Learning is essential to our survival and development and thus we always seek to improve and educate ourselves better. With the advent of technology and our globalised world amongst other factors, one would think that students today learn more than their predecessors but one should also take into account that learning is not entirely about academics and thus students today may not really be learning more.
As Sir Isaac Newton aptly said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” Students today have the privilege of learning more as more knowledge is understandable to man with the continuous discoveries made in time. Additionally, given that the world today is so much more interconnected and knowledge is shared widely, the amount of knowledge that students have access to for learning now is much more than before. Also, students today have the chance to learn more about and possibly even experience life in other countries through student exchange programmes. This deepens their knowledge and understanding of the different cultures in the world making for a more cultured individual.
Technology has also given modern students an edge over students of the past, helping them learn more efficiently than before. With the invention of the Internet and smartphones or laptops, students can practically learn anywhere, anytime. Students can also easily learn about things beyond the requirements of their syllabus in school.
Beyond that, the structure of education today has also played a role in helping students today learn more, and not just in the academic sense. With the realisation that the Arts can be just as important as the Sciences and the gradual shift in focus, students today are taught to appreciate the Arts more. With this cultivation, students can gain deeper insights amongst other intangible benefits that the study and appreciation of the Arts provide.
However, in spite of all of the factors that help students today learn more, the modern student still faces some challenges that may cause him to learn less. With the intense focus on education today, many students receive extra help outside of school in the form of tuition. Although tuition can sometimes be necessary and of help, an overreliance on tuition can cultivate a laziness and loss of independence in a student. The student loses the drive to be a self-directed learner and this results in a student that only studies what he is required and guided to. Learning is a journey, not a destination and if students are not willing to learn independently, ultimately they learn less in the long run.
Furthermore, with the importance that students place on education, students often neglect the cultivation of other skills that are non-academic for example cooking or cleaning. This makes for an unbalanced individual that can only study.
In conclusion, the modern student has many factors that help him learn more than before. However, learning is not just about knowledge and academics and thus the modern student is also more challenged in other aspects than before.