Your Formal Education Ends Here

Why Your Formal Education Should End Sooner

Kids are no different today. When I graduated from college with a Bachelor Degree in Music Education back in 1975, part of the valedictorian’s speech was, “Your formal education ends here…” Shortly after, we all threw our caps into the air and raced for the exits.

Summer holidays are most often kick-started with the kids home from school, Alice Cooper’s anti-school anthem, “School’s Out” still reverberating in their young, impressionable ears. Seems that the main thing they learned in school this year was, “I can’t wait to get out of this place; I can’t wait for school to be over.”

Sadly, there are so many people my age – too many, truth be told – who actually boast that they haven’t picked up a book for the purpose of learning something new since they finished their schooling some 35-40 years ago.

Formal Education is Good… Up To a Point

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge receiving the basic three R’s through my formal education – readin’, ritin’ an’ ‘rithmatic! (Hey, don’t laugh. This is NOTHING compared to how today’s kids spell via online chats and texting!)

My argument is that while three to four years of solid basics would have been more than sufficient, it’s the force-fed misdirected ‘application’ that I resented and rebelled against so strongly. And yet, compared to what kids bring home for homework these days, I have absolutely nothing to complain about.

My book reports consisted of just enough proof that I actually read the text. Most often I was asked to include my opinion on what I thought about the writing; whether I liked it or not.

Formal Education? This Is Crazy!

Today’s curriculum requires students to dissect and psycho-analyze each character. Then they have to do the same thing with the each sentence, paragraph, page, and chapter structure. No more getting away with, “I liked it because…”

Instead of encouraging a love for learning by working with each child’s natural curiosity, today’s education system is cluttered – make that glutted – with useless and impractical ‘have-to’ exercises that not only bore and disinterest the students but actually turn them off the love of learning completely.

Thankfully, I wake up each day with an insatiable appetite to seek out knowledge; to learn something new and useful. My own training experience wasn’t able to kick the love of learning out of me. I wouldn’t let them.

Take a Break from Formal Education

I’m not sure if today’s kids will be so fortunate considering the current state of formal education. The system seems to be geared to grind out more and more droids, inevitably destined to become drones in the future of society.

Leaders need their curiosity and love for learning not only to be intact, but stimulated. The most visionary leaders of today – Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Richard Branson, and a handful of others like them – all broke away from traditional education systems that threatened to stifle, if not steal their God-given gifts to deliver true value to the world. Imagine what would have happened if these people chose to conform – to be yet another ‘droid’ mass-produced by formal education.

In my experience, real life learning takes place outside of the school’s confines. In fact, that was the end of the valedictorian’s speech at my college graduation ceremony, June 8, 1975, “Your formal education ends here… now your REAL education begins!”

The world can seem like a crazy place sometimes… OK, a LOT of the time! However, no matter what is going on in your life, magic happens when you learn how to choose better feelings now! You’re Gonna Love That Feeling [http://lovethatfeeling.com/blog/your-formal-education-ends-here/]

All the best from Toronto

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Non-Formal Education in the Philippines

Non-formal Education is one of the means to spread literacy and employable skills to the people and it covers a much larger audience than the formal system. The NFE in Philippines is designed to assist the out-of-school youth and adults who have been deprived of formal education. There may be varying reasons for this.It may include the economic, social and geographical limitations which have hindered the path of literacy and employable skills.

The mission of the NFE program in Philippines is to empower the people with “desirable knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values that will enable him/her to think critically and creatively, act innovatively and humanely in improving the quality of his/her life and that of his/her family, community and country.”

The main objective of NFE in Philippines is to reduce the number of illiterates in the country and provide them with need-based literacy programmes and also develop basic employable skills.Activities like vocational training, adult reading classes, family planning sessions as well as leadership workshops for community leaders.

This branch of education is looked after by the Bureau of Non-Formal Education which has its history dating back to 1829 when civic educational lectures were introduced in the country.Non-formal education was formally started in 1973 and is now an integral part of the developmental activities.There is a 3-pronged approach in this method which focuses on literacy, continuing education and staff development.

