Space settlements and education

One of the most important things to considering when we are going to establish orbital space settlements is how to organize education in a new society. As stated earlier on this site we believe that education has two functions:

  1. Civic – prepare young people for active citizenship in a democratic society
  2. Economic – developing relevant and useful skills to earn one’s living

In order to achieve both aims an educational system has to do two things:

  1. Acquisition of (general) knowledge
  2. Development of critical thinking skills

YouTuber CGP Grey has an interesting take on the future of education as explained by him in the video below:

Though I have some reservations to his “Digital Aristotle” plan, I do see a few clear benefits:

  • a simple and continuous way to monitor student performance and progress, i.e. no need to schedule tests at certain intervals (“learning for the test”)
  • pace of learning adjusted to individual capabilities as the level on which subjects are taught
  • more flexible scheduling of classes as students do their school work at their own pace

A couple of objections I would to make are the following:

  • it increases the amount of screen time young people are exposed to
  • focus much on factual knowledge, though very important, schools also teach children social skills as cooperation that are vital to a functional society

We believe that Digital Aristotle for everyone should be a supplement rather than a replacement to “traditional” schools.