Were Pink Floyd time travellers that provided us with a guide to the future of education? Explore the findings of an audit report prepared on the alignment of the future of education to rock music lyrics
If you remember trying to master the skill of hitting the record button on the radio with the timing precision to avoid the pesky DJ voiceover being added to your mixtape, you will certainly recognise the chant like lyrics of ‘We don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control; no dark sarcasm in the classroom, Teacher, leave them kids alone.’ Although rather rebellious and derogatory in its execution, the underlying message of Pink Floyd’s song appears, years later, to become increasingly relevant. Were these rebellious rockers time travellers that were utilising these catchy lyrics to implant seeds from the future in our sub-conscious? Are we as a society actually morphing into this version of the future? That seems farfetched; therefore as a responsible CA(SA) I decided to apply some substantive testing to audit this future of education hypothesis.
‘No dark sarcasm in the classroom, Teacher, leave them kids alone’ – Globally home schooling has seen rapid growth, with the number home-schooled kids having doubled in the four years up to 2019, and then doubling again in 2020 alone. Notwithstanding the effects of COVID in 2020, it is evident that there is a trend away from the classroom and away from the traditional teacher-pupil relationship.
‘We don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control’ – A vast majority of the premium education institutions are challenging the manner in which the school curriculum is delivered by introducing digital content delivery and AI-assisted learning tools. These, although innovative in application, do not stand as evidence for moving away from ‘mind control’ and ‘education’ itself. More relevant would be schools that do not have a subject-based curriculum at all. Astra Nova (founded and funded by Elon Musk) challenges education as we know it, with no traditional subjects or formal designated aged classes but rather focusing purely on enabling students to solve complex problems: ‘Astra Nova strives to develop students that are enthralled by complexity and solving for the unknown, through posing challenges including simulations, case studies, fabrication and design projects, labs, and corporate collaboratives. These challenges are solved by students with different experiences across age levels and domains.’ Clearly this substantiates a very different narrative around education and as there is no formal subjects or predefined solutions, it would be a challenge to assert ‘mind control’: so thanks to Musk, we appear to have validated this hypothesis. However, Astra Nova is certainly still ‘education’. For the opening line of the Pink Floyd hypothesis to be proven we will have to look to the future potential of another one of Musk’s ventures, Neuralink, the company that is implanting computer chips in the brain. Although not a current reality, there may be a future where we may not need education but could simply download it.
It is a good thing I am no longer providing assurance services, because if I were, I may have provided the following in my audit report on Pink Floyd: ‘In conclusion and according to the above substantive testing it appears reasonable to accept that Pink Floyd were in fact time travellers and their future narrative of education is becoming a reality. Much like how we have moved away from painstakingly creating mixtapes to instant music downloads, it seems plausible that the future of education will go as proposed by the “Another Brick in the Wall” lyrics.’
Much like how we have moved away from painstakingly creating mixtapes to instant music downloads, it seems plausible that the future of education will go as proposed by Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ lyrics.