The main thrust of NFE is on the acquisition of skills needed for earning livelihood and to survive the competitiveness in the labor market.The horizons of non-formal education are far wider as compared to the formal system.

NFE reaches out to a greater audience irrespective of demographic characteristics, socio-economic conditions and varied general interests. In a few words, this system reaches out to all those people who might otherwise never get a chance to have any sort of education.

The Non-formal Education Program of Philippines lays thrust on the following aspects:
• Literacy Programs for numeracy and functional literacy of each individual
• Development of Livelihood Skills
• Expansion of Certification and Equivalency Programmes

One of the main aims of NFE is to bring about a decrease in the poverty levels among the communities.To attain this goal, the bureau provides leadership and technical assistance in the implementation of literacy programmes, projects, trainings, workshops etc.This process includes the following features:

Female Functional Literacy & Parent Education: This program majorly involves the mother and provides them with essential skills and competencies to perform better in the fields related to child survival, protection and development.

Literacy Project for Cultural Communities: The target group for this program is that section of the society which is unable to attend the formal education system.This may include the cultural communities in general and also the hill tribes in particular.

Development of Literacy Measures: The Bureau of Non-formal Education in Philippines has developed some literacy parameters through a series of seminars and workshops.At the moment there are seven literacy measures which decide the functional literacy of the target group.This is also accompanied by a Manual of Instructions for using the Measures and its scoring.
Development of Resource Material: It also focuses on the development of the curricula for various levels of literacy and also the resource material needed for the same.This includes booklets, posters and the facilitator’s guide.

Actual Implementation on the Field: This is the most important component of the whole project.Efforts are made to implement the literacy and livelihood development programmes in the actual field with the target group in order to eradicate illiteracy and thereby alleviating poverty.

Thus, the Bureau of Non-formal Education in Philippines works on four major action points – family life skills which also includes health, nutrition, childcare, household management, family planning; vocational skills, functional skills and enhancing livelihood skills.

If You Really Want To Excel In Life, Put Aside Formal Education

Many will argue that without education, the world would still be in the dark ages. Education is generally seen as the catalyst for development in any society. This argument fails to realize that the individuals that have advanced the world were persons that refused to conform to educational dictates. These individuals thought outside the box of conformity as presented by formal education. Formal education removes or greatly reduces a person’s creative ability. It simply teaches you to believe and accept something as a fact except someone, who dares to think outside the box proves the fact otherwise. For anyone who wishes to excel in life, the one must put aside formal education and reach out into the deep reserve of creative ability on the inside.

Through education, accumulated knowledge, skills or values are deliberately passed on to another individual. Education is a process that is designed to have a formative effect on individual from a tender age. A child is thought from a tender age some societal values that are preserved and passed from generation to generation. We are thought in schools, about the gravitational force and that the earth is spherical. Depending on a person’s choice of career, there are educational curriculums designed to impact knowledge towards achieving a career goal. A person is said to be formally educated after successfully completing the curriculum and passing the final examination.

To be educated therefore is to show an understanding of the subject area as put together by the teacher. Sometimes, it is a matter of ‘junk-in’ and ‘junk-out’. Education tries to impact knowledge that is generally accepted to be true or has morale.

Formal education constrains one to figure out what someone else has done on a particular subject. It gets one occupied trying to unravel equations or to simply memorize the equation. The focus is to pass the examination at the end of the course. It reduces an individual to a mere robot: performing a third party script. Formal education does not provide much of an opportunity to use one’s initiative. It destroys creativity and prevents one from utilizing this rich resource of the mind. It simply teaches to accept other persons’ view on a subject.

The world is full of persons who are formally educated only to end up in some form of routine job. These are not the persons the world needs. The world needs those who have the courage to put aside formal education and to think outside the box. These are the dreamers and the inventors. To think outside the box is to tap from the potential that lies within the mind of every individual. It means being creative and original. The world does not celebrate those who are formally educated. It only celebrates those who dare to be different and think outside the box. If you wish to be celebrated, then you must put aside formal education and think outside the box.

