Education, education, education, education...
Ok so for this blog I'm going to get you guys to answer a question:
how many times can you say, spell, sign, write or think about the word 'education' before it becomes meaningless? Just a word of nothingness? A sequence of letters?
I'm no expert but education, education, education, education is important.
Even if we say, spell, sign, write and think about education too much, we need it.
Even if our education system is flawed, we need it.
Even if we're 0 or 100 or even older, we need education.
We need to learn. We need to develop. We need to succeed and more importantly we need to fail.
How can we change the world for the better without education?
I've said, spelt, signed, written and thought about the word education for the past 17 years (at least) and as the founding members of Jump the Puddle enter their final term of University, I want to reflect on our obsession with education and its impact on the arts.
I've been lucky enough to have (for the majority of the time) loved learning not only at school, but college, uni years and life generally...
That makes me sound like a 'geek', doesn't it?
However, this wouldn't have necessarily been the case if I hadn't have been taught about the arts.
Cliché I know, but honestly true.
Drama, art, music, dance, media, photography... the list could go on.
We need the next generation to be inspired by creativity, to see the world differently, to fail and succeed. The arts can allow students to do this and it seems that so many people in our society forget about this. We forget that life isn't just about making money or being secure. It's about living, having fun, doing something different, being curious, failing AND succeeding.
One only needs to look at the fact that GCSE Drama students no longer have to go to the theatre in order to pass their course (David Hutchinson) to realise that there is something deeply wrong with how we view education - particularly education of the arts. We've thought about education too much, so much so that now it's not about finding out what you're interested in and developing your own passions but more about passing an exam.
Yes I may be biased; I am a drama and theatre student after all. But I am a student who has had first hand experience of our education system. My GCSE drama course first introduced me to the real stage. I'd never really seen a show on a professional stage before then, excluding a couple of musicals here and there. I know that if I hadn't had that opportunity, my life would be very different now. Maybe for the better, maybe for the worse... who knows?
Through my experience I also know that University is very much a part of this education system that solely aims to make us pass exams. I naïvely thought that uni would be different, particularly when studying an arts course. But our generation has been bred to get the best marks, not get the best out of the experience. I myself am even guilty of being jealous of others who got and will always get better marks than me, which is embarrassing and wrong.
We should be developing an education system that is supportive and engaging to all types of people: creatives, scholars, thinkers, mathematicians, carers, friends... Basically everything and everyone, no matter their interests or talents.
We need to stop saying, spelling, signing, writing and thinking about education. Instead we need to do education and we need to start doing education now.