to become part of a lifelong learning community that you create and nurture.