I have come to observe that some of the greatest men and women in the world were/are persons that put aside formal education. Most of them were not formally educated. These persons refused to conform but rather reached into the deep resource of their minds to produce creative ideas that are celebrated all over the world.

The world cannot forget Thomas Edison in a hurry. He is one of the greatest inventors the world ever produced. One of his legacies is the incandescent light. Thomas suffered from partial deafness and lacked formal education. He believed that he had something to live for and reached into the deep resources of his mind by thinking outside the box.

John D. Rockefeller is believed to be the richest man in history. He had hoped to go to college but had to drop out of high school in order to work and to support his family. By the age of twenty-five years, he already had a refinery. Without formal education, J D Rockefeller assessed the great wealth of his mind to establish his great empire and to employ the educated folks.

The story of Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation is known to most people all over the world because of the revolution of the personal computer. Bill had special interest in programming and would like to try new things. Although he had admission in Harvard College, he had to drop out because of his attachment to programming machine. Today, Microsoft is a house-hold name because someone refused to conform.

Similar story goes for Steve Jobs who was the co-founder of Apple Inc. After graduating from high school, Steve Jobs enrolled in Reed College, Portland, Oregon but had to drop out after just one semester. The success story of his inventions that include iPod, iPhone, iPad is the testimony of a man who dared to be different.

I have just mentioned some of the world greatest inventors and businessmen. The list is unending. Most of these men and women did not have formal education. They escaped the mental captivity imposed through formal education. This enabled them to reach down into the deep resource of the mind. Exploring this resource positively transforms a person into a creator. Humans are by nature creative being but this ability is hindered by the formative effect of education. Education teaches conformity. Conformity with the world is never celebrated. The world only celebrates those who are different. If you really wish to excel in life, be prepared to put aside formal education.

John Iroh is a free thinker. He believes that there is a better life for each person. He believes in looking at the sunny side of life rather than the gloomy pictures presented all over the media. There is always light at the end of a tunnel except it is not a tunnel.

John is currently working on helping youths and younger generation to maximize their potential and be successful in life.

Getting a Job With No Education – Job Experience Vs Formal Education

Most of the well paying jobs require completed college education in the form of either a Bachelors or a Masters degree. Most jobs that pay above minimum wage require you to have a high school diploma at the absolute minimum. However in some areas, experience is valued far higher than education. In this article I’m going to discuss the value of both experience and formal education. I’ll go over the top paying jobs that don’t require a degree and that typically value experience a lot more than a college degree.

Before I discuss the merits of both education and work experience, I want to implore you in the highest possible way to get your G.E.D (high school diploma) if you don’t already have it. Even if you plan on working you way up from the bottom at a large company, this is something they will look for when they consider promoting you. You can do virtual classes online that will prepare you for the test for about $300. If you can’t afford that, there are dozens of state programs across the country that provide financial aid to promote literacy. Do a Google search for “GED Financial Aid Your_State” to see what’s available in your state.

Formal Education vs Job Experience

In a recent survey done by Monster.com, a substantial majority of the respondents felt that work experience was more important for them to advance their career than education. This is undoubtedly the case, even when you base it on strictly statistical data, but what this poll doesn’t mention is that education is instrumental in getting hired in the first place. Education should be seen as the starting point, the “seed” if you will, whereas experience is the sun light and water required to grow and develop. Without the education there would be no seed and therefor no growth. This analogy is true with most careers, but some jobs simply don’t value formal education very highly.

These Jobs Hire with No Education

Fortunately there are actually dozens of jobs that pay just as well or better as many degree based jobs. These jobs place more emphasis and importance into real world work experience as a traditional classroom education holds little or no value here.

5. Postal Service Clerks. Working at the post office has been a well paying and very secure career for decades. It’s one of the few jobs left that still offers a pension plan, which continues paying you a percentage of your normal wages after you retire. You can earn up to $51,670 with this job without any college degree or advanced education.

