Is our education system a cyborg?

The future of education is a hot topic right now. At the time of writing a search for UK events focussing on said topic yielded 495 results on Eventbrite alone. No wonder it feels both exciting and frustrating to be an education or learning practitioner at this time; we value creativity and ideas in this space, but we perceive them as part of our longer-term future, leaving an enticing yet challenging gap.

A cyborg is defined as a person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical or electronic elements built into the body. We could say that metaphorically, our education system is the person, with many ‘normal’ limitations. The mechanical or electronic elements are the multiple plug-ins or additions that the system depends on to reach beyond those limitations. This is not to be confused with reaching beyond people’s expectations. If our apparent eagerness to discuss the future of education tells us anything, it’s that people’s expectations are barely being met, let alone exceeded, by the performance of our learning systems, or by the pace of change and evolution.

For those of you immersed in the education system, you will know well the kind of enhancement I’m referring to. These plug-ins are sometimes technical solutions, such as software to enable efficient management of a school, but very often they are social solutions, delivered through generosity, determination and hard work...

Written by Zahra Davidson - originally posted on Medium