“The Education System Hasn’t Changed Much Since the Industrial Revolution.” TEAM IB DP International School of Helsingborg Winning the Second Local Prize Offered by H22 and HbgWorks.

David Bondar and Eleonor Hellborg from IB DP International School of Helsingbirg, won the second local prize, offered by H22 and HbgWorks Design and Innovation.

We wanted to know more about David and Eleonor.

Tell us about yourselves and the school that you are attending.

We attend the International School of Helsingborg here in Helsingborg Sweden, a school that follows the International Baccalaureate education system, with people from all over the world attending. We are lucky enough to experience a myriad of cultures and meet people from many different places.

David: I’m 17 years old. I’m from Stockholm but lived over a decade in Britain, in Scotland. Many call me a massive nerd, some of my friends have even called me the Swedish Sheldon Cooper (From the Big Bang Theory). I am a lover of all things science and technology, especially Physics and Computer Science. I teach computer science and machine learning at our school and I’m very passionate about Artificial Intelligence, going as far as to have a youtube channel about building ridiculous AI’s.

Eleonor: I’m Eleonor Hellborg. I was born in Uppsala but moved down to Skåne when I was very young. At the moment I live on a farm in the middle of a field, basically surrounded by nature. In my free time I love reading poetry and writing. At the International School of Helsingborg I run the school newspaper called Newsish and work with the Student Union as the president of the Board. 

What is your motivation to be part of this Hackathon?

We wanted to help solve the problems that we believe that modern education faces today. We always felt that many principles we experience in our schooling system are antiquated and we wanted change. When we heard about the Hackathon, we were excited to sign up. 

What do we need to keep, develop and bin, within education and learning, as they are 2021?

Bin – Learning Styles: We are a firm believer that learning styles aren’t real: There are no visual learners, or kinesthetic learners or auditory learners. There is extensive evidence disproving the existence of learning styles. We believe that this is something that needs to be bin. Learning styles are an unnecessary level of complexity that make teacher training more difficult and students’ lives harder. We believe in a system in which all learning styles are combined in one, allowing students to more easily learn more effectively

Develop – Computer Science and Programming skills: It is so important in the age of technology that students have a great understanding of the mechanisms behind our technology. We really believe that knowledge of coding and logic can be invaluable to students in the future. As automation becomes more and more prevalent and jobs in the traditional job market are disappearing, the world needs more bright programmers and thinkers to keep the world going.

How shall we make sure that young people are more heard in the context of the reimagining of education? 

We think events like these are very important in this process since they allow us to reach the world with our ideas as well as explore them further ourselves. Usually, students will take opportunities to engage and have their voices heard if they are easily accessible to them. Therefore reaching students in the classrooms is probably a good place to start.

Watch their captivating video:

We believe there’s a problem with today’s education system

But what’s the problem?

Well that’s simple, education hasn’t changed much since the industrial revolution, it’s still a system meant to foster workers and obedience. And we think it needs changing.

The first step Cognitive:

Knowledge of neuroscience and the function of the brain can be an invaluable resource for bettering education.

This allows us to perform optimization on our education system – the greater the optimization, the better we can create a system that is more fun and enjoyable and engaging, as well as helping retain knowledge better.

Knowledge of brain function can also reveal that some teaching methods and learning styles aren’t exactly real, for example, there are no such things as learning styles – you are not a visual or auditory learner. Learning styles is something that needs to be thrown out, we should combine all kinds of learning in one, so that the experience is far more accessible and engaging, rather than having teachers focus on only one kind of style.

Environmental

We currently face a systemic climate crisis, a can kicked down the road to us, students – consumers. For decades we have been taught that it is our responsibility to fix the environment.

In reality this has been a ploy by large corporations to shift blame from them to us. This is heavily reflected in our schooling – schools are quick to tell us to do our part, in reality this has practically zero effect on helping the environment. We as individuals can never truly challenge the status quo as long as we continue to believe that climate change is the responsibility of the consumer and not the producer.

Schools should teach about the harm that business activities have on the environment, and teach them about the inaction and blindsight given to these corporations.

Lessons of accountability are paramount for change, if corporations are not held accountable, nothing will ever change. Imprinting this idea into the mind of young children is a great step towards real and measurable change. Teaching children about recycling, etc is good and is still needed, but it ignores the systemic problems that underpins the climate crisis, the consumerist society. 

Technological:

Times are changing, that isn’t more true in the cyber world. In the past 30 years artificial intelligence has become a staple of human existence, its ever present in more and more of our lives and as someone with an AI background, their increased involvement scares me

More and more often we find ourselves using and being used by machines that we know less and less about.

It is so important that education today teaches people about logical processes and reasoning, and why programming in schooling is a must learn, we face a merger with machine, the line between human and machine are blurring. It is paramount that students come to learn of these systems so that they can understand the new framework that is underlying their world.

This however raises the question of what is the purpose of Education?

Is it to produce workers for the global workforce, and in turn feeding the infinite consumerist machine? We can only hope that by improving it, we improve the lives of future generations.

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