4. Real Estate Sales Agents. If you have strong people skills, this can be an incredibly lucrative business. Even when the housing market is at it’s worst, this is still a phenomenal business to be in. You can either work for your self or join an existing real estate company which can help you by sending you leads and providing you with an office. If your new to this area, it would be wise to start out by joining an existing company so you can build your contacts and learn the ropes. The average salary for this occupation is $53,100 and several agents earn between $200,000 – $1,000,000 annually.

3. Commercial Drivers (Truck Drivers) The schedule can be pretty rough and you’ll be spending a lot of time away from your friends and family, but if those things don’t bother you, this job is an incredibly high paying option. The pay range is anywhere from $40,000 – $55,000 annually.

2. Casino Supervisor If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, you already know the dealers are making outrageous amounts of money. If the dealers are making so much money, just imagine how much their supervisors are making! Often times, the supervisor receives a percentage of the tips from the floor that he/she is supervising. These casino supervisors earn an average of $48,920 annually and if you land a job at high stakes casino, expect to make easily over $100,000 annually.

1. Paid Survey Taker This job isn’t recommended as the #1 job that requires no education because it is the highest paying. It’s recommended because it’s something that you can easily add on to any other job to supplement your existing income. It’s a few hundred dollars in your pocket every month at just a few hours work. Best of all, it’s something that you can start doing immediately, without having to deal with a job interview or review process.

Although education can be very important, and often instrumental, to landing certain jobs, it’s literally worthless when trying to pursue certain careers. Before you go through the time and expense of pursuing a college degree, be sure to find out whether or not your career really requires a college degree. Above all, stay focused and motivated to whatever your goals are and you will succeed regardless of what level of education you currently have.

Formal Education Versus Informal Learning – What Is the Best Mode of Acquiring Knowledge?

Acquiring new ideas and garnering efficiency in the existing knowledge and skills is the key to an effective learning process. According to the experts, informal learning is the ideal way to achieve this end. With the growing dependence on technology, the collaborative aspects in education have gained momentum. The formal training in a traditional classroom set up, where the entire training process is controlled by the trainer is substituted by informal mode. In the later, the knowledge delivery process is initiated as well as controlled by the learners.

There has always been a debate as to which process of training is more effective to attain the best result. Normally, in formal process, goals and objectives are pre defined and hence constricted within limited industry-specific things. On the contrary, in an informal scenario, learners have the freedom to pick up something of his interest and pursue its study through various informal channels.

In case of formal education, study material and structural model of the curriculum set by the trainers or the course co-ordinators. In short, a formal process is conducted within a defined timeline, where learners have to have a specific skill set to attend the training programs. On the successful completion of the training programs, students are rewarded with certificates. Being pre-planned the process of learning is more structured. Corporate organizations with specific set of goals and objectives, arrange such training programs. They follow a clear benchmark in a structured system, against which the performance of the employee is measured.

Unlike the formal process, informal environment never offers a structure or scheduled program. It can be pursued any time, as and when the learners encounter a specific need. Nowadays, informal learning is also well accepted in corporate organizations and academic institutions. Learners can join different discussion forums online and can share their views about different subjects and topics. In this way, the area of knowledge is widened with new scope of training and knowledge emerging out almost every day.

With technology changing and improving at a rapid pace, information available through traditional resources such as books, become obsolete. Over a period of time, peer-to-per interaction comes on the center stage and presently, it has become the preferred mode of education.

Formal learning in is conducted in the organizations through seminars, conferences, training programs, and so on. In most cases, the purpose of formal educational process is to ensure performance improvement of the employees. In addition, it also helps learners’ to increase their employment opportunities.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn coupled with industry specific discussion forums, blogs and groups have offered steadfast platform to conduct informal process of education with ease. As a result, informal learning is being viewed more seriously in recent years.

However, the success of a training program depends on how effectively its goals and objectives are met. Both the process are effective in their own way and can bring best results if used in a right way.

Why We Need To Adopt Informal Education Practices In The Management Of Formal Education Systems

Kenya is one of the African Countries with the highest rate of unemployment despite the fact that literacy levels have gone up. Most high school graduates who are also the majority of the job seekers lack the basic skills which the job market requires.

Kenya’s education system today is inherited from the British Colonial Administration. The education system had been established by the colonialists to serve their own purpose – that of providing clerks and interpreters of the Bible. After independence the need for education changed as self-governance meant need for specialized manpower. This has seen Kenya change its education system from 8:4:2:3 to 7:4:2:3 and finally to 8:4:4 in an attempt to cater for the country’s needs. In all these changes, informal educational practices were not given much attention as they were associated with the Africans and African civilization which was deemed inferior.

The main differences between informal education and formal education is that whereas formal education is geared to impersonal goals of knowledge acquisition, informal education is a process of enabling the individual understand the societal goals and mutual relationship. Informal education practices are yet to be meaningfully integrated in the management of formal education. This is because majority of formal and informal trainers and trainees disagree to their use, in the management of formal education.

Learning theories and models can be blended to accommodate formal and informal practices in management of education and in the process, develop an individual who has requisite competencies at problem-solving. Competencies in this context refers to skills, attitudes, knowledge and abilities of people such competencies can only be said to be relevant when they help people to observe desired values. Such competencies are critical if any society is to develop and remain relevant in a rapidly growing global society.

Although professional educators are now much more involved than before in policy making, it remains true that the educational theory and practice are world’s part. This is evident in our graduates who cannot be employed anywhere due to their lack of competencies and have to undergo some post qualification in-service course. Students who are products of Kenya’s formal education are not able to develop and use original inventive, innovative and entrepreneurial competencies. It therefore shows that most of the students trained through the Kenya’s formal education graduate when they are incapable of inventing, creating and sustaining productive jobs.

What is Shaping Future Generations? Certainly It’s Not Formal Education

Tonight I was watching the latest episode of Fringe, “The road not taken”. In one of the scenes, Walter is explaining to Olivia why she’s been having visions. He describes our perception of time as a line, while in reality at every moment our reality unfolds into an infinite number of these lines. Every decision that can be taken creates an alternate reality, as real as ours.

What this triggered in me was something far from Fringe’s plot. It made me think about how we see the world the way we see it. Why we consider what’s acceptable or not. What makes us think as Gen X or Gen Y; and ultimately, what makes us change as a society. How did I get here, you may be asking yourself. Well, this is how…

When Walter was giving his explanation to Olivia, he wasn’t just explaining that. It was Pop Culture speaking about Quantum Physics (multiple histories of a particle), about a different paradigm. In high school, I remember learning Newton’s 1+1=2 physics. The “simple” and predictable one. Quite ancient compared to “the 1+1= a lot of things and some other we can’t answer” physics of nowadays.

Formal education isn’t the way to evolve a society. To prepare its members for change. Quite the opposite. It ensures (and enforces) that the traits of the current generation are transmitted to the following.

Society tends to adopt this “manual to life”. It saves us the job of thinking about things. If someone gives us the answers, why waste energy in double checking them? Besides, it’s the Truth.

Those with a critical attitude will challenge this guide and set sail to discover the other truths.

So, what drives social change then?

I believe that it’s not just one factor. It is a constellation of them. Only one would not be enough to foster massive cultural change. It needs to be supported by other factors to make the meme/chunk of knowledge get traction and thrive. Trying to analyze these factors one by one would certainly require more than one post. Or more than a dozen (I should write a book). That’s why I’ll focus in one. The one that drove me to write this post. Pop culture.

It plays an important role and often underestimated role. Pop culture prepares society for what’s coming, or for what’s already here and we are not seeing. I bet that today, our schools are not teaching the the theory of Relativity, nanotechnology or quantum physics… hell no, we are still debating if evolution is a fact or a conspiracy to deviate us from the Truth. But nowadays people are getting, through almost subliminal channels, bits of information that prepares them for the moment to switch paradigms. Pop culture is creating the foundations to support that knowledge. And little by little is preparing us to view the world through a different screen.

