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In the recent past, many articles have received attention on account of their “radical position” regarding the formal education system. If we were to step back in time we find examples of “successful people”, monetarily speaking, with little formal education in terms of both qualification and academic achievement. It is a curious fact that its converse holds some grain of truth as well. This is that people with excellent academic backgrounds have not necessarily leveraged them to the extent that they would have liked. Before we proceed on this matter, it is important to acknowledge that this counter intuitive reality is not always the case. There are some concrete reasons given for this ironic phenomenon. There are also psychological ones.

One concrete reason identified was that college education robs students of life skills. The psychological reasons are more intriguing and some of them are identified as a clockwork increase in expectations and the intimidation that comes with specific qualifications. This is not with any monetary end in mind.  A child or student may like to explore a concept that is being taught at a certain pace incompatible with the linear approaches of schools. Some learn Chemistry better only by experimenting. Giving them descriptive accounts of periodic tables, charts and laws may make them doze away into slumber. They learn best by doing. The practical portion is the only way you can measure what you learn. If you take Physics, some learners may drift away into metaphysical questions. Knowing how to handle variant questions is also part and parcel of the learning curve for both the teacher and the taught.

Then some may prefer learning alone and not in groups. It is important for educators to provide them with this facility as it is not in anyone’s interest to mix social learning with conceptual learning. This is also another aspect of formal education, which may limit your progress. Apart from the factors enumerated above there is also the approach of grading which affects a student’s concept of self more directly. This will limit one’s learning and the student may lose interest in the idea of ‘concepts’ once and for all. While the formal education system can curb your intellect, identifying the reasons for individual difficulties would open up insights into the need for flexible approaches. This is where online tutoring can step in. Earning and learning are not quite the same. One can in fact hinder the other leaving the intermediary individual struggling from a thwarted sense of lack of progress. If the formal education system has to work for every learner, it must treat every learner as a distinct individual.

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