6 Problems with our School System (deconstruction)

The video is prepared by Next School which promotes upgraded educational curriculum under the highly innovative Big Picture Learning framework. The video explores some major problems that current educational system encounters in most parts of the world. The creators are claiming that current traditional educational system is outdated and needs to be refreshed. Although this video is mostly about an Indian and American school type, I try to connect it with Kazakhstani context. Let’s see if their arguments coincide with our situation.

The main argument of the video is that the real world is rapidly changing whereas, school system remains the same and not changed in hundreds of years. They claim that children are not prepared to real-life situations as schools have been established in an Industrial Age and have that mentality. Unfortunately, the writers do not provide an exact context within the video, that is why I investigated it myself and found that it was about India and U.S. However, if to contrast their claim with Kazakhstani situation, it exactly underlines our current situation. For instance, three months of summer holidays were designed in early 1930 to create a labor term which was a part of industrialization. According to the People’s Commissariat for Education of USSR, it ended in 1980. But, interesting to note that three months of summer holidays still exist in Kazakhstan up to these days.  Here, I was convinced that traditional school system is a legacy of an Industrial Age.

The next argument provided by the creators of Next School is the lack of autonomy and excess of control among children. They claim that “Industrial Age values lack of autonomy” and “every minute of a child’s life is tightly controlled”. Here, if to compare the situation with Kazakhstan, I completely agree that today there is a deficiency in autonomy among children, teachers and even principals. I speculate it to be a reminder of the Soviet times. Although I accept it as an aftermath of that times, I truly value the past education. But, education should coincide with the demands and globalization, not history.  It is true that every minute at school is controlled as 7 lessons per a day and 40 minutes’ lessons with 5 minutes of break. The child’s control, however, a subject that can be negotiated by their parents and teachers, and to treat it as a consequence of an Industrial Age without good pieces of evidence might be an assumption.

The other problems with the traditional school system are “memorization” and “extremely standardized system”. Firstly, the authors argue that children memorize not having a chance to perform what they have learned as they forget about it after an exam. They support authentic learning type where children will be able to apply what they have learned in a real world. Again, I was convinced with their idea of changing memorization with authentic learning strategy, but they should have provided some examples. As from the personal experience, we used to memorize a lot at school and even university. By saying ““extremely standardized system” the scholars mean that every child receives the same materials to study. They claim that children’s abilities are different and should be treated so. It might be true that kids have different capacity and potential in performing school task, but I think it might be more convincing if the scholars used more concrete examples in dealing with such issues.

Overall, the video was designed for all stakeholders in the field of education starting from children to policymakers. Although some arguments needed to be supported by good pieces of evidence, I was convinced that our Kazakhstani education system needs to be updated and reformed.  But, one thing that they did not mention is that change in education is mostly top-down process unless it is a private educational organization.  I would suggest providing more concrete examples of solving these issues.

What do you think of this video?


Next School. (2016). 6 Problems with our School System.[Video file]. Retrieved from


5 thoughts on “6 Problems with our School System (deconstruction)

  1. Thank you for the post.
    In my opinion industrialization was one of the most important events in human history. It was so important that we still feel the consequences. Maybe we need another type of revolution so everything, especially education, will change. Maybe space revolution.
    Even if some cool schools like NIS and KTL are implementing new techniques and methodologies, schools in outskirts of Kazakhstan still suffer from memorization and lack of autonomy.
    Let’s wait for the next revolution.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this colourful and meaningful video you have shared with us! Frankly, I enjoyed to see the way you applied this video to Kazakhstani context. Unfortunately, every country is facing outdated educational system, may be except Finland. There are lots of talks and still no action. For me it seems as an endless chain we walk on. Or stakeholders knocking to the government’s doors but they even don’t ask “Who is there?”, not mentioning them to open the door. Indeed, we are the system “victims” who spent 15 years of life memorizing and not being aware of the reasons to do so. I wouldn’t like the next generations to be treated that very way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear, magic-sunshine! You touched acute topics, which are related not only to our country, but it is a problem of the world. Your deconstruction is different from others by its comparison with the shown data and Kazakhstan’s statistics. I think it is an intersting idea to use the given theoretical framework and exert it for Kazakhstani context. Furthermore, I would like to mention that you show an amazing ability to looked at the information in the video critically, in other words you mentioned given data and evidence, but found another side of the issue. You have very good organization in the essay, by the help of structure and linking words. It was easy to read and understand your essay. Thanks for the interesting topic and critical analysis. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for such a meaningful and actual topic, which you have aroused here. Reforms in education are still a painful topic for Kazakhstani schools, because in 25 year time since the Indepence the Ministry of Education implemented approximately 100 reforms, and I do not really think that all of them were successful I do agree with Sapar, that we need a revolution in education to change some things and in order to solve these problems you have mentioned here, they are all common for Kazakhstan, India and other countries too. However autonomy in education and autonomy in our country is a complicated thing to solve…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice second deconstruction post. You give a nice overview of the video, allowing the reader to follow along easily and with enough detail to not even need to watch the video. More importantly you engage with the text as a set of arguments, and bring your own research to create a more comprehensive understanding of this hard-to-define “education system”.

    Minor grammar mistakes:
    ___ U.S. (always with article)
    Again, I was convinced with their idea (preposition… of/by)
    However, if to contrast their claim with ___Kazakhstani situation…(“if we contrast”, or simply “by contrasting…we see”; also, missing article)



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