For instance, if tomorrow on CNN you read that a group of scientists have discovered the way to travel through time, I don’t think you would jump from your chair freaking out about the crazy stuff that people discover or create. You have been prepared, for when the moment comes, to digest those news faster. If you are a hard core sci-fi fan, unless a flying saucer abducts you and gives you a thrill ride through the galaxy, you shouldn’t be shocked by groundbreaking or “look-like-magic” discoveries. Warp speed? That’s old!

I stated that there wasn’t just one factor. If I had to name a few ones quickly I’d say that any communication channel that is not at the service of the status-quo can function as a change-driver. It’s always by the clash of the old vs. the new that advancement is possible. One can’t exist without the other. There is no change if there is nothing to change.

Fernando Tarnogol is an Argentinean psychologist, currently working as Program Coordinator at the Devereux Foundation in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

He has studied Psychology at the University of Buenos Aires and Human Resources Management at UADE (Argentinean University of the Enterprise). His professional experience includes work in HR for HSBC Bank Argentina and in two mental health facilities performing psychological evaluations and other clinical work.

Formal Education and Its Significance in Getting Jobs

Formal education is an important part of one’s life. It can take anywhere between 13 to 18 years in one’s life. In fact, the number of years can be more than 18 in some cases. It normally includes primary school education, secondary school education, some may opt to do diploma courses, some may go for bachelor courses and there are many others who would even go for masters and doctorate. Formal education has become very expensive nowadays. Most banks and financial institutions offer education loans to students who can’t afford to pay for higher education. Even though the interest rates are high, most of them accept the loan realizing that formal education is a crucial aspect of one’s life. Believe it or not, debt from student loans has crossed a trillion in USA alone.

One might ask why would someone borrow heavy money in the form of student loans and pursue higher education? What would he get out of it? What is the future? Well, the answer is jobs. Employment after education is the only thing that drives these students to take loans from banks and enroll themselves in prestigious colleges to pursue higher education. Most of them would have big dreams as to what kind of jobs they want after education, both in terms of salary and the job profile.

Most people would want to study in the best colleges available. The reason being not just good facilities provided by the colleges. The most important reason is the job placement opportunities one would get from prestigious educational institutions. Hence, students don’t hesitate to shell out big money to join prestigious educational institutions since the normal institutions don’t attract well known companies for campus job placements. Well known companies offer high salary and interesting jobs. People are always looking to get placed in high profile multi-national companies thinking that only those companies offer the best career growth opportunities apart from good salary. Even though it is true to some extent, I have seen many people joining low profile companies and would still end up learning a lot from them. With small companies, the employee strength would often be less and you may end up with a lot of responsibilities. In hindsight, that can be advantageous for your career.

There are a lot of industry sectors where you can obtain jobs. Some of them include the informational technology industry, manufacturing industry, healthcare industry, hospitality industry, travel industry, agriculture and the list goes on.

Wanted.com is a useful search engine for jobs. The website offers whatever help wanted by job seekers in their search for good jobs.

Private Piano Lessons – The Benefits of a Formal Education

If you think the only way to receive private piano lessons is to hire an in home tutor or travel across town once per week, which requires a lot of dedication and expense, there are other ways of receiving a formal education in music.

Online Lessons

Yes, private piano lessons are available online for a fraction of the cost. Some people may not consider this as formal training, but think again. Many Colleges and Universities across the country offer online courses to students who are unable to attend physically due to location or other reasons.

Taking music courses online is becoming just as popular. You have all the comforts of home and your lesson plans are right at your finger tips. No commute. Study at your convenience, whenever you want. There is the option to print your lessons as well and take them with you.

Choose your Instructor

In most cases, when you choose private piano lessons online, you have the option of choosing your instructor according to what you desire to learn. If you want to learn blues music, choose a teacher who specializes in this area.

You can make your learning experience a personal one with this diverse way of education. There are video tutorials available, online forums to take part in and seminars as well. Continuing education has never been easier.

Studies have shown that when you are in comfortable surroundings the learning experience is enhanced. You are relaxed and able to concentrate. No pressures. No need to worry about your appearance or performing in front of people right away.

