The Real Way to Figure Out the “Best” Educational System

I would assume this was obvious, but apparently it is not. So I’m dedicating a post to the fact that Education Reformers are standing in the way of their own progress when they evaluate new educational systems with old educational paradigms.

Let’s take a look at some non-traditional educational methods that exist in the USA. Waldorf schools. Montessori schools. Uncollege. Homeschooling. Project-Based Learning. How are those systems along with many other “alternative” school systems being measured against our current system? By standardized tests. Isn’t the whole purpose of them to teach different material in a different manner than the most widespread teaching methodology? How can we measure a different system by the same yardstick?


I think if we were honest with ourselves and had a little more patience, we would recognize that the only real way to determine the “best” educational system is to see how much children who had gone through those systems emerged as happy, successful, fulfilled adults. If society doesn’t care about that, what’s the point of public education?

Before we all get riled up about how Finland’s education system is amazing and they scored so high on the PISA without drilling rote exercises into students’ heads like they do in Singapore, how about we take a minute and think about the results of that “equality over excellence” educational system. When was the last time you heard of a great company, scientific discovery, or prolific artist who came from Finland and reached International success? Not to say that there isn’t anyone, but I would argue that proportionally America has more “excellent” achievers in adult life…probably because we care about “excellent” achievers in educational life. It’s great that they could master algebra and write a properly formatted essay, but as many people try to remind us, that’s not really the purpose of education. If we are trying to foster great minds of the future, we need to take a look at what happens after the exams and diplomas.


Hey! I'm a 19-year-old student at Tufts University where I am majoring in Math. I'm from Upstate New York and was the only Hindu in my small-town public school. I love artichokes and eyeliner and lifehacking. I have a ton of interests, but most of them fall under the umbrellas of Education/Learning, Media/Entertainment, Mathematics, Design, or Technology. I have been inseparable from my laptop(s) since I was a xanga-layout-making, neopoint-hoarding 12-year-old.

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Posted in Education Revolution
One comment on “The Real Way to Figure Out the “Best” Educational System
  1. zepstillroc says:

    Longitudinal qualitative research is the name of the game!

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