Scientist's Question of the Day: Why would our school produce digital morons?
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Scientist's Question of the Day: Why would our school produce digital morons?

18 January , 11:03
The publication of Novye Izvestia on the panel discussion entitled “The Future of Education in Russia”, which took place within the framework of the XII Gaidar Forum “Russia and the World after the Pandemic”, stroke a deep chord in the hearts of the readers.

Andrey Zlobin, scientist, candidate of sciences with triple higher education.

Personality shaping “based on a digital education system, a platform that accompanies a child from elementary school to college and goes further into the production environment with him” - this will be cleaner than the novel “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury.

An educational system that makes a child a hostage to an electronic head is horrifying. If, God forbid, these plans become a reality, then it's time to start memorizing books and hide them from being burned in the squares. Such a one-sided approach to the education system will definitely lead to the production of soulless robots instead of full-fledged people. The very people in whose society the word Man sounds proudly.

At the turn of the 90s, I worked in the youth "Commission on Computing and Computerization", which studied this topic, held conferences, exhibitions, meetings with specialists. Once I happened to be present at a meeting of scientists and students of the Lomonosov Moscow State University with Paul Pilzer, adviser to US President Ronald Reagan. The adviser talked with enthusiasm about the fantastic prospects of widespread introduction of computers into life. Of course, there was a lot of correctness in his words, since it is pointless to deny the benefits of computing. But somehow the adviser covered the topic of computerization in a one-sided way and at the end I asked him a question: “Don't you think that the other side of computerization will be fooling people, since a computer can dull a person's many creative skills?”. There was silence in the hall, the adviser changed his face and, carefully choosing his words, answered that of course we are talking only about the area where the computer helps a person's creativity, and does not replace it. It was a wise answer and I appreciated it. There, overseas, they understand this.

Было время, когда и математики рисовали картины маслом

Andrey Zlobin. Black Sea Bay. Dusk. Canvas. Oil.

The one-sidedness of digital education, its flawedness in terms of blocking many of the necessary human, creative skills is beyond doubt. A computer will never replace a person with the development of fine motor skills when writing texts by hand with an ordinary pen. You can only become a real artist by holding a pencil or brush in your hands, honing your skills for years when working with a sheet of paper or canvas.

A real artist will never grow up if he does not have the opportunity to study on a real stage, interact with masters, theater partners live, and not using a computer.

The music teacher will not put his fingers on the student correctly if the neck of the student's string instrument is not tactile for both. I will never forget these fingers of my music teacher - the brilliant musician Grigory Gershevich Gartsman.

Neither a real engineer nor a scientist will grow up if his entire education is reduced to the contemplation of computer content. The computer screen will never replace live communication in the classroom, during recess, at the school stadium, school yard. And no digital platform can replace the genius of a real teacher, who is able to invest more in the student in the classroom, audience in one word, intonation, gesture than all digital mentors put together.

The conditional "psychology" of a teaching electronic system will never be equivalent to the psychology of a human teacher. The narrowness of digital education, its devastating, dehumanizing essence is a return to a primitive state. As a result of such "learning", only a set of the simplest digital instincts will be formed. A person who learns from a digital platform will simply cease to be a person and become a biorobot. This is certainly convenient for the production of cog people, automaton people. Only how many would wish their children such a fate?

Будущие кандидаты и доктора наук пели и играли в студенческих ансамблях

The author at the performance of the student music propaganda team of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University (Norilsk, Palace Metallurgists, 1979).

"You cannot become a narrow specialist without becoming, in the strict sense, a fool." This very accurate statement belongs to the English writer Bernard Shaw. Alas, today the best Soviet education system in the world, which gave a person the widest possible range of knowledge and creative skills, has been miserably "reformed". The production of narrow specialists is now put on stream and the most sad consequences are the cases when highly specialized fools reach large leadership positions. It is then that economic crises occur, entire sectors of the economy collapse, idle talk and incompetence flourish.

The current reformers of Russian education have a poor understanding that school and university studies are far from enough to reach the modern heights of professionalism. School and university are only the first, initial stage of education. For example, it takes 30-40 years to develop the most formidable drones that will thrill any enemy. So, the author of these lines, after graduating from school and the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, additionally graduated from the Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics of the Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Economics Faculty of the University of Political Science. Then for 10 years in practice he comprehended the most complex science of gas turbines and cooling of turbine blades at the Central Institute of Aviation Motors CIAM. Only after going through a large engineering school, having worked with the designs of aircraft gas turbine engines, having performed a lot of real fire tests, a lot of computational experiments, defended my Ph.D. thesis and learned to interact with colleagues, did I reach the level of a cruise missile engine.

It's ridiculous to think that all this huge learning functionality can be squeezed into a digital platform. Only the creative development of the personality, a broad, versatile education obtained through communication with teachers, university teachers, professors, and production mentors can form a real professional. Such a professional who will always keep the bar above the world level. Regardless of what field of activity the erudite will have to work.

В МВТУ им.Баумана учили рисовать от руки. В "цифровом" образовании это невозможно

At the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, I was taught to draw by hand. It trained the imagination and It helped a lot when, having headed the sector "Engines of unmanned aerial vehicles" at CIAM, I could quickly draw on paper any of my ideas. (Andrey Zlobin. Passenger plane. Pencil).

Real elite education must start from school years, and it is a million times more important that children are taught not by digital platforms, but by experienced teachers. I was lucky to graduate from Moscow's 43rd school, today it is gymnasium 1543, which was founded and for a long time headed by the people's teacher of the Russian Federation Yuri Vladimirovich Zavelsky. I have something to compare with. Studying at this school and communicating with Yuri Vladimirovich was a real happiness. He formed a unique teaching staff, taught geography and astronomy lessons himself, perfectly knew the psychology of schoolchildren, and developed their creative potential in every way. We constantly felt the support of our beloved director in any creative endeavors, whether it was about the creation of a school musical ensemble, a school theater, the organization of a patriotic museum, exciting sports events, educational tourist trips.

If we talk about the future of Russian education, then first of all it is necessary to take an example from such pedagogical schools as the school of Yu.V. Zavelsky. In his book "About the school teacher: thoughts scattered about" Yuri Vladimirovich writes: "A good school is a house where a person is formed, a house where everyone and everyone - adults and children - is interested in living and working." Even in ancient Egypt educational institutions, similar to higher schools, were called "houses of life". All the wisdom accumulated by pedagogy over the millennia of human civilization speaks of the need for live communication between a student and a teacher. "Omne vivum e vivo" - Academician VI Vernadsky reminded Latin - "All living things come from living things".

Understanding the complexity of the issue, I want to note such a Russian feature as the rushing, ever-doubting Russian soul. Apparently, it is not worth it to indulge in long discussions on this matter. I’ll just give you a quatrain I wrote for the big calendar published on the eve of the millennium. This is about Russia:

Beautiful in contradictions

Waiting for the prophet in vain

A country with light and shadow

And the brilliance of the mind, and the strength of laziness...

And further. Fyodor Fedorovich Knorre wrote an excellent book for children. It's called Captain Crocus. I highly recommend reading this book to parents who do not want their children to be made into inanimate, brainless stuffed animals. This book is a very effective vaccine against "digital platforms", computer addiction and Cyber-Generals - vivisectors of human souls. And if one day your child finally breaks away from endless computer games, then, as Vladimir Vysotsky sang, “So you read the necessary books in your childhood!”.

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