As a self-taught pianist, I know the value of formal training as well. There is only so much you can teach yourself. Music theory requires knowledge and skill, not just playing it by ear and memorizing songs note for note. Natural ability is a blessing, but combining this with private piano lessons will bring your level of expertise to its fullest.

Formal training will challenge you to greater heights. There is so much more to music than meets the ear, so to speak. How many different variations are there on one basic scale, for instance. At least sixteen. If this surprises you, then you now know what you are missing by not getting formal training.

Private piano lessons will also teach you discipline. It takes hard work and dedication to become the best you can be in any area. After all, talent is ninety percent hard work. One can’t rely on natural ability alone to rise above mediocrity.

How far do wish to take your talent? This will be the deciding factor of which type of lessons will work best for you. If you can afford a private instructor at some point, it is definitely a more personal way to learn.

What is Shaping Future Generations? Certainly It’s Not Formal Education

Tonight I was watching the latest episode of Fringe, “The road not taken”. In one of the scenes, Walter is explaining to Olivia why she’s been having visions. He describes our perception of time as a line, while in reality at every moment our reality unfolds into an infinite number of these lines. Every decision that can be taken creates an alternate reality, as real as ours.

What this triggered in me was something far from Fringe’s plot. It made me think about how we see the world the way we see it. Why we consider what’s acceptable or not. What makes us think as Gen X or Gen Y; and ultimately, what makes us change as a society. How did I get here, you may be asking yourself. Well, this is how…

When Walter was giving his explanation to Olivia, he wasn’t just explaining that. It was Pop Culture speaking about Quantum Physics (multiple histories of a particle), about a different paradigm. In high school, I remember learning Newton’s 1+1=2 physics. The “simple” and predictable one. Quite ancient compared to “the 1+1= a lot of things and some other we can’t answer” physics of nowadays.

Formal education isn’t the way to evolve a society. To prepare its members for change. Quite the opposite. It ensures (and enforces) that the traits of the current generation are transmitted to the following.

Society tends to adopt this “manual to life”. It saves us the job of thinking about things. If someone gives us the answers, why waste energy in double checking them? Besides, it’s the Truth.

Those with a critical attitude will challenge this guide and set sail to discover the other truths.

So, what drives social change then?

I believe that it’s not just one factor. It is a constellation of them. Only one would not be enough to foster massive cultural change. It needs to be supported by other factors to make the meme/chunk of knowledge get traction and thrive. Trying to analyze these factors one by one would certainly require more than one post. Or more than a dozen (I should write a book). That’s why I’ll focus in one. The one that drove me to write this post. Pop culture.

It plays an important role and often underestimated role. Pop culture prepares society for what’s coming, or for what’s already here and we are not seeing. I bet that today, our schools are not teaching the the theory of Relativity, nanotechnology or quantum physics… hell no, we are still debating if evolution is a fact or a conspiracy to deviate us from the Truth. But nowadays people are getting, through almost subliminal channels, bits of information that prepares them for the moment to switch paradigms. Pop culture is creating the foundations to support that knowledge. And little by little is preparing us to view the world through a different screen.

For instance, if tomorrow on CNN you read that a group of scientists have discovered the way to travel through time, I don’t think you would jump from your chair freaking out about the crazy stuff that people discover or create. You have been prepared, for when the moment comes, to digest those news faster. If you are a hard core sci-fi fan, unless a flying saucer abducts you and gives you a thrill ride through the galaxy, you shouldn’t be shocked by groundbreaking or “look-like-magic” discoveries. Warp speed? That’s old!

I stated that there wasn’t just one factor. If I had to name a few ones quickly I’d say that any communication channel that is not at the service of the status-quo can function as a change-driver. It’s always by the clash of the old vs. the new that advancement is possible. One can’t exist without the other. There is no change if there is nothing to change.

Fernando Tarnogol is an Argentinean psychologist, currently working as Program Coordinator at the Devereux Foundation in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

He has studied Psychology at the University of Buenos Aires and Human Resources Management at UADE (Argentinean University of the Enterprise). His professional experience includes work in HR for HSBC Bank Argentina and in two mental health facilities performing psychological evaluations and other